20 Great ‘Protestant’ Films

Brett McCracken | October 27, 2017


The legacy of the Protestant Reformationmarking its 500th anniversary this monthhas echoed down through the centuries in almost every area of life. But what about the movies? Where has the story and spirit of Protestantism been seen on screen? 

Though there have been countless films with Protestant characters (sadly, often villains), a handful of movies about Martin Luther, and at least one recent documentary on Calvinism, what films have captured well, if less directly, the best parts of Protestantism? 

I asked a handful of Christian film writers and scholars to consider this question and suggest films that seem either overtly Protestant or that provide a compelling picture of a Protestant principle, particularly sola gratiathe notion that salvation comes not by works but through the unmerited gift of grace. 

Here are 20 we came up with: films that may not be “religious” but nevertheless spark theological reflection and speak to the Reformation’s big ideas: 

Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955): Shot in a slow, minimalist visual style that echoes the spare landscape, stern piety, and repressed emotions of its rural Denmark setting, Dreyer’s film is demanding but worth the effort. Ordet (Danish for “The Word”) visualizes the…


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