Jesus, Pixar, & Disney: Crosswalk’s Top 10 Movie Features of 2015
- Ryan Duncan Crosswalk.com Entertainment Editor
- 2015 31 Dec
2015 was a lively year for Crosswalk movie features. The channel covered everything from an inside look at Inside Out, to the story and anticipation of God’s Not Dead 2. The following articles were the top 10 most read movie features of 2015:
There are a number of promising Christian films releasing in 2016, but Risen stands apart in both story and spirit. The movie follows a Roman soldier (played by Joseph Fiennes) who is charged with uncovering the location of Christ’s body after it goes missing from its tomb. As his search draws to an end, he’s confronted by a truth which seems impossible to believe. The film, which also stars Harry Potter’s Tom Felton, is being portrayed as, “An incredible noir detective tale that takes us on this journey through the eyes of a nonbeliever.” With a unique perspective and compelling actors, Risen may just push the boundaries of faith-based cinema.
Which Pixar movie made you laugh the loudest? Would you rather dine with Anton Ego or hit the open road with Lightning McQueen? Did you cry harder at the beginning of Up, or in the final scene of Monsters, Inc.? These are just a few questions we asked ourselves while ranking The 5 Best Pixar Movies of All Time. Though our list may need to be adjusted with the release of Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, it’s still enormous fun to look back on these amazing films and the adventure they gave to us all.
Well-written Christian fiction can be hard to find, but the best novels in this genre are timeless. So why don’t more of them become films? This post examines a handful of faith-based novels which have certainly earned their chance at Hollywood recognition. The list includes The Wise Woman, an unconventional fairytale by George McDonald, and even The Vinegar Boy, a touching story of Christ’s love as told through the eyes of a child. Go ahead and ask yourself, “What Christian book would you like to see as a movie?”
Despite being over a year old, Aronofsky’s Noah and Ridley Scott’s Exodus: God’s and Kings are still criticized by Christian audiences. Meanwhile, God’s Not Dead has become a household film, with a sequel premiering in April. This begs the question, “What separates a good Christian movie from a bad one?” This sparked a conversation on Christianity Today, and between our own editors, about how much of a Biblical movie should be left to the imagination. It appears the questions from this robust debate still linger in the minds of many believers.
Many Christians were thrilled when they discovered Unbroken, the biography of Christian evangelist and WWII hero Louis Zamperini, was becoming a film. Unfortunately, Angelina Jolie’s recreation of the famous book ended just before Zamperini’s post-war conversion to Christ, leaving most viewers bitterly disappointed. In response, several writers including Denny Burk, Cathy Lynn Grossman, and Crosswalk’s own Debbie Holloway sought to remind audiences of the unshakable faith which made Zamperini the man he was. This article was a moving testament to the transformative love of Christ. A reminder that was regretfully lost on the film’s cutting floor.
For many years, Chuck Colsen served as a voice of moral reason and spiritual accountability in the Christian world. He strove to build a faith-based worldview that covered all aspects of life from politics to pop culture. Naturally, this exposed Colson to several movies he believed could inspire and motivate Christians to new heights. Whether it was the enduring courage of Corrie ten Boom in The Hiding Place, or the grace and redemption latent in Les Mis, each of these five films has something special to offer. It’s encouraging to know the legacy and character of Chuck Colson still live on today.
Sometimes, a Christian movie isn’t necessarily what you expect it to be. Oh sure, it points to Christ and the redeeming power of his love, but in it takes a less conventional road than other films. That’s why relevant Magazine compiled a list of 8 Underrated Christian Movies which all audiences (regardless of faith) should consider seeing. Writers Jesse Carey and Tyler Huckabee take obvious fun in pointing out the unusual merits of films like Believe Me, which to quote them,
“…follows the exploits of a group of college guys who attempt to pay off their student loans by crafting a fake, charity: water-type nonprofit and keeping the donations for themselves.”
The casual moviegoer willprobably recognize Hugh Jackman as the burly, brutal Wolverine of X-Men fame, but the Australian-born actor’s next project could change all that. According to The Guardian, Jackman will star as the apostle Paul in an upcoming film about the life and teachings of this religious leader. Jackman recently spoke about his Christian faith in an interview with Parade Magazine stating,
"This is going to sound weird to you. In Chariots of Firethe runner Eric Liddell says, 'When I run, I feel His pleasure.' And I feel that pleasure when I act and it's going well, particularly onstage.”
We can only look forward to hearing more of Jackman’s testimony in 2016.
Are you the parent of a teenager? Do you ever worry that your child doesn’t understand what it means to be a Christian? If so, you might want to consider reading our #2 article. Each of these films is different, but they all depict the character and calling inherent of a follower of Jesus. Whether it’s the integrity of Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, or the bravery of Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire, these films have much to teach the next generation. Take an evening and sit down to a movie with your kids, you may even learn a thing or two yourself.
Who doesn’t love Disney movies, especially when they come with a secret Christian message? This year’s top feature examined how several films from the House of Mouse covertly shared the Gospel in their own, small way. The five movies on this aren’t just fun to watch, Christian viewers will feel a swell of pride when they hear Snow White pray, and perhaps a touch of humility at the grace displayed in Cinderella. Though a number of our readers had mixed feelings toward the Disney franchise, it was still encouraging to watch one of the oldest names in animation make room for Christ in their classic tales. So don’t blink, or you just might miss Crosswalk’s #1 movie feature of 2015!