20 Religious Movies You Shouldn’t See

People have always raised their heads to the sky in search of the author of the creation of this world. Who started all this and why everything is happening this way – representatives of religions just undertook to answer such questions. And with the advent of cinema, religious stories were embodied on the screen. In our list, we have collected films about religion in different genres: from philosophical dramas about the search for God, thrillers about the struggle between good and evil, to black comedies on the verge of a foul.

The Exorcist’s Apprentice (2020)

According to the plot of the film, every day in the world there are more and more cases of possession by the devil. And although the higher ranks of the ministers of the church are skeptical about exorcism, seminarians from a special school are involved in the work. One of them is a capable guy Daniel. Together with an experienced mentor, he goes to the first business and immediately encounters a powerful evil – a child possessed by a demon killed his entire family. Daniel will have to look into the gloomy depths of the soul and face his own demons in order to defeat the enemy.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
The Seventh Day

Genre:
Horror, detective

Actors:
Guy Pearce, Vadir Derbez, Stephen Lang…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.2, IMDb – 4.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018)

Biographical feature film on a religious theme tells about the last days of the life of the Apostle Paul. The Roman citizen Saul was the most bitter hater of Christians until he himself heard the voice of God. After this event, the man went blind for three days and was healed by Ananias. Having received his sight spiritually and physically, Saul was baptized and received a new name – Paul. The reward for enlightenment and devotion to religion was persecution, imprisonment and a death sentence for the hero.

Original title:
Paul, Apostle of Christ

Genre:
Drama, adventure, biography, history

Actors:
James Caviezel, James Faulkner, Olivier Martinez…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Silence (2016)

The religious film is set in 17th century Japan. The government relentlessly persecutes Christians. Two young Portuguese arrive in the country in search of their mentor, the Jesuit Ferreiro. Priests go to certain death, hoping only for God’s mercy. Faced with terrible trials and seeing how local Christian believers suffer, they decide to carry the word of God at night, reading the Gospel, blessing people and listening to confessions.

Original title:
Silence

Genre:
Drama, history

Actors:
Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson …

Country:
USA, UK, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Monk and demon (2016)

This Russian film about priests is a vivid representative of the tragicomedy genre with elements of mysticism, which tells about the duality of the human soul. The action of the film takes place in the first half of the 19th century. In the center of the plot is the monk Ivan, who comes to the monastery and asks to be accepted into his ranks. However, along with him, a demon in human form enters the sacred house. The devilish creature is trying in every possible way to tempt the monk so that he turns away from the path of serving God.

Genre:
Comedy, fantasy

Actors:
Timofey Tribuntsev, Georgy Fetisov, Boris Kamorzin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
12+


You believe? (2015)

The action of the American film about religion begins with a scene on the street when a preacher with a wooden cross asks the pastor if he believes in Jesus Christ? And what is he willing to do for the sake of his faith? These words prompt the priest to rethink the service to the Lord. He goes on a journey where he will meet people whose path to faith is filled with trials, pain and loss.

Original Title :
Do You Believe?

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
D. N. Hey, Sean Astin, Brian Bosworth …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Spotlight (2015)

This film about the church is based on real events and touches on the sensitive topic that real evil can be hidden behind the disguises of the clergy. The facts proving cases of seduction of young children in the walls of Catholic churches fall into the hands of journalists . Despite the suppression of evidence, threats from officials and constant obstruction of the investigation , colleagues from the Boston newspaper begin to dig deeper. And the shocking truth they learn will cast doubt on the unshakable authority of the church.

Original title:
Spotlight

Genre:
Drama, Crime

Actors:
Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 8.1

Age Limits :
18+


Newest Testament (2015)

But what if God is a simple person with a rather bad temper and bad habits? On this topic, the creators of a black comedy with subtle humor, philosophical overtones and excellent visuals decided to dream up. According to the plot of the film, the Creator lives in Brussels and creates his own kind or world catastrophes on an old computer, depending on his mood. He has a daughter – a mischievous girl who, for the sake of prank, throws off the date of death to the inhabitants of the Earth by SMS, and then runs away altogether.

Original title:
Le tout nouveau testament

Genre:
Fantasy, comedy

Actors:
Benoit Pulvoord, Catherine Deneuve, Francois Damiens…

Country:
Belgium, France, Luxembourg

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


God is not dead (2014)

Foreign film on religious topics touches upon deep issues that disturb modern people of different views, beliefs and nationalities, including the confrontation between religion and atheism. The story revolves around freshman Joshua Wheaton and his philosophy professor. A devout and zealous Christian, Josh sets out to prove to the class that God exists. The audience turns into a makeshift courtroom, where classmates will serve as jurors, and the professor will become the prosecutor.

Original title:
God’s Not Dead

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper, David E.R. White …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 4.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

An epic film about religion leads the viewer on the trail of Moses – from the general of the pharaoh’s army in Egypt to the leader of the Jewish slaves. In the same year that Pharaoh ordered the destruction of all Jewish babies, Moses was born. By chance, he ended up under the wing of the ruler and was raised as the brother of the future pharaoh Ramses. Despite the fact that the children grew up in the same family, they were separated by fate and ideology. Exiled from Egypt, Moses returns to his homeland years later to fulfill his destiny – to lead the Jewish people out of slavery.

Original title:
Exodus: Gods and Kings

Genre:
Fantasy, action, drama, adventure

Actors:
Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver …

Country:
UK, Spain, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.0

Age restrictions:
12+


Noah (2014)

We are all familiar with the biblical story of the great flood and Noah’s ark. God decided to punish the human race for sins, and the only righteous Noah built a huge ship to save relatives and animals. What did Noah have to go through when faced with the horror of visions about the end of the world ? Who prompted him the way to salvation and helped with the construction of an unusual structure? And how could Noah refuse those who have no place on the ark? You will get answers by watching this film related to the history of religion.

Original title:
Noah

Genre:
Drama, adventure, fantasy

Actors:
Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winston, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
12+


Calvary (2013)

The film is about a priest who suddenly finds out that he has seven days to live. Father James is a humble man and devoted religious servant. But it is he who will have to pay for the sins of his predecessor, according to the words of a stranger. One mysterious parishioner confesses to being sexually abused by a priest and intends to kill James the following Sunday. The clergyman has only seven days left to put things in order and find out how much his flock is mired in sins.

Original title:
Calvary

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly …

Country:
Ireland, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


We have a dad! (2011)

Next on the list of the best religious films is a film about the Catholic Church and the worldly doubts of one pontiff. After the death of the Pope, the country is waiting for a successor to take over. The Vatican makes a choice in favor of Cardinal Melville. All he has to do is go out onto the balcony and bless the believers according to the traditions. However, having experienced extreme stress, the new Pope becomes hysterical and refuses to accept the post, and then runs away. Dressed in worldly clothes, hanging out on the streets and visiting a psychotherapist , Melville is trying to comprehend what is happening and understand – why is he?

Original title:
Habemus Papam

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Michel Piccoli, Jerzy Stuhr, Renato Scarpa …

Country:
Italy, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


About people and gods (2010)

The film is based on the true life of the Cistercian monks in Algiers from 1993 until their abduction in 1996. In a monastery somewhere in the Algerian mountains, eight monks live in harmony with the local population. Most of them are as well versed in Islam as they are in Christianity. And adherence to different religions does not prevent the ministers of the Christian faith from living in harmony and peace with Muslim neighbors. However, the country is more and more plunged into chaos and violence. As tension builds, the brothers must decide whether to stay or leave.

Original title:
Des hommes et des dieux

Genre:
Drama, history

Actors:
Lambert Wilson, Mikael Lonsdal, Olivier Rabourdin …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Pop (2009)

The movie, based on the novel by Alexander Segen, tells about the fate of priests as part of the Pskov Orthodox mission during World War II . In the center of the plot is Father Alexander. He lives on the border with Latvia in the village of Zakaty and is engaged in the revival of the Russian church in the period from 1941 to 1945. He became a mainstay of the entire village, along the way helping orphaned children, sheltering Jews and interacting with the partisans . However, after the liberation of the territory from the invaders, together with other priests, Father Alexander was sent to a prison camp .

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Sergey Makovetsky, Nina Usatova, Elizaveta Arzamasova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Letters to Father Jacob (2009)

The creators of an interesting Finnish film with a high rating managed to convey intangible things on the screen and answer a difficult question – what is God’s love? Leila is embittered and indifferent, because the woman spent the last 12 years of her life in prison. And even the news about the amnesty does not give her strength, because she has nowhere to go at all. A former prisoner gets a job with a blind provincial pastor. All you have to do is read the parishioners’ letters. The stories of love, hate, forgiveness and suffering described in the letters completely change the worldview of the heroine.

Original title:
Postia pappi Jaakobille

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Kaarina Hazard, Heikki Nousilainen, Jukka Keinonen …

Country:
Finland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.3


Doubt (2008)

The action of the film about religion takes place in 1964 within the walls of a closed church school in the Bronx. The director of the institution – the demanding sister of mercy Elozius – is tormented by doubts about the priest of the church, Father Flynn. One day, information about the strange relationship between Flynn and a black student, who is also one of the altar servers in the church, falls into her hands. A religious woman decides to take matters into her own hands and begins her own investigation.

Original title:
Doubt

Genre:
Drama, detective

Actors:
Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Adam’s Apples (2005)

Our top movie about church and religion will continue with a popular black comedy about lonely people with a difficult fate who find themselves in one place. Somewhere in the Danish outback there is a church whose pastor is ready to accept any scoundrel into the walls of the sacred temple. So here are various hooligans, anti-social personalities and neo-Nazi Adam, sentenced to corrective labor. No one knows why the priest should gather so many scum around him, but he definitely intends to direct the motley guests on the true path.

Original title:
Adams æbler

Genre:
Drama, comedy, crime

Actors:
Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicholas Bro…

Country:
Denmark, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

The film is loosely based on the events of the Middle Ages leading up to the Third Crusade, the war between Jerusalem and the Ayyubids. After committing a crime, the young gunsmith Belian has to flee from his native lands. So he ends up in the ranks of the Crusaders. Ahead of the hero are a ten-year campaign through a foreign country, a meeting with a beautiful queen, battles to protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem and maintain a fragile peace.

Original title:
Kingdom of Heaven

Genre:
Action, drama, adventure, military, history

Actors:
Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Marton Chokash, Liam Neeson …

Country:
USA, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Luther (2003)

Historical film about the legendary religious reformer Martin Luther tells about the events of the XVI century. The German monk Martin is not ready to put up with the betrayal of faith and the deplorable situation in which the Roman Catholic Church is mired. Luther is fighting corruption and deviations from church statutes, demanding the translation of the Holy Scriptures, a revision of church administration and the prohibition of indulgences. An active position leads the monk to be declared a blasphemer.

Original title:
Luther

Genre:
Drama, biography, history

Actors:
Joseph Fiennes, Alfred Molina, Jonathan Firth …

Country:
Germany, USA, Czech Republic, Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
12+


Dogma (1999)

The controversial film was condemned by the Catholic League even before its release. Two fallen angels – Loki and Bartleby were expelled from heaven after drinking. Once in Wisconsin, an unfortunate couple tries to find a loophole to return to heaven. And they find – you just need to go through the church doors in New Jersey, which promises the forgiveness of all sins. However, the guys do not understand that this can threaten death for all of humanity. Stopping the end of the world falls to a very interesting company – the prophets Jay, Silent Bob and Rufus, the niece of Jesus Christ and the dancer Serendipity.

Original title:
Dogma

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, comedy, adventure

Actors:
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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