It’s 7pm Friday night, you don’t feel like going out, but you still want to catch up with mates. The natural thing to do is watch a movie. But have you ever had that difficulty of trying to choose a movie to watch with your non-Christian friends? There are a lot of well-made films out there, but finding one that’s appropriate can be really hard – especially when your friends don’t mind too much about the message or content.
To help you, I’ve taken upon myself the painful and arduous task of ‘watching heaps of movies’. I didn’t just instantly throw out anything that had swear words or a mention of sex; films about these things aren’t necessarily ‘bad’, we just need to be cautious around certain material. In my list below I’ve noted the rating so that you can judge for yourself if it’s worth going for. And I now present to you:
Once – RomCom, Musical – Rated M, ‘Contains offensive language’
Once is an utter surprise of a film, coming out of nowhere to knock the breath out of you, and it’s hard to actually define – it’s not really a musical, but I can’t think how else to express it. It’s a story of two strangers – both musicians – who spend an intense few days together, forever changing both their lives. Funny, touching, simple, and filled with music that will stay with you for weeks, Once is unmissable.
Million Dollar Baby – Drama, Boxing – Rated PG-13, ‘Violence, Coarse Language’
Though not a film you’d choose if you wanted a laugh, Million Dollar Baby is a brilliant movie, which won four Academy Awards. It does actually have moments of humour, but mostly is an unflinching look at dedication, focus, pain and struggle. Directed and starring Clint Eastwood, it’s a modern classic. [Spoiler Warning!] It also deals with the idea of euthanasia, which may sound like a difficult topic to watch with non-Christian friends, but I found it led to great discussion on what euthanasia is and whether it’s acceptable.
The Intouchables – Drama, Comedy – Rated R, ‘Coarse Language, Drug Use’
A lot of people struggle with French films (aahhh subtitles!), but this one is definitely worth it. The Intouchables tells the story of a wealthy, wheelchair-bound aristocrat who hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver. It manages to handle a very touchy subject with a great amount of heart and humour.
The Bourne Ultimatum – Action, Thriller – Rated PG-13, ‘Violence, Intense Action’
Honestly, if you haven’t watched the Bourne trilogy… you need to. And if you have, you need to watch it again. This third installment is undoubtedly the best, with tension that has you slipping off your seat, action that leaves your mouth open, and just… so much more. Admittedly, the story’s quite convoluted (especially if you haven’t watched the previous two films), but you can just ignore the story and enjoy the fun.
Into the Wild – Drama, Adventure – Rated R, ‘Coarse Language, Mild Nudity’
A film about a guy who gives up society, escaping to a life of constant hitchhiking and exploration, perhaps doesn’t sound interesting. But darn it, it is! Into the Wild is part coming-of-age-where-do-I-fit-in story, part journey epic. Along the way you meet some truly wild characters, and by the end of the film you’re wondering: “Where do I fit in?”
So there’s a handful of films to get you going! Happy watching.