Box Office Mojo reports that movies of real-life heroes and heroines continue doing well at the movie theater box office the third week of October: Deepwater Horizon, Sully, Queen of Katwe, and Greater. Other good family movies continue doing well at the box office include Finding Dory and Pete’s Dragon. Further, according to Fandango, The Secret Lives of Pets and other redemptive movies are still in theaters including: Torchbearer, Hillsong-Let Hope Rise, and The Great Gilly Hopkins. Furthermore, Priceless and Maya Angelou and Still I Rise are now in theaters. Finally, I’m Not Ashamed opens in theaters Friday, October 21.
Watch for Sonoma Christian Home’s stories and interviews for I’m Not Ashamed. It is another powerful movie about real-life role models in the true and honest story of Rachel Joy Scott and the Columbine High School shooting. It is a tragic but inspirational story. The movie depicts eternal hope in the midst of tragedy. The ensemble acting in this movie is believable and captivating. When Rachel Joy Scott refused to deny her Lord and Savior in her final moments at Columbine High School, her life was taken. She recorded her prayers and faith journey in her journal that became the basis for her parents’ books about her life. They also were the foundation for the movie, I’m Not Ashamed (PG-13). Glimpses of hope and changed lives for students, parents, and schools have come from stories from the Columbine tragedy.
Priceless is another movie based on true events. It is about a truck driver who drives a truck all night, not knowing it contains human cargo for selling. When he discovers that his “cargo” is two sisters for human trafficking, James must decide whether to walk away or stay and fight for these girls. This movie exposes the evils of the sex trade. Sonoma Christian Home provides a powerful interview for this movie with Luke Smallbone who, with his brother Joel, are a Grammy Award and Dove Award-winning Christian pop music duo, For King and Country.
Sonoma Christian Home also provides an interview with a real survivor of Deepwater Horizon who is depicted as a key character in the movie. This gripping film is about the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded during April 2010 and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history. This redemptive film focuses on the real- life heroes and heroines in this disaster and includes prayer, as does Sully.
Sonoma Christian Home presents another exclusive interview of the screenwriter for Sully in which he tells about relying on prayer to write the winning screenplay. Sully is about the “Miracle on the Hudson” in which Captain Sullenberger saved the lives of all his flight by landing in the Hudson River. Tom Hanks performs well the everyman heroic captain, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.
Disney’s Queen of Katwe, has received many good reviews. It follows a Ugandan slum girl’s rise from a hopeless future to an international chess player. David Oyelowo (Selma) plays Robert Katende, a missionary and refugee of Uganda’s civil war who as a chess teacher sees potential in 9-year-old Phiona Mutesi. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) plays her mother.
Greater is based on an underdog, true football story. Greater is about Brandon Burlsworth who considered one the greatest walk-on, non-scholarship players in college football history. In his small hometown, Burlsworth is mostly known for his horn-rimmed glasses and genuine character. With the support of his older brother, Marty, and their struggling single mom Barbara, Brandon walks on to the Arkansas Razorback team in 1994. He succeeds in the face of seemingly impossible odds.
Torchbearer is a documentary. Phil Robertson, patriarch of Duck Dynasty makes a compelling argument about the absurdity of life without God. The film features real-life footage from events throughout history, leading up to the modern day crisis of radical Islamic terrorism, Phil personally guides viewers through a journey that includes: Athens, Greece; Rome, Italy; Paris, France; and even the notorious Nazi death camp of World War II, Auschwitz.
With a biblical perspective, Phil covers events from the creation of the atomic bomb, to the impact of the Holocaust, and the development of the Civil Rights Movement. He illustrates that God is the only meaningful anchor to a civilized society. He calls viewers to consider our faith.
Maya Angelou and Still I Rise is the first feature documentary about the remarkable writer, poet, actress, and activist, Maya Angelou. After being tragically raped as a child, Maya refused to speak for five years. However, she went on to become an accomplished singer and actress. She also worked with Martin Luther King Jr. Encouraged by the author James Baldwin, Maya Angelou wrote I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was the first of her seven autobiographies.
Voiceless, is about a recently discharged soldier, Jesse Dean. Jesse had a rough upbringing; but because of his wife, he found God and is totally devoted to his faith. He and wife move to Philadelphia for a job as an outreach leader at an old church whose membership has been declining. Everything goes well and he starts to connect to the community. However, he discovers an abortion clinic directly across the street from the church. He goes to his church’s pastor and others in the church to get their help to no avail.
After a tragic and personal event, he comes to a decisive point. He gets involved with the abortion problem; but the more involved he gets, the more resistance he gets from those in the church and community. His wife thinks his actions will get him fired or jailed and is also against him. Finally, he makes a choice. This film encourages viewers to stand up for what they know is right, particularly as it pertains to taking God’s truths into society to address social issues. It addresses the spirit of retreat in relationship to the culture that has developed within the Church.
Sonoma Christian Home gives an exclusive interview with Erin Bethea for Laughing at the Moon. In this film, three unsuspecting people encounter something very strange, but they find the meaning of life. This movie is a character-driven dramedy about an eccentric, altruistic woman, Iris, who comes to live with a self-absorbed, compulsive, snobby roommate, Natalie, who is her complete opposite. Iris’s hilarious antics and Christ-like sacrificial love, totally transform everyone she meets.
To Joey With Love tells the story of the incredible story of Joey Feek. It was filmed as Joey battled cancer. Joey, her family, and friends laugh, smile, and cry with this amazing woman’s journey, as she says her goodbyes to her loving family.
Sonoma Christian Home further provides an exclusive interview for Hillsong-Let Hope Rise. This movie is rated PG but is appropriate for all ages. This is a visually stunning movie with a close and personal look inside the band’s life on the road, at home, and in its spiritual journey. The band talks openly about the ways that God has directed their lives, enabling them to help others through their mission projects.
The Great Gilly Hopkins features Kathy Bates, Glenn Close, and Octavia Spencer. This movie is about a feisty foster kid’s scheme to be reunited with her birth mother. Gilly Hopkins has lived in many foster homes and has outwitted every family she has lived with. To escape her new foster mother Maime Trotter’s (Kathy Bates) endless loving care, Gilly devises a plan that she believes will bring her mother to her rescue. However, when the plan blows up in Gilly’s face, it threatens to ruin her plan to be part of a real family.
Pete’s Dragon is a Disney live-action with great heart. Robert Redford, as wood carver Mr. Meacham, brings warm, captivating acting to the movie. His daughter, Grace works as a forest ranger. The mysterious 10-year-old Pete has no family or home but comes into Meacham’s and Grace’s lives. This fantasy, family movie with no foul elements has many redemptive themes: value of the traditional and extended family; angels in disguise (Elliot the dragon is Pete’s guardian angel); needing eyes to see wonders; need to protect the innocent; value of loyalty and more.
The Secret Lives of Pets is an animated comedy about what pets do alone at home and in their adventures when they are lost. It is an entertaining, redemptive family movie with moral themes. Finding Dory is about Dory finding her biological family. It is delightfully entertaining for all ages. It has no perverse elements and has moral themes.
A wide range of good and redemptive movies for various ages in movie theaters continues in the third week of October. The top redemptive movie picks in theaters for the second week of October are the following: I’m Not Ashamed, Torchbearer, Priceless (PG-13), Queen of Katwe (PG), Greater (PG), Deepwater Horizon, (PG-13), Sully (PG-13), Voiceless (PG-13), Laughing at the Moon, (PG), and Maya Angelou and Still I Rise.
Top pick family movies for the second week of October include Finding Dory (PG), Pete’s Dragon (PG), and The Secret Lives of Pets, (PG). Continue to check reviews on redemptive family sites to make good choices for movies in theaters. Don’t forget that what may seem innocent, may not be. Buyer beware. See further stories, reviews, and interviews about these movies here on Sonoma Christian Home.
To learn more about the author, please visit her site. Dr. Diane Howard has been involved in decades of qualitative and quantitative research on the verifiable power of role models.