The last few years have seen great accomplishments in Christian cinema. From God’s Not Dead to Calvary, faith-based films have proven their value many times over. 2016 appears just as promising, and while a number of Christian films already have a spot on the “Top 10 Anticipated Movies of the Year”, it’s time to shine the spotlight on those which look certain to please. Here are 5 Christian movies you shouldn’t miss in 2016.
In Theaters: February 18th
Risen has already made several appearances on this blog, but anticipation for the film is still running high. The movie follows a Roman Centurion (played by Joseph Fiennes) who is charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate the disappearance of Jesus’ body and quell a Jewish uprising. As the search leads him across Jerusalem and into the path of Christ’s disciples, the truth behind the mystery proves even more fantastic than he imagined. Viewed from the eyes of an outsider, this story of the resurrection is ripe with potential. We can only hope Risen delivers the adventure its narrative deserves.
The Young Messiah
In Theaters: March 11th
Precious little is known about Christ’s childhood. The Bible tells us that he amazed the temple scholars with his knowledge and understanding (Luke 2:21-52), but such accounts often bring up more questions. When did Jesus know he was God? Was the Holy Spirit always with Him? The Young Messiah ponders these questions with a fictional story of Jesus as a seven-year-old who has just returned from Egypt to Nazareth.
Taking creative license with scripture is always a touchy subject for Christian viewers, but The Young Messiah could prove to be the exception. Either way, this is one film to keep an eye on.
Miracles from Heaven
In Theaters: March 18th
When 12-year-old Anna Beam was diagnosed with a condition called “pseudo-obstruction motility disorder”, her parents didn’t know what to do. Their beloved daughter was in pain, unable to eat, and forced to get her nutrition through feeding tubes. In the midst of their suffering, the Beams clung to faith and trusted God would see them through. What happened next could only be called a miracle. A feel-good movie for the whole family, Miracles of Heaven intends to remind viewers that all things are possible in Christ.
God’s Not Dead 2
In Theaters: April 1st
Would you be willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of Jesus? The Christian phenomenon which swept the nation in 2014 returns with a new installment asking this very same question. When a public school teacher (played by Melissa Joan Hart) is reprimanded for quoting the Bible in class, the news sets off an explosive chain of events which culminate in a trial for religious freedom itself. God’s Not Dead 2 hopes to explore themes of free speech, religious persecution, and dynamic faith in the chaos of modern society. Issues which are sure to resonate with today’s faith-based audience.
In Theaters: 2016?
Based on a 1966 novel by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō, Silence follows a group of Jesuit missionaries as they attempt to bring the Gospel to 17th century Japan. Much of the film is shrouded in secrecy, but what little is known about the project sounds promising. The movie is a passion project by Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese (Hugo), and stars hard-hitting names like Liam Neeson (The Lego Movie), Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man 2). The book itself has also received critical acclaim for its examination of God and themes of sacrifice. Expect plenty of tears along with moving messages of faith, love, and perseverance.
What about you? What Christian movies are you looking forward to this year?