2016 has been a generous year for Christian films. Whether large-scale productions like Ben hur or smaller independent works in the vein of I am not ashamed, faith-based films continued to climb to new, unprecedented heights. Now that 2017 is just a few days away, it might be interesting to look back on the films that have had the most impact on Christians in general. Clearly, this is a fairly subjective question. For my part however, the following five films have demonstrated the best craftsmanship while presenting dynamic stories of faith.
Here are RMC’s Top 5 Christian Movies 2016!
“This story of faith and redemption marks a new chapter for biblical epics. While not perfect, Risen still delivers one of the best depictions of Christ’s death and resurrection to date, as we witness events from a pagan stranger’s perspective. – Crosswalk resurrected Review
One of the first films to be released in 2016, resurrected set the bar high in terms of history and performance. Located in Jerusalem during the resurrection of Christ, resurrected follows a Roman tribune (played by Joseph Fiennes) who is instructed by Pontius Pilate to discover the missing body of Jesus. As the search takes him through a vast labyrinth of intrigue and on the path of Christ’s disciples, the truth behind the departed Messiah turns out to be more fantastic than he ever imagined. resurrected made this list because he dared to think outside the box, and the result was an engaging new look at a familiar chapter in the Bible.
Hillsong: Let Hope Rise
“Writing worship music is difficult! The same is sometimes true of serving the Lord. What’s easy is sitting down for the Hillsong: Let Hope Rise experience, where we are invited not only to praise Jesus, but to have an intimate view of what it feels like to be genuine Christians, without excuse and full of hope in a world yearning for God. “- Zebra crossing Song of the hills Review
Although many people are skeptical of the “theatrical worship experience,” Hillsong: Let Hope Rise exceeded all expectations. This well-crafted documentary followed the members of Hillsong United as they reflect on their humble roots and their sudden explosion in Christian music. What makes this film particularly moving is the sincerity with which its subjects approach God. Despite enormous commercial success, each member recognizes that they are not here for their own glory. At the end of the day, these are just an average bunch of people looking to serve God, and that makes all the difference.
“Old in the best sense – focused on duty and patriotism – the film also feels contemporary in its post-Saving Private Ryan approach to war sequences. Those who can take it will find that Hacksaw Ridge is a generous payoff. – Crosswalk Hacksaw ridge Review
Simple, brutal, but deeply moving, Hacksaw ridge certainly deserves its many distinctions. Based on the life of Desmond Doss, the film chronicles how Doss enlisted in the United States military as a field medic during World War II, despite refusing to carry a gun. Throughout the film, his Christian beliefs are constantly tested, first in the melting pot of training camp, then in the fires of war. Although the bloody conflict is sometimes difficult to watch, Hacksaw ridge challenges its viewers by asking them what they really believe and what they are willing to sacrifice in the name of Christ.
Queen of Katwe
“What could have been the story in numbers of an unlikely hero triumphing over odds receives additional inspiration from characters nourished by faith.” – Crosswalk Queen of Katwe Review
While not as obvious as the other movies on this list, Queen of Katwe is still gaining a place thanks to a certain well-placed authenticity. The story follows Phiona (Madina Nalwanga), a Ugandan girl who discovers that she has the talent to become a master chess player. Through a series of personal challenges and with the help of her family and friends, Phiona becomes a hero to her compatriots and an inspiration to all who face great trials in their lives. Although Christianity never takes center stage in Queen of Katwe, his spirit is keenly felt. In many ways, the film offers an honest look at humans as we struggle to find God even under difficult circumstances.
“No piece of Silence is an accident or an afterthought. This Martin Scorsese adaptation of a Japanese novel by Shûsaku Endô is difficult, slow, and lacks a traditionally satisfying resolution, but its strength as an adaptation and the power of the realization and the performances justify it (a lot). Silence Review
One of the toughest Christian films of the year, both in terms of style and theology, Silence should not go unnoticed by the denominational public. This Martin Scorsese adaptation of a Japanese novel by Shûsaku Endô follows two Jesuit priests as they search for their lost mentor in the hostile territory of Japan. Silence is a film that asks many difficult questions and offers no answers in return. Yet, if viewers are brave enough to take this heart-wrenching journey, they might discover more about the grace of Jesus than they ever imagined.
You don’t agree with our list? Which Christian films do you think were the best of 2016? Be sure to leave your choices in the comments below!
* Published on 12/30/2016