Here is my list of the best spiritual movies. Though movies offer a powerful combination of music, story, and visuals, it’s rare they rise to become truly profound. Here I attempt carve out the profound from the spiritual, as I’m tasked with distinguishing this list from the massive collection at the Spirituality & Practice site which lumps 1917, Toy Story 4, and eco-documentaries under the banner of spiritual films.
I consider inspirational movies a different category than spiritual moves, so you won’t find Remember the Titans on this list although I love it!
Most of these spiritual films date from the 1990s and early 2000s. While I’ve seen a number of recent films that sounded intriguing, they ultimately proved more entertaining than spiritual. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments.
I’ve split the list into 5-star and 4-star ratings. Here is an overview of the best spiritual movies and TV series or two, along with links to the reviews.
the best spiritual movies
5-Star films include: Fearless, Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Inner Light, The Thin Red Line, American Beauty, and Ansel Adams
4-Star films include: The Matrix, World of Tomorrow, Going Clear, Blade Runner, Our Town, Jacob’s Ladder, Unforgiven, Into Great Silence, The Fountain, and Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again
If you want more spiritual movies, check out the list of the top 50 spiritual movies at IMDB.
One thought on “Best Spiritual Movies”
The movie that elicited the strongest affect in me recently was “Whisper of the Heart”. This is an anime film from the 90’s. It is a simple story of a young girl who is beginning to ask herself questions. The story itself, while sweet, isn’t the source of affect for me. In fact, I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but I get an almost overwhelming sense of nostalgia from this film. The creators very effectively create a mood of innocence, adventure, and discovery. It is one of the few films I can watch over and over again because it is about mood rather than the story.
A film I watched last year at the urging of one of my daughters was Wonder Woman. When she was in the scene with the evil guy (a god I think) and they are fighting and she begins to discover her powers, it suddenly dawned on me that this was a film on realization. She is born and raised on a sequestered island. She is thrown into the world and simply reacts to her environment. Her reactions are honest, selfless, and all-in. She was never told she was divine, she discovers it, she realizes who she is.
Another recent anime film that you may have seen or heard about is “Your Name”. It is an emotional film about a deep connection between a boy and a girl who switch places for awhile but then completely forget who the other is. While their story is heartfelt and captivating, the scene that struck me hard was toward the end after they had forgotten each other. They keep saying “I am always searching for something or someone.” One day he is on one train, and she is on another and the trains briefly travel next to each other and the boy recognizes the girl and the girl recognizes the boy. At this moment of recognition, when in an instant they remember what they had forgotten, they suddenly realize what they were searching for.