We’re in the holiest time of the year. Many Christians are observing Lent. Good Friday is just a couple of weeks away. And with coronavirus restrictions in full swing, many of us are facing the prospect of an Easter season that looks very, very different than what we’re used to.
But just because we’re stuck at home, we can still find some spiritual encouragement in an unlikely place: Our screens.
We’ve already talked a bit about good, quality secular streaming options that you might want to check out for you and your family. But this Friday, as we edge through Lent , let’s take a look at some Christian movies streaming right now.
I Still Believe (PG, 2020, VOD): This was on its way to being the year’s biggest Christian hit. And then the coronavirus struck. So, after a couple of pretty successful weeks in theaters, the Jeremy Camp biopic is now available—as of today—through a number of platforms, including Apple TV, Google Play and Amazon. It’ll set you back $19.99 to rent.
As for stuff on the major streaming services, you’ve got plenty to choose from. Here’s just a taste.
Paul, Apostle of Christ (PG-13, 2018 Hulu): Starring James Faulkner and Jim Caviezel, the story centers around the latter stages of Paul’s ministry (when he was in a Roman jail) and the beginnings of Roman persecution of the Christians. Faulkner’s turn as the weathered, brave and devout apostle is pretty riveting, and it gives us a look at a biblical narrative rarely dramatized on screen.
The Passion of the Christ (R, 2004, Amazon Prime): Mel Gibson’s bloody and emotional blockbuster rewrote the cinematic record books, becoming (at the time) the highest-grossing R-rated film ever. It’s a disturbing, difficult film to watch, but many viewers say it has the ability to move viewers like no other.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (PG, 2005, Disney+): It’s perhaps arguable to call this a Christian movie, but this cinematic adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ beloved children’s classic does recall the Easter story in a very different sort of way. The film earned nearly $300 million at the box office, making it one of 2005’s biggest films. (Oh, and if you’re ready for more Narnia after this, Prince Caspian is on Disney+, too.)
Soul Surfer (PG, 2011, Hulu with Starz add-on): AnnaSophia Robb stars as Bethany Hamilton, a talented young surfer who had her arm bitten off by a shark and, somehow, returned to surf again. Also featuring Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid, Soul Surfer is a moving biopic that tells a riveting story with an undercurrent of faith. Oh, and if you’re interested in watching the real Bethany Hamilton in her own documentary, Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is available on Netflix.
The Case for Christ (PG, 2017, Netflix): Well-known apologist Lee Strobel wasn’t always a believer. He began his career as a skeptical reporter, covering legal stories for the Chicago Tribune. But when his wife converts to Christianity and Strobel decides to set out and prove her wrong, he discovers that there’s lots of reasons to believe, after all. Starring Mike Vogel, The Case for Christ is a surprisingly engaging look at both Strobel’s journey to faith and faith itself.
The Young Messiah (PG-13, 2016, Cinemax Go): Sean Bean is featured in this imaginative, extra-biblical story based on Anne Rice’s bestselling book. While some Christians may struggle with depicting events not actually in the Bible, the movie is surprisingly impactful and asks, I think, a pretty profound question: Did Jesus gradually come to understand His own divinity? And what would that have looked like?
Courageous (PG-13, 2011, Hulu with Starz add-on): Christian movies have been a part of the cinematic landscape since, well, there have been movies. But The Kendrick brothers helped shape today’s Christian movie industry, and many of their films became surprise hits. Courageous is one of the biggest and, some would say, best.
I Can Only Imagine (PG, 2018, Hulu): Directed by another pair of brothers (Andrew and Jon Erwin), this beautiful biopic of Mercy Me’s Bart Millard and his difficult, but ultimately redeemed, relationship with his father made more than $86 million in 2018. J. Michael Finley and Dennis Quaid star.
God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness (PG, 2018, Netflix): A list like this wouldn’t be truly complete without the inclusion of one of Pure Flix’s God’s Not Dead movies. And while Pure Flix offers its own streaming service with tons of content, the latest God’s Not Dead movie can be found on Netflix.