2016 Plugged In Movie Awards: Best Christian Movie


All this week we’re unveiling our picks for our Plugged In Movie Awards, wherein we select the movies we feel best nourish both the mind and soul. (But make sure to read our full reviews before deciding whether you or your family should see any of these!) Our four categories are Kids, Teens, Adults and Christian movies. We’d love for you to chime in, either here or on Facebook, and vote for your favorites. Then, in a few weeks, Jake Roberson and Paul Asay will unveil the winners—both our “official” selections and the top popular vote-getters—on our Plugged In Vodcast.


0129BeyondtheMaskBeyond the Mask: Herein lies an unusual combination of elements for films in this genre: historical intrigue, suspense and … explosions. Plus romance, just for good measure, and … Ben Franklin?! Penned by Adventures in Odyssey writer and co-creator Paul McCusker, Beyond the Mask tells the story of a British assassin who’s tired of killing. He desperately want to find spiritual redemption, and he hopes escaping England to pre-Revolutionary War Philadelphia can give him a fresh start. Alas, it only makes things more complicated for him as he’s continually confronted by his personal demons and baggage from his past … all while this prodigal assassin tries (with the help of the woman he loves) to foil a nefarious bomb plot planned by revolutionary patriots.

0129captive2Captive: Sometimes it takes an extreme event in our lives to help us break destructive patterns. That’s exactly what happened to struggling single mom and meth addict Ashley Smith. Early in the morning of March 12, 2005, she’s taken hostage by Brian Nichols, a man who’s just killed four people while breaking out of Atlanta’s Fulton County Courthouse. Stories like these generally end tragically. But this one takes a surprising turn when Nichols asks Ashley to read aloud a book she just so happens to have on hand: Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. This gritty movies pulls few punches in its depiction of Ashley’s captivity, but it powerfully illustrates God’s providential care for us—no matter how badly we think we’ve blown it—even in a situation as unexpectedly harrowing as the one Ashley finds herself in.

0129OldFashionedOld Fashioned: “I made a promise—to never be alone with any woman who’s not my wife.” That’s what intense, thirtysomething Christian bachelor Clay Walsh tells a pretty new tenant moving into the apartment above his antiques shop. The woman, Amber Hewson, is equal parts amused and intrigued. She’s on the run from past hurts herself, and she’s never met anyone quite like Clay. It’s safe to say she doesn’t share his “old fashioned” sensibilities when it comes to purity, love and marriage, but you know what’s coming next, of course: a budding, unlikely romance that forces both of them to confront painful wounds and insecurities—and to trust God in deeper ways with the love that blossoms between them.

0129WarRoomWar Room: A movie about … prayer? It’s something only the Kendrick brothers, Alex and Stephen, would contemplate. But the guys who brought us Fireproof, Courageous and Facing the Giants do more than just contemplate such a concept. They pull it off admirably in War Room. The room in question here is the place a widow named Clara retires to talk with God—spiritual conversation she knows can transform the life of anyone who commits to just an hour a week on his or her knees. That’s a lesson she longs to impart to her real estate agent, Elizabeth. The younger woman is unsure what to think of her prayer-proselytizing client, but when Elizabeth’s seemingly perfect marriage begins to crumble, she’s suddenly open to the ideas about intercession that Clara wants to help her (and War Room’s viewers) learn.

It’s 10 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birmingham campaign, but volatile racial tension still grips the Alabama city—especially at Woodlawn High School where forced integration of bused-in black students has resulted in controversy and violent riots. That tension is particularly palpable on the school’s football team. But something truly unexpected happens when an evangelist shows up and leads just about the entire team to Christ. Racial strife is replaced with racial reconciliation among the players, and a modern-day revival redemptively ripples through the school, then the fractured and divided city of Birmingham at large in this true story.

Movie summaries written by Plugged In reviewer Adam Holz.

Who wrote this?

Steven Isaac served as editor for Plugged In’s NRB- and EPA-award-winning website for more than a decade, orchestrating, managing, scheduling, shaping and tweaking at least 750 reviews and articles annually. He’s a husband and a father of a teenager.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My vote goes to Beyond the Mask - IT IS BEYOND AWESOME!
Tracey Conner More than 1 year ago
I've seen Old Fashion three times and loved it each time. The romance story is sweet and touching, but beyond this, the story of God's love and forgiveness is powerful.
Judy McGuire More than 1 year ago
Old fashioned was absolutely one of the sweetest love stories I've seen in a very long time...a great Big Thank You to the Director and Cast! Totally amazing! 
Lisa Baker More than 1 year ago
Beyond The Mask! Exciting family entertainment!
Winston Sanders More than 1 year ago

Woodlawn without question!

This is tough, because if these movies were to be compared with a typical grouping of Christian movies, a case can be made that any of them could take first place. The fact that they are compared with each other makes it especially difficult. I'd have to give the edge to Woodlawn. It was actually one of the best movies I've ever seen in any genre, faith-based, secular, or otherwise. Beyond the Mask broke the mold of mediocrity for limited budget faith-based productions, and War Room, Captive and Old Fashioned definitely resembled higher budget productions even by Hollywood standards. But Woodlawn is destined to be one of the great all time classics in any category, as exhibited by its extremely rare and exclusive A+ CinemaScore rating.

Melina Gamelin More than 1 year ago

Old Fashioned was the absolute movie without a doubt.  I absolutely loved it!  It was romantic, biblical, and just absolutely perfect.  It blows every other movie out of the water.  It was a true masterpiece. 

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beyond the mask was forgettable and I forgot what the plot was and War Room was ok. I'd rate it 6/10.
Marlena Allen More than 1 year ago
I vote for Old Fashioned,  one of the best and inspiring movies of this generation.
Linda Rich More than 1 year ago
My choice.. Old Fashioned..a great film that has touched many lives..I very much enjoyed the other selections, but I've never gone to a theater 5 times, bringing friends each time to see any other film. It is a story of redemption and God's wonderful grace, with  love sprinkled in...
catchthecat More than 1 year ago
My vote goes to War Room. I loved Beyond the Mask, once the history buff in me was able to look past it's discrepancies, but War Room would have to be my favorite. Those are the only two of the movies that I have seen, but I hope to see Woodlawn soon.
Diane Howard More than 1 year ago
"Woodlawn" is my top favorite, although they are all good. "Woodlawn" is based a amazing true events. It has top acting and cinematography. Best wishes to all of them, Dr . Diane Howard, http://www.dianehoward.com 
Diane Howard More than 1 year ago
"Woodlawn" is my top favorite, although they are all good. "Woodlawn" is based on amazing true events. It has top acting and cinematography. It has been a top-selling DVD in sports, which is wonderful! Best wishes to all of them, Dr . Diane Howard, http://www.dianehoward.com 
GoodHomeTrain More than 1 year ago
War Room was an excellent film that featured a strong story, three dimensional characters, good actors and complete production.  Many faith based films have an amateurish quality that screams "straight to video."  Don't get me wrong, I love watching them on Netflix, but would not want to spend money to see them in a theater.  War Room dealt with the issue of discipleship in a way that reminds believers that we continue to be a work in progress beyond the day we give our lives to Christ. It addressed some very adult issues in a way that was family friendly, but still true to reality.  I believe War Room was a reminder to Hollywood that there is a market for films that honor Christ AND tell a great story.  
Rebeca Salazar More than 1 year ago
Princess Cut is much better than Old Fashioned! In the movie Old Fashioned the christian guy gets interested in a girl who isn't christian and he believes that his way of life is just a theory(when it the way God wants), all of his friend aren't christian and he listen to all of theirs opinions and doesn't reply with biblical arguments and when Amber is with her friends it shows women dancing in a erotic way. Please don't get me wrong I was really excited to watch it, I had the book and I had the phone case, but when I watched the movie and I realized that it wasn't God centered, I was kinda sad that it was that way, but later God gave me the most beautiful movie I have ever seen... Princess Cut! Anyway, I'll have to vote for War Room that movie really touched me and it's great, the Kendrick Brothers did it Great! God Bless!  
Dean Messerly More than 1 year ago
Woodlawn was easily the best movie of the year. Not only best Christian, but best movie period! I'm a huge Star Wars fan but I loved it even more than "The Force Awakens". One of the best movies ever made! I saw it 3 times in the theater and encouraged many others to see it as well. I'm giving DVDs now to everyone I know for their birthdays.
Christine Flor More than 1 year ago
I absolutely Loved Old Fashioned! I went with a good friend. Loved it so much I bought it so I can share it with other friends!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Old Fashioned!  Favorite film of 2015.
Lucija Suzana More than 1 year ago
Lucija Suzana More than 1 year ago

Roger Rudlaff More than 1 year ago
Woodlawn - War Room - Beyond the Mask - Top favorites for us at Christian Film Database
David Poole More than 1 year ago
Old Fashioned...or War Room, although, considering it was made on a comparative shoestring, I have to give it to Old Fashioned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie.  Went with my girlfriends and we all loved it.  So refreshing to see a movie without sex, violence and obscene language.  The story line is a wonderful example for teenagers to watch and learn.  Appropriate for all ages and church functions.  Some great humor to lighten the movie, wonderful scenery and photography.  The actors are not big time A list stars, so it makes them more believable.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beyond the Mask!!! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Old fashioned!   Loved this so much – and have shared with everyone I know. Even  had our church buy an event DVD  for one of our movie nights.   It just gets better and better each time!
Katherine Vinson More than 1 year ago
They forgot Do You Believe! It was a good movie! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Barbara Ferguson

Old Fashioned!! It is told in such a straight forward way without a lot of hype.  The characters are real and likeable.  I rate this as one of my all time favorite movies that I have & will watch over & over again.