Ethics Movies

Sunday, April 10 by Thomas West

If you are looking for some movies that will challenge your mind and force you to consider the way the world works, then be sure to watch any of the following ethics movies. Although they cross a number of genres, ranging from science fiction to drama, these movies raise some very complicated questions about ethics, morality, and how we go about living in the world.

  1. “Minority Report”-This film, which takes place in a world where crime has been virtually eliminated as a result of prescient (psychic) beings, asks the tough question: if crime can be prevented, should it be so, despite the reasons that crime should be done? It also raises some very troubling questions about corruption and challenges everything that we think about the morality of crime.
  2. “Sophie’s Choice”-Perhaps no ethics film is more touching and troubling than “Sophie’s Choice,” which stars Meryl Streep in the role of a mother who, confronted with the choice (inflicted on her by the Nazis) of which of her children should live and which should die, has to make a choice that no mother should ever have to make. This film challenges us to think about the choices that we may have to make and is both troubling and thought-provoking.
  3. “Dances With Wolves”-This film, which follows the adventures of a Civil War officer who befriends and is eventually brought into the life of a Native American tribe, raises the question of the ethics of the white settlement of the West and the plight of the natives during that period. At times both touching and exciting, this is an ethics movie that also happens to be one of the finest films made in recent years.
  4. “The Matrix”-Although it is cleverly disguised as an action film, “The Matrix,” which tells the story of a young man who must confront the choice of whether he should enter into the world of enlightenment (with all of the responsibilities that entails) or undertake the fight against the Matrix. With its puzzling questions about the nature of free will and the power one has to choose one’s destiny, this is an ethics film that will have you thinking for several hours.
  5. “Wall Street”-If the business world is more to your liking, then be sure to watch this iconic film, which raises some powerful and challenging questions about the ethics involved in the way that Wall Street operates. This is a chilling reminder of the power that Wall Street often wields and the questions about the ethics that sometimes get overlooked.
  6. “The Dark Knight”-Although this film appears to simply be about the crime-fighting hero of Gotham City, it does raise some very unsettling questions about the nature of evil and the lengths to which even those who are good should go in order to challenge and overcome that evil. And you thought it was simply about the Batman’s attempts to overcome the Joker.
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