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12 Christian Movies as Good as I Can Only Imagine

  • Michael Foust
12 Christian Movies as Good as <em>I Can Only Imagine</em>

The faith-based film I Can Only Imagine shocked Hollywood earlier this year by opening No. 3 at the box office, ending its run with $83 million, and becoming the No. 1 film in the history of Roadside Attractions -- the same studio that produced the Oscar-winning Manchester by the Sea.

Of course, most faith-based movies don’t achieve that type of success. In fact, some of the best films bomb.

Here are 12 Christian films that -- in this movie fan’s opinion -- are as good as I Can Only Imagine.

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash/Denise Jans

The Case for Christ (2017)

The Case for Christ (2017)

Long before Lee Strobel was a Christian author and speaker, he was an investigative journalist and an atheist. The Case for Christtells the true story of how Strobel set out to disprove the Christian faith -- and how he was surprised by what he found. Screenwriter Brian Bird does a masterful job weaving apologetics with an entertaining plot. Rated PG for thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking. 

Photo courtesy: PureFlix

Courageous (2011)

Courageous (2011)

The fourth movie by filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick follows the lives of four policemen and their struggle to balance fatherhood with their careers. A tragedy subsequently changes their lives forever. It’s an inspiring and convicting movie that every dad should watch. Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content. 

Photo courtesy: Provident

War Room (2015)

War Room (2015)

An elderly woman named Miss Clara helps salvage a couple’s relationship by teaching them the power of prayer. It was the fifth film by the Kendrick brothers and climbed to No. 1 at the box office in its second weekend. It also was their best movie yet. Rated PG for thematic elements. 

Photo courtesy: Provident

Woodlawn (2015)

Woodlawn (2015)

The message of Christ helps bring together black and white football players at Birmingham’s Woodlawn High School following desegregation in the early 1970s. Based on a true story, Woodlawn stars Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings trilogy) and was made by the filmmaking brothers Jon and Andy Erwin -- the same tandem behind I Can Only Imagine. It received a high Rotten Tomatoes score from mainstream critics, which is a rarity for faith-based movies. Rated PG for thematic elements including some racial tension/violence. 

Photo courtesy: Erwin Brothers

Mom’s Night Out (2014)

Mom’s Night Out (2014)

Two men agree to babysit the kids while their stressed-out wives enjoy a night out on the town. You guessed it: Chaos ensues. A comedy, Mom’s Night Out was blasted by mainstream critics for its lack of originality. I will let them debate that. I only know that I laughed … and laughed … and laughed. It stars Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy) and Sean Astin and was made by the Erwin brothers. Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action. 

Photo courtesy: Erwin Brothers

The Nativity Story (2006)

The Nativity Story (2006)

Mary and Joseph experience miracle after miracle in this Bible biopic, which follows their trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The movie adds a couple of scenes not in the Gospels, although the outline and core message remain true to Scripture. It might be the best-ever live-action movie about the birth of Christ. Rated PG for some violent content. 

Photo courtesy: New Line Cinema

The Prince of Egypt (1998)

The Prince of Egypt (1998)

Moses rises from a lowly Hebrew baby to become the man who leads God’s people out of Egypt. This animated film has an all-star cast (Val Kilmer, Sandra Bullock, Steve Martin) and grossed more than $100 million. It was so good that I watched it in the theater three times. Rated PG for intense depiction of thematic elements. 

Photo courtesy: Dreamworks

The Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (2014-15)

The Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (2014-15)

The story of Christ is told in four movies that use the word-for-word text of Scripture as their script. This means you won’t be scratching your head and wondering: Why did they put that in there? They were filmed in Morocco and used actors and actresses from the region, resulting in a realistic portrayal of the Gospel stories. Unrated.      

Photo courtesy: Lionsgate

Risen (2015)

Risen (2015)

A Roman tribune is given the task of finding the body of Jesus, several days after Christ’s followers begin claiming He rose from the dead. It’s a story that entertains and inspires, even if it’s historical fiction. The film stars Joseph Fiennes as the tribune and is rated PG-13 for biblical violence, including some disturbing images. 

Photo courtesy: LD Entertainment

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

The story of Jesus’ final days on Earth is recounted in this classic faith film directed by Mel Gibson. It’s not for the squeamish, as Christ’s brutal death is portrayed in excruciating detail. Actor Jim Caviezel plays Jesus. It raked in $370 million and remains the highest-grossing faith movie of all time. Rated R for sequences of graphic violence.

Photo courtesy: Icon Productions

Do You Believe? (2015)

Do You Believe? (2015)

The lives of a dozen strangers intersect as they are forced to examine what they believe about God. It is among the most power evangelist movies I’ve seen and was made by the same team behind God’s Not Dead, although it was much better than that surprising hit. It stars several well-known actors and actresses, including Sean Astin and Mira Sorvino. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, an accident sequence and some violence. 

Photo courtesy: PureFlix

I’m Not Ashamed (2016)

I’m Not Ashamed (2016)

Teenager Rachel Joy Scott grows in her faith and learns to take a stand for Christ at her high school, where she is killed in the infamous Columbine shooting. The movie, though, is not gory, as the shooting scene lasts only a few seconds. Rated PG-13 for thematic material, teen drinking and smoking, disturbing violent content and some suggestive situations. 

Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com

Photo courtesy: PureFlix





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