5 Spectacular Non-Christian Movies with Profound Christian Themes

Ilana Quinn
4 min readMay 28, 2022

Faith-based movies that won’t make you cringe

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I’ll be the first to admit Christian movies often miss the mark.

In an era where vibrant stories and characters can be brought to life using spectacular art, technology and cinematography, it is disappointing to see the Christian film industry recycle old plots and clichés.

In conventional Christian movies, problems faced by characters are often relatively small and uncontroversial to appease audiences, leaving little to challenge viewers.

The secular world and the people in it are depicted as evil, while the church is deemed incorruptible, giving irreligious viewers a visceral reaction and forgetting that us Christians are just as messed up as everyone else. Sometimes more.

In short, many Christian movies mistakenly overlook the concept of redemption—God’s ability to rescue and restore the most downtrodden from the ashes — that is integral to the Gospel message.

While there are some fantastic Christian films made by explicitly Christian production companies, I’ve also found some captivating secular films that both strengthen and challenge my faith.

1. Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking is a 1995 film based on the anti-death penalty book by Catholic nun and activist, Sister Helen Prejean. The movie navigates the difficult concepts of morality and justice as Sister Prejean — played by acclaimed actress Susan Sarandon — provides spiritual counsel to a death row inmate. Despite his bitterness, racism and generally unlikable personality, the two become close.

Sister Prejean grapples with the evil of the crime Sean Penn’s character has committed and laments the pain of the victims’ families. However, her faith is predicated on the belief humankind is inherently flawed, but has been offered the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Ultimately, the story advocates for the concept of grace: forgiveness given to those who do not deserve it, which turns out to be all of us.

2. A Hidden Life

A Hidden Life is another true story of a humble Austrian farmer, Franz…

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Ilana Quinn

I am a university student who writes under a pseudonym about history, life and faith. https://linktr.ee/ilanaquinn