Spirituality and belief are often called as two sides of the same coin. And why not, for they have been derived from the same ideologies. For filmmakers, religion, faith and spirituality have forever been the cash cows, ones that not only propagated the spread of the spirituality amongst non-aware circles, it also led to the mass-awareness on how religion can be perceived differently by people of different faith, nationality, caste, creed, colour or sex. Christian movies have often stayed away from the limelight unless they became the spearhead of controversies – ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is a good example. However, there are two kinds of movies which depict spirituality – direct and subtle. While those which are direct would’ve had references to Jesus Christ or a diety, the ones that are subtle would’ve certain references which would ultimately translate it into a spiritual movie.
While most filmmakers head to the “Faith and Spirituality” sub-genre out of passion or in order to explore their creativity, making money out of them have seldom been their motive. With that considered, apart from a few mainstream movies like ‘The Passion of The Christ’, along with a bunch of animated flicks, none have managed to garner rave reviews or collect big at the box offices. Yet, spiritual movies are one of the most watched sub-genre of the cinematic world and we have no reason why they cannot be.
Netflix has some great Christian films currently in their streaming catalogue. These are uplifting and have great storylines. In this list, you will find movies for the whole family with important and powerful messages. From the recreation of biblical moments to movies about overcoming fears and helping those around you. Finding good Christian movies is hard but you’ve certainly come to the right place. With an average IMDB rating of less than 6 for all the movies listed below, Spiritual movies have to be one of the most less-rated yet blockbuster movies of all the time. Here is the list of really good Christian faith-based movies on Netflix right now. Please note that these movies aren’t ranked in any manner whatsoever.
26. Christian Mingle (2014)
“Christian Mingle” follows Gwyneth, a young marketing executive trying to find Mr Right. She signs up on a Christian dating website, however, when that ends up in disaster, she gets in touch with her spiritual side and is driven to create a personal relationship with God. Lacey Chabert, who plays the main characters, did a charming job. Overall, a funny and unique rom-com that will surprise you.
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25. The Masked Saint (2016)
A pastor and professional wrestler accept a position at a struggling church where he helps the community both in his official capacity and based on an alter ego – The Saint. Based on a true story, “The Masked Saint” is about a man’s journey and the struggle between helping others and the consequences that can bring. Besides being a family movie, “The Masked Saint” is packed with action an unpredictable humour. Moreover, its story is quite unique but it focuses on the right things: fighting for what is right and defending those that cannot defend themselves.
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24. I am in Love with a Church Girl (2013)
The rags to riches story of a former drug dealer turned pastor, ‘I am in Love with a Church Girl’ is the love affair of Miles Montego and a devout Christian girl Vanessa. After their first meeting at one of their friends’ place, Miles confesses about his past profession and that he’s willing to change himself for good. Vanessa, who’s sceptical initially, agrees to be in a relationship, with a hope that Miles’ increased faith in God would set things right for both of ’em. After Miles proposes, Vanessa meets with a car accident which renders her comatose, thus leading to his increased devotion and his prayers include repentance to God that Vanessa shouldn’t be punished for his deeds. Cut to years later, when Vanessa and Miles are happily married with a kid – all attending a Church where Miles is the Pastor. The movie got an overwhelmingly positive response from Christian religious groups, although it failed at the box office.
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23. My Daddy is in Heaven (2017)
From lost faith to restored faith, ‘My Daddy is in Heaven’ is the narrative of Becky, her daughter Acie, husband Adam and her father-in-law who’re a happy family. Tragedy struck on 4th of July celebrations and her father-in-law dies, forcing her to leave her house and her child Acie with Ben, her father. As she lets go of her inhibitions towards her faith and family and her belief in God, she starts drinking thus furthering her loss of faith in God. One fine day, she is told by her father Ben that unless she returns to being how she was and restores her faith in God, Acie is not going to be with her. On top of that, she meets with a traveller who gives her hope in the life to do better than merely losing faith and treading on a path of self-destruction. The movie went on to bomb at the box office, but the tale of faith being restored is definitely inspired.
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22. Believe (2016)
Matthew is a businessman who wants to make it big in his diminishing business owing to market woes. The town he lives in is facing financial squabbles in itself which pile upon his financial troubles. As the annual Christmas pageant nears, he must believe in the power of faith amidst a lot of his unhappy employees, a mishap that takes place in a local factory in which a boy’s life is saved – apparently, he would become Matthew’s beacon of hope and will lead him towards God and unflinching passion towards his end goal. The choices that Matthew makes and the power of faith in God form the crux of the movie.
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21. Wildflower (2016)
Chloe Moray is a college student who feels she’s gifted with the power of faith and perseverance to overcome any difficulty in life. Off late, she starts having disturbing nightmares which seem only on the increasing side – which mostly are reminiscent of the difficulties she may have had as a part of her troubled childhood. When she starts seeing a weird connection between herself and the case of a missing girl twelve years ago. Flabbergasted, Chloe decides to restore her faith in God while trying to force her troubles into reality to catch hold of the culprit who’s been haunting her. ‘Wildflower’ is a story of connections, dreams and nightmares turning towards faith and spirituality.
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20. A Question of Faith (2017)
A tale revolving three families and how they come at crossroads owing to two different incidents – something that would change their lives forever, ‘A Question of Faith’ begins with Pastor David and his twelve-year-old son Eric. While the Pastor is a devout himself, he often tends to neglect his son and chooses faith over family. Kate is a single mother who deeply believes in God as opposed to her daughter Maria who is a non-believer of sorts and the most qualified person in her family. John is a business owner who is not doing well financially and pins his hopes on to his daughter Michelle who is an aspiring singer. Their worlds collide when Maria hits Eric in a car accident and goes to jail while Michelle collapses owing to her health concerns. The three families start questioning their faiths and why they are where they are, thus leading to their worlds coming closer.
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19. A Cowgirl’s Story (2017)
Dusty Rhodes is a teenager who’s been living with her grandparents, for her own parents are serving in the army and are currently posted in Afghanistan. In the high school, she befriends Savannah, whose father is ex-army also having served overseas. Along with her friends, she plans to form an equestrian drill team that can perform at rodeos. Her world comes crashing and she begins to question her faith when she comes to know that her mother might have been killed in action as her helicopter was shot down in one of the missions. To cope with the tragedy, she enlists in the army and plans to perform the first equestrian drill for the soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives overseas. ‘A Cowgirl’s Story’ apart from being predictable, also has a feel-good factor that sweeps you away.
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18. Unconditional (2012)
When Samantha Crawford’s husband is violently murdered in a random act of violence her world completely collapses. While she is trying to find the killer of her husband she reunites with a childhood friend whose personality and work is going to change her life for the better. Inspired by a true story, “Unconditional” has a solid and compelling storytelling where each character is well-written and well-portrayed. Besides being an examination of love and hope, it is a story of unconditional love and redemption. Without being too preachy, this dramatic movie is inspiring and entertaining.
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17. Hoovey (2015)
Inspired by a true story, ‘Hoovey’ is the narrative of a happy family comprising of Jeff and his wife Ruth, along with their son and daughter. While Jeff is a firefighter who loves his profession and often earns enough to keep up to a stable and fulfilled lifestyle, he also maintains a farm, complete with horses and all and frequents his church groups along with his family. Eric, who has a penchant for playing basketball, collapses one fine day and the family, to everyone’s shock, discover that Eric has been suffering from a brain tumour and the chances of him walking, talking or reading again normally are feeble. With mounting debts owing to his son’s medical expenses and not able to keep up with the lavish lifestyle, Jeff and Ruth turn to their faith and their belief in God for some respite. Soon, Eric recovers and starts his baby steps again, while their sorrows slowly fade away.
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16. Come Sunday (2018)
Featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor in a leading role as pastor Carlton Pearson, which incidentally is based on a real-life story, ‘Come Sunday’ begins on a flight that’s going to Tulsa where the pastor is about to give a sermon on Higher Dimensions. He is seemingly dismayed about places of worship being used as places to run businesses and holiday destinations. While he enjoys a favourable position in the society, he is perturbed by the suicide of one of his relatives whom he could’ve saved had he used his influence. While watching events like starvation in Africa et al, Pearson questions the God on how can he allow such a suffering and also insists that Hell isn’t a real thing, which later spells troubles for him. Ejiofor was praised for his outstanding performance in the film.
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15. The Preacher’s Son (2017)
The film begins with Dante Wilson, who works at the First Jamaican Ministries, an L.A. Church where his father is a Bishop. While Dante wants to be a lawyer, his mother wants Dante to follow in the footsteps of his father and serve God by working at the ministry. In a chance encounter, Dante meets and falls for Tonisha, a slum-dwelling girl who lives with her drug-addict mother and her little brother. While they’re at it, it is revealed that Tonisha is also a stripper, which spells trouble for Dante and his devout family. Although a bit of a drag, the movie received favourable reviews given its simplistic yet compelling storyline.
14. In-Lawfully Yours (2016)
Perhaps one of the aptest titles for a movie, ‘In-Lawfully Yours’ begins with a divorced girl Jesse who is also troubled by the death of her father-in-law. As she goes to the small town where her mother-in-law currently lives all by herself, from New York, she finds people very unwelcoming and brewing dissent against her arrival, perhaps also due to the fact that she is now a divorced single woman. While she’s in the town, she also falls for the pastor at the church, who incidentally is also her brother-in-law. Knowing of the relationship, Jesse’s ex-husband tries to come closer to her back again, much to Jesse’s surprise. Jesse then turns to her faith and seeks answers to her rightful belongingness and where her allegiance lies.
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13. Singing with Angels (2016)
A choir-based movie at the outset, ‘Singing with Angels’ begins with Aubrey, a girl who always had a penchant for challenges. While she almost died during a medical complication when she was a child, her family believed she was saved because of a devotional song is sung by her brother. After marrying, she was always enthused about joining the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In her second audition, for which she could barely make it, she makes it into the choir and attributes her selection to her faith. The musical-religious movie is inspiring in many ways, especially it emphasizes the fact that God and faith are omnipresent and one merely needs to realize and acknowledge their presence.
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12. Heart of the Country (2013)
Faith is an independent married woman who’s working day-night to make for a living. Her world comes crashing when she realizes that her husband has been arrested in a fraud case and she heads back to her parents’ to figure the rest. Her next challenge is to make amends with her estranged family while accepting the fact that even though her husband might have done the wrong thing, faith teaches her to forgive her husband and move on with life. Given her human nature and the complications associated with it, Faith’s dilemma stays on until the end of the movie. With decent performances and strong Christian messages around faith and life choices, ‘Heart of the Country’ is worthwhile.
11. The Case for Christ (2017)
Based on the life and times of American Christian author Lee Strobel, ‘The Case for Christ’ begins in 1980 when Strobel was an atheist and sets himself on a quest to nullify his wife’s Christian beliefs, which apparently creates a divide in his married life. Having won multiple awards for his work in investigative journalism and after becoming a legal editor at the Chicago Tribune, he begins to chase the ideals of Christ and Christianity in an attempt to save his marriage, while the exact opposite happens. Mike Vogel in the leading role is as convincing as he could get and the film was praised for its practical and relatable storyline.
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10. Once I Was a Beehive (2015)
A feelgood movie with subtle messages all-over, ‘Once I Was a Beehive’ surrounds a girl named Lane, who loves weekend getaways with her parents, especially her father. When Lane’s father dies owing to cancer, and her mother remarries a Mormon, she has to camp with all new cousins introduced by her step-aunt. While at the camp, the activities are often fun-filled along with having references to religious events – like Noah’s Ark, Trial of Faith etc. Although initially, Lane is sceptical, she plays along and enjoys a retelling of faith and Christianity in a fun way. The movie was praised for being funny, and bearing an honest effort throughout.
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9. Holy Camp! (2017)
One of the musical comedies surrounding Christianity on this list, ‘Holy Camp!’ is set around Maria and Susana – two rebellious girls who have been grounded owing to their unkempt activities. Apparently, there’s a religious camp in the woods which is run by Sister Bernarda who is revered for her ways of conduct in such religious camps. Maria and Susana sneak out to a concert, unbeknownst to the formidable Sister, after which they are grounded. Maria is more spiritual than Susana and starts daydreaming of God visiting her and imagines God the way he ought to be – complete with costume and everything. Beside the lighter moments, there are messages of faith floating all across the movie that you can watch on Netflix right away.
8. Joseph: King Of Dreams (2000)
“King of Dreams” centres on the life of Joseph, a “miracle child” with the gift of interpreting dreams. Joseph is sold to desert merchants by his own brothers and sent to Egypt. However, due to his incredible gift, he becomes second in command to the pharaoh. The story and soundtrack are incredibly satisfying. Joseph’s story of commitment to God despite so many challenges is relatable and enjoyable. Also, the animation is quite unique.
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7. Same Kind of Different as Me (2017)
Based on a real story of a Texas-based couple, Ron and Debbie who befriends a homeless white guy named Denver, who often likes calling himself Suicide. Initially, Suicide is all-enraged and violent and always talks rudely to everyone he could, but as Ron and Debbie help him and support him emotionally and psychologically, Denver comes out of the closet leaving his suicidal and violent tendencies past him. Denver has a terrible past – with being involved in slavery by picking cotton and also having gone to prison, to befriending urban couples and sharing his stories, the tale of Ron, Debbie, and Denver is heartwarming and tear-jerking at times. When faith and compassion take over criminal psychologies and oppressive mindsets, we have something as beautiful as ‘Same Kind of Different as Me’.
6. Nothing to Lose (2018)
A one-of-its-kind self-financed biographical film, ‘Nothing to Lose’ is the narrative of the lead character bishop Edir Macedo, the founder of Universal Church of the Kingdom of God – a controversial evangelical church that has its presence around the world. Revolving around the life and times of a man who came across umpteen difficulties in his life, yet succeeded in his righteous path of faith, spirituality, and compassion, ‘Nothing to Lose’ is essentially a rag to riches story that will fill you with religious fervour and make you root for the lead character. Although the movie was widely publicised and promoted, it failed to garner enough box office revenues.
5. Prince of Egypt (1998)
“Prince of Egypt” tells the extraordinary tale of two brothers named Moses and Ramses, one born of royal blood, and one an orphan with a secret past. Growing up they become the best of friends, but the truth quickly changes that. When Moses discovers his true heritage as a Hebrew, he defies the Egyptian way of life. After escaping from the city, Moses is called by God to lead his people out of Egypt as His messenger. Unfortunately, that is not going to be an easy task. Writers and animators deserve a lot of credit for creating such a beautiful and powerful movie. Everyone in your house will adore this animated picture.
4. Let the Church Say Amen (2013)
In Washington D.C, an African-American pastor’s commitment to the church is called into question as the lives of his children spiral out of control. Each of the members of the family is going through their own private hell’s and must come to terms with their own demons, distractions, and issues in order to overcome their circumstances successfully. Based on a novel by ReShonda Tate Billingsley, this movie will summon a lot of emotions, but it will make you feel good at the end. If you are looking for a great family movie, this is it.
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3. Queen of Katwe (2016)
Featuring the very talented Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’O in one of the leading roles, ‘Queen of Katwe’ is the narrative of a 10-year-old girl Phiona, her mother Nakku (Lupita), and her siblings who’re essentially slum dwellers in Katwe – a region of Uganda. Phiona’s world takes a surprising turn of events when she meets Robert Katende, a missionary program head who runs a chess coaching centre. Phiona soon masters the game and competes against Russian grandmasters at an international level to garner all the fame and glory that awaited her, despite her being from a slum-dwelling background. ‘Queen of Katwe’ was praised for outstanding performances and depicts a story wherein passion and faith can easily surpass common life’s struggles.
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2. Mountain Top (2017)
The movie begins with a peculiar old man Sam Miller who mows grass in a lawn and writes about his dreams in a notebook. He is led in a dream to pursue Mike Andrews, a former attorney-turned-preacher to make his case against a corporate scandal involving him and a far-flung evidence. How the attorney Mike decides to help Sam and how the turn of events take place based on Mike’s unflinching faith and clues from his dreams is all what ‘Mountain Top’ comprises of. It is later revealed by Sam’s wife that he always had visions which would often help him predict the futuristic turn of events. ‘Mountain Top’ was praised for being simplistic and having a straightforward storyline.
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1. The Heart of Man (2017)
In a documentary-stylized retelling of the miracles many commoners have witnessed by giving themselves to God himself, ‘The Heart of Man’ begins with leaving behind the inhibitions we’ve had for God so far and not think of Him from a religious, moralistic or miraculous point of view, rather, attaining freedom from all the clutches of addictions, adulteries and other evils by looking at the Prodigal Son from a simplistic point of view. Given the confusions around the Church’s identity crisis and the prevailing misconceptions the people have about God and religion, ‘The Heart of Man’ seeks to bust myths and brings forth a volley of interviews and healing miracles many common people have accomplished, all thanks to their inherent beliefs.
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