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Modern Religious Themed Movies: 5 Movies Since 2000 That Shaped the Genre

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 11:15 AM

Religious-themed movies have been made as long as movies have been filmed, and some of this country's biggest classics ("The Ten Commandments" and "The Greatest Story Ever Told," for example) are tinged by spiritually.

Modern religious-themed movies continue to bring in big box office numbers by those who believe in the message and by those who are genuinely curious to receive it. Here are five of the religious-themed movies since 2000 that have shaped the modern genre:

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1. "Bruce Almighty" (2003)

This is one of Jim Carrey's classic performances where he combines hilarity with strong acting while coming to terms with the questions he asks of God. The movie is funny – and Morgan Freeman's God is fantastic – but it's also more than that. Writes Spiritually & Practice about the film: "'Bruce Almighty' is about the grace that abounds in our lives when we open our hearts." Not bad for a Jim Carrey movie.

2. "Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter … and Spring" (2003)

A monk and a young boy who's training to be a monk live in a small enclosure in the middle of a lake, and they grow older together and apart as the seasons advance. New York magazine writes about the movie: Writer-director Kim Ki-duk "exalts nature – life’s passage – without stooping to sentimentality. He sees the tooth and claw, and he sees the transcendence. Here is an artist who sees things whole."

3. "The Passion of the Christ" (2004)

A Mel Gibson-directed epic, this film depicts the final 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ and drew plenty of hype. In fact, with the movie grossing more than $600 million, according to The Guardian, there were predictions after the movie's release that this film could shift the mindset of the studios. "Commercial movie studios don't want to make overtly political films," an executive told CNN in 2004. "On the other hand, the movie industry is all about making money. If these movies have a real audience, at least one of the studios is going to want to make some of them."

4. "The Da Vinci Code" (2006)

The movie follows main character Robert Langdon as he investigates a murder that leads him to a secret society that has harbored a religious mystery for 2,000 years. "It taps into a lot of longstanding stories about Jesus in America," Stephen Prothero, chairman of the religion department at Boston University, told the Christian Science Monitor in 2004 before the movie was released. "... One thing that makes people so interested in Jesus is that we don't have the answers. We've got these Gospels, but there's a lot of unanswered questions."

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5. "Noah" (2014)

Russell Crowe plays Noah, the man in charge of saving every animal species in the world before God delivers a mighty flood to cleanse the Earth. While Breitbart.com calls the film "brilliantly sinister anti-Christian filmmaking," a Dallas-area rabbi Geoffrey Dennis told the Dallas Morning News that "Noah" is one of the best biblical epics in history.

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Religious-themed movies have been made as long as movies have been filmed, and some of this country's biggest classics are tinged by spiritually. Modern religious-themed movies continue to bring in big box office numbers.
modern, religious themed, movies, films, hollywood, spiritual
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2015-15-22
Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 11:15 AM
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