Independent Christian Films

Thursday, April 28 by Adam Williamson

Independent Christian Films have become a bit more popular in recent years, thanks largely to a target audience that has become a bit more media savvy.  Most of these films will only see "theatrical" runs at large churches, but they are actually major money makers for their studios.  Heavily marketed at many retail chains, these films are quiet success stories.  Below are ten of the best.

  1. "Facing the Giants" Yes, it seems like a shameless ploy to cash in on the success of "Remember the Titans" and "We Are Marshall," but the film itself is quite nice.  It keeps the usual positive message of Independent Christian films, but does pack a solid story around it. The production values are quite good, and the acting is actually up to Hollywood standards.
  2. "Fireproof" This Kirk Cameron film is perhaps not the best, but it is one of the most successful. Cameron has created a career out of starring in Christian films, and this is one of the best known.  It is a bit less heavy handed than some of his others, and is a good place to start if you want to check out Christian movies.
  3. "What If" Essentially "The Family Man" for the Christian set. It is a touching film that actually manages to be engaging. It is actually a bit better than the film that it shamelessly apes.
  4. "Left Behind" It seems strange to put this film on the list, as it actually is not very good. The production values are subpar and the acting in atrocious.  Even with this said, it is easily one of the most popular Christian films of the modern era.
  5. "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry" A rare period piece for the genre. This film features the requisite wise old man and precocious teens, but still tends to work. A great film for families.
  6. "The Penny" The rarest of the genre, this is a Christian thriller. It tends to have strong themes about chance and fate, and a features a great cast.  A movie that is actually fun to watch even if you don't share its faith.
  7. "Luther" A rare big release Christian film. It chronicles the struggle of the ever famous Martin Luther. A great historical film for Protestants.
  8. "One Lamb" A touching story about loss, love, and faith. As a rare example, it actually focuses on a politician. Not so rarely, it also follows his return to faith.
  9. "Magdalena:  Through Her Eyes" Christian films rarely focus on Mary Magdalene. She has become a rather important figure to recent religious thrillers, but this one is more focused on the woman the scriptures represent. This film is a great look at a little studied figure in Christ's life.
  10. "Faith Like Potatoes" A well known, yet oddly often forgotten, film about faith. It is a rare film that takes place outside the US (South Africa) and stars a cast that is composed mostly of unknowns. Still, it is a wonderful film in its own right.

-Adam Williamson