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Top Catholic Movie Reviews Of Films Your Family Is Sure To Love

Everyone likes a good movie. Not just a movie with good acting and an entertaining storyline. A truly good movie. With all the evil in the moviemaking industry these days, it can be hard to decide if you even want to get the DVD player going just to be disappointed or scandalized.

That's why we are providing this page for you. On this page, you will find Catholic movie reviews. Each of the titles listed here is made by Catholics for Christian audiences. Enjoy the wholesome entertainment being brought to you through these films that were made just for people like you. Enjoy!

1. Our Catholic Movie Reviews List Would Not Be Complete Without The Title That Inspired Us To Make Movies: Navis Pictures' The War Of The Vendée

Catholic Movie Reviews

"They have killed our earthly king and now they want to kill our Heavenly King."

The War of the Vendée follows the true story of the heroic uprising in the Vendée region of Western France against the architects of the French Revolution. After the execution of King Louis XVI, the peasant farmer Jaques Cathelineau knows that he must take a stand against this demonic regime if the Faith is ever to survive in his beloved France.

He is joined by many of his friends and neighbors in his stand, most notably Captain Charette, Stofflet, and young Monsieur Henri. Together, these men plan on overthrowing the madness taking place in Paris or at least holding the Revolutionary armies away from their peaceful villages. The most important thing to them is the continuation of their priests to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and educate their children in the Faith.

This film was made with over 250 children actors, most of them from homeschool families. When our director, Mary, saw this film as a child, she was inspired to make other wholesome Catholic movies. We are forever indebted to Mr. Morlino's work with this film.

 

Not only does The War of the Vendée tell a story that needs to be told, but it marks the beginning of the Catholic movement to make wholesome independent entertainment in the 21st century.

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2nd On Our Catholic Movie Reviews, The Passion Of The Christ Recounts All That Christ Suffered During His Passion And Death On Good Friday

Passion Movie Poster

"For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting."

For the first time ever, a really good telling of Christ's passion is brought forth by Icon Productions. This film is based on the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich as recounted in her The Dolorous Passion. The Passion of the Christ follows every detail of the hours leading up to Jesus' death on the Cross. 

The powerful film shows an angle that is also not often shown to us: the constant temptation that Satan offered to Christ to escape his torturous death. In the film, Satan is frequently seen after the Agony in the Garden always appealing to Jesus to save Himself.

This film gives the compelling love and heroism of Christ's life and death, with a few flashbacks on His life. The film is in Aramaic and Latin, which you would think would be difficult to follow, but the captions are actually almost unnecessary because the visual tells the story on its own.

This is a must see for all Catholic audiences. It shows us that our duty in this life is only to give back to Christ as much as we can what He gave so freely to all of us: His very life. He suffered not only death, but the worst imaginable death that was dealt to Him with demonic zeal from His executioners. All this is shown very clearly in The Passion of the Christ.

Catholic Movie Reviews #3: A Man for All Seasons Where Silence Speaks Louder Than Words

A Man For All Seasons Movie Cover

"God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."

It is often said of St. Thomas More that, in his personal case, silence spoke louder than his words. A Man for All Seasons tells the story of this heroic man's silence through the eyes of his closest relatives.

After Cardinal Wolsey fails the king and the chancellorship is taken from him, King Henry VIII gives the title to Thomas More, a good and upright lawyer who has helped him with many great accomplishments in the past. 

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When Henry VIII gets his divorce, he expects complete conformity from his new chancellor. He is not too upset when he can't find Thomas at the wedding, but harbors a secret mistrust of him.

As matters escalate with the king's Act of Supremacy and false accusations against Thomas start to amass, however, Thomas decides to resign hoping to retire in a peaceful life while staying out of politics.

But Henry wants Thomas' approval.

He will stop at nothing until Thomas' name is on the Act of Supremacy. Oliver Cromwell is only too happy to fulfill the king's wishes as the new chancellor with the help of two of Thomas' old acquaintances: the Duke of Norfolk and Richard Rich.

Thomas does all he can to keep out of trouble but the end is inevitable: death is the price he pays for his silence.

Points to Consider: The Lord's name is taken in vain. Of course, since this movie is about Henry VIII, there are some adult themes as well.


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Catholic Movie Reviews #4: Zita Is A Great Low-Budget Film Inspired By The True Story Of This Saint's Life

"I cannot believe it. I am the foremost trader in all of Lucca. I always get a good bargain and get my way. Yet, with Zita, I feel as if...Did I just use the word 'compromise'?"

Zita is a children cinema film that will take you through the life of St. Zita of Lucca. We watched this movie as a family a little bit ago and were very impressed with the amount of quality the Bona Terra Family was able to accomplish.

Zita goes to work as a servant girl for the Battelli family when she is very young. Soon after her arrival, she learns the unkindness of her master and fellow servants especially in respect to her religious spirit. She suffers many trials and mockery for her Faith but she keeps on building her relationship with Christ. 

If you enjoy this film, you may want to color our St. Zita coloring page, which you can print for free here...

Eventually, she softens the heart of all those around her, turning them all into better people. She even works her way up to becoming the head housekeeper of the family's mansion.

Even in her low position, she still remembers those less fortunate than herself, even prevailing on the master of the house to be generous to the poor of their village.

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This movie follows the entire life of the saint, ending with her holy and peaceful death. In Zita, the acting was pretty good, the lines were easy to understand and we were very impressed with the sets the Terra Bona Family was able to accomplish.

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Catholic Movie Reviews #5: Signum Crucis' Version Of Outlaws Of Ravenhurst, Another Portrayal Of The Same Story Of The Persecuted Catholics In Scotland

"The Earl of Ravenhurst must always stand for God and Our Blessed Lady, let the cost be what it may."

Outlaws of Ravenhurst is such a good story that we know of three people who have made it into a film in recent years. Here is the version made by Signum Crucis in 2010. This film tells the historical fiction story written by Sister M. Imelda Wallace about the persecution against the Catholics in Scotland in the 17th century.

George Abell's entire world gets turned upside down when he discovers that he is not really an Abell farmer boy, but a Scotch heir to an earldom. His Protestant uncle Roger comes all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to reclaim the Maryland boy and bring him back to his people and rights.

Sir Roger and his wily friend Godfrey find trouble when they realize that the Gordon (George's real title) is deeply rooted in the Catholic Faith. They are ready to go to any extreme to bend his will from the faith to earthly rewards.

This low-budget film is a wonderful retelling of Sister M. Imelda Wallace's beloved novel. You and your family are sure to enjoy this children cinema film made by Signum Crucis.

Catholic Movie Reviews #6 The Reluctant Saint: Its Name Says It All, Giuseppe Did Not Appear To Be An Aspiring Candidate For Sainthood!

"Do you think I kept you in school all these years for this piece of paper? Do you think it didn't break my heart to see you, a grown man, among school boys? But at least I knew where you were!"

The Reluctant Saint is the lighthearted retelling of the story of St. Joseph of Cupertino. Giuseppe is certainly not the brightest person in his class. As his mother says, he is "a grown man among schoolboys".

His father has an easy solution, though: have a special diploma given releasing Giuseppe from school.

But now Giuseppe's mother must find something else for him to do all day. He loses job after job on account of his stupidity. When Giuseppe's monk uncle comes to visit his mother, she has a new plan to have the monastery to take care of her foolish son.

Giuseppe still finds trouble, but the bishop of the diocese befriends him and even has him ordained. Giuseppe has a simple but strong faith in God and a special devotion to His Holy Mother. This faith, along with his humility, makes Giuseppe grow in devotion and holiness, so much so that he actually rises from the floor in a state of ecstasy during the consecration of his Masses.

This power raises questions in the monastery. Some of the monks are sure it is from God, others insist that it is given by the devil. An exorcism will tell the truth: Is it divine or demonic?

Above all, this movie shows that pride comes before the fall. It proves that God will "put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble." (Luke 1:52)











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7. Looking For An Entertaining Historic Epic? Then You're In For A Treat With The Siege Of Vienna

For Christmas, I received the movie The Siege of Vienna. We enjoyed reading the battle of Vienna in the book, Ten Battles Every Catholic Should KnowAfter watching a fan created video on the battle of Vienna using footage from this film, I was really looking forward to watching this movie.

This epic film captures the true and inspiring story of the defeat of the Ottoman Turks during their massive expansion on Vienna, called the "Golden Apple" by the Moslems. Caught in the drama is a humble Capuchin, Fr. Marco D'Aviano (F. Murry Abraham) who is commissioned by the Pope to start a new Holy League to face the growing threat of the Turks in Europe. Included in this league is the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold, and the elderly King of Poland, Jan Sobieski. But these polar opposites find one another appalling and are not on good terms.

With the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Kara Mustafa on the march with 300,000 Turks, Fr. Marco has the unfortunate task of bringing Leopold and Jan together before Europe is lost to the believers of Allah. When "the feminine eunuch", Leopold, abandons Vienna to her destruction, it is the "barbarian with a cross", Jan, that comes to the rescue with his famed Winged Hussars.

It seems today that many people, Catholics included, like to harbor the false idea that Moslems and Christians worship the same God. This movie triumphantly proclaims otherwise with both Moslems and Christians strongly stating that they each worship two very different Gods.

Points to Consider: This was a fantastic Catholic historical war movie that I would recommend for a young adult audience. Words like "damn", "eunuch" and demeaning words for women were used.

We did fast forward three scenes:

This first scene was a bathing scene with the Grand Vizier getting a massage. As a director, I can say that the sensual parts of this film could have been left out without ruining the storyline. I think the point that they were trying to make is that Moslems are motivated by base desires.

The second was when Fr. Marco blesses a sick woman who has an abscess on her breast. The third showed some rough treatment of some of the captured European women at the hands of the Moslems. 

Several Moslems obviously have a harem and favorite wives are talked about. All these disturbing things are true historical facts and are portrayed somewhat tastefully.

A little strange storytelling element was that Marco is being both followed and guided by a wolf. This feels like this could be his guardian angel like how St. John Bosco's angel disguised as a dog.

We are Hildegard von Bingen fans and she writes that wolves are full of airy spirits and are evil. This makes the relation with the guardian angel/dog weird.

In the end of the film, the wolf is revealed as being the soul of Marco's deceased grandfather who, for some reason, could not find rest. This is, of course, not sound Catholic teaching.


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8. CABRINI Is A Powerful Story About The Determination And Perseverance Of This Strong Italian Missionary

Cabrini Movie

As members of the Angel Guild we were thrilled to get the opportunity to screen this film this last week. This film was phenomenal!

What was even more amazing about screening it was being able to interview some of the Angel representatives after the show. 

This film, directed by Catholic director Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Francesca Cabrini (perhaps there's a story there?), was a powerful telling of St. Frances Cabrini's amazing determination and perseverance. Her strong faith permeated the entire film but wasn't preachy or boring like standard modern saint films.

A big mistake I have often seen in saint films is trying to tell the story from birth to death. This was definitely not the case with CABRINI

This film told a focused story about Mother Cabrini's work in New York, beginning with her appeal to Pope Leo XIII. It touched a little on her childhood and past and wrapped up with talking about her other missions, but for the most part, the film was focused and concise.

Subtle and great storytelling was employed startlingly well. A prime example of this method is seen in the fact that Mother Cabrini arrives with a small number of sisters. As she continues her work in New York, more and more sisters appear, deftly telling a silent success story.

Mother Cabrini's powerful character was portrayed without betraying the saint's sanctity. Although humble and ready to obey, she is equally self-assured and ready to assert what she knows must be done to better the living conditions of Italian immigrants who are treated unfairly in New York's bustling society.

To show that her work wasn't only for the temporal betterment of her people, a prostitute is saved from her lifestyle by the holy mother. Adult themes are implicated, but the film is still kid-friendly as there are no "scenes". 

Another compelling feature of the film was the saint's submission to God's will. After hearing that it was unlikely that she would live for another 3 years, Cabrini's response is far from that of despair. She seems instead to feel that, as her time is short, she should be sure to spend her time as wisely as possible, planting seeds so that her mission work would continue after her death. 

Bottom line to this review is this: if you have felt like perhaps CABRINI looks a little dark, which is what we definitely felt from the trailers, you really should go and see it. Far from feeling depressing, the film was an uplifting story about an extraordinary missionary. The packed theater in Denver that we saw should tell you something about this inspiring film. Be sure to see it when it comes out on March 8th!



 

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Mary, Faustina and the crew are eager to talk to you all things movie!




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