20 Faith Building Movies for Family Discussions

 

Faith Building Movies

Something really cool that our small group at church does is have a Movie Night every other month. The leaders of our small group are a veteran homeschool family whose children are grown now. They have a love for great movies and good discussions.  So, we started watching some of their favorites. I have been so blessed by how many of these movies make you THINK and you can bring great questions to your children and carry on these conversations that might not have otherwise occurred.

This list contains Christian movies, of course, but there are so many movies out there that aren’t necessarily Christian movies but still are so great for having family discussions, shaping worldview, maybe even discussing things that we may not have agreed with in the movie, but we can still take away things to discuss with our children.

{Disclaimer: Please use your own parental judgement and wisdom in deciding if these movies are a fit for your family. Not all of these are appropriate for young children, even though I feel they make for great discussions! These may be best for older elementary, middle school and even high school students. You know your children best! Not all of these will work for each family.}

Note: Not all of the movies listed below are pictured in the above graphic.

I have marked all of my favorites with ** before the title!

20 Faith Building Movies for Families20+ Faith Building Movies for Families

  1. **End of the Spear – *Based on true story. Is it possible to forgive those who have taken from you what you most love? Can a people controlled by violence and murder be transformed? Basedon the true story of five missionaries killed at the hands of the world s most violent tribe, End of the Spear proves that sometimes the greatest tragedy can be the catalyst for the most resilient hope. From director JimHanon and producer Mart Green, this feature film offers a fresh, sometimesraw, cinematic journey deep into the Amazon jungle and even deeper into the human condition. It weaves together the story of a bereaved son and the tribal leader who murdered this young boy s father. As their lives intersect three decades later, painful revelations force a life-or-death decision. The choices made will heal profound wounds; transform destructive practices, and bring hope for a new life to many.
  2. Faith Like Potatoes – *Based on true story. A farmer moves his family to South Africa and suffers a series of seemingly insurmountable losses. Through unlikely friendships and much needed divine intervention, he discovers his life’s true purpose and it sustains his unwavering belief in the power of faith. A moving life journey of a man who, like his potatoes, grows his faith, unseen until the harvest.
  3. **Gifted Hands – *Based on true story. Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Actor in a Supporting Role, Jerry Maguire, 1996) stars in this true story about a renowned brain surgeon who overcame obstacles to change the course of medicine forever. Young Ben Carson didn’t have much of a chance. Growing up in a broken home amongst poverty and prejudice, his grades suffered and his temper flared. And yet, his mother never lost her faith in him. Insisting he follow the opportunities she never had, she helped to grow his imagination, intelligence and, most importantly, his belief in himself. That faith would be his gift – the thing that would drive him to follow his dream of becoming one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons.
  4. Groundhog Day – Bill Murray is at his wry, wisecracking best in this riotous romantic comedy about a weatherman caught in a personal time warp on the worst day of his life. Teamed with a relentlessly cheerful producer (Andie MacDowell) and a smart-aleck cameraman (Chris Elliott), TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities. But on his way out of town, Phil is caught in a giant blizzard, which he failed to predict, and finds himself stuck in small-town hell. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, they do. Phil wakes the next morning to find it’s Groundhog Day all over again… and again… and again.
  5. **I Am Sam  – Michelle Pfeiffer and Sean Penn give career-defining performances in this humorous and heart-warming film about a mentally-challenged father who enlists the aid of a high-powered attorney to help him regain custody of his daughter. An all-star supporting cast and a spectacular soundtrack complete this unforgettable story of life, love and laughter.
  6. Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy  – The Fellowship of the Ring; A meek hobbit of the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and the dark lord Sauron. The Two Towers: While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron’s new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard. The Return of the King: Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron’s army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. Peter Jackson directs these action adventure movies starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchet and more.
  7. **McFarland, USA  – *Based on true story. Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent–the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
  8. Mr. Holland’s Opus – Mr Holland’s Opus is the triumphant story about Glenn Holland, a musician who dreams of composing music on a full-time basis. However, supporting an expectant wife, he reluctantly accepts a job teaching music appreciation for a source of steady income. Rather than being disappointed with his newfound career, he discovers a passion for teaching music and unintentionally inspires the dreams of the students of John F. Kennedy High School.
  9. October Baby – As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before her first lines, she collapses. Countless medical tests all point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to discovering that she was actually adopted… after a failed abortion attempt. Bewildered, angered and confused, Hannah embarks on a journey with Jason, her oldest friend. In the midst of her incredible journey to discover her hidden past and find hope for her unknown future, Hannah sees that life can be so much more than what you have planned.
  10. October Sky (Special Edition) – *Based on true story. Coalwood, West Virginia, 1957. Working in the coal mines is an inescapable way of life in this small town. When high schooler Homer Hickam, Jr. (Jake Gyllenhaal) sees the Sputnik satellite in the night sky, he dares to break free of the mines and reach for the stars. With the support of his teacher (Laura Dern) and three friends, Homer sets out on an inspiring quest to build his own rocket. Overcoming a poor education, a tough father (Chris Cooper) and a series of misfires, Homer turns his dreams into reality in this incredible true story of hope, determination and triumph. “You’ll laugh with it, cry with it, and go away absolutely loving it,” says Robert Butler (Knight Ridder News Service) of the critically acclaimed October Sky.
  11. **Radio – *Based on true story. For anyone who ever had a dream and everyone with the courage to stand up for what they believe, comes the real life story of Robert “Radio” Kennedy. Experience Radio’s journey from a man no one understands to the coach no one could live without. Together with Head Coach Harold Jones, Radio inspired a football team to become champions and a town to open their hearts. Heroic performances from Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Academy Award Nominee Ed Harris will have you laughing, crying and cheering for the man who proved, the world’s greatest victories happen in real life.
  12. Rudy  – *Based on true story. All his life, people have told Rudy he’s not good enough, not smart enough, not big enough. But nothing can stop his impossible dream of playing football for Notre Dame. From the time he’s a young boy, Rudy (Sean Astin) is determined to join the Fighting Irish. But his blue collar family only laughs at his ambitions – they know Rudy will follow his father and brothers to the local steel mill. And, for four long years after high school, he does just that. But some dreams won’t die, as Rudy proves when he goes to heroic, occasionally hilarious, lengths to win admission to Notre Dame. Once there, he becomes a walk-on player, serving as little more than a human tackling dummy against the starting players. Bloodied but unbeaten, Rudy wins the respect of legendary coach Ara Parseghian and the other Irish players, who give him one shot at gridiron glory. An incredible true story from the creators of Hoosiers, RUDY is an unforgettable testament to the power of dreams and the triumph of the com
  13. Saving Mr. Banks – *Based on true story. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson bring to life the untold true story about the origins of one of the most treasured Disney classics of all time. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) directs this acclaimed film that reveals the surprising backstory behind the making of Mary Poppins. Determined to fulfill a promise to his daughters, Walt Disney (Hanks) tries for 20 years to obtain the rights to author P. L. Travers’ (Thompson) beloved book. Armed with his iconic creative vision, Walt pulls out all the stops, but the uncompromising Travers won’t budge. Only when he reaches into his own complicated childhood does Walt discover the truth about the ghosts that haunt Travers, and together, they set “Mary Poppins” free.
  14. Secondhand Lions  – Over one unpredictable Central Texas summer in the early 1960s, everything in the lives of a family of strangers is about to change forever… For 14-year old Walter (Haley Joel Osment), his great uncles’ farm in rural Texas is the last place on earth he wants to spend the summer. Eccentric and gruff Hub and Garth McCaan (Robert Duvall and Michael Caine) are rumored to have been bank robbers, mafia hit men and/or war criminals in their younger days. But little by little, through stories spun against a backdrop of the dusty Texas night, an amazing tale comes to life via Walter’s vivid, colorful imaginings–a tale set in a long-ago exotic, mysterious place where men rode stallions and fought with swords; where beautiful princesses tangled with treacherous sheiks; and where the two unlikely heroes lived an adventure of which most people only dream.
  15. The Blind Side  – *Based on true story. Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) knows little about family. Less about football. What the homeless teen knows are the streets and projects of Memphis. Well-to-do Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) knows little about his world. Yet when she and Michael meet, he’s found a home. And the Tuohys have found something just as life-changing: a beloved new son and brother. This real-life story of family and of Michael’s growth into a blue-chip football star will have you cheering with its mix of gridiron action and heartwarming emotion. Share the remarkable journey of the college All-American and first-round NFL draft pick who was a winner before he ever stepped onto the playing field.
  16. **The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  – Prepare to enter another world when Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media present C.S. Lewis’ timeless and beloved adventure. With the stunningly realistic special effects, you’ll experience the exploits of Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter, four siblings who find the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe while playing a game of “hide-and-seek” at the country estate of a mysterious professor.Once there, the children discover a charming, once peaceful land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs, and giants that has been turned into a world of eternal winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis. Aided by the wise and magnificent lion Aslan, the children lead Narnia into a spectacular climactic battle to be free of the Witch’s glacial powers forever!
  17. The Giver – The Giver centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before. The Giver is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal.
  18. The Mission  – *Based on true story. Featuring a majestic score by Ennio Morricone and lush Oscar-winning cinematography by Chris Menges. It won the top prize at Cannes in 1986 and was nominated for a Best Film Oscar. The film is shot through with piercing, haunting imagery, pictures of enduring imaginative force. A visually stunning epic, THE MISSION recounts the true story of two men–a man of the sword (Robert De Niro) and a man of the cloth (Jeremy Irons)–both Jesuit missionaries who defied the colonial forces of mighty Spain and Portugal to save an Indian tribe from slavery in mid-18th-century South America. Mendoza (De Niro) is a slave trader and colonial imperialist who murdered his own brother (Aidan Quinn) and seeks penance for his sins by becomining a missionary at Father Gabriel’s (Irons) mountaintop mission. The Mission is a rich and thought-provoking. It contains moving images of despair, penance, and redemption that are among the most evocative ever filmed.
  19. **The Village – Set in rural Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, a town is isolated from the rest of the world by a menacing forest that contains terrifying creatures. When young love in the Village results in dangerous consequences, a young woman must confront her fears and enter the dark forest on a mission to bring back medicine to save her betrothed.
  20. Unconditional -A woman’s idyllic life is shattered when her husband is killed in a senseless act of violence. As she prepares to take matters into her own hands, two unexpected encounters begin to change everything.
  21. **War Room – From the award-winning creators of Fireproof and Courageous comes War Room, a compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power that prayer can have on marriages, parenting, careers, friendships, and every other area of our lives. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have it all – great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth resigns herself to increasing bitterness. But their lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara, and is challenged to establish a “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family. As Elizabeth tries to fight for her family, Tony’s hidden struggles come to light. Tony must decide if he will make amends to his family and prove Miss Clara’s wisdom that victories don’t come by accident.

What movies would your family add to this list?

 

Author: Candace Crabtree

I'm just a messed up mama in need of God's fresh new mercies daily. My husband and I live in beautiful East Tennessee with our 3 children. God has taken me on a journey through the valley of depression and is teaching me to pray the Scriptures as a result. I hope and pray that you will be encouraged whenever you stop by this little place on the web.

1 thought on “20 Faith Building Movies for Family Discussions”

  1. I can’t wait to see some of these, We tried to Netflix Blind Side this weekend, but it’s not available to stream. I will check my library; it’s probably there.

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