Editor’s Note: The editors at MOVIEGUIDE® have put together a list of great movies for Easter.
QUO VADIS, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 1951: This very Christian classic places Marcus Vinicius, played by Robert Taylor, between the tyrannical Nero, played by Peter Ustinov, and the beautiful redeemed Christian Lygia, played by Deborah Kerr. The movie includes a great explanation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by St. Peter.
THE KING OF KINGS (silent), Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 1927: The famous H.B. Warner played Jesus in Cecil B. DeMille’s KING OF KINGS, still the classic of all movies about Jesus Christ.
THE ROBE, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 1953: Starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons and Victor Mature, this Hollywood Cinemascope spectacle is the story of an Ancient Roman soldier, who turns to Christianity when embracing the robe of Jesus Christ.
BEN-HUR, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 1959: Subtitled A TALE OF THE CHRIST, this is an epic story of a young Jewish man, Judah Ben-Hur, played by an Oscar winning Charlton Heston, who lives at the time of Christ. When his sisters are put in a Roman dungeon and contract leprosy, Ben-Hur can either choose to hate the Romans or find healing and forgiveness through the blood of Christ.
RISEN, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -1 – 2016: RISEN is a dramatic, powerful movie about a Roman soldier and non-believer, who hunts for Jesus Christ’s body, not realizing that Jesus has risen from the dead. RISEN is almost like the follow up movie to Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION, with some war violence and killing, but with a powerful Christian, biblical worldview promoting the reality of Jesus Christ’s physical resurrection.
YOUNG MESSIAH, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 2016: THE YOUNG MESSIAH is about the young Jesus living in Egypt with Mary and Joseph and then returning to Israel. It is extremely powerful and emotional, and represents all the elements of who Jesus was in an allegorical, dramatic way.
JESUS OF NAZARETH (TV), Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 1977: JESUS OF This excellent television movie attempts historical accuracy. Many passages of the Bible are quoted verbatim, the locations look authentic. Regrettably, the resurrection is ambivalent and could either be real or Peter’s remembering Jesus. Many people have said, however, that they came to Jesus Christ as a result of this television epic.
SON OF GOD, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 2014: SON OF GOD tells the story of Jesus Christ’s ministry on Earth, leading up to a powerful telling of His death and resurrection and final message to John in Revelation. The pacing could be a little tighter and the movie leaves you wanting to see more about Jesus Christ’s teaching, but SON OF GOD is a captivating, powerful reminder of the glorious nature of God’s grace and love.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +1 – 2005: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, based on C. S. Lewis’s popular Christian fable, tells the story of four English children, who enter the land of Narnia, where they meet Aslan, the son of the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea, who rescues the land from the evil White Witch. Despite some minor changes from the book, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE retains most of its Christian focus and is tremendously exciting, thrilling and redemptive.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 1956: A remake from a film he did many years previously, this Cecil B. DeMille biblical epic remains a favorite today. Christians like it because it is a Bible story. Jews like it because Moses is one of their heroes. Everybody likes it because it is masterful, engrossing filmmaking. Though not entirely biblically correct, it gives a powerful examination of one of mankind’s greatest leaders, superbly portrayed by Charlton Heston.