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200 movies King David might watch

Great minds think alike, and this month two of those great minds belonged to a missionary in Brazil and an evangelist in California.

The evangelist, Ray Comfort, passed along a story, first told by Jeremy Archer, about a man who invited all sorts of folks into his house to meet his family. Often the visitors would talk crudely and angrily with each other, teaching his children words he’d rather they not know. But these visitors could also get his whole family laughing so the man decided to focus on the good they did, rather than the bad.

Over time the man could see the visitors were having an impact on his family, and it wasn’t a good one. He found that his own children were now using crude language and making coarse jokes. What was worse, the visitors were behaving outrageously, even taking their clothes off right there in front of his family!

That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Why didn’t the man just kick them out? Why didn’t he protect his family from their influence? Well, it turns out this man had some sense, and as the visitors started getting naked the man acted. Together, with his family, the man finally “turned off the television.”

That same month the missionary, Rev. Ken Wieske, expressed the same concern, titling a Facebook post “David vows to get rid of his TV.” Underneath he included the text of Psalm 101 which reads (in part):

I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.

The pastor’s point was clear: most of what’s on TV is worthless and if King David were here on earth today, he might well pitch his TV right out of the palace. Of course, it isn’t quite as easy as that. Today we also have computers, and smartphones, so getting rid of the TV isn’t going to restrict our access to fluff and filth that’s so readily available.

So let’s take this a step further. Yes, much of what’s on TV (and on YouTube, Facebook, etc.) is worthless. But some of it isn’t. Some of it is quite good. Excellent even! So if we were to make the same promise King David makes in Psalm 101 – to put away all that is worthless – what sorts of film and videos might we still watch?

I’ve got some suggestions, and I’ve listed them under 10 categories, with 15 or so movie recommendations in each category. My hope is that this list can help families find something worth watching. With over 200 suggestions I’m also hoping there will be something for everyone.

Title, year, and length, are included, and, if there’s a review available on ReformedPerspective.ca, or my movie review blog, ReelConservative.com, then I’ve indicated that by making the title all caps and clickable.

I’ve also included an entertainment rating. This is out of 10, and in my books a 7 is a solid mark, while 8 is something special, and 6 is still watchable but there is some notable flaw (maybe corny writing, or a bad bit of acting, that sort of thing). The only reason I’ve included a few films that rate as low as 6 is because they have educational value.

One other note: none of these films and videos take God’s name in vain. That’s important. While a degree of violence and even sexual content of some sort (kissing, hugging) can be appropriate on screen, the way God’s name is abused on film just isn’t.

More than a dozen of the films below have the tag “FREE ONLINE” and can be viewed for free by clicking on the link provided.

ANIMATED VIDEOS (15)

This mix of shorter videos (the longer ones are made up of several parts) can be ideal when mom wants to take a nap, but doesn’t want the kids sitting in front of the TV forever.

Anne of Green Gables, Vol. 1-3 – 2003, 150 minutes – 7/10
Adventures in Odyssey: The Knight Travelers – 1991, 27 minutes – 7/10
THE GRUFFALO  – 2009, 27 minutes – 8/10
Horton Hears a Who – 1970, 30 minutes – 7/10
JUNGLE BEAT – 65 minutes – 10/10 – FREE ONLINE
Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space – 1999, 30 minutes – 7/10
Lord of the Beans – 2005, 52 minutes – 7/10
Peppa Pig: The Balloon Ride – 2014, 60 minutes – 7/10
The Pond
– THERE’S SOMETHING FUNNY IN THE WATER – 2005, 27 minutes – 8/10
– The Little Things – 30 minutes – 7/10
– The Rise and Fall of Tony the Frog – 30 minutes – 7/10
– Alligator Hunter – 30 minutes – 7/10
– Big Mouth Bass – 32 minutes – 7/10
Wallace and Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures – 1989-1995, 85 minutes –  7/10
THE WAY THINGS WORK – 2001, 300+ minutes – 8/10

ANIMATED FILMS (20)

Looking for something good for a family “dinner and a movie” night?

THE BOXCAR CHILDREN – 2013, 81 minutes – 7/10
THE BOXCAR CHILDREN: SURPRISE ISLAND – 2018, 82 minutes – 6/10 
Chicken Run – 2000, 84 minutes – 8/10
Curious George – 2006, 88 minutes – 8/10
Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle – 2015, 81 minutes – 7/10
CURIOUS GEORGE: ROYAL MONKEY – 2019 / 86 minutes – 7/10
Finding Nemo – 2003, 100 minutes – 8/10
Fox and the Hound – 1981, 83 minutes – 8/10
LOST AND FOUND – 2013, 24 minutes – 8/10
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 1977, 74 minutes – 8/10
Meet the Robinsons – 2007, 95 minutes – 7/10
MINISCULE – 2014, 89 minutes – 7/10
Monsters Inc. – 2001, 93 minutes – 9/10
THE PEANUTS MOVIE – 2015, 88 minutes – 8/10
The Secret World of Arrietty – 2010, 95 minutes – 8/10
SGT. STUBBY: AN UNLIKELY HERO – 2018, 84 minutes – 8/10
Tangled – 2010, 100 minutes – 9/10
Up – 2009, 96 minutes – 9/10
Wall-E – 2008, 98 minutes – 9/10
WINNIE THE POOH – 2011, 63 minutes – 8/10

BASED ON A BOOK (16)

It’s always hard to live up to the book, but some of these get awfully close!

The Adventures of Robin Hood – 1938, 101 minutes – 8/10
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – 1939, 82 minutes – 7/10
Animal Farm – 1954, 72 minutes – 7/10
THE GIVER – 2014, 97 minutes – 8/10
Ivanhoe – 1952, 107 minutes – 7/10
THE HOBBIT – 1977, 77 minutes – 7/10
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – 1979, 95 minutes – 7/10
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – 2005, 125 minutes – 8/10
Little Women – 1949, 121 minutes – 8/10
Little Women – 1994, 118 minutes – 9/10
THE LORD OF THE RINGS – 1978, 133 minutes – 7/10
POLLYANNA – 2003, 99 minutes – 8/10
The Prince and the Pauper – 1937, 118 minutes – 8/10
Pride and Prejudice – 2004, 104 minutes – 8/10
Sarah Plain and Tall – 1990, 98 minutes – 8/10
SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS – 2016, 96 minutes – 7/10
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON – 1960, 126 minutes – 8/10

BLACK AND WHITE CLASSICS (14)

These have all stood the test of time and are still being watched again and again.

12 Angry Men – 1957, 96 minutes – 8/10
THE AMAZING ADVENTURE – 1936, 62 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR – 1961, 96 minutes – 7/10
Adam’s Rib – 1949, 101 minutes –  8/10
Citizen Kane – 1941, 119 minutes – 7/10
High Noon – 1952, 85 minutes – 9/10
I Remember Mama – 1948, 134 minutes – 7/10
It Should Happen to You – 1954, 87 minutes – 7/10
The Man in the White Suit – 1951, 85 minutes – 7/10
THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE – 1962, 123 minutes – 8/10
Meet John Doe – 1941, 122 minutes – 7/10
Mr. Deed goes to Town – 1936, 115 minutes – 7/10
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – 1939, 129 minutes – 8/10
The Shop Around the Corner – 1949, 99 minutes – 9/10

BIOGRAPHICAL (21)

Some of these are great, others only okay, but all are educational.

Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace – 1999, 90 minutes – 7/10
THE CASE FOR CHRIST – 2017, 113 minutes – 7/10
C.S. LEWIS ONSTAGE – 2018, 76 minutes – 7/10
End of the Spear – 2006, 108 minutes – 7/10
Final Solution – 2001, 102 minutes – 7/10
God’s Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale – 1988, 93 minutes – 6/10
GOSNELL: THE TRIAL OF AMERICA’S BIGGEST SERIAL KILLER – 2018, 93 minutes – 8/10
Hellen Keller – 2005, 30 minutes – 6/10
JOHN HUS: A JOURNEY OF NO RETURN – 2015, 55 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
THE LONG GOODBYE: THE KARA TIPPETTS STORY – 2019, 88 minutes – 10/10
Martin Luther – 1953, 105 minutes – 7/10
The Miracle Worker – 1962, 106 minutes – 9/10
THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS – 1957, 135 – 7/10
Torchlighters:
– THE CORRIE TEN BOOM STORY – 2013, 34 minutes – 7/10
– THE JIM ELLIOT STORY – 2005, 30 minutes – 6/10
– THE MARTIN LUTHER STORY – 2106, 34 minutes – 7/10
– THE RICHARD WUMBRAND STORY – 2008, 30 minutes – 6/10
– THE WILLIAM TYNDALE STORY – 2005, 32 minutes – 6/10
TORTURED FOR CHRIST – 2018, 77 minutes – 8/10
UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION – 2018, 98 minutes – 8/10
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS – 1996, 27 minutes – 7/10

CHILDREN (17)

This is fare for younger children – not a lot of tension here. And that means, while the kids will probably like it, mom and dad might not.

The Adventures of Milo and Otis – 1989, 76 minutes – 7/10
Buddy Davis’ Amazing Adventures:
– ALASKA – 2015, 25 minutes – 6/10
– EXTREME CAVING – 2013, 58 minutes – 7/10
– I DIG DINOSAURS – 2011 – 26 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
– SWAMP MAN – 2012, 45 minutes – 7/10
The Creation Adventure Team
A JURASSIC ARK MYSTERY – 2001, 45 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
SIX SHORT DAYS, ONE BIG ADVENTURE – 2002, 38 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
The Defense of New Haven – 2016, 82 minutes – 7/10
INCREDIBLE CREATURES THAT DEFY EVOLUTION I – 2006, 47 minutes – 7/10
Lassie Come Home – 1943, 90 minutes – 8/10
A LEGO BRICKUMENTARY – 2015, 93 minutes – 7/10
MISTY – 1961, 91 minutes – 7/10
THE NEWTONS’ WORKSHOP – 1997, 226 minutes – 7/10
The Runner from Ravenshead – 2010, 81 minutes – 7/10
Tintin: Destination Moon – 1992, 83 minutes – 7/10
THE WILD BROTHERS
 (8 episodes) – 2015-2016, 28-30 minutes each – 7/10

ON CREATION, EVOLUTION AND DESIGN (18)

Evidence of all sorts, to the genius of our Creator…

ALIEN INTRUSION – 2018, 109 minutes – 8/10
DARWIN: THE VOYAGE THAT SHOOK THE WORLD – 2009, 55 minutes – 8/10
DRAGONS OR DINOSAURS? – 2010 / 84 minutes – 7/10
EVOLUTION’S ACHILLES’ HEELS – 2014, 96 minutes – 9/10
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed – 2008, 95 minutes – 8/10
FLIGHT: THE GENIUS OF BIRDS – 2013, 63 minutes – 9/10
GENESIS: PARADISE LOST – 2018, 109 minutes – 8/10
Icons of Evolution – 2002, 52 minutes – 7/10
INCREDIBLE CREATURES THAT DEFINE DESIGN – 2011, 62 minutes – 7/10
IS GENESIS HISTORY? – 2017, 100 minutes – 8/10
LIVING WATERS – 2015, 69 minutes – 8/10
Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies – 2011, 64 minutes – 8/10
MOUNT ST. HELENS: MODERN EVIDENCE FOR A WORLDWIDE FLOOD – 2012, 36 minutes – 7/10
NOAH’S ARK: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX – 2008, 35 minutes – 8/10
THE PRIVILEGED PLANET – 2005, 60 minutes – 8/10
REVOLUTIONARY – 2016, 60 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
THE RIOT AND THE DANCE: EARTH – 2018, 83 minutes – 8/10
THE RIOT AND THE DANCE:WATER – 2020, 84 minutes – 8/10

DOCUMENTARIES (26)

The very best documentaries pack books’ worth of knowledge into a short hour or two. And these are just that sort.

180: FROM PRO-CHOICE TO PRO-LIFE IN SECONDS – 2011, 33 minutes – FREE ONLINE
BABIES ARE MURDERED HERE – 2014, 54 minutes – 8/10 – FREE ONLINE
BABIES ARE STILL MURDERED HERE – 2019, 102 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
THE BIBLE VS. THE BOOK OF MORMON – 2005, 66 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
CALVINIST – 2017, 89 minutes – 8/10
Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson – 2009, 93 minutes – 9/10
Cool It: Are We Saving the World or Just Burning Money? – 2010, 88 minutes – 8/10
CITIZENFOUR – 2014, 113 minutes – 7/10
DEMOGRAPHIC WINTER – 2008, 56 minutes – 7/10
EXPEDITION BIBLE: JERICHO UNEARTHED – 2010, 34 minutes – 8/10
THE FOOL – 2019, 65 minutes – 8/10 – FREE ONLINE
THE FREE SPEECH APOCALYPSE – 2015, 89 minutes – 8/10
HOW TO ANSWER THE FOOL – 2013, 85 minutes – 8/10 – FREE ONLINE
INDOCTRINATION – 2011, 102 minutes – 8/10
IRREPLACEABLE – WHAT IS FAMILY? – 2015, 104 minutes – 8/10
LOGIC ON FIRE – 2015, 102 minutes – 7/10
March of the Penguins – 2005, 80 minutes – 8/10
Microcosmos – 1996, 80 minutes – 8/10
THE NARNIA CODE – 2009, 59 minutes – 8/10
NOTES FROM THE TILT-A-WHIRL – 2011, 51 minutes – 10/10
THE PURSUIT – 2019, 77 minutes – 7/10
THE RECKONING – 2006, 96 minutes – 7/10
RESCUED: THE HEART OF ADOPTION – 2012, 62 minutes – 7/10
UNPLANNED – 2011, 62 minutes – 7/10
WAITING FOR SUPERMAN – 2010, 111 minutes – 8/10
WAIT TILL IT’S FREE – 2014, 82 minutes – 9/10

FAMILY FUN (18)

These are films that mom and dad can enjoy too, but that does mean that some of them have action or drama that may be too intense for younger children. So be sure to research age-appropriateness.

BEYOND THE MASK – 2015, 103 minutes – 8/10
BORN FREE – 1966, 95 minutes – 8/10
CITY OF EMBER – 2008, 95 minutes – 7/10
CONDORMAN – 1981, 90 minutes – 7/10
The Court Jester – 1956, 101 minutes – 8/10
Greyfriars Bobby – 1961, 87 minutes – 9/10
Hangman’s Curse – 2003, 106 minutes – 8/10
Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates – 1962, 90  minutes – 7/10
Love’s Long Journey – 2005, 88 minutes – 7/10
The Last Chance Detectives – 1994, 47 minutes – 7/10
Old Yeller – 1957, 84 minutes – 9/10
Overcomer – 2019, 119 minutes – 7/10
Seasons of the Heart – 2003, 99 minutes – 8/10
Shark Boy and Lava Girl 3D – 2005, 93 minutes – 7/10
STORM: LUTHER’S FORBIDDEN LETTER – 2017, 105 minutes – 7/10
THE THREE INVESTIGATORS IN THE SECRET OF SKELETON ISLAND – 2007, 91 minutes – 7/10
Time Changer – 2002, 99 minutes – 7/10
Who is Simon Miller? – 2011, 85 minutes – 7/10

FOR MOM AND DAD (22)

Films to enjoy with your better half…and sometimes the older kids too.

2081 – 2009, 25 minutes – 8/10 – FREE ONLINE
ALLEGED – 2011, 93 minutes – 8/10
Anastasia – 1956, 105 minutes – 7/10
AUDACITY: LOVE CAN’T STAY SILENT – 2015, 50 minutes – 7/10 – FREE ONLINE
The Caine Mutiny – 1954, 124 minutes – 7/10
COURAGEOUS – 2011, 129 minutes – 7/10
THE HOBBIT TRILOGY
– An Unexpected Journey – 2012, 169 minutes – 8/10
– The Desolation of Smaug – 2013, 161 minutes – 8/10
– The Battle of the Five Armies – 2014, 144 minutes – 7/10
I CAN ONLY IMAGINE – 2018, 110 minutes – 8/10
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – 2001-2003 – 10/10
LIKE DANDELION DUST – 2009, 104 minutes – 8/10
Rear Window – 1954, 112 minutes – 8/10
Roman Holiday – 1953, 118 minutes – 8/10
The Second Chance – 2006, 102 – 7/10
The Song – 2014, 116 minutes – 9/10
TO SAVE A LIFE – 2010, 120 minutes – 8/10
The Ultimate Gift – 2006, 114 minutes – 7/10
A Vow to Cherish – 1999, 84 minutes – 7/10
Woodlawn – 2016, 123 minutes – 8/10

BONUS #1 – SUPER SILENT FILMS (4)

If you’ve never gotten into silent films, be sure to start with the comedies – there the overwrought acting just adds to the funny. And Buster Keaton is the best!

The General – 1927, 80 minutes – 8/10
The Gold Rush – 1925, 96 minutes – 7/10
Seven Chances – 1925, 56 minutes – 8/10
SHERLOCK JR. – 1924, 44 minutes – 8/10 – FREE ONLINE

BONUS #2 – WORLD WAR II FILMS MADE DURING WORLD WAR II (12)

The very best World War II films were made during the war…

BATAAN – 1943, 114 minutes – 8/10
CASABLANCA – 1943, 103 minutes – 10/10
DESPERATE JOURNEY – 1942, 107 minutes – 7/10
Destination Tokyo – 1944, 135 minutes – 8/10
FLYING TIGERS – 1942, 104 minutes – 7/10
THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT – 1940, 120 minutes – 7/10
Objective Burma! – 1945, 142 minutes – 7/10
Sahara – 1943, 98 minutes – 7/10
SEA HAWK – 1940, 127 minutes – 8/10
THE SILVER FLEET – 1943, 88 minutes – 7/10
They Were Expendable – 1945, 135 minutes – 7/10
To Be Or Not To Be – 1942, 99 minutes – 8/10

BONUS #3 – WORLD WAR II FILMS MADE AFTERWARDS

…though there were some good ones made afterward too.

Decision Before Dawn – 1951, 119 minutes – 7/10
Twelve O’clock High – 1949 – 8/10

BONUS #4 – FOREIGN FILMS

This is a chance to see a different slice of the world.

Children of Heaven – 1997, 87 minutes – 7/10
NOT ONE LESS – 2000, 106 minutes – 7/10
The Story of the Weeping Camel – 2003, 87 minutes – 7/10

This post first appeared on www.ReelConservative.com.


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