Editor’s note: Last updated October 10, 2019
The year 2019 promises to be a big one for movie fans, with general audiences anticipating several major releases spanning all genres. Christian viewers particularly interested in faith-friendly films also have a few movies to look forward to in 2019.
This list of Christian-friendly and Bible-inspired movies is presented in order of anticipated release. You must click through the page numbers to see each movie.
Check out last year’s list of Christian movies on the big screen.
XL: The Temptation of Christ
FaithWorks Pictures, March 6, 2019
“This is not a Hollywood film”—so the independent filmmakers behind “40: The Temptation of Christ” announce on their website, likely looking to bait Christians turned off by major studios’ mucking up screen depictions of biblical narratives (“Noah,” for example).
If the title of the film doesn’t clue you in, “XL: The Temptation of Christ” focuses on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ experience in the desert where he fasted for 40 days and nights and faced off with Satan after being baptized. Based on the trailer, the majority of the film appears to be exactly about that wilderness experience, although there is a shot of Christ being nailed to the cross near the end of the trailer. Actor Sean (Shayan) Ardalan stars as Jesus, while Sabastian Neudeck portrays Lucifer. Learn more
Watch the trailer for “XL: The Temptation of Christ”
RiverRain Productions, March 22, 2019
Filmed entirely in the state of Hawaii, “The Islands” dramatizes key events in the life of Chiefess Kapiolani, “an important member of the Hawaiian nobility at the time of the founding of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the arrival of Christian missionaries.”
Chiefess Kapiolani (portrayed in the movie by Teuira Shanti Napa) was reportedly one of the first Hawaiians to “to read and write and sponsor a church.” She is also known for braving the Kīlauea volcano in a challenge to the deity Pele, believed in the Hawaiian religion to be the goddess of fire and volcanoes. This act on Chiefess Kapiolani’s part appears to be the primary feature of the film. Learn more
RiverRain Productions says it expects to release “The Islands” in 1,500 theaters nationwide.
Check out the teaser.
Fox 2000 Pictures, April 12, 2019
In theaters in time for Easter, “Breakthrough” looks to have all the elements to ensure it makes a dent at the box office: it’s inspired by true story of a boy who recovered from a drowning, has a star-studded cast, and has the backing of a major studio.
Oh, and producer DeVon Franklin (“Miracles from Heaven”) and screenwriter Grant Nieporte (“Seven Pounds”) are involved in the film.
Starring Topher Grace (“That 70s Show”), Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, and Mike Colter and directed by Roxann Dawson (“The Americans,” “House of Cards”), “Breakthrough” may give hotly-anticipated films set for release that same week—such as “Hellboy” and “Little”—a run for their money. Learn more
Watch the trailer for “Breakthrough”
Affirm Films/Provident Films, August 23, 2019
Credited to the Kendrick Bros. (“War Room,” “Fireproof”), “Overcomer” is a small-town drama anchored in faith that centers on high school coach John Harrison and “an aspiring athlete who’s pushing her limits on a journey toward discovery.” The film stars Alex Kendrick (writer and director), Priscilla Shirer (“War Room”), Elizabeth Becka (“The Haunting of Hill House”), and Ben Davies (“Courageous) and introduces young actress Aryn Wright-Thompson. Learn more
Watch the trailer for “Overcomer”
Focus Features, November 1, 2019
Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. (Via Focus Features)
Read Faithfully Magazine’s take on the official trailer: Will Harriet Tubman Movie Show How Faith Fueled Audacious Abolitionist?
A24, November 15, 2019
Set against the vibrant landscape of South Florida, and featuring an astonishing ensemble of award-winning actors and breakouts alike, “Waves” traces the epic emotional journey of a suburban African-American family — led by a well-intentioned but domineering father — as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. From acclaimed director Trey Edward Shults, Waves is a heartrending story about the universal capacity for compassion and growth even in the darkest of times. (Via A24)
“Waves” stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Sterling K. Brown.
The Passion of the Christ: The Resurrection
Release date: To be announced
It’s been 15 years since director Mel Gibson forever changed the Christian movie genre with his mega-hit “The Passion of the Christ.” The film grossed well over $600 million and was, up until 2016, the highest-grossing R-rated U.S. film to hit the big screen.
Now, Gibson and his Jesus (Jim Caviezel) are back at work with “The Passion of the Christ: The Resurrection.” While the original film focused on the hours leading up and including Jesus’ crucifixion, the second film looks to focus on the immediate aftermath of his resurrection.
Although the film could hit theaters in 2019, the actual date of release is up in the air. According to updates on IMDB.com, shooting has barely begun for “The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.”
However, Caviezel promises that the “The Passion of the Christ” sequel will be “good.”
“I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it. But I’ll tell you this much: The film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history,” he said last year.