13 Best Christian Movies That Critics Loved the Most

The new movie “Jesus Revolution” has really impressed audiences and surprised everyone with its performance at the box office. Critics have mostly given it a thumbs-up, and it’s just a bit above the “Fresh” mark on Rotten Tomatoes. Evaluating faith-based and Christian movies can be quite tricky, especially from a critical perspective. However, in recent times, movies revolving around Christian themes have gained popularity and received positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes from both critics and audiences.

Even though these films may not suit everyone’s taste, they still remain beloved by many viewers. Making a concept as abstract as belief come alive on the screen is a skill experienced filmmakers possess; sometimes, critics even favor these films over the general audience. Here are some examples to illustrate this point.

Best Christian Movies

1. *Mass* (2021) – One of the Best Christian Movies of All Time

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 95%

“Mass” unfolds within the confines of a church basement, where a single conversation unfolds. It brings together two sets of grieving parents, bound by the shared tragedy of losing their sons. Within this unassuming setting, the film delves into weighty themes of blame, guilt, and the pursuit of reconciliation. “Mass” marks the directorial debut of Fran Kranz, who also penned the script.

Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs, and Martha Plimpton deliver poignant portrayals of parents grappling with sorrow and anguish. Together, they craft an enduring tension in the room, making the journey through their emotions a challenging and emotionally charged one. Mass remains one of the best Christian movies of all time.

2. *First Reformed* (2018)

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 94%

“First Reformed” delves into the depths of faith crises. Ethan Hawke takes on the role of Father Toller, the pastor of a historic church in upstate New York, grappling with a dwindling congregation. Amanda Seyfried portrays Mary, an expectant mother fraught with concern for her husband, who’s consumed by fears of an uninhabitable Earth due to climate change. These characters unite amid their personal burdens, local politics, and a global existential threat.

The film’s true brilliance lies in its two central figures, brought to life by Hawke and Seyfried. They exude a quiet strength while silently bearing the world’s burdens. Yet, this reflects the very essence of human existence. Humans persevere in the face of death, loss, failure, uncertainty, and fear. These two characters seek solace in Christianity, but the answers they seek are far from simple to come by.

3. *Women Talking* (2023) – One of the Best All-women Christian Movies

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 90%

“Women Talking” is exactly as it sounds. The movie revolves around a conversation among women representing a Mennonite community in Bolivia. They face a crisis and need to decide on a course of action together. They’ve endured attacks from unknown men in their community for four years. There’s a brief moment when the men are away, and the women must choose whether to run, fight, or do nothing.

This film grapples with a question many Christians ask: What do you do when you suffer and God remains silent? The movie masterfully explores this, claiming to be “a creation of female imagination.” The cast and crew primarily consisted of women, with outstanding performances from Claire Foy and Rooney Mara. Ultimately, the women make a communal decision. They share their stories, their frustrations, and their pains. While they ultimately reach a decision, knowing it’s right doesn’t make it easy.

4. *Calvary* (2014)

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 89%

“Calvary” delves into the journey of an earnest yet flawed priest striving to serve a town plagued by sin and doubt. When an anonymous source warns that Father James will pay for the sins of other priests with his life, the town’s troubles seem to mount, and the limits of Father James’s ability to reconcile become evident. Brendan Gleeson’s portrayal of Father James is exceptional.

The film presents a unique premise; rather than depicting a bad priest in a good world, it explores the story of a good priest in a troubled world. The themes of forgiveness and restoration shine brightly, although they continually contrast with despair and sorrow.

5. *Hacksaw Ridge* (2016)

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 84%

“Hacksaw Ridge” is a remarkable true story based on Desmond Doss, an American who served in World War II. Despite his strong faith as a Seventh-Day Adventist and a pacifist Christian, Doss refused to handle a rifle or work on Saturdays. Nevertheless, he enlisted as an army medic after the Pearl Harbor attack. Despite enduring beatings, verbal abuse, and almost facing a discharge, the film reaches its climax with Doss gaining acceptance from his fellow soldiers and saving 75 men at Hacksaw Ridge.

Andrew Garfield, well-known for taking on roles that explore faith and meaning, shines in this film. Directed by Mel Gibson, the intense war scenes provide a powerful backdrop to witness Doss’s unwavering commitment to nonviolence.

6. *Tree of Life* (2011)

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 84%

Director Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” is arguably one of the first major films to delve into the concept of faith, drawing explicit inspiration from the Bible, particularly the book of Job. The movie follows adult Jack O’Brien, portrayed by Sean Penn, as he reminisces about his childhood, with Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain playing his parents.

One of the most spiritually profound elements of this film is its exploration of two contrasting aspects of humanity: the way of grace and the way of nature. Adult Jack O’Brien grapples with both of these forces as he recalls his childhood. His mother, characterized by kindness, nurturing, and patience, embodies the way of grace. His father, who is quick-tempered, restless, and at times cruel, represents the way of nature. Adult Jack seeks to understand his own identity as these dual forces clash within him, much like they do for all of us.

7. *Silence* (2016)

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 83%

“Silence” is the film Martin Scorsese patiently waited for, spanning over two decades. It unfolds the tale of two Jesuit priests, portrayed by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver, embarking on a daring mission to rescue their mentor, portrayed by Liam Neeson, in Edo-era Japan. Their mentor, Ferreira, is rumored to have either died or, even worse, renounced his faith. These two men endure persecution, hunger, and despair in their quest.

This film undeniably represents a labor of love for Scorsese. It is a visual masterpiece, with sweeping scenes of the Japanese coasts and forests. On a more personal level, Scorsese adeptly delves into human suffering, isolation, and the presence or absence of hope through these compelling characters.

8. *A Hidden Life* (2019) – One of the Best Christian Movies of 2019

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 82%

“A Hidden Life” draws from the true story of Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector during World War II who steadfastly refused to join the Nazi forces when they conscripted men from his small Austrian village. His destiny is sealed, yet the audience embarks on his journey as he grapples with his conscience, confides in his wife, and seeks counsel from local clergy regarding his moral quandary. The consequences of not participating in the war are unmistakable. Still, Franz embraces his impending death with sorrow over parting from his family and joy in his obedience to his Creator.

Directed by Terrence Malick, this might be one of the most visually stunning films ever created. It features expansive scenes of the family farm nestled in the Austrian mountains, capturing the vastness of the countryside while showcasing the intimacy between a husband and wife. Franz’s character undergoes a transformation from his youth, but the audience witnesses a more straightforward struggle: the battle to remain true to his convictions. Once he realizes he cannot take part in the war, he stands resolute. While his bravery may seem uncomplicated, the audience witnesses the price of his courage, culminating in his ultimate sacrifice.

9. *I Can Only Imagine* (2018)

christian movies

RottenTomatoes Rating: 67%

“I Can Only Imagine” offers an insightful glimpse into the life of Bart Millard, the lead vocalist of MercyMe, through a biographical drama. This movie beautifully delves into Bart’s Texan upbringing, a challenging relationship with his father, and their eventual healing.

While the film boasts remarkable talents like Dennis Quaid and Cloris Leachman, the stunning portrayal of Bart by Broadway performer J. Michael Finley steals the show. He acts the part and skillfully handles all the singing, delivering a moving performance.

The deeply personal nature of this autobiographical tale strikes a chord with its audience, resonating on a profound level. Moreover, the inclusion of MercyMe’s renowned song, “I Can Only Imagine,” takes on newfound meaning as fans get to uncover the captivating backstory behind both the artist and the song.

10. *Jesus Revolution* (2023)

Jesus Revolution

RottenTomatoes Rating: 62%

“Jesus Revolution” draws its inspiration from a remarkable true tale, one that unfolds during the late 1960s in the heart of southern California. Surprisingly, it was the free-spirited hippies who ignited a Christian revival. The narrative weaves together the lives of Greg Laurie, Chuck Smith, and Lonnie Frisbee, all instrumental figures in this spiritual awakening that began with thousands of Californians embracing Jesus and rippling across the nation in the following years.

What sets this story apart is the extraordinary events and the diverse trio of actors portraying these key figures. Joel Courtney, a budding talent known for his childhood role in “Super 8,” steps into Greg Laurie’s shoes. Kelsey Grammer, a seasoned presence in Hollywood and television, embodies Chuck Smith. Christian media enthusiasts will recognize Jonathan Roumie, famous for portraying Jesus in “The Chosen,” as Lonnie Frisbee. The unique backgrounds and journeys of these actors, paralleling the distinctive paths of their characters, converge to create the ideal conditions for the revival described in this captivating tale.

11. *Come Sunday’ (2018)

Come Sunday

RottenTomatoes Rating: 69%

“Come Sunday” focuses on Carlton Pearson, portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. He’s a thriving and captivating preacher of the Pentecostal faith in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As part of the prosperity gospel movement, he teaches that faith can lead to material success and personal wealth, and he has a substantial following.

Yet, Pearson’s world is turned upside down when he stumbles upon a revelation that challenges his deeply held beliefs. This discovery forces him to make a dramatic change in his life.

The film serves as a cautionary tale, shedding light on the potential misunderstandings and abuses within charismatic religious communities, where the phrase “God told me” is frequently invoked. It also prompts viewers to ponder the nature of God, salvation, and the role of organized religion in the lives of its followers.

Intriguingly, it offers a glimpse into the journey of a man who dared to question and evolve his faith despite the hardships it entailed.

12​​​. *The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’ (2019)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

RottenTomatoes Rating: 86%

“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” tells the remarkable true story of William Kamkwamba, portrayed by Maxwell Simba. In the film, William is compelled to leave school when his village is hit by a devastating famine. Despite lacking formal education, he’s determined to find solutions to the problems plaguing his community, particularly the threats of hunger and drought.

William’s inspiration comes from a book he discovers in the local library, which sparks his passion for harnessing wind energy to operate a water pump and irrigate the fields. This innovation becomes a lifeline for his village’s survival.

The movie explores powerful themes of resilience, resourcefulness, and the indomitable human spirit, all within the context of adversity. It underscores how faith can provide solace, motivation, and a sense of purpose during challenging times.

While the film doesn’t shy away from depicting human suffering, this authenticity enhances the emotional impact. It ultimately makes it one of the most inspiring tales of human perseverance and faith.

13’Breakthrough’ (2019)


RottenTomatoes Rating: 62%

“Breakthrough” is based on the incredible true story of a young boy named John Smith, brought to life by Marcel Ruiz. The story’s heart revolves around John’s extraordinary recovery after falling through the ice of a frozen lake and being pronounced dead for over an hour. In the face of this dire situation, his mother, Joyce Smith, clings to hope and fervently prays for her son’s healing.

Through the power of prayer, John’s heart miraculously starts beating once more, defying the initial medical prognosis. Against all odds, he eventually experiences a complete recovery.

What sets “Breakthrough” apart is its unique approach to faith-based cinema. It showcases a deep respect for the medical profession while candidly portraying the doubts and challenges the characters face. This authenticity amplifies the impact of the ultimate breakthrough, making it a moving and powerful experience.

The movie transcends mere faith; it weaves a tapestry of faith, love, community, and hope, aiming to uplift, inspire, and bring joy to its audience. While it may not achieve blockbuster status, it has the potential to serve as an inspiration to other films of the same genre.

Read Also:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *