The Christian film industry is an umbrella term for films containing a Christian themed message or moral, produced by Christian filmmakers to a Christian audience, and films produced by non-Christians with Christian audiences in mind. Often, they are interdenominational films, but can also be produced to target a specific denomination of Christianity. The proliferation of Christian movies in the 2000s has led to the establishment of many online retailers that focus their businesses extensively on the sale and distribution of Christian movies online.
Directed by Roxanne Dawnson, ‘Breakthrough’ is a 2019 American Christian drama film based on the Christian novel ‘The Impossible’, an account of true events written by Joyce Smith. Released by Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures through 20th Century Fox, the film stars Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Mike Cotler, Marcel Ruiz, Sam Trammel and Dennis Haysbert, with a cameo by contemporary Christian artist Phil Wickham. Basketball player Stephen Curry serves as an executive producer on the film.
The central premise of ‘Breakthrough’ arises from the real life incident in early 2015, when Guatemalan teenager John Smith fell through ice on Lake Saint Louise while playing with his friends, ending up in a coma after being rescued by first responder Tommy Shine. The film follows his parents Joyce and Brian, whose faith in God keeps their hope alive that their son will survive. Post the incident in reality, his father Brian said, “He (John) was back out under his own power. Everything is normal, no tell-tale signs”. Currently, John Smith speaks to church groups and banquets, and has plans to become a minister. Producer DeVon Franklin was particularly instrumental in getting the film made, as he helped the Smith family find a literary agent, and eventually develop the book into the film ‘Breakthrough’ after it was published. Principal photography of the film took place in Manitoba from March to May 2018.
Although ‘Breakthrough’ does well to establish itself as a strong Christian movie due to its real-life background, the film otherwise isn’t particularly well made. For the more nuanced cinema audiences, the movie may seem a tad bit one dimensional, relying heavily on Christian ethics and faith to tell its story. Therefore, in the forthcoming list, I have tried to single out films which keep an underlying religious premise intact, and yet go beyond the same in order to attain and establish their own artistic uniqueness. With that said, here’s the list of best movies similar to ‘Breakthrough’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like ‘Breakthrough’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. The Ten Commandments (1956)
Not mentioning ‘The Ten Commandments’ while writing about Christian films would guarantee a one way ticket to the purgatory for me. Directed and narrated by the one and only Cecil B. DeMille, ‘The Ten Commandments’ is an epic religious drama film which has over the years solidified its position as a landmark moment in cinematic history. Starring stalwarts such as Charlton Heston (Moses), Yul Brynner (Rameses), Anne Baxter (Nefretiri), Edward G. Robinson (Dathan), Yvonne De Carlo (Sephora), Debra Paget (Lilia) and John Derek( Joshua), the film dramatizes the biblical story of the life of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who becomes the deliverer of his fellow brethren, the enslaved Hebrews, as he leads the Exodus to Sinai, where he receives from God, the Ten Commandments.