Christian movies that aren't "Christian movies"

Re the new movie “The Blind Side”, some stories have emerged about the Christian faith of the real people involved & how Sandra Bullock remarked that meeting them made it easier “to have faith in people of faith… they walk the walk”. I haven’t gotten out to it yet, but apparently the Christian element is very present. Yet it is not a “Christian movie”, defined as a movie made by Christians to promote their faith (usually marked by low production values).

So what other movies come to mind which are in this category? To qualify, Jesus must be mentioned as the main spiritual object of devotion and life is improved by faith in him or following him. Prayers being answered is a plus. Just for a challenge, omit Biblical & historical epics, Christmas movies, & movies based on Christian classic lit (Narnia).

Movies that come to mind~
Tender Mercies
Chariots of Fire
Forrest Gump
Sling Blade
A Place in the Heart
Where the Heart Is
IIRC Fried Green Tomatoes

Not sure if Bridge to Terabithia counts because of the “classic lit” qualifier.

It just occurred to me- all these movies are set in the South, except for Dogma.
So extra points if you can think of one set in an upper-scale urban area in which the most prominent Christian character is not a poor but wise black person who teaches her employers the important things of life.

I don’t think you can count Dogma. It is a very Christian movie. Not so much in the preachy What Would Jesus Do way, but hell’s bells, the whole movie is centered around the Christian faith.

Somebody a while ago mentioned their church movie group had a viewing of Lars and the Real Girl - I hadn’t seen the movie at the time and was a little astonished, but after I saw the movie I understood. The Christian element is indeed present (church is a big part of the characters’ lives) but really it’s about loving your neighbor.

My favorite: A Tale of Two Cities. The password is “Recalled to life.” Sydney sacrifices himself for those he loves. The movie, as the book, makes use of “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

Not a movie, but a video game, Fallout 3.

There is a scene at the beginning where a bible quote is referenced, and it keeps coming back throughout the game. In fact, in the ultimate scene/mission of the game, the quote is key. Other than that, there really isn’t much a Christian theme to the game overall, though.

Still set in the South, but Apostle with Robert Duvall. One of his best performances.

I’d thought about The Apostle, which is really interesting to watch along with Sling Blade (some shared locales and bit players) & forget why I chose not to include it.

Movies set in the South that I didn’t mention are certainly welcome. But a film about upscale urbanites in which Christian faith is a part is a rarity.

Althought I just thought of an odd b&w vampire film which may qualify- Abel Ferrara’s THE ADDICTION.

Does The Mission count as a historical epic? It’s dripping with Christian themes (forgiveness, sacrifice) and religion is an important element to the story.

I’ll take it. Same as Chariots of Fire.

That’s good- I kinda edged things like that out as “classic Christian lit”.

One version of a classic that is more blatantly Christian than most other versions was Copolla’s “Bram Stoker’s DRACULA” (also the bloodies & sexiest). There were also more than usual C’tian overtones to the Branaugh “Frankenstein”. While James Whale meant to be somewhat subversive in his use of religious symbols, a good argument can be made for the Christianity of ‘Bride of Frankenstein’.

Angels in the Outfield? I don’t remember if Jesus is mentioned in either of 'em.

None of these are exclusively Christian, but when I read the OP I thought of:

Breaking the Waves, with its message of self-sacrifice and the presence of miracles in everyday life.

Shadowlands, about C.S. Lewis’s doomed wife and how he copes with his grief.

It’s a Wonderful Life, about God helping people see the beauty in their own lives even in the midst of despair.

Groundhog Day, a very funny comedy that is, at its core, about redemption and altruism, with love overcoming cyncism.

Eh? I don’t recall any mentions of Christ or Christianity in Forrest Gump. Am I remembering incorrectly?

My submissions: Constantine and the Matrix series (nothing in there about Christ, but lots of allusions, and lots of stuff about faith in Neo, and presumably therefore in some greater force too),

Does Bruce Almighty count?

And how about the Harry Potter series?

Constantine’s definitely a winner! A lot of supernatural horror is.
The OMEN trilogy for sure. Also, for a non-supernatural one- the real THE WICKER MAN (I maintain that the film, while showing Sgt Howie as an uptight priggish man is still ultimately on his side as a dutiful upright officer of the law & a devout Christian.)

As for Forrest Gump-

I’m pretty sure there’s a scene where Sally Fields tells Forrest that God’s got a special plan for him.

Forrest in (Bubba’s family’s?) church with a strong hint that he’s a regular

Lt. Dan talking about the chaplain in the hospital telling him to find Jesus & he’d be walking on new legs in Heaven “Have you found Jesus, Forrest?”
“I didn’t know He was missing.”

Then when they’re on the boat & the hurricane rises, Lt Dan is out in it, railing at God. Then they emerge the next morning as the only surviving shrimp boat.
Later, Lt. Dan thanks Forrest for saving his life & jumps into the water while Forrest says “I think Lt. Dan made his peace with God that day.” IF THAT WASN’T A BAPTISM SCENE, I don’t know what is!

Then at Forrest’s wedding to JenNAY, Lt. Dan walks into a very Paradisial scene on prosthetic legs with his new wife.

I didn’t think of SHADOWLANDS since the main characters- CSL & Joy were very devout Christians & that almost seemed like cheating, but OK.

By the same token, I’ll add AMAZING GRACE, about William Wilberforce’s fight against slavery in Britain.

Wonderful Life is a good pick! Btw, I maintain that the Joseph is charge of sending Clarence is St. Joseph, JC’s step-dad.

Haven’t seen BtW, did see GH Day & I’ll give ya that!

Another one for the list - Babette’s Feast, which I think is explicitly Christian. One that isn’t but is about Grace & Forgiveness is Enchanted April.

The Road is being marketed to Christian audiences.

I don’t seem to remember Chariots of Fire being set in the South. Paris, Cambridge, Scotland… Don’t remember Harold and Eric coming over to take part in a meet in Baton Rouge.

Dogma counts, because although it is all about Christianity, it wasn’t created as a “Christian Movie”–as a vehicle for proselytizing.

“Christian Lit” and “Christian Movies” and “Christian Music” are marketing genres. So Amy Grant used to be Christian Music, but then moved to Country, but her singing didn’t change, just the marketing. You’ll see all kinds of references to Christianity in Country music, but it’s Country Music, not Christian Music.

(Possibly open spoilers about Bruce Almighty and The Green Mile.)

Bruce Almighty has what is arguably the best presentation of God to come out of Hollywood in recent memory. This passage, in particular, is pretty powerful:

God: But, you can’t mess with free will.
Bruce: Why not?
God: Precisely!

Totally deep and awesome.

My brother is an evangelical pastor from a very conservative denomination, and he was the one who said it really presented the image of God well.

Also, there is a very strong allusion to Christianity in The Green Mile. I seem to recall there being a lot of discussion about “John Coffey” having the initials “J. C.” and being able to perform miracles.