Every year, I look forward to a certain email from my daughter. Yes, I could sign up to get this particular email link myself, but it’s fun to get it from her. Each year, soon after January 1st, she sends me Christianity Today’s list of the “Ten Most Redeeming Movies” of that year.
As CT explains on the link, each movie portrays a story of redemption. Some movies are feel good movies where a main character does an act of kindness to better the life of someone else. Others, even some that are rated R, portray a character who experiences redemption or offers redemption to others and evil is overcome by good.
CT is quick to point out that these movies are often not intended for young viewers. That’s understandable. Grace is a complex theme. Grace cannot be understood without an understanding of law and law cannot be comprehending without a familiary of sin and evil. CT is not saying these are family friendly films. They are judged on one criteria alone – the redemption factor.
I like this list. It becomes a great movie guide for my personal choices. It helps me to look beyond the labels many people attach to a movie to determine whether it’s a good movie – how many four letter words, how many scenes of violence, how many kisses . . That’s a little shallow, too cut and dried, in my humble opinion. When we view a movie, we need to ask ourselves the bigger questions: how does it portray God, how does it treat Christians, what kind of world view does it prevent and does it confuse evil for good and good for evil?
Looking at movies with the perspective of redemption reminds me that sometimes life is messy and ugly and I would like to put my hands over my eyes to shut it out. But God has called us not to block out the sight of evil but to overcome it. Transcending stories like The King’s Speech, Lincoln and The Help give me living examples of how people live grace-filled lives in the midst of a morally corrupt, unfair and sometimes violent society. They make me consider how I might do the same.
This year’s winners? Well, you need to follow the link to get the full list. It’s no surprise that Les Miserables is at the top of the list. Not usually a movie goer, I’ve already been to see Les Mis and I’ll give my movie review in my next blog.
Which of these movies have you seen? What made that movie a story of redemption for you?