21 awesome family movies you may never have heard of

Penny Zeller, Christian Author
Our family is always on the lookout for wholesome family films for our weekly Family Night. Some of the best movies we’ve ever seen have been undiscovered gems we’ve stumbled across by accident.

The 20 undiscovered treasures below are in no particular order. Some are newer and some have been out for awhile, but they all are must-see movies for your next Family Night!

 

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

The Redemption of Henry Myers (12+)

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Finding Normal

Clancy

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

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Though None Go With Me

The Gospel of John

Time Changer

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Last Ounce of Courage

The End of the Spear (13+)

King’s Faith (13+)

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Hidden Places

The Perfect Gift

Duma (12+)

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Seasons of Gray

Christmas Angel

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The Good Book

No Greater Love

Christmas Oranges

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Backroads and Lilies

Civil Love

 

For a listing of other fantastic movies, check out my Mom-Approved Movie List.  Interested in movie reviews? Go to my Mom-Approved Movie Reviews tab.

 

 

Movie Monday – Facing the Giants – 1/16/12

Penny Zeller, Christian AuthorThis week’s Movie Monday choice is Facing the Giants.

We watched Facing the Giants when it was first released and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it, so we watched it again just this past weekend for Family Night.  It has a little something for everyone – football for the sports fan in your family, touching drama,  humor, and most importantly, a strong message. It shows dependence on God and the importance of standing together in marriage, even when the world around you is falling apart.

Coach Grant Taylor is going through some trials in his life. The school for which he is a coach wants to let him go because his football team fails to chalk up any wins.  His car barely runs and there are some maintenance problems in his home.  There’s the possible betrayal of a close friend. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that he and his wife are facing infertility problems.  It’s during this difficult time in his life that Grant realizes how much he depends on the Lord.  Grant spends time in prayer and in the Word, and gives the entire situation to God.  God, in turn, uses the situation to change more than just Grant’s life.

Several minor characters in this film deliver a strong impact. One is a school employee who walks by each locker daily and prays each student. Another character, a football player’s father, is a Godly role model for his son and for those watching the film. A couple of football players have a change of heart in the movie and one makes a decision that impacts his life for eternity.

On the cover of the DVD, the words at the bottom state: “Never Give Up; Never Back Down; Never Lose Faith.” This movie delivers a touching and realistic look into the lives of a man struggling with the difficulties in life.  It’s a winner in more ways than one and I highly recommend it for your next family night.

For more movie suggestions, check out my extensive  movie listing at https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/mom-approved-movies-for-families/

Movie Monday – Pendragon – 12/5/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s Movie Monday suggestion is Pendragon: Sword of His Father...

I usually don’t watch movies in this genre…but I purchased this DVD for my husband and sat down to watch it with him. What an awesome film! It is very well done and has faith components woven throughout. It’s also packed with adventure and a great plot. My favorite part about this movie is that a family joined together to produce it.

I also appreciate that tweens (approximately age 10 or 11) and up can watch it (no younger children due to the fighting sequences) without the worry of inappropriate content. I hope the Burns Family will continue to make films and include the same integrity as this film possessed.  A definite must-see!

Stay tuned for the continuation of the Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Celebration and be sure to enter!

Movie Monday – End of the Spear – 11/21/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s Movie Monday movie is End of the Spear

Before I launch into my review of this wonderful movie, please be aware that this movie is not for children. Rather, this movie is for teenagers and older due to violence and some frightening themes.

That said, End of the Spear is, in my opinion, one of the best movies. A group of missionaries embark on a missions trip to a remote part of Ecuador to teach the Waodini tribe that there is more to life than the constant killing amongst tribes, which has taken place for generations. Their tribe is nearly becoming extinct and they think nothing of brutally killing each other.

The missionaries risk their lives to share the profound truth of the sacrifice one Father made so all of His children could have eternal life. Among the missionary group are members Nate Saint and Jim Elliot.

One of the most touching lines in the movie is when Steve Saint, the son of one of the missionaries, Nate Saint, asks his dad if they will use their guns if the Waodani attack them. Nate gently tells his son that they won’t be using their guns because the Waodani aren’t ready for heaven yet.

Nate Saint and the rest of the group were brutally killed by the Waodani tribe. Later, Steve, his mother, and several other missionaries live with the Waodani and it is then that God begins to soften the hearts of those in the tribe, one person at a time. Later, we see the Gospel written in the Waodani language.

As I watched this movie, I was reminded of all of our missionaries all over the world who risk their lives to share the Gospel. Theirs is a sacrifice that we oftentimes forget, but must make an effort to remember. Through their sacrifice, they teach others of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Breathtaking scenery, vivid Gospel parallels, and a strong theme of forgiveness make End of the Spear a movie I won’t soon forget.  Highly recommended for those ages 13 and older.

Movie Monday – Soul Surfer – 8/29/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s family movie suggestion is Soul Surfer…

I remember hearing about Bethany Hamilton’s frightening ordeal of losing her arm (and nearly her life) to a shark attack while surfing. When the movie was released, I hoped for two things: (1) that it would relfect Bethany’s faith and how that faith saw her through horrific trauma in her life and (2) that it would be a family movie. The movie met my expectations on both accounts – I loved this movie!

Family unity and loyalty is strong in Soul Surfer and that is one of my favorite things about the movie. It’s apparent that Bethany, her parents, and her brothers are a closeknit family and that they truly care for each other. When times are difficult, we need those we love most to come alongside us. Bethany is also surrounded by loyal friends, who rally around her, not only during her surfing competitions, but also after her accident. What amazed me was that she and her best friend competed in competitions, yet they didn’t allow that to interfere in their friendship. What an example of how to love your neighbor!

There are many opportunities for discussion in this film:

1. Bethany sneaks out at night to go surfing. I’m not sure she had a consequence, but this provided a great discussion point nonetheless. 

2. There is a girl Bethany surfs against who is spiteful and mean. How should we handle people like that in our own lives?

3. At one point, Bethany becomes discouraged about what happened. Why do bad things happen? Does the Lord distance himself from us during those times? Or does He forever remain by our side, never leaving us and never forsaking us?

4. Another great discussion topic is about modesty, as at times, the bathing suits are a bit immodest. And finally,

5. Bethany embarks on a missions trip. At times when we feel as though things couldn’t be any worse in our lives, all we have to do is look around and see the pain and the suffering of others. Then, reach out and offer assistance.

I loved this movie. Yes, I bawled after Bethany was injured (I’m a mom after all!) and yes, I bawled at the end. It is a powerful movie that points to God, family, and determination. I would highly recommend it for those ages tween and up. Younger children will be frightened by the shark attack, although it was tastefully done and not prolonged.

Movie Monday – Saving Sarah Cain – 8/8/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s family movie suggestion is Saving Sarah Cain ~

This movie is based on the book by bestselling author, Beverly Lewis. It is a well-made movie with strong redemption themes. Sarah Cain is given custody of her nieces and nephews when her sister dies. However, there is a huge difference between Sarah’s life and the life her sister led. Sarah is on the fast track as a journalist in Portland, Oregon. She has only herself to worry about and is set on being a well-known syndicated columnist. Her sister, Ivy, on the other hand, had joined the Amish and her main focus was her family.

When Sarah receives the news, she has no idea how her five Amish nieces and nephews are going to fit into her neat and tidy self-absorbed life. Add into the mix Sarah’s dysfunctional upbringing and her dedicated fiance, who wants nothing more than to marry Sarah and spend his life with her.  So Sarah decides to bring her nieces and nephews to Portland – away from the life they’ve known. How will this affect them?

This movie has many great discussion opportunities. Among them are greed, selfishness, temptation, following the crowd, death, and what’s really important in life. Is it money and a career? Or is the little lives an adult can shape and mold for God’s glory?

Younger children will not understand the plot and will likely be frightened by the death of the mom (although how she died is not shown). Therefore, I would highly recommend it for those ages tween to adult. This is a movie that will stick with you long after you’ve watched it. Kudos to Michael Landon, Jr. for directing another film void of violence and objectionable language.