Catholic-friendly films on Netflix: September

Therese Bussen

Much of the time spent on Netflix is in the search for something to watch, and the inventory is updated so frequently that it’s hard to keep track of recently added (or have been there for a while!) films worth watching.

Look no further. In no particular order, and by no means comprehensive, are the synopses of some amazing films and a few shows worth mention that you can queue up for your next movie night. Films appropriate for the whole family are marked as such.

For details on the content of each movie, visit IMBD’s website and click the “Parents Guide” section for that movie.

Movies:

Rogue One, PG-13 – A spinoff story of Star Wars, set immediately before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope, following a group of rebels on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.

The Prestige, PG-13 – Rival stage magicians engage in a competitive one-upmanship show with unfortunate results.

Lion, PG-13 – Based on the non-fiction book, A Long Way Home, by Saroo Brierly, about a man who finds his way back to India to find his birth family.

Memento, R – A man who suffers from anterograde amnesia pieces together his trauma to find the persons who attacked him and his wife, using a system of polaroid photographs and tattoos to track information he can’t remember.

Schindler’s List, R – An ethnic German businessman saves the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II.

The Little Prince, PG (Family-friendly) – Based on the novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery about a young girl who befriends and elderly man, who tells her the story of his meeting with the Little Prince in the Saharan desert.

The Sixth Sense, PG-13 – A psychologist helps a young boy who is able to see and talk to dead people.

The Boy in Striped Pajamas, PG-13 – World War II as experienced and told through the eyes of two young boys who befriend each other: A son of a Nazi commandant and a Jewish inmate in a concentration camp.

The Prince of Egypt, PG (Family-friendly) – An animated, musical retelling story of the life of Moses and the events of Exodus that lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

The Giver, PG-13 – A dystopian story following a boy living in a seemingly utopian society where emotion has been eradicated and lacks color, memory, climate or terrain in order to preserve order and equality rather than individuality.

Midnight in Paris, PG-13 – A frustrated writer travels back in time every night at midnight to visit famous artists and writers of earlier decades, exploring themes of nostalgia and modernism.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, PG-13 – A French film based on Jean-Dominique Bauby’s memoir of his life after suffering a stroke that left him with a condition known as locked-in syndrome. |

The BFG, PG (Family-friendly) – An orphan girl befriends a friendly giant (“Big Friendly Giant”) who takes her to giant country where they help save man-eating giants from taking over the human world.

How to Steal a Million (Family-friendly) – Starring Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn, about a daughter of a wealthy Frenchman who creates counterfeit art and decides to steal back his forged sculpture in a heist to protect him from exposure.

Hugo, PG (Family-friendly) – A lonely orphaned boy who lives inside a railway station attempts to fix a broken automaton left to him by his late father with the help of a friend and find a place he can call home.

Begin Again, R – A singer-songwriter is discovered by a struggling record label executive, who collaborate together to produce an album recorded all over public places in New York City.

Little Boy, PG-13 (Family-friendly) – A little boy befriends a priest, a Japanese immigrant and a magician who help him bring his father back home from World War II.

Odd Thomas, PG-13 – Based on the novel by Catholic author Dean Koontz, a young man who sees the dead saves his hometown from tragedy.

I Am Sam, PG-13 – The story of a mentally-challenged man raising a young daughter with the help of his friends, until the unconventional family setting comes to the attention of a social worker who wants the girl placed in foster care.

Mary and Martha, PG – Two women who lose their sons to malaria come together to thwart the disease in Africa.

 

TV shows worth a mention:
Daredevil – Although very violent, Netflix’s Marvel superhero series explores many Catholic and moral themes throughout its current two seasons.

Father Brown – A light-hearted mystery series produced by BBC and based on G.K. Chesterton’s “Father Brown” short stories.

Person of Interest – Crime drama starring Jim Caviezel about a man who tracks down would-be terrorists with the help of a computer programmer who developed an artificial intelligence “machine” for the government.

COMING UP: Not your “this-could-be-for-anyone” Christmas gift guide

Sign up for a digital subscription to Denver Catholic!

With Christmas rapidly approaching, many of us run into the problem of finding great and unique gifts for our friends and relatives. For this reason, we have come up with a gift guide that can make your Christmas shopping a little more fun.

For your friend who enjoys “Naptio Divina”

We all know that sleeping during adoration or prayer isn’t all that bad: you rest with Jesus, right? Well, we thought this quality would be worth honoring with this shirt from Elly and Grace that you can gift your “Jesus-took-naps” friend. The cozy baseball shirt is perfect for any man or woman who enjoys resting with Jesus. Visit EllyandGrace.com for more information.

It is great to nap with Jesus; but… it is also good to pray. Therefore, we have included Fr. Larry Richard’s “No Bible, No Breakfast! No Bible, No Bed!” Scripture Calendar, in case your friend is tempted to nap with Jesus every time, instead of talking with him. You can find this calendar on CatholicCompany.com and help your friend remain faithful to praying without napping.

For your friend who evangelizes while they drive

Is your friend’s driving accompanied by countless Rosaries and acts of contrition? We have the perfect gift! The Catholic Company provides numerous car accessories for the fast evangelizers. It reminds them to wait for their guardian angels on the road in their works of mercy. On the Catholic Company inventory, you can also find sacred images and pins, such as the visor clip for any parent who is worried about their children’s driving habits.

For your friend who fights for a cause

Religious art, yards, a great cause: everyone wins with one. Angel Haus is a Denver-based nonprofit that provides employment for the disabled by creating religious art, especially for yards. The founder is the newly-ordained Deacon David Arling, who has been operating it since its initiation five years ago. They have now sold over 300 Christmas Display boards and San Damiano Cross images. The family business has encountered much support from their pastor, Father Michael Carvill at Nativity of Our Lord Church. Nonetheless, they need your support to continue with this project. To purchase an item for your friend and help this great cause, email Arling at djarling2011@hotmail.com.

For your friend who is a lost cause

Okay, okay, no person is a lost cause; but we all know someone who is pretty close to being one. As soon as you think they’ve finally gotten it, an off-the-cuff comment smashes all your hopes. Hold fast and do not despair, St. Jude is here to help! This 3 ½” tall St. Jude wooden peg from Etsy.com will make sure that the patron saint of lost causes is constantly at work for your friend. Etsy provides a wide variety of religious hand-painted figures from Whymsical Lotus that range from the Sacred Heart to your favorite saints, such as St. Therese, St. Patrick, and Our Lady of Guadalupe. These charmingly detailed and delightful dolls make a unique gift for those friends who need a special intercessor.

For your little friend

Running out of ideas to gift your child, godchild, or short friend? The search is over. Faithful Findz from Etsy.com makes great replicas of saints’ attires. Take, for instance, the “Saint John Paul II the Great” costume, handmade out of cotton poly fabric (Hawaiian Pope mobile not for sale: sad, I know; but a miter and red cape can be purchased separately). Some of their popular costumes include the habits of Mother Teresa and Padre Pio (gloves included). Even more, the maker requests the person’s waist measurement to ensure the best fit. When in doubt, you won’t lose with the saints, and neither will your little friends.

For your priestly friend

He already has all sorts of things, what could he possibly want? Rosaries, religious art, and other religious accessories are probably some of the most common gifts for priests (or priestly friends). Nonetheless, we can assure you that very few have a custom-made priest bobblehead of themselves. It makes a great gift! All you have to do is send a couple pictures of your favorite priest to MyCustomBobblehead.com. Doesn’t sound like the best idea? Look at it this way: it is a way for your priest to remember and embrace his obedience to the teachings of the Catholic Church, as his bobblehead will constantly nod to God’s will and shake his head to refuse all sinful things. Plus, you’ll get a discount if you mention you saw this in the Denver Catholic.

For your friend who never gave up on comics

Why would anyone give up on comic books when you have great initiatives like The Ultimate Catholic Comic Book? A group of Catholic cartoonists joined forces to bring about this entertaining, clever, humorous, and enriching book for all ages. Although many of the parodies and puns may well go over children’s heads, the comics contain messages that remain true to Catholic Doctrine. You can buy it and check out the sample digital copy at CatholicComicBook.com.