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.


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: Don’t miss ‘the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century’

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Don’t miss ‘the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century’

Denver’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition brings to life Judaism at time of Jesus

Vladimir Mauricio-Perez

“Welcome to Israel, the Biblical land of milk and honey at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia… an archaeologist’s paradise”: These words mark the start of a once-in-a-lifetime immersion into ancient Israel that the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition brings to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science March 16 to Sep. 3.

The exhibition, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Denver, not only displays the authentic Dead Sea Scrolls that have captivated millions of believers and non-believers around the world, but also a timeline back to Biblical times filled with ancient objects that date back to events written about in the Old Testament more than 3,000 years ago.

“We are convinced that the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the Judean desert are the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century,” said Dr. Uzi Dahari, deputy director of the Israel Antiquities. “These scrolls, written in Hebrew, are the oldest copy of the Bible.”

In fact, some of these manuscripts are almost a thousand years older than the oldest copies of the Bible that had been discovered, providing a great wealth of knowledge about Judaism at the time of Jesus.

“So many things have changed [since this discovery],” said Dr. Michael Barber, professor of Scripture and Theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver. “We now understand first-century Judaism in a way we didn’t in the past and see how the Biblical authors are breathing the same air as other ancient Jews.”

An exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be on display until Sept. 3. (Photos by Andrew Wright | Denver Catholic)

The air of first-century Israel was filled with expectations for the coming of the Messiah. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which have been associated with a unique religious Jewish community that lived a structured life, are a witness to this reality, he explained.

“[These communities] were trying to live in such a way as to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. They looked forward to a new covenant and the restoration of the glory of Adam” Dr. Barber said. “We see so many overlaps of how the New Testament is a fulfillment of the Jewish expectations of the time.”

The exhibition immerses guests into the history of the chosen people of God, from artifacts impressed with seals belonging to Biblical kings, such as Hezekiah, to an authentic stone block that fell from Jerusalem’s Western Wall in 70 AD.

“We preferred to select scientifically important items, some very small, some very large… but all of great significance,” Dr. Dahari said.

“Israel’s archaeological sites and artifacts have yielded extraordinary record of human achievement,” added Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn, curator of the exhibit and professor at San Diego State University. “The pots, coins, weapons, jewelry and other artifacts on display in this exhibition constituted a momentous contribution to our cultural legacy. They teach us about the past, but they also teach us about ourselves.”