Religion is the belief in a higher power, and the faith and worship surrounding churchgoers can cause a lot of strife. Different religions around the world have different twists on the same story, and it can cause sometimes-violent rifts to break out. Even people of faith have their moments of doubt. This list is focused on Christianity, as it’s very familiar ground in Hollywood films.
Here are the top 20 movies about the Christian religion and church.
20. The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Investigator Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is called in to investigate a murder at the Louvre Museum that may shake the foundation of Christianity.
19. Leap of Faith (1992)
A touring Christian evangelist (Steve Martin) runs a bogus faith-healing business that ends up stuck in a remote Kansas town and pull the trick off one too many times for the local law enforcement to close a blind eye.
18. Doubt (2008)
A charismatic priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is suspected of having inappropriate contact with a young boy, so the nuns (including Amy Adams and Meryl Streep) call for his resignation.
17. Calvary (2014)
A good-hearted priest receives a death threat from an unknown parishioner one day in confession. The following days show him grappling with the reality of being a religious figure.
16. Keeping the Faith (2000)
A priest (Edward Norton) and a rabbi (Ben Stiller) get involved in a love triangle with the same woman.
15. Priest (1994)
Rev Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is both gay and a devout Roman Catholic priest has his life changed when a little girl confesses she’s been abused by her father.
14. First Sunday (2008)
Two thieves (Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan) set out to rob a church, but it’s already been robbed, and now they’re involved in the investigation to get the money back.
13. The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
A cleric (Denzel Washington) is visited by an angel and begins to question his faith as the angel falls in love with his wife.
12. The Nun (2018)
A young nun kills herself and turns demonic, leaving a priest and novitiate to exorcise her.
11. Lilies of the Field (1963)
Sidney Poitier helps a convent of Roman Catholic nuns on a rural Arizona farm and ends up being pulled in for more work.
10. The Exorcist (1973)
A young priest and an old priest are called to exorcise a demon possessing a little girl.
9. Dead Man Walking (1995)
Sean Penn is a death row inmate who calls upon a nun played by Susan Sarandon for help.
8. The Fighting Temptations (2003)
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce are childhood friends leading a church gospel choir for much different reasons. Will he finally see the light?
7. Black Nativity (2013)
Jennifer Hudson sends her kid to live with Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, but he’s unable to handle the strict rules and goes on a journey back home.
6. Saved! (2004)
Mary (Jena Malone) is a devout follower in a Christian high school whose boyfriend reveals he’s gay, she’s pregnant, and everybody’s judging her.
5. The Two Popes (2019)
Pope Benedict and future Pope Francis reach common ground in the Vatican for the good of the Catholic Church’s future.
4. Sister Act (1992)
A Vegas lounge singer (Whoopie Goldberg) is in witness protection among nuns, but she can’t keep her musical ability to herself.
3. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)
Milla Jovovich is the French woman who heard the voice of God and followed it to both French victory and her own death for heresy against the English.
2. Joyful Noise (2012)
Pitch Perfect…but for gospel choirs, with singers like Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah belting the gospel out for God.
1. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Jesus (Willem Dafoe) realizes he’s the son of God, but his doubt allows him to be tempted toward a normal life married to Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey). He inevitably realizes his folly and accepts his death, resisting the final temptation of Satan.