Christianity Today recently named its Top Ten Redeeming Films of 2008, and they really did a nice job of it. I’d switch the order and swap a few of them out, but more people should make it a point to see stories of redemption and inspiration. And here’s your guide.
I love CT’s way of defining what redeeming films actually are, as “Movies that include stories of redemption–sometimes blatantly, sometimes less so. Several of them literally have a character that represents a redeemer; all of them have characters who experience redemption to some degree–some quite clearly, some more subtly. Some are ‘feel-good’ movies that leave a smile on your face; some are a bit more uncomfortable to watch. But the redemptive element is there in all of these films.”
Heading their list is “Wall-E,” “…A meaningful masterpiece that offers as much food for thought to adults as it does to children.” Second is “The Visitor,” featuring a Christ-figure in “a film about tricky political issues that eschews polemics in favor of real compassion.”
CT made “Gran Torino” its third pick, which I respect, given that Eastwood’s flick was hard to watch and challenging to endure through its R-rated language and racial epithets. Eastwood’s character Walt Kowalski said what only Eastwood could get away with, and injected humor into an unbelievable unhumorous situation. I’d have made the movie number one, because its intended audience likely wasn’t expecting the redemption theme and because “Wall-E’s” audience didn’t have to work so hard.
The rest of CT’s list includes “Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Fireproof,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Dark Knight,” which I agree with, as well as “Shotgun Stories” and “Man on Wire” which I didn’t see.
The list also includes several films listed as “the ones that got away,” one of which I’d have put on my list: “Defiance.” You’ll find several others there as well, all of which are better DVD rentals than much of what’s filling the Silver Screen, cable lines, and airwaves this month.