Pop some popcorn and get comfy with these Lent & Easter themed family-friendly short list that CathFamily has compiled.
The Passion of Christ.
This Mel Gibson epic is certainly NOT suitable for young children or older children who have sensitive dispositions. However it is the most realistic film adaptation of the Passion story and it is worth exposing your kids to it at some point. My husband fast-forwarded through the really gory bits with our young teens and have no regrets.
Jesus of Nazareth.
This is a classic film by Franco Zepherelli that is suitable for all ages and tells the story of Jesus’ whole life, not just the passion. Definitely a must-see at some point in you children’s life
The Ten Commandments.
This Charlton Heston epic is not something to be started at 8pm. However, it is a fantastic retelling of the story of Passover with excellent acting and the glint of Hollywood’s golden age of film making.
The Prince of Egypt.
This Dreamworks animated feature film tells the life of Moses and the story of Exodus in a beautiful production with memorable songs and some well-illustrated examples of virtue and faith. It was a favorite of the younger kids and the older kids found it more than tolerable. (Not that they would actually admit they liked a ‘religious’ movie!)
A very recent TV miniseries which brilliantly places the stories we know and love in the context of it’s grand narrative. It has been watched by millions is perfect for a rainy day TV marathon.
Son of God.
An oscar-award winning film that grew out of The Bible miniseries. It has caused some controversy over the characterisation of Jesus. However, there is plenty of good in the film and it provides a good conversation starter to explore some basic Christology with the kids.
Yes, this is another Charlton Heston epic, but one that you can totally justify as suitable Easter viewing! It follows the story of Judah Ben Hur, a Jew who is sold as a slave and wins his freedom after several years. He falls away from God with a fame and fortune as a Charioteer. Upon returning to his home in Jerusalem, he learns about this person Jesus and regains his faith after witnessing his crucifixion. It is a huge movie that has both the steady, narrative building pace of old Hollywood and some extremely fast-paced action that will put you on the edge of your seat. It’s three hours, so start it early and it is suitable for all ages.
Lord of the Rings.
No, we’re not stretching things here. There are some very clear Christological and redemptive themes in Lord of the Rings that are pervasive yet subtle enough to slip by the more skeptical older teens. The triumph of goodness and virtue in the face of a seemingly all-powerful evil is exactly the kind of message you want to drive home this season. Actually, this is a good movie any time of the year. All of our kids love Lord of the Rings. It’s the go to comfort movie when someone is sick or having a bad day. Getting the extended editions makes this an epic 12 hour marathon which is perfect for a rainy day.