The Fathom event, Steve McQueen: American Icon encore comes to theaters again for one night on October 10. This fascinating, entertaining documentary is hosted by Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. Steve McQueen: American Icon tells the story of the life of one of America’s most enduring and intriguing movie stars. It is a redemption story which chronicles McQueen’s retreat from the world of fame and fortune, as he searched for meaning, truth and significance. It reveals how Steve McQueen experienced a transforming, fulfilling faith at the end of his life. This heartfelt movie is engaging and inspiring.
“They said that he could act with the back of his head! No fancy dialogue or frills required—his mere presence loomed larger than life in every shot. Put him next to some of the finest actors in the business, and he would undercut every one of them simply by being in the frame. His piercingly distinctive blue eyes were set in a rough-hewn, unconventionally handsome face that rarely betrayed strong emotion. His smallest physical gesture was precisely calculated and gracefully executed. You couldn’t best him, you couldn’t buy him, you couldn’t touch him. He was the King of Cool. He was Steve McQueen.” (Esther O’Reilly)‘ iconic film starring legend Steve McQueen
Also, coming to theaters for one night as a Fathom Event on October 13, is 6 BELOW: Miracle on the Mountain. From the director of Act of Valor, this wonderful movie is based on the incredible true story of professional hockey player Eric LeMarque. He survives physically and spiritually, after being stranded atop the High Sierra Nevada mountains for 8 days. He is forced to face his past and rediscovers his faith as he struggles to survive. With its outstanding cinematography and acting, this movie opens in select theaters nationwide & VOD on October 13th.
Surviving eight days in sub-freezing temperatures, Eric earns the name, ‘The Miracle Man,’ as he stuns the National Guard Black Hawk Chopper rescuers. His survival story includes the following elements: harrowing adversity, dramatic change, inspiring hope, clever ingenuity, remarkable perseverance, spiritual restoration, and ultimate triumph.
On February 6th, 2004, Eric, an expert snowboarder, set off for the top of 12,000-foot Mammoth Mountain in California’s vast Sierra Nevada mountain range. He was wearing only a long sleeve shirt, a thin wool hat, the shells of his snowboarding pants and a lightweight jacket. He had only four pieces of gum with him. He found himself chest high in snow, plunging into the wilderness. By nightfall, he knew he was in an intense fight for his life.
Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down) powerfully performs Eric in this riveting movie. Academy Award®-winner Mira Sorvino captures hearts as plays the role of his mother, who intensely fights for Eric’s life with him, others, and in prayer.
The second week of October also presents many other good redemptive, family movies in theaters. Another new, redemptive, heartfelt family movie, The Stray, is about Mitch Davis and his family. Mitch is a workaholic executive for a big studio in Hollywood with a passion to become a screenwriter. His son, Christian, is being bullied at school and desperately wants his father’s attention and time. Mitch does not understand his son’s needs. A stray dog helps Christian fight off a bully. The family adopts the dog, whom they name Pluto. Mitch takes Christian, Pluto, and two other boys on a trip to the Colorado mountains where they encounter a threatening storm.
This movie is based on a true story artistically directed by the real Mitch Davis, who lived to tell his tale of being struck by lightning. This PG movie is for the entire family, although the storm may be scary for little children. This entertaining movie teaches valuable lessons such as forgiveness, sacrifice, and trust in God.
Many other redemptive and family movies for all ages are prevailing at the top of the box office the second week of October. Among these outstanding, uplifting movies is A Question of Faith. In this powerful and engaging movie, three families are struck with tragedy that intertwines them, but sets them free collectively and personally. There are twists and surprises that bring hope to audiences. In the converging, growing, deepening journey, the characters find and experience God’s love, grace, and mercy in their deepest places and resurrection of their personal and collective faith. This movie is especially inspiring in a time such as this.
Among other top picks remaining in theaters is Dunkirk. This riveting movie inspires courage and compassion with its true story of sacrifice and grit as individuals risk their own lives in water rescues manned by volunteers and professionals to save others in harm’s way. This has been a top pick movie at the box office for adults since its release the third week of July.
Personal and corporate courage and compassion, as people serve, sacrifice, and save strangers and communities, revealing the best in people in the worst of times, is a recurring and inspiring theme in the true stories in top pick movies, as it is today in our real lives.
The courageous and compassionate efforts of people in the US and around the world in response to hurricanes, fires, and tropical storms have been inspiring. Likewise, the true stories of courage and compassion in current movies in theaters is also encouraging.
Dunkirk immerses audiences in the harrowing, heroic, amazing events of 1940, when Germany trapped Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk, France. Under skilled air and ground cover from British and French forces, British crews and boats, including civilian, courageously, carefully, and safely evacuated 330,000 French, British, Belgian, and Dutch soldiers from the beaches.
This powerful, thrilling movie (rated PG-13) is most suited for adults, due to intense war violence, although there is little that is gratuitous or inappropriate in terms of language or behavior. The courage, sacrifice, and camaraderie of soldiers and civilians is deeply inspirational.
The acting and cinematography is outstanding. Although the dialogue is often difficult to understand, the action speaks for itself. In this movie, everyman and everywoman role models and heroes are significant in their positive potential influence on viewers. Research provides evidence that those who observe and identify with role models are significantly influenced by the role models for good. Those who role model compassion, sacrifice, and courage can inspire it in others, as we are seeing played out in real life currently in flood rescues.
Although not depicted in the movie, it is also noteworthy that a National Day of Prayer that was declared on May 26 for the soldiers trapped at Dunkirk. People from all walks of life came to British churches to pray. It was this call to prayer that compelled many civilians to bring their boats to Dunkirk to help save the courageous. A unifying National Day of Prayer was also declared on Sept. 3, 2017 for the rescue and recovery work in the Houston, Texas region.
There were miraculous answers to prayer for Dunkirk. First, Hitler stopped the advance of his armored columns at the very point when they could have proceeded to annihilate the British army. Second, a huge storm over Flanders on May 28 grounded the German Luftwaffe squadrons and enabled the British army formations eight to twelve miles from Dunkirk, to move up on foot to the coast in the dark and rain of storm. Third, the English Channel was amazingly calm as the vast armada of little ships, big ships, and warships rescued the stranded soldiers.
The British were so grateful for the great deliverance at Dunkirk that June 9 was appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving. The Daily Telegraph published C. B. Mortlock’s article in which he stated, “…the prayers of the nation were answered…the God of hosts himself had supported the valiant men of the British Expeditionary Force.”
Because Of Grácia is another top pick movie still in theaters. The movie has many positive themes about the following: friendship, faith, redemption, and grace, as well as the value and importance of Godly relationships. The story is about a high school senior, Chase, who is an ordinary, unmotivated student until he meets new student, the popular Gracia. Chase learns she is also a Christian. Gracia, Chase, his best friend, and a pastor’s daughter find their voices, as they confront contemporary teenage challenges with their high school. This PG-13 movie is good for teens and adults.
Also, remaining at the top of the box office as a top pick for kid is Cars 3. This movie is a rare G-rated animated comedy adventure for kids and families by Pixar. It has no foul language, but it has some light crudity. See videos, photos, and more on IMDb. In this movie, legendary Lightning McQueen is blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers. Suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves, he wants to get back into the game. He needs the help of an eager young race technician. She has her own plan to win with inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet along with a few unexpected turns. Cars 3 celebrates small-town, American values. It is appropriate for all ages.
A movie for kids, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, remains in theaters. This PG-rated, animated, action-adventure movie is the third movie in the LEGO movie series. It’s based on the LEGO Ninjago sets and also features characters from the LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV program.
The story is about Lloyd (James Franco), a teen misfit who suffers at school because his absentee father – who is the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux) – constantly threatens his home, Ninjago City. However, Lloyd’s secret is that he is the Green Ninja. Lloyd and his friends, who are also secret ninja, constantly save the city from Garmadon. However, during a battle, a terrible monster is unleashed on the city. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), Lloyd, and his friends embark on a perilous journey and learn to trust their power.
The LEGO “Ninjago” franchise has some Eastern mysticism and occult elements in its TV and toys versions; but the comical, new animated movie is basically free of such problematic, objectionable content. The plot of the movie has a strong, family, moral premise about reconciliation of a son with his father and reunion with the boy’s mother and father. It is a movie with a lot of heart, fun action, and comedy.
Kids who have liked the previous The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, who have watched LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, or who have played with any of the toys, will like this movie. Adults will like references to the 1980’s. The young ninjas are warriors by night and ordinary teens by day. This movie is appropriate for older children through adults.
Further remaining at the top of the box office, Despicable Me 3, which is PG-rated, has some light crude elements and lots of cartoon violence, but is moral and redemptive as it celebrates faith and family in the midst of action-packed adventures. It has no foul language. Gru, wife Lucy, and their three adorable daughters (Margo, Edith, and Agnes) along with the Minions and Gru’s twin brother, Dru (both twins are skillfully voiced by Steve Carrell), are involved with fast-paced adventures filled with heart and satirical humor for all ages. Despicable Me 3 (PG-13) is suitable for older children through adults.
It takes effort and research to find good movies with worthwhile values through good reviews from trustworthy, wise sources (Sonoma Christian Home, Movieguide, Focus on the Family, Dove and more.) Uniquely, each week Sonoma Christian Home not only provides reviews of worthwhile family movies, but it also publishes the top picks in movies in theaters for all ages that are not only entertaining, but they are redemptive, of good quality, and inspirational.
The top pick movies for the second week of week of October Steve McQueen: American Icon encore, Tuesday, October 10 and 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain, October 12. These are suitable for teens and adults. A Question of Faith (PG) appropriate for older children through adults; The Stray (PG) for the entire family; Cars 3 (G) which is appropriate for all ages; Dunkirk (PG-13) which is appropriate for older teens and adults; and Because of Grácia (PG-13) that is a good movie for teens and adults. Other suitable movies for families are Despicable Me 3 (PG-13), which is suitable for older children through adults, The Nut Job 2 (PG) which is appropriate for older children through adults, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which is suitable for older children through adults.
In weeks and months ahead for this year, there are many more promising family and redemptive movies for various ages. They include the following: Revive Us 2, 10/17; Same Kind of Different as Me, 10/20; I’ll Push You, 11/2; The Star, 11/10; Paddington 2, 11/10; Good-bye Christopher Robin, 11/10/2017; Genesis: Paradise Lost, 11/13; Ferdinand, 11/15; Wonder, 11/17; Let There Be Light, 12/24; The Greatest Showman, 12/25, and On Wings of Eagles (TBA).
The modern Renaissance of artistry and Reformation of content continues with the production and distribution of good redemptive movies with the patronage and support of investors and consumers.
Remember to research movies before you see them. Hold out for the best. What we see in movies affects our personal lives, our families, and our culture. Support in every way you can, the best of family and redemptive movies, so that more like them will be made. Choose and support the best that will affect us all positively for eternal good.
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard