The 5 Best Movies About Priests

Thursday, September 13 by Gregory Wakeman

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There is an odd connection between priesthood and cinema. Directing luminaries like John Woo, Martin Scorsese and Danny Boyle each flirted with taking a place on the altar before deciding that they belonged behind the camera. Still, there haven't been too many cinematic tales that have rightfully depicted the church. However, there have been some attempts. These five films are the greatest movies to revolve around priests. 

Father Brian Finn, "Keeping the Faith"

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One of the main reasons why people decide not to enter the priesthood is the fact that you have to leave off the loving for your entire life. Other than that, it would be over-populated. Ed Norton's directorial debut tells the tale of a priest who falls in love as he begins to lose his faith. He also punches Ben Stiller in the face, something we've all wanted to do at one time or another.

Father John Flaherty, "Monsignor"

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Superman as a priest? Now we've seen it all. But he isn't the greatest role model for want-to-be members of the cloth. He seduces a nun, kills Nazis in World War 2 and even sells black-market cigarettes. "Monsignor" was not very well received by critics and failed to perform at the box office, too, with Clark Kent blaming this on poor editing. It is pretty bad, but it will make you think that maybe being a priest isn't a terrible occupational choice after all.

Father Merrin, "The Exorcist"

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The greatest movie priest ever? Probably. Max Von Sydow's portrayal of Father Merrin sees him attempt to take the evil spirit out of Linda Blair's Egan MacNeil, who becomes possessed. Rather than serving Communion, reading from the Bible and genuflecting before the altar, he has to put up with some pretty gruesome goings on that involve vomit and pus! "The Exorcist" makes priests seem cool.

John Preston, "Equilibrium"

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Christian Bale is a priest/warrior/cop who joins a resistance movement and utilizes his Kung Fu skills in an attempt to overthrow the tyrannical government of the future. So it's pretty much an adaptation of the Bible then, isn't it? He doesn't spend too much time reading passages from the work of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and he lets his fists do the talking for him.

Padre Benicio Del Toro, "Machete"

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If every priest had this name, then I'm pretty sure that the church would have plenty more members. (Not that it's struggling with membership.) If the priests were as gun-toting as Padre, then people would definitely be paying more attention to their sermons! Robert Rodriguez's action exploitation film is an explosive masterpiece, and PBDT is described as "a priest who's good with blessings, but better with guns." Jesus would be so proud.

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