Movies List – Sacraments


A friend asked me for a list of films that can be used to talk about the Seven Sacraments with teens and young adults. My friend did not mention if she wanted films that show the interaction of the drama with the sacraments explicitly or metaphorically.

Most of these films refer to the sacramental matter as a sign of grace.

I suggest that if you wish to use a film or show clips, first get a license (unless you are showing the film or clips within the regular school curriculm during the school day; handles the majority of studios.)

You can also get clips at but I advise, always, seeing the entire film first.

I was not given much turn-around time, but here is the beginning of a list. Feel free to comment and add more. I will be happy to add films that you suggest. Most of these films are dramas and deal with the challenges to marriage, reconciliation, etc., so make sure the ratings meet your school policy.

All the sacraments explicitly: The Godfather
All the sacraments metaphorically: The Spitfire Grill

Baptism: The Lion King; The Mighty; Big Fish (also reconciliation and matrimony)

Eucharist: Places in the Heart, Lord of the Rings… I think Part III; The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe, Mostly Martha, Moonstruck, Babette’s Feast (which will put kids into a coma but if he uses the exact last 60 mins. It works), Because of Winn Dixie.

Confirmation: The Winslow Boy; Whale Rider; Spider-Man II

Reconciliation (including restitution in some cases): The Mission, The Straight Story, Changing Lanes, Shreck (all guys), Home Alone, Les Miserables; Toy Story; Smoke signals; Cry the Beloved Country; The Power of Forgiveness (documentary); Son of Rambow; Fireproof; the End of the Spear; The Painted Veil (also Martimony); Life as a House

Anointing of the Sick: Marvin’s Room, Brideshead Revisited; Dead Man Walking (also reconciliation); Shadowlands; charlotte’s Web; Departures (Japanese film; excellent)

Holy Orders: See this list that just came out: Top Ten Priest Movies. It seems to only list American films and I don’t really think Bing Crosby’s old movies are that realistic – they are romanticized visions of the priesthood. I love Robert Bresson’s DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST (though its spare visuals may not appeal to teens) and KEEPING THE FAITH which would be excellent for young people; also BECKETT and MASS APPEAL (though dated, it is very good on the priesthood.) (Nor does the list does not include films about bishops and popes.)

Matrimony: Shall We Dance (Richard Gere); The Enchanted April; Fiddler on the Roof; Paris, Je t’ame (22 vignettes some appropriate for high school)


  1. I have used Opal Dreams to introduce unit on Sac of rec and Sac of anointing of sick with 7th graders.

  2. Hi Sr. Rose,

    What do you think about “Chocolat” as a metaphor for Eucharist/

    We used 20/20’s “What Would You Do – Aiding The Fallen” at our Confirmation Retreat on Saturday. It is a modern Good Samaritan story and powerful as an example of our call to “Be The Light”. You can watch it here:

    Bob McCulloch

  3. Hi Sr. Rose,

    I’ve always like Gregory Peck in “A.J. Cronin’s “The Keys of The Kingdom” for the sacrament of Holy Orders. It is romanticized and heroic, but the priest is real and cares more for the people than his missionary conversion count. This is a pre-Vatican II priest but his faith walk with the Chinese he encounters is forward thinking and welcoming, yet he is a man ready to protect and defend when his flock is threatened. His first Christian convert, Joseph, was played by Benson Fong who started a chain of Chinese restaurants in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and around town. I think only the Hollywood restaurant survives. The cast is impressive. Check it out. I agree that Diary of a Country Priest is the best movie on the sacrament of Holy Orders. For a great movie on reconciliation, watch “The Son” or “Le Fils” the 2002 movie from the Belgium writer/director brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

  4. I think the boy’s search for the meaning of the Bar Mitzvah is also a good corollary to Confirmation. Plus all the family stuff is a good example of reconciliation, even though it’s more the broad sense of the word. But this is a grat list! THANK YOU for all you do!

  5. Still promoting anti-Catholic bigotry after all these years. Good to know some things never change.

    By the way Bob, since Chocolat was a grand opera of anti-Catholic bigotry, you don’t even have to ask. Sister Rose will love it.

  6. Who are you?

  7. Sr. Rose, Hi! I am a DRE at a PA parish working with adult faith formation team. I know from hearing you at conferences that you used to publish books with movie reviews, and, I believe discussion questions for faith developent. This AFF Team and I are looking towards the summer with the idea of showing one or two movies with the purpose of leading to faith enrichment through faith sharing around a movie’s content. Do you have any recommendations of movies (on DVDs) for adults, or, families with school age children? Do you have further resource material to go with the movie showing how to lead a faith sharing session by a facilitator?

    Thank you! Elizabeth Field, DRE

  8. And surely the priest played by Karl Malden in On the Waterfront – gritty and inspirational!

  9. Hi Elizabeth,
    I am in the UK at the moment but can respond in more detail when I get home. Please remind me if you don’t hear from me by mid-May. Bless you!
    Off hand, take a look at OF GODS AND MEN and THE WAY (with Martin Sheen) then BABETTE’S FEAST. These have an amazing synchronicity… that work together for faith formation. Later~ R

  10. Sorry, my comment earlier should have actually given the title of the movie I was talking about.
    I think the boy’s search for the meaning of the Bar Mitzvah in “Keeping up with the Steins” is I think the boy’s search for the meaning of the Bar Mitzvah is also a good corollary to Confirmation. Plus all the family stuff is a good example of reconciliation, even though it’s more the broad sense of the word. But this is a great list! THANK YOU for all you do!

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