With Noah winning the movie theater box office gross over the weekend, I decided to list my top 10 Bible films for you all to enjoy. I will not go door to door telling you the good news, so how about you take a gospel gander at my reviews below.
Russell Crow stars in this movie which could not be further from THE TRUTH and closer to my heart for that very reason. Take a secular second to enjoy this atheist produced production. Director Darren Aronofsky called this movie “the least biblical film ever made,” which seems hyperbolic if you consider every film ever made. Remember Dana Carvey in The Master of Disguise? That had so little to do with the Bible, I actually didn’t believe in God for all 90 minutes of that garbage, albeit, I never did. It turned the silver screen into an eroded bronze, but I digress. Noah is closer to a live action Final Fantasy film than the original allegory. I’m pretty sure they don’t even say God in it. Seriously. This movie might as well have been called We Bought an Aquatic Zoo: Also Battles.
Score: 2 of Every Animal out of 2 of Every Animal
The 10 Commandments (1956)
Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s DVD collection without this film. Charlton Heston does not let my attention go with this epic epic. This movie has everything, the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus Christ, how many bad puns… I am so sorry. But this Bible movie is the lists bread and butter, and that bread was multiplied on a hill, at some point. Getting the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, its production value is nothing to shake a stick at, but you can shake a staff. Moses does.
Score: 10 out of 10 Commandments
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Who likes torture porn? I’m asking for a friend, and that friend is Mel Gibson! If you saw my face while I saw this movie, you would assume it was a 2 Girls, 1 Cup reaction video. It was like a Saw movie, but with a hell of a lot more Jews. I didn’t stay to watch the whole thing, but I bet they tagged on a Hollywood ending and made the hero come back again. You see Jesus, portrayed by Jim “10 abs” Caviezel, aggressively nailed to a piece of wood like a Animal House poster in a freshman dorm room. Watch this movie with someone you want to break up with. RIP Jim Belushi & Jesus
Score: 1 out of 3 Nails
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
Led by the insanely powerful falsetto of Ted Neeley (Jesus), this rock opera written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice is a filmed production of the hit Broadway musical of the same name. It explores the celebrity of the man, the myth, the legend. I am absolutely biased because I love and majored in musical theater. I also hung out with Ted Neeley when the musical came to my college. That Namaste filled, denim covered hippy is the kindest man I have ever met. He has played Jesus longer than Jesus was Jesus. Every song is catchy and addictive, like an airborne cocaine, which is really just cocaine. It should be performed in front of its movie screening, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but with less lingerie, unfortunately. Do yourself a favor and watch this musical.
Score: 3 out of The Three Tenors
Monty Python’s The Life of Brian (1979)
We all know this belongs here and in your DVD collection. The Monty Python team delivers quick, dry, physical, smart, blue, and Vaudevillian humor all wrapped up in this classic comedy. I don’t know anyone with a sense of humor who doesn’t like and quote Monty Python. It follows the life of Brian, the boy who at his moment of birth, was mistaken by the 3 Wise Men as the baby Jesus – then quickly ignored when they figured out they had the wrong barn. Jesus was born in a barn, right? Describing any of the bits and jokes in this unreputable review for you would be unreputable, and not do any justice. I will spoil one great joke for you. You get to see Brian’s dick.
Score: 1 Brian’s Dick out of The Window
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Willem DeFoe is Jesus. Willem DeFoe is Jesus. Willem DeFoe is Jesus! And he is in this movie.
Enjoy more of this cast & crew: Harvey Keitel is Judas Iscariot. David Bowie is the S&M loving Pontius Pilate. Martin Scorsese is the director, who has a great sense of humor because guess who he got to score this Bible movie… Peter Gabriel. Yeah. Peter Gabriel from Genesis. You get it? Because you should get this. David Bowie isn’t dance-magic-dancing in this film, but they crucify the green goblin because Mr. White from the Reservoir Dogs ratted him out before a dinner party. If that doesn’t impress you, you need to go to church.
Score: 5 out of 5 Fingers that Broke Off a Leper’s Handhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtngZIBNBbE
You can remove Charlton Heston from my favorite actor list when you pry him from my cold dead hands. This Roman era slave saga doesn’t last 12 years, but 212 minutes. I am including this film in my top 10 because Christ’s Sermon on the Mount is a plot pivot. A Jewish prince, Judah Ben-Hur, is framed, sold into slavery, taken, and Liam Neeson doesn’t save him because he was only 7-years-old when this epic reached theaters. And for those movie buffs with terrible memories, do you remember that classic megalithic image of a hostile 9 chariot race, featuring 36 armored horses, and 15,000 extras that become so iconic that it created the trope? Yeah. That’s this movie. Ben-Hur is the only Hollywood film that made the Vatican’s approved film list in the subject of religion, when I did research for this sentence.
Score: 4 out of 5 Pope’s Approved This Message (Ratzinger is a dick)
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
This is not the prequel to Prince of Persia. Luckily Jake Gyllenhaal stayed away from this one. The film made this list for the kids. It is an animated musical! It’s basically the Book of Exodus, and by that I mean it is the Book of Exodus but a much better read because it’s a movie. It follows Moses from his ah-ha moment when he was a prince to his mass exodus of Israelites from Egypt. Enjoy the probability that one person reading this just discovered the origin of the word exodus. It was scored by Hans Zimmer. Yes, that Hans Zimmer, and features the voice talents of Michelle Pfeiffer, Ralph Fiennes, Steve Martin, and Martin Short, to name a few. Who couldn’t love a little biblical romp featuring Cat Woman, Voldemort, and 2 out of the Three Amigos?
Score: 2 out of the Three Amigos
The Chronicles of Narnia (all of them)
Take one obvious Jesus allegory, mix in every lesser creature from Greek myth, add a flourish of British accents, cook on high for potentially 7 different movies, with 3 filmed & 1 in pre-production, and serve hot to every child as old as 35, and you have The Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve been told the Christ–like lessons and morals are much more obvious in the books, but I don’t have time to read the books, I have three Narnia movies to watch with the subtitles on. I do believe the New Testament skimped on sword fighting field mice, but maybe they remembered to write it into the sequel. (That was a Book of Mormon joke) These movies aren’t just for geeks who aren’t cool enough for Harry Potter. They are also for people who have never heard of Harry Potter.
Score: 3 out of 5 Points for Gryffindor
X-Men: Days of the Future Past (2014)
I know it’s not a Bible movie, but it looks so good that it made my list. I want to see it now! NOW! Do you need a reason? Go watch the extended trailer and you will see the face of God.