12 Mainstream Movies with Subtle Christian Themes

Movies can reaffirm or promote our beliefs. For decades, they have been used to spread the message of the Almighty, whether through epic works like "The Ten Commandments" or "Ben-Hur" or through low-budget indie dramas aimed at churchgoers like "Fireproof" or "Left Behind."

There are other films that, while not overtly Christian, have subtle and positive messages that are equally inspiring. Here are 12 (one for each apostle) for you to choose from.

First Reformed Church (2018)

One might say that the screenwriter of Taxi Driver has spent his life making Christian-themed films, but the faith of Paul Schrader (who is a Calvin College graduate) is most evident in this A24 film. Ethan Hawke plays a priest who searches for hope in an increasingly corrupt religious world, but his journey of survival leads him down a violent path.

Where to stream: Digital Rental, Kanopy, Cinemax


Less cynical than "First Reformed," Nate Shyamalan's horror film about an alien invasion stars a faithless ex-pastor. As the secrets of the plot come to light, the film's central theme - does the Almighty have a grand plan? — became quite obvious.

Where to Stream: Digital Rental

Devil's Advocate(1997)

This legal thriller/horror hybrid was made during the "yell-and-scream" period of Al Pacino's career and centers around a young lawyer (Keanu Reeves) whose spotless legal record will He was taken to a prestigious New York law firm, where he was slowly corrupted by his own lawyers. The Boss (Pacino). The film's excessive nudity and crude language make it inappropriate for family movie night, but it does touch on Christian themes such as the seven deadly sins and Lucifer's fall from heaven.

Where to stream: Digital Rental, Tubi

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

When the big-budget movie adaptation of Madeleine Engel's novel was released, some worried that its Christian elements would be overlooked. Yet the film stays true to the original's core themes: that there is meaning in our chaotic universe, and that our weaknesses can become our greatest strengths.

Where to stream: Digital rentals, Disney+

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Speaking of young adult fantasy adaptations, this blockbuster about "two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve" who discover a magical land in a closet delves into Christian themes. They become undeniable when Aslan, the wise lion, sacrifices himself for a child at the center of the story and is resurrected, just as a certain Christian would for the world.

Where to stream: Digital rentals, Disney+

Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

Like CS Lewis, author of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , author and devout Catholic JRR Tolkien (and friend of Lewis) did not shy away from the fact that his novels, as well as these award-winning films, were based on Based on his novel. Religious theme. A simple Google search will reveal a variety of explanations, from a ring representing temptation to the wizard Gandalf's resurrection after his death.

Where to stream: Digital Rental, Max

The Blues Brothers(1980)

Between epic car crash scenes, musical cameos and a classic soundtrack, the plot of this hilarious film revolves around a pair of brothers (Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi) who get their band back together Together, they host a fundraiser for the orphanage where they live. Growing up in, was religious. Like Joan of Arc, the titular character sees a heavenly vision that sends them on a "mission from God," though it's doubtful he asks them to drive through a shopping mall to escape the police.

Where to Stream: Digital Rental

Lars and the Real Girl(2007)

Ryan Gosling is having a moment right now, so it would be unwise not to include one of his movies on this list. At first glance, this comedy about a shy soul who becomes (chaste) friends with a sex doll may not seem like a film that reflects Christian values. Yet, surprisingly, its themes of tolerance, faith and love prompted churches to use the film as a teaching tool.

Where to stream: Fubo, MGM+, Hoople, Tubi, Pluto TV, Kanopy, digital rentals

Chariots of Fire(1981)

One run is to overcome intolerance; the other is to glorify God. It tells the true story of British sprinter Harold Abrahams (a British Jew) and Eric Liddell (a Christian missionary) at the 1924 Olympics, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1982. What sets this inspirational film apart from other sports films is that both men firmly believe that their athletic abilities are part of a higher purpose. Each of them found strength in staying true to their beliefs.

Where to Stream: Digital Rental

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

There's a reason Frank Capra's film about redemption and life is everyone's favorite holiday movie. It also touches on faith, purpose, and family—many touchstones of Christianity.

Where to stream: Roku Channel, Freevee, Plex, Hoopla, digital rentals


Aside from the recent drama between real-life Michael Oher and his adoptive family, the inspirational sports drama's underlying themes are charity and faith. The Tuohys speak openly about their Christian faith and believe their faith in God makes everything possible.

Where to Stream: Digital Rental

Leap of Faith(1992)

The comedy looks like a typical Steve Martin movie, with the comedian exchanging banter with the likes of Liam Neeson and Debra Winger. The film tells the story of a traveling preacher/con man who works "miracles" every night at his revivals, but when the real divine events happen, he doesn't understand why. While the film begins by depicting Christianity as a get-rich-quick scheme, it turns into a profound meditation on faith and God's plan.

Where to stream: Max, digital rentals