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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Spiritual films Archives

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Illuminate Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

The Illuminate Film Festival opens today in Sedona, Arizona. Its mission is to be the premier film festival for “conscious cinema.” Dedicated to spreading enlightened ideas and pushing humanity forward, Illuminate is poised to become a landmark destination event and […]

Great Films with Philosophical Themes

posted by Nell Minow

Even the least ambitious films often include some philosophical questions about identity, meaning, and free will. But I enjoyed this list of philosophical films from The Guardian. All of them are worth seeing and all of the questions they raise […]

Trailer: “Risen” — A Non-Believer Witnesses Christ’s Resurrection

posted by Nell Minow

Coming January 2016, starring Joseph Fiennes.

VeggieTales in the House — A New Series on Netflix

posted by Nell Minow

Bob, Larry and the Veggie crew are back in five all-new, 22-minute episodes of the Netflix original series VeggieTales In the House! The brand-new episodes will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly this Friday, April 17. We are delighted to be […]

A.D. The Bible Continues Begins Tonight on NBC

posted by Nell Minow

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (“The Bible”) have a new series based on the later chapters of biblical history. “A.D. The Bible Continues” picks up where “The Bible” left off, exploring the events that followed the Crucifixion of Christ.  Beginning […]

Trailer — Hillsong: Let Hope Rise

posted by Nell Minow

“Hillsong: Let Hope Rise” chronicles the Australia-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED. Directed by Michael John Warren, the film follows the band as they record their next album and explores the history of Hillsong, a 30-year journey from a tiny church […]

Faith-Based Movie Picks — The Today Show

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Easter and Passover, the Today Show has some good suggestions for faith-based movies, from the very serious and respectful to the light-hearted.

Exclusive Clip and Contest: What Would Jesus Do — The Journey Continues

posted by Nell Minow

We are honored to present an exclusive clip from “WWJD (What Would Jesus Do): The Journey Continues,” inspired by the best-selling classic book In His Steps. WWJD: The Journey Continues is available on DVD and Digital HD March 31, 2015. […]

Exclusive Clip: Confessions of a Prodigal Son

posted by Nell Minow

We are proud to be able to share an exclusive clip from the new film Confessions of a Prodigal Son, starring Kevin Sorbo. It is a modern retelling of the classic biblical story, premiering on DVD and Digital HD March […]

Christian Movie Madness Tournament

posted by Nell Minow

ChristianCinema.com is hosting the First Annual Christian “Movie Madness” Tournament. Audiences can vote for their favorite films in a bracket-style tournament competition, based on basketball’s March Madness tournament. ChristianCinema.com hopes to promote great films and create industry-wide buzz about audience-favorite […]

Interview: Ali Faulkner of “The Song”

posted by Nell Minow

Ali Faulkner is in every way the heart of the new faith-based film, “The Song.” She plays Rose, who inspires the title song and marries the musician who wrote it for her. Unlike most films, this one does not end […]

For the First Time at Sundance: A Panel on Faith and Films

posted by Nell Minow

The acclaimed Sundance Film Festival, where ground-breaking films and indie favorites often premiere, will have its first-ever panel discussion of faith and films this week. “Hollywood reflects society, society reflects Hollywood, and each needs the other,” Tim Gray, founder and […]

On DVD This Week: Sacred Journeys

posted by Nell Minow

Sacred Journeys With Bruce Feiler comes out this week on DVD. If you missed it on PBS, here is your chance to travel along with pilgrims and worshippers around the world. 200 million people go on a pilgrimage each year. […]

Exodus: Gods and Kings

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2014
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2015

The story of Exodus is central to three of the world’s most significant religions and one of the Bible’s most cinematic stories, with a flawed but charismatic hero and a stirring story of slaves seeking freedom.  It has already been […]

Exclusive Clip: When the Game Stands Tall

posted by Nell Minow

We are proud to be able to present this exclusive clip from the new DVD release “When the Game Stands Tall,” the extraordinary true story of the high school football team with the longest winning streak in the history of […]

Trailer — Hannah: Buddhism’s Untold Journey

posted by Nell Minow

Hannah Nydahl was dedicated to introducing Buddhism to the western hemisphere.  This is her story. Co Director/Producer Marta György Kessler spent 15 years traveling with Hannah Nydahl and some of the most renowned Buddhist Lamas, before her directorial debut with […]

Interview: “Avatar” Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in “23 Blast”

posted by Nell Minow

Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in “Avatar.” But in “23 Blast,” based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a […]

23 Blast

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some teen drinking
Movie Release Date:October 24, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some teen drinking
Movie Release Date: October 24, 2014

23 Blast is the name of a football play, and “23 Blast” is based on the real story of Travis Freeman, a high school football star who lost his sight, but, with the help of a courageous coach and committed […]

In the Footsteps of St. Peter

posted by Nell Minow

David Suchet (PBS’ Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

Trailer: Old-Fashioned, A Faith-Based Romance

posted by Nell Minow

“Old-Fashioned” will be in theater for Valentine’s Day 2015.

Featurette: “The Good Lie” the Faith of the Lost Boys of Sudan

posted by Nell Minow

“The Good Lie” is a moving, inspiring story of Lost Boys (and a girl) from Sudan to immigrate to the US, a must-see for middle and high schoolers and their families.  This featurette takes us behind the scenes and focuses […]

Upcoming Documentary: Meet the Mormons

posted by Nell Minow

Meet the Mormons is a feature-length documentary that tells the stories of six members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the world. The film will appear in theaters across the United States beginning on October […]

Left Behind

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, violence/peril and brief drug content
Movie Release Date:October 3, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, violence/peril and brief drug content
Movie Release Date: October 3, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2015

“Left Behind” is being marketed as Christian entertainment, but it does not qualify in either category. It is far inferior to the modestly budgeted but sincere straight-to-DVD starring Kirk Cameron, based on the blockbuster best-selling book series by Tim LaHaye […]

Trailer — Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Story of Moses with Christian Bale

posted by Nell Minow

Christian Bale and Sir Ben Kingsley star in “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the story of Moses and the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. It opens this December.

Believe Me

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Movie Release Date:September 26, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Movie Release Date: September 26, 2014

Will Bakke has followed his two thought-provoking documentaries on faith with a remarkably smart, funny, brave, and heartfelt first feature film that explores religion and values without ever falling into the easy conventions of many faith-based films. Bakke has a […]

Christian Indie Films of 2014

posted by Nell Minow

This year has already seen a remarkable and perhaps unprecedented number of Christian and Biblically-based films, from big-budget epics like “Noah” and “Son of God” to small faith-oriented films like “God’s Not Dead.”  There is an excellent summary of four Christian […]

Exclusive Clip: A Basketball Player Finds His Faith in “Midrange”

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to have five copies of the new faith-based film “Midrange” to give away.  If you’d like to enter, send an email to moviemom@moviemom.com with “Midrange” in the subject line and tell me your favorite athlete.  Don’t forget […]

Contest: Win a DVD of “The Story of the Jews”

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to have five copies of the outstanding PBS series The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama to give away.  The DVD is being released tomorrow from PBS Distribution, and it is also available on digital download. […]

Moms’ Night Out

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 1, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date: September 1, 2014

It may feel like a kinder, gentler, sweeter version of “Adventures in Babysitting” or “The Hangover,” but this charming story manages to avoid getting syrupy, even when everyone settles down in the midst of chaos for a little talk about […]

Exclusive Clip: Ida — The Story of a Nun Who Learned Her Family Was Jewish

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to be able to present an exclusive clip from “Ida,” the new award-winning film written and directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, opening May 2. Poland 1962. Anna (newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska) is a beautiful eighteen-year-old woman, preparing to become […]

Have a Blessed Easter: Movies for the Family

posted by Nell Minow

My gallery of Easter movies includes “Ben Hur,” several different movie versions of the life of Jesus, a couple of choices just for kids, and a classic musical named for a classic song, Irving Berlin’s “Easter Parade.” There’s something for […]

Heaven is for Real

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material including some medical situations
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2014
DVD Release Date:July 21, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material including some medical situations
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2014
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2014

A movie like “Heaven is for Real” requires two different reviews, one for believers/fans of the 1.5 million-volume best-selling book, one for those who are unfamiliar with the book and whose views about faith and heaven and proof may differ […]

Heaven is for Real: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

“Heaven is for Real” opens tomorrow, with Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo, a Nebraska pastor whose four-year-old son says that he visited heaven during surgery for a ruptured appendix.  It is based on a best-selling book Heaven is for Real: […]

Noah: Reactions and Responses

posted by Nell Minow

Noah may be controversial, but it is also a box office success.  Literalists complained about its departure from the Biblical text.  There were also some complaints about what some viewers interpreted as too much emphasis on environmentalism, and those who wanted […]

Exclusive Clip: Jesus Washes Feet in “The Passion of the Christ”

posted by Nell Minow

“Remember also that no servant is greater than his master.” The Passion of The Christ is making its commercial television debut on UP TV on Palm Sunday night, April 13.

A Place to Find Positive, Uplifting Films

posted by Nell Minow

Like movies? Like doing good? Check out www.eflixir.com. There are thousands of uplifting films and a portion of every fee goes to charity.

Interview: Kevin Sorbo of “God’s Not Dead”

posted by Nell Minow

It was great to catch up with Kevin Sorbo to hear about his new role as an atheist professor with a student who is a committed Christian in “God’s Not Dead” from Pure Flix. The last time I talked to you, […]

“God’s Not Dead” — Trailer and Clips

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s star Kevin Sorbo — interview with him coming next week.  

Tablet Says The Best Movies Are Religious (Even If They Are Not Bible Stories)

posted by Nell Minow

In the midst of the silly battles over “Noah,” Liel Leibovitz has a superb piece on the Tablet website about how the best movies always have a religious component. As is often the case when we strive to talk seriously […]

Trailer: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most touching moments of the Oscars was the award for a documentary short called “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.”  It is the story of Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, who died […]

Contest: Bible Secrets Revealed

posted by Nell Minow

The History Channel’s Bible Secrets Revealed premieres on DVD today and I have three copies to give away! The series covers the history of the Bible and its translations and editors over the centuries, from the moral codes of the Old Testament […]

Son of God

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense and bloody depiction of The Crucifixion, and for some sequences of violence
Movie Release Date:February 28, 2014
DVD Release Date:June 2, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense and bloody depiction of The Crucifixion, and for some sequences of violence
Movie Release Date: February 28, 2014
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2014

“Son of God,” re-cut and expanded from the popular miniseries produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, “The Bible,” tells the story of Jesus from birth to crucifixion and resurrection in a thoughtful, reverent, and dignified manner. This is a […]

Interview: Roma Downey and Mark Burnett on “Son of God”

posted by Nell Minow

“I just put on hand cream, so I can’t shake your hand,” Roma Downey said as I walked into the room. “You’ll just have to get a hug.” Fine with me! I was there to talk to Downey and her […]

Responding to the Complaints about “Noah”

posted by Nell Minow

As I noted earlier, Variety reported the results of a bogus survey as though it represented legitimate concerns from the faith community about the upcoming film, “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe and directed by Darren Aronofsky.  It is always disappointing when […]

Should Faith Audiences Like the New “Noah” Movie?

posted by Nell Minow

Russell Crowe plays Noah in a new movie from director Darren Aronofsky (“The Wrestler,” “Requiem for a Dream”) and co-starring “Harry Potter’s” Emma Watson and Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly. Variety reports that a group called “Faith Driven Consumers” conducted a poll […]

A New Television Series Explores Contemporary Issues in the Ten Commandments

posted by Nell Minow

WGN America and he Weinstein Company are joining together to produce “Ten Commandments,” a 10-part scripted series that with directors including Gus Van Sant, Lee Daniels, Jim Sheridan, Wes Craven and Michael Cera each taking on a different commandment and giving […]

Jews Telling Jokes and Stories: Doc Club

posted by Nell Minow

“Jews Telling Jokes & Stories” on Doc Club in December The Jewish legacy of storytelling and humor enlivens December Doc Club’s  diverse selection of films on IFC’s SundanceNOW, a virtual destination for streaming independent films online. From classic Jewish comedy to a look into […]

Contest: Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Veggie Tales: Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas is the latest holiday treat from Bob and Larry and the gang, and it is one of their best.  “Merry Larry” is an enthusiastic employee of the Spring Valley Mall who […]

Coming Soon: Son of God

posted by Nell Minow

The people behind the smash worldwide success miniseries “The Bible” now bring the story of Jesus’ life to audiences through compelling cinematic storytelling that is both powerful and inspirational.  Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the […]

The Christmas Candle

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 22, 2013
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 22, 2013

Former Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is now in the faith-based movie business and his first film is based on The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado. Just before the holidays, a progressive young clergyman named David (Hans Matheson) takes over a […]

Trailer: Heaven is for Real

posted by Nell Minow

Coming to theaters for Easter 2014

Trailer — Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

posted by Nell Minow

Idris Elba stars as Nelson Mandela in this film, opening November 29.

Four Chaplains — New on SpiritClips

posted by Nell Minow

SpiritClips, a wonderful online resources for uplifting films, is premiering “Four Chaplains,” based on a true story of extraordinary heroism and sacrifice. In 1943, four Army chaplains of different faiths banded together to save military and civilian personnel aboard the […]

Interview: Galley Molina of “I’m In Love With a Church Girl”

posted by Nell Minow

I’m in Love With a Church Girl is inspired by the true story of writer/director Galley Molina.  It stars Ja Rule, Stephen Baldwin, T-Bone, and Michael Madsen, and will be in theaters on October 18.  I enjoyed speaking to Galley about […]

New on DVD: The Life of Muhammad

posted by Nell Minow

PBS distribution this week released “THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD” on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download. It is a three-part program, presented by acclaimed journalist and author Rageh Omaar, charting the extraordinary story of a man who, in little more than […]

Interview: Bishop T.D. Jakes Talks About the New Faith and Family Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

Bishop T.D Jakes, who serves on the board of Beliefnet, has added a Faith and Family Film Festival to his inspirational MegaFest gathering, this year taking place in Dallas on August 29-31.  Bishop Jakes spoke to me about why film […]

Trailer: Jennifer Hudson in “Black Nativity”

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar winners Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker star in this musical opening in November about a struggling single mother who sends her son to her parents’ home for Christmas. It is adapted from a Langston Hughes story and directed by […]

Interview: Joel Smallbone of “The Book of Esther” and For King and Country

posted by Nell Minow

Joel Smallbone of King and Country plays Xerxes in “The Book of Esther,” his first film role.  He was nice enough to take some time off from his For King and Country tour to talk to me about playing the […]

Fill the Void

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking
Movie Release Date:June 14, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking
Movie Release Date: June 14, 2013

A young woman about to choose the man she will marry is torn between her own desires and the wishes of her devout family, ultra-Orthodox Jews.  We know where the American version of this story would go — the triumph […]

Beyond Belief: SundanceNOW Doc Club Series on Faith

posted by Nell Minow

Starting tomorrow, SundanceNOW Doc Club will premiere its “Beyond Belief” series of documentaries that provide an intimate look at what motivates and affirms belief, examining and challenging the limits of religious conviction.  Highlights of the series include: “Raw Faith, an intimate […]

Interview: Brian Bosworth of “Revelation Road 2″

posted by Nell Minow

Football star-turned actor Brian Bosworth spoke to me about his new role in Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End, the second in an end of days series from Pure Flix Entertainment.  He spoke to me about how making the […]

42

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including language
Movie Release Date:April 12, 2013
DVD Release Date:July 15, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including language
Movie Release Date: April 12, 2013
DVD Release Date: July 15, 2013

Jackie Robinson was the first black man to play major league baseball. His number, 42, is worn by every player once a year to commemorate his achievements as a baseball player and as a man.  This version of the story […]

The Bible: Now on DVD

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:April 2, 2013
DVD Release Date:April 2, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: April 2, 2013
DVD Release Date: April 2, 2013

The hit television series is now available on DVD. “Audiences embraced The Bible in numbers and with passion we never could have anticipated,” producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett said the morning after the finale aired on Easter. “What a great […]

Veggie Tales: The Little House That Stood

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:March 5, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013

  Bob and Larry bring humor and wisdom to a classic story sure to delight kids and their families in The Little House That Stood, an Easter-themed story inspired by “The Three Little Pigs” and the parable of the wise […]

Unconditional

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violent content and mature thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 21, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 5, 2013
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violent content and mature thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 21, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013

This faith-based drama stars two top performers who give its fact-based story the sweetness and spirit that is sometimes lacking in the heartfelt but uneven script. Lynn Collins (“The Merchant of Venice,” “John Carter”) plays author Samantha Crawford, who is […]

Exclusive Clip from “Bless Me, Ultima”

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out our exclusive clip from the film “Bless Me, Ultima.”  Set in New Mexico during WWII, the the film is a beautiful coming of age story about a young Chicano boy and how his life is forever […]

New Aspire Series About African-American Faith Leaders: The Scroll

posted by Nell Minow

The Scroll is a new series from director Parrish Smith shown on Magic Johnson’s Aspire Network featuring intimate, inspiring interviews with more than 50 African-American clergy.   Some of the faith leaders featured in the documentary are: Bishop T. D. Jakes, Rev. […]

Win a Free Copy of “The Solomon Bunch” DVD!

posted by Nell Minow

The Solomon Bunch is a sweet, gently funny story of a group of children who ponder the meaning of Proverbs 18:13 “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him,” but don’t fully understand […]

Contest: Abel’s Field

posted by Nell Minow

“Abel’s Field” is the story of high school senior Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis), left motherless by tragedy, abandoned by his father, and under enormous pressure to support his little sisters. At school, he endures the daily bullying of the football team. When […]

Washington DC Jewish Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Jewish Film Festival starts today with a spectacular line-up of movies that reflect Jewish experience and culture.  The opening night show is “Paris Manhattan,” a French film about a young woman obsessed with Woody Allen. Other highlights include the […]

The Greatest Miracle

posted by Nell Minow

The Greatest Miracle is an inspiring story about hope, faith, and worship.  It focuses on three characters and their guardians and on religious practice: confession, the parts of mass and communion, offerings, and prayers for those who have gone to […]

Life of Pi

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout and some scary action scenes and peril
Movie Release Date:November 22, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout and some scary action scenes and peril
Movie Release Date: November 22, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2013

“Oh God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.” This classic Breton fisherman’s prayer describes “Life of Pi,” Ang Lee’s exquisitely beautiful fairy tale story of an Indian boy shipwrecked with a Bengal tiger, and their […]

The Mark

posted by Nell Minow

The Mark is the first of a two-part Christian end times film starring Craig Sheffer.  He plays Chad Turner, a non-believer who gets caught up in the fight of his life and of his soul as a courier of a critically […]

New From Veggie Tales: The League of Incredible Vegetables

posted by Nell Minow

The Veggie Tales folks at Big Idea Entertainment have a new DVD just in time for Halloween, to help kids who might have a hard time telling the difference between fun scary and scary scary.  It’s called The League of […]

Contest: Blue Like Jazz

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled to give away a copy of one of my favorite films of the year, Blue Like Jazz.  Director Steve Taylor raised the money for the film $10 at a time on Kickstarter.  Fans of the inspirational book […]

Touchback

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements
Movie Release Date:April 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:September 3, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements
Movie Release Date: April 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: September 3, 2012

Haven’t we all wished for a chance to live that one moment over again? Scott (Brian Presley, who also produced) has that opportunity in “Touchback,” the story of a man who wants to go back to his days as a […]

Smile of the Week: Marc Erlbaum’s Progress on “The Meaning of Life”

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to get an update from Marc Erlbaum about what has happened since our interview about his new documentary on what people think about the meaning of life.  Here’s his latest, a sweet reminder that while we sometimes […]

Trailer: “The Church on Dauphine Street”

posted by Nell Minow

A church, a priest, two kindred spirits, and the kindness of strangers. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when nearly all hope was drowned in the flood, one church in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans did not give […]

Today on TCM: Strange Cargo

posted by Nell Minow

“Strange Cargo,” starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, is on the surface the story of prisoners escaping from a Devil’s Island penal colony.  But it is also a powerful and moving spiritual allegory with a Jesus-like character played by Ian […]

Blue Like Jazz

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and some language
Movie Release Date:April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date:August 6, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and some language
Movie Release Date: April 20, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2012

Donald Miller’s best-selling collection of essays, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality has become a crowd-financed and lightly fictionalized film about a Texas teenager from a sheltered Baptist community who goes to the famously free-thinking Reed College in Portland, Oregon. […]

Interview: Brian Presley of “Touchback”

posted by Nell Minow

Brian Presley starred in the soap opera “Port Charles” and “General Hospital” and now makes faith-based films with his production company, Freedom Films.  He graciously made time to talk with me about his new film, “Touchback,” where he plays a […]

List: Movies for Passover

posted by Nell Minow

Hag Sameach! Passover is not just about remembering the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is about telling the story. Thousands of years before people talked about “learning styles,” the Seder included many different ways of telling the story, […]

Easter Movie Gallery

posted by Nell Minow

  Be sure to check out my special gallery of Easter films.

Trailer: Blue Like Jazz

posted by Nell Minow

Can’t wait to tell you more about this excellent film, based on the best-selling book about a young man from an evangelical family in Texas who finds himself as far from home as possible at free-thinking Reed College in Portland, […]

“October Baby” Is Not As Controversial As Its Supporters Claim

posted by Nell Minow

“October Baby” exceeded expectations in its opening weekend last week, making a respectable $1.7 million in only 390 theaters.  It is the story of a college student with multiple health problems who finds out for the first time that she […]

Giveaway: “Lion of Judah”

posted by Nell Minow

A lamb with the courage of a lion named Judah and his friends from a Bethlehem stable go on a journey in the week before the Crucifixion in this animated film with the voices of Ernest Borgnine and Bruce Marchiano. […]

Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:March 5, 2012
DVD Release Date:March 6, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: March 5, 2012
DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012

The latest from Veggie Tales is the delightful and heartwarming Robin Good & His Not So Merry Men. Larry the Cucumber stars as Robin Good, a fearless man who roves the town of Bethlingham with his band of merry men […]

Brother Francis DVD Series for Catholic Children

posted by Nell Minow

The Brother Francis series is a gentle, accessible animated series for Catholic children with inviting and entertaining explanations of rituals and beliefs. “The Rosary” DVD includes the prayers of the Rosary and the Apostles’ Creed and a touching version of Mary’s […]

Interview: Ali Landry of ‘Me Again’

posted by Nell Minow

Have you ever wished you had taken another path?  We all wonder what our lives would be like if we had made a different choice and movies like “Me Myself I,” “The Family Man,” and “Sliding Doors” feature characters who […]

Study Guide for ‘The Grey’

posted by Nell Minow

I have a very thoughtful guide for ministries and other study groups who would like to explore the spiritual and religious themes in today’s Liam Neeson release, “The Grey.” If you want a copy, just send me an email at […]

Watch Davy and Goliath on SpiritClips!

posted by Nell Minow

Remember the class television series “Davy and Goliath?”  The stop-motion animation children’s show about the little boy and the dog who spoke to him was owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and produced by Art and Ruth Clokey […]

Courageous

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content
Movie Release Date:September 30, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 16, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content
Movie Release Date: September 30, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 16, 2012

Courageous is the story of men who confront danger every day as law officers but who discover that it is a bigger challenge to be good fathers and family men. Sherwood Pictures, the faith-based film production company behind “Facing the […]

A Christmas Carol — The Top Five Versions

posted by Nell Minow

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas story and I love it in just about any of its movie incarnations. “Bah, humbugs” have been muttered by Scrooges played by top-notch dramatic actors like George C. Scott and Albert Finney, former Miss America Vanessa Williams, […]

Interview: Nancy Stafford of ‘Christmas with a Capital C’

posted by Nell Minow

The beautiful and talented Nancy Stafford (“Matlock”) stars in the heartwarming Christmas with a Capital C, now available on DVD.  She spoke to me about the movie and about the way her faith leads her to projects that share her message […]

The Next Voice You Hear

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1950
DVD Release Date:November 28, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1950
DVD Release Date: November 28, 2011

I was pleased to see that Turner Classic Movies will be showing “The Next Voice You Hear” this afternoon at 2:30 Eastern.  It’s a sweet little film with a timely message.  It was made in 1950, when the primary technology […]

Have a Little Faith

posted by Nell Minow

Writer Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson) got a very unusual request.  A terminally ill rabbi asked if Albom would write and deliver his eulogy.  “As is often the case with […]

The Littlest Angel

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2011
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2011
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2011

Based on one of the top-selling children’s books of all time, The Littlest Angel is a new film based on the classic story by Charles Tazewell, first published in 1946.  A small angel cannot quite seem to fit in until a […]

Little Drummer Boy

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2011
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2011
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2011

The wonderful folks at Veggie Tales have a new DVD for the holidays, Little Drummer Boy, based on the classic Christmas carol.  In this version, Junior Asparagus hears the story of a little boy whose heart was filled with bitterness […]

Little Angels

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2011
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2011
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2011

Roma Downey knows something about angels after playing one on television in the fondly remembered “Touched by an Angel” series.  Now her Little Angels DVDs are a faith-based series for pre-schoolers to help them learn numbers and letters.  Animated twins Alex […]

Hand in Hand

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to see that one of my favorite childhood films, Hand in Hand (1960), is now available on DVD.  This is the very sweet story of an Irish Catholic boy and a Jewish girl who become friends in early […]

Café

posted by Nell Minow

Café is about that place we all wish we could find, a coffee shop that makes its customers feel at home.  Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the girl behind the counter who provides advice and support for the regulars.  But then a […]

The Way

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, drug use, and smoking
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, drug use, and smoking
Movie Release Date: October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

In honor of this DVD Pick of the Week, I have three copies to give away.  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “The Way” in the subject line and tell me your favorite Martin Sheen movie.  Don’t forget your […]

New From Shalom Sesame!

posted by Nell Minow

I have three great new Shalom Sesame DVDs to give away!  Celebrate Sukkoth with Monsters in the Sukkah! Welcome the new year with The Sticky Shofar and explore the Holy Land with Adventures in Israel. I have one copy of […]

Interview: Martin Sheen of ‘The Way’

posted by Nell Minow

There I was, at the Georgetown Ritz hotel, and Martin Sheen walked into the room.  President Bartlett from “The West Wing,” Kit from “Badlands,” star of movies from “Apocalypse Now” to “Catch Me if You Can,” to “The American President.” […]

Free Tickets to a Washington DC Movie Screening: ‘The Way’ with Martin Sheen

posted by Nell Minow

If you live in the Washington DC area, I’d love to give you free tickets to see a special advance screening of The Way, Thursday, Oct. 6.  It stars Martin Sheen and was written and directed by his son, Emilio Estavez. […]

Great Movie Moments: ‘The Apostle’ — Billy Bob Thornton Wants to Bulldoze a Church

posted by Nell Minow

As I wrote earlier, my new book, which should be out by the end of the year, is about some of my favorite movie moments.  I’m having a lot of fun writing about them but one thing I can’t do […]

A Controversial Choice for a Judah Maccabee Film

posted by Nell Minow

The story of Judah Maccabee, one of the greatest warrior heroes in Jewish history, could make a great movie.  He led the first revolt against religious oppression in 167 BCE.  His victory is celebrated by Jews around the world each […]

Seven Days in Utopia

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:September 2, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29. 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: September 2, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 29. 2011

Sports psychologist David L. Cook wrote a book called Seven Days in Utopia: Golf’s Sacred Journey about a young golfer who runs away after a meltdown at a big tournament, gets stuck in a small town, and meets a mentor who […]

Interview: David L. Cook of Seven Days in Utopia

posted by Nell Minow

Sometimes real life feels like a metaphor.  Sometimes it feels like a parable.  David L. Cook is the author of Seven Days in Utopia: Golf’s Sacred Journey.  He told me his story about his own time in the real-life town […]

Higher Ground

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:August 26, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: August 26, 2011

Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Departed”) directed and stars in “Higher Ground,” the true story of a woman’s spiritual journey, based on Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost by Carolyn S. Briggs. It is a rare […]

Interview: Vera Farmiga of ‘Higher Ground’

posted by Nell Minow

Vera Farmiga (“The Departed,” “Up in the Air”) directed and stars in a new film based on the memoir by Carolyn S. Briggs, Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost.  As she spoke to a small group of […]

Interview: Joseph Dorman of ‘Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness’

posted by Nell Minow

The writer Sholem Aleichem was born Sholom Rabinowitz.  He grew up in a Russian shtetl. Today, he is most widely remembered as the author of the stories which became the basis for Fiddler on the Roof.  But a new documentary […]

The Booth at the End

posted by Nell Minow

This enigmatic new web series on Hulu raises questions of fate, temptation, sacrifice, and God.  What would you do to get what you want?  What would you give up?  Who would you be if you did?  This episode is called, […]

The Tree of Life

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for thematic issues
Movie Release Date:June 3 2011
DVD Release Date:October 11, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic issues
Movie Release Date: June 3 2011
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011

On those dark nights of the soul, when we consider not just life but Life, and Meaning, and our place in the cosmos, our lives don’t play out in our minds in sequence.  Images and snatches of words flicker back […]

Interview: The Actor Who Plays Jesus in “The Encounter”

posted by Nell Minow

Bruce Marchiano spoke to me about playing Jesus in a touching new film called “The Encounter.”  A group of stranded travelers come to the “Last Chance Diner” out in the woods.  The man behind the counter tells them he is […]

Interview: the Brother and Sister Behind ‘Discover the Gift’

posted by Nell Minow

“Discover the Gift” is an extraordinary new documentary, book, blog, and CD that reaches from the broadest universal dreams to the most intimate, personal insights, with appearances from powerful lessons from authors, educators, activists, artists, and icons including His Holiness the Dalai […]

Meet Your Match — And A Movie

posted by Nell Minow

The popular dating site for Jewish singles, J-Date, helps its clients “find friendship, romance, and lifelong partners within the Jewish faith.” And, with some help from Film Movement, a movie. Michael Cieply writes in the New York Times about “North […]

Not Easily Broken

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sexual references and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 7, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual references and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: January 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2011

This week’s release of T.D. Jakes’ “Jumping the Broom” is a good time to take another look at his earlier film about marriage and in-laws, “Not Easily Broken.” If we believe the movies, the tough part of relationships is getting […]

For Easter: The Gospel According to St. Matthew and more

posted by Nell Minow

Reposting for Easter — Have a blessed celebration, everyone! Ben-Hur is the traditional Easter classic, but there are some other films that beautifully illuminate the themes of this holy season. I like The Gospel of John, a very reverent re-telling […]

List: Passover Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Reposting — Hag Sameach! Passover is not just about remembering the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is about telling the story. Thousands of years before people talked about “learning styles,” the Seder included many different ways of telling […]

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action
Movie Release Date:December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action
Movie Release Date: December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011

A gallant warrior mouse and a dragon with a secret join the two youngest Pevensie children for a voyage and a quest in the third and best so far in the Narnia series. War has come to England and Edmund […]

Interview: Tom Shadyac of ‘I Am’

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Shadyac was one of the most successful directors in Hollywood. He had wealth and fame. He worked with superstars like Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey. But a bicycle accident left him in terrible pain, physical and spiritual. He realized […]

Interview: Fraser Heston of ‘Charlton Heston Presents The Bible’

posted by Nell Minow

Fraser Heston was kind enough to take time to talk with me about the re-release of some of his father’s greatest films. Fraser, who played the baby Moses in The Ten Commandments, directed his father in Charlton Heston Presents the […]

I Am

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:January 2, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: January 2, 2012

Tom Shadyac had it all — if “all” means fame, fortune, and professional success.  He directed some of the biggest box-office hits of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, including Jim Carrey’s “Ace Ventura,” “Liar, Liar,” and “Bruce Almighty,” and Robin […]

Hereafter

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 15, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 15, 2011

According to this movie the two universal human imperatives are the need to find out whether we can contact the dead and the need to use Google to do so. Can we please de-Google-ize movies? I love Google, too, but […]

Exclusive Clip: VeggieTales: ‘Twas The Night Before Easter’

posted by Nell Minow

The VeggieTales folks have a new Easter DVD for families and we have an exclusive sneak peek! And you know what that means — lots of laughs, great songs, and some gentle lessons. It’s Easter time in Crisper County and […]

Contest: DVDs for Purim and Passover!

posted by Nell Minow

There are two great new Shalom Sesame DVDs to celebrate the spring Jewish holidays and I have one of each to give away. It’s a wonderful way to help introduce children to two of the year’s most important festivals. This […]

The Third Testament

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR -- mature theme and disturbing material
DVD Release Date:March 8, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR -- mature theme and disturbing material
DVD Release Date: March 8, 2011

The discovery of a Third Testament leads to a mystery — a whole series of them — in this ambitious, intricately constructed film from first-time writer-director Matt Dallman. Carolyn Matthews (Amy Weins) is determined to find her husband, Jacob, who […]

The Adjustment Bureau

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and a violent image
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 21, 2011
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and a violent image
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011

The first great movie of 2011 is thought-provoking, exciting, and swooningly romantic. Writer/director George Nolfi takes on the biggest questions of all — faith and doubt, fate and free will, God, love, the meaning of existence — with an absorbing […]

Interview: George Nolfi of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

posted by Nell Minow

“The Adjustment Bureau” is the first great film of 2011, a big and hugely entertaining film that takes on big ideas — love, free will, destiny, God, and the meaning of life. I was lucky enough to speak with writer […]

The Grace Card

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 13, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: February 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2011

Anger seduces us because it fools us into feeling powerful. Anger absorbs so much energy that it helps us avoid the more complicated and painful emotions of loss, guilt, regret, and fear. And that, as “The Grace Card” shows us, […]

The Sunset Limited

posted by Nell Minow

Tommy Lee Jones directed and co-stars with Samuel L. Jackson in “The Sunset Limited,” an HBO movie based on the play by Cormac McCarthy (“The Road,” “No Country for Old Men”). Jones is a professor who struggles with despair so […]

Trailer: ‘The Grace Card’

posted by Nell Minow

The Grace Card is the story of a policeman who must find his way through bitterness and despair after the death of his son. When he is assigned a new partner, a part-time pastor, they find a way to help […]

‘Stairway to Heaven’ on Hulu

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to find the neglected gem “Stairway to Heaven” (sometimes known as “A Matter of Life and Death”) available on Hulu. Fans of classic movies and spiritual themes should be sure to take a look. It is a […]

The Spiritual Foundation of ‘The Company Men’

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to take a look at this excellent interview by Dann Gire with John Wells, writer-director of “The Company Men,” about the lessons he learned from his clergyman father and how they influenced the film. When you grow up […]

The Rite

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material, violence, frightening images, and language including sexual references
Movie Release Date:January 28, 2011
DVD Release Date:May 20, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material, violence, frightening images, and language including sexual references
Movie Release Date: January 28, 2011
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2011

Actors! They just can’t help themselves when a juicy part comes along. And that is why Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins finds himself in “The Rite,” an “inspired by a true story” thriller about an exorcist who struggles with his own […]

Celebrate Tu B’Shvat

posted by Nell Minow

I don’t have an embed code, but you can visit YouTube to see an animated version of a Talmudic story in honor of today’s celebration of the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat that gives thanks for trees and other things […]

Twelve More Great Christmas Movies Without Santa, Tiny Tim, or A Message from Ovaltine

posted by Nell Minow

I love the classics, but if you’ve seen them all and want to try something new, take a look at these holiday gems: Desk Set Before smart phones and Google, there were people like the character played by Katherine Hepburn […]

‘The Calling’ — PBS Documentary on Divinity Students

posted by Nell Minow

“The Calling,” a two-part documentary series premiering on the PBS Independent Lens series on December 20, is the inspiring story of a group of seven young people of different religions who share the experience of being called to serve as […]

Twelve Great Christmas Movies That Don’t Feature Clarence the Angel, Bing Crosby, Tiny Tim, or a Leg Lamp

posted by Nell Minow

Reprising from 2007: I love It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and A Christmas Story as much as anyone. I love the bittersweet struggles of George Bailey and never get tired of seeing him try to resist falling in love […]

Jewish Film Festival 2010 — Washington DC

posted by Nell Minow

This year’s Washington Jewish Film Festival has an outstanding schedule, once again celebrating the “incredible diversity of Jewish life, culture and history through innovative film and invigorating programs.” I am always inspired by the scope and quality of the films […]

Interview: Roger Nygard of ‘The Nature of Existence’

posted by Nell Minow

The Nature of Existence is a new documentary from Roger Nygard, who visited people all over the world to ask them the hardest and most important questions he could think of, about our purpose and the nature of existence. His […]

Magnificent Obsession

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1954
DVD Release Date:2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1954
DVD Release Date: 2009

Celebrate Rock Hudson’s birthday this week with the movie that really made him a star, a remake of a Robert Taylor movie based on a popular book by Lloyd C. Douglas, who often included religious themes in his stories. (Both […]

Interview: Marc Erlbaum, Maker of Inspiring Films

posted by Nell Minow

Marc Erlbaum wants to make films that touch people’s souls. He is the man behind Nationlight Productions, a film and television production company focused on creating inspiring, meaningful content for mainstream audiences of all backgrounds and affiliations. He was nice […]

The Way Home

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:October 26, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010

It is every parents’ worst fear. Look away for just a split second and a child is gone. You have to swallow the terror to create a sense of calm for those around you and help you think through the […]

Exclusive Clip from ‘There Be Dragons’

posted by Nell Minow

“There Be Dragons” is an epic film about war, tragedy, love, and redemption, from acclaimed director Roland Joffé of “The Mission” and “The Killing Fields.”   It is the story of two childhood friends who find themselves on opposite sides […]

A Christmas Snow

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010

A snowstorm at Christmas time makes a busy woman stop and reconsider her priorities when she is stuck in her apartment with two people she has just met: a little girl who does not want to be there and a […]

Interview: Tracy Trost of ‘A Christmas Snow’

posted by Nell Minow

A Christmas Snow is a touching film set at Christmas time. Catherine Mary Stewart plays a woman still in deep pain over her father’s abandonment of the family one Christmas when she was a little girl. She ends up snowed […]

Exclusive Clip from Veggie Tales’ ‘It’s a Meaningful Life’

posted by Nell Minow

Ushpizin: A Movie for Sukkot

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

Ushpizin is a quietly moving drama set in an almost-unseen world. It takes place in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem during the fall holiday of Sukkot, which falls this year on Sept 22-29. During Sukkot, families build tabernacles called […]

Jonah and the Whale

posted by Nell Minow

On the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jews study the story of Jonah and the Whale. The Jewish educational and outreach group AISH says In a certain sense it is very much the story […]

Amish Grace

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:March 28, 2010
DVD Release Date:September 14, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: March 28, 2010
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010

The highest-rated Lifetime Movie Network film, “Amish Grace,” is out on DVD this week and well worth viewing. It is based on the true story of a devastating tragedy and the example of courage, compassion, and forgiveness that inspired the […]

Barbra Sings a Rosh Hashanah Hymn

posted by Nell Minow

Barbra Streisand sings the traditional Rosh Hashanah song, Avinu Malkeinu – Our Father Our King. L’Shana Tova! A sweet new year to all.

Interview: Kevin Sorbo of ‘What If….’

posted by Nell Minow

Kevin Sorbo (Hercules and Andromeda) stars in a new movie, “What If…” as Ben Walker, a man who gets the chance to see what his life would have been like if he had taken another path. In the tradition of […]

Letters to God

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date:April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements
Movie Release Date: April 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

Director David Nixon is dedicated to telling stories of faith and inspiration. His most recent film is “Letters to God,” inspired by the true story of a critically ill boy who wrote to God to ask for help. But the […]

Top Christian Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Check out Kris Rasmussen’s list of the Ten Best Christian Movies of all time. It has some of my favorites like “Dead Man Walking” “Lilies of the Field,” and “Chariots of Fire.” I’d also include the allegorical “Strange Cargo,” the […]

To Save a Life

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen suicide, teen drinking, some drug content, disturbing images and sexuality.
Movie Release Date:January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 3, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen suicide, teen drinking, some drug content, disturbing images and sexuality.
Movie Release Date: January 22, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010

Whose life does the title refer to? “To Save a Life” begins with a funeral, a tragic loss of a high school kid who committed suicide because he felt isolated and friendless. Jake (Randy Wayne), a popular senior who thinks […]

Visions of Israel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

From the Western Wall to the Temple Mount, “Visions of Israel” shows us breathtaking footage of this timeless land, sacred to three major religions. Stunning high-definition footage takes us to sites ancient and contemporary, providing settings of ancient history going […]

The Jesus Guy

posted by Nell Minow

A wandering evangelist known only as “What’s Your Name” walks through the world with no money or possessions, dressed like the images of Jesus most familiar to Christians, sharing the messages of the Bible. It is interesting to me that […]

Preacher’s Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving some sexual content, violence, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving some sexual content, violence, and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2010
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Former Destiny’s Child singer Letoya Luckett has the title role in this touching story of a sheltered young woman from a small town who joins a traveling gospel show. She finds her values and her faith challenged by the temptations […]

Interview: Rich Christiano of ‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to writer-director Rich Christiano about making — and marketing — faith-based films. You were really a one-man show behind the scenes for this film. We have a good production team and worked hard on the distribution. This the […]

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Christian families looking for wholesome and satisfying entertainment will appreciate “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry,” the story of young friends whose lives are changed through friendship with a man who does more than encourage them to study the Bible; he […]

The Perfect Game

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010

Think of it as the “Good News Bears.” This sweet, sometimes sugary film is based on a real-life Little League team from Monterrey, Mexico who came to the United States to play in the Little League World Series of 1957 […]

List: Spiritual Movie Families

posted by Nell Minow

Beliefnet’s “How Spiritual is Your Family” quiz made me think of these movie families, among the very few on screen who are unabashedly spiritual. 1. The Blind Side Based on a true story, this movie makes it clear that a […]

Billy: The Early Years Of Billy Graham

posted by Nell Minow

Before he was the best-known clergyman in America and a spiritual adviser to Presidents, Billy Graham was a young man struggling with doubt and searching for a way to be of service. This sensitive and respectful film about Billy Graham’s […]

A Serious Man

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2009

Larry Gopnik (theater actor Michael Stuhlbarg) is a physics professor in 1967 Minneapolis. He covers a blackboard the size of a movie screen with equations, confidently lecturing his students about the uncertainty principle but outside the classroom unable to cope […]

Veggie Tales: Silly Little Thing Called Love

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:January 19, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010

The Veggie Tales gang give us three stories about love in this characteristically bright and tuneful treat, covering love for your family, love for your neighbors, and love of God. And of course it has time for the always-adorable silly […]

Interview: Dominic Cunningham-Reid and Taran Davies of ‘Journey to Mecca’

posted by Nell Minow

In 1325 a 21-year-old man named Ibn Battuta set out from his native Tangier on pilgrimage to Mecca that would take him 18 months. And now the story of that journey has become an extraordinary IMAX film, stunningly beautiful, soul-stirring, […]

Interview: Bruce Faulk of ‘Soul of the Church’

posted by Nell Minow

I was able to speak to the man behind the Black History Collection: Soul of the Church DVD, Bruce Faulk, who assembled a treasure trove of gospel performances into this stirring and inspirational collection. It even includes some of the […]

Movies Increasingly Feature Spiritual Themes

posted by Nell Minow

In today’s Washington Post, Robert W. Butler writes about the increasing number of wide-release films that include themes of religion and spirituality. It’s everywhere at the multiplex these days: religion. Or if that word makes you uncomfortable, you can go […]

Letters to God — Coming This Spring

posted by Nell Minow

Coming this spring is “Letters to God,” inspired by a true story, about a young boy with cancer whose daily letters to God change the life of the man entrusted with making sure they are delivered.

Touched by an Angel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1994-2003
DVD Release Date:November 10, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1994-2003
DVD Release Date: November 10, 2009

Today’s special release of selected episodes from the beloved television series from Beliefnet columnist Martha Williamson is the DVD pick of the week for its compelling stories, outstanding guest appearances, and enduring message of hope and inspiration.

The Christians: The History of Christianity and Its Global Impact

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

Filmed on location in more than 30 countries, this 13-episode series covers the history of Christianity from the time of Jesus through “two thousand years of persecution, politics, and power.” This DVD set has extras as well: a new introductory […]

‘Henry Poole’ — Now Family-Friendly

posted by Nell Minow

A lovely film that was neglected on its release last year will now be available in a slightly edited version that is suitable for family viewing. It is called “Henry Poole is Here,” and it is the story of a […]

Three Movies Examine Our Struggle to Understand God

posted by Nell Minow

Three new and very different movies have one thing in common — they all ask their characters and their audiences to think about the nature of God and faith. This week we have a perky romantic comedy with Ricky Gervais […]

Upcoming Film Searches for God

posted by Nell Minow

In every corner of the world, there’s one question that can never be definitively answered, yet stirs up equal parts passion, curiosity, self-reflection and often wild imagination: “What is God?” Filmmaker Peter Rodger explores this query in the provocative non-fiction […]

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

“Jonah’s” production company, Big Idea, promises “Sunday morning values, Saturday morning fun,” and in my opinion they have more than delivered on both, with a series of videos that are right up there with the best in entertainment and humor […]

A Movie With A Prayer for Peace: ‘Friendly Persuasion’

posted by Nell Minow

As we observe today’s International Day of Peace and A Million Minutes for Peace, an initiative to get 1 million people to pledge to pray for peace, I would like to recommend a film called Friendly Persuasion, set in the […]

Angels in Movies and Television: Before 1970

posted by Nell Minow

Ellen Leventry’s list of post-1990 angels on movies and television got me thinking about some of my favorites from the old days. Hard to believe that performers from Jack Benny to Cary Grant to Donald Duck have taken on an […]

Legion: the Archangel Michael on Film

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Bettany plays the Archangel Michael in “Legion,” a new film opening in early 2010, also starring Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, and “Gray’s Anatomy’s” Kate Walsh. In the film, he fights on the side of humanity when God […]

A New Faith-Based Production Company

posted by Nell Minow

“C Me Dance,” the first film produced by Uplifting Entertainment , a new faith-based motion picture company, will open in 200 theaters across the country on April 3. The film is being endorsed by the Leukemia Foundation and the Dove […]

Christian Film-makers Find Their Audience

posted by Nell Minow

NPR has an excellent column by Barbara Bradley Hagerty about the increasing success of faith-inspired films. The San Antonio (Texas) Independent Christian Film Festival in January attracted more than 2000 audience members. And “Fireproof” has made more money than “Slumdog […]

Lights, Camera, Faith — Inspiration and Meaning in the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The Lights, Camera … Faith! A Movie Lectionary book series by Peter Malone, MSC with Rose Pacatte, FSP, explores movies that highlight themes or issues emphasized in the Gospel. The books propose practical points for reflection, conversation and personal growth, […]

The Lost Gods

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:January 13, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009

The Lost Gods is a new DVD series from the Smithsonian about the earliest ideas about God. Filmed in 11 countries and hosted by Christy Kenneally, it explores the concepts of God as understood by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Incas, […]

Interview: Steve James of ‘At the Death House Door’

posted by Nell Minow

I last wrote about the superb documentary At the Death House Door when I interviewed its subject, Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous “Walls” prison unit in Huntsville. The film was […]

Ruby

posted by Nell Minow

Television viewers have been inspired and captivated by Sunday School teacher Ruby Gettinger, a woman who is putting her weight loss journey on television in a reality show. Once over 700 pounds, she is now down to 500 and sticking […]

The Day the Earth Stood Still

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008

In the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still, a spaceship landed in front of the Washington Monument to warn the people of earth that they were on the path to destruction. The problem then was the Cold […]

Spirit-Lifting Short Films from Spirit Clips

posted by Nell Minow

A new website is assembling beautifully produced short films to touch the heart and inspire the spirit. Spirit Clips was created by Oscar-winning producer Rob Fried (“Rudy”) to create unique high-quality content and an online community dedicated to sharing inspirational […]

Charter for Compassion: Films to Change the World

posted by Nell Minow

Please take a moment to watch the short films from Charter for Compassion, a group founded on the golden rule that links all religions. And then add your thoughts on their list of the eight core elements of compassion.

Steve Russo’s Biblical Lessons from HSM

posted by Nell Minow

Steve Russo, author of Wildcats in the House: Spiritual Stuff You Can Get From High School Musical, has given Beliefnet 10 Biblical lessons from “High School Musical,” like relying on faith, gratitude for God’s gifts, and keeping your priorities clear.

Sunday School Musical

posted by Nell Minow

Speaking of Disney’s HSM juggernaut, Faith Fims’ new DVD release “Sunday School Musical” is out this week. I have not seen it yet, but the trailer is very appealing. I love church choirs!

The Most (Unexpectedly) Spiritual Film of the Week

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s releases include some very spiritual themes. W. shows us the 43rd President’s decision to let his life be guided by God, his lessons from a spiritual advisor, and his participation in Bible study. The Secret Life of Bees […]

‘Unorthodox’ TV Movie Filming in DC

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Post reports that a new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS called “Unorthodox” is currently filming in Washington DC: Great to see Hollywood getting into spirituality! The crew that set up Wednesday on Georgetown’s Cambridge Place for […]

Religion on ‘The Simpsons’

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out this terrific Beliefnet gallery from Mark I. Pinsky on the best Simpsons episodes about religions. It includes “Like Father, Like Clown” (written with the help of three rabbis, about Krusty the Clown’s exploration of his […]

Eid Hymn

posted by Nell Minow

Best wishes for our Muslim friends on this holy celebration.

Fireproof

posted by Nell Minow

The faith-based film Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron, is enjoying impressive advance ticket sales this week according to Harry Medved of Fandango. It is the story of a firefighter who finds that his most difficult challenge is finding a way to […]

‘Gabriel Over the White House’ — The President Finds God

posted by Nell Minow

A little-seen 1933 film called “Gabriel Over the White House” has some themes that are particularly resonant in this time of unprecedented economic uncertainty and this historic Presidential campaign. Walter Houston (father of director John Huston and grandfather of actress […]

Film Ephemera

posted by Nell Minow

The AV Geeks have an amazing archive of “film ephemera,” of over 20,000 little odds and ends (mostly odds) that have been retrieved from warehouses, garbage dumps, and thrift shops. It’s like seeing our culture through the eyes of an […]

Bishop T.D. Jakes’ New Movie ‘Not Easily Broken’

posted by Nell Minow

I was privileged to attend the very first showing of the upcoming film “Not Easily Broken,” based on the book by the Bishop T. D. Jakes and starring three of my favorite performers, Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson, and Jennifer […]

Apostles of Comedy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008

Four Christian stand-up comics join forces in this performance film that combines hilarious commentary on all of the absurdities of life with very touching glimpses of the men at home and their fellowship with each other. Anthony Griffith, Brad Stine, […]

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