Is This Movie Sinful?

A few months ago, I was at my friends’ house for a party and they put on a movie and I had no idea what it was about. At first it was okay, but then it got inappropriate. I knew that it was wrong to watch it, but I wasn’t sure how wrong (like if it was a mortal sin or a venial one). I felt some pressure because my friends were watching it too. After a few minutes I thought to myself,“I have to get out of here. This is wrong,” and so I left the room and didn’t watch the movie again. Does anyone know whether it was mortal or not? I figured it wasn’t mortal because I have to know a sin is mortal for it to actually be mortal and I didn’t know, but I just want concrete answers. I received Holy Communion once because I truly thought it wasn’t mortal but then later decided that it possibly could so I didn’t receive again until I went to Confession. If you at first give in to a sin then stop yourself, can’t it be venial?

You didn’t choose the movie and removed yourself from watching it when you realized it didn’t have any redeeming qualities. I’d say you were quite brave to do so while your friends were present.

If it still bothers you, describe the whole situation in Confession.

Good job. You removed yourself from an occasion of sin when you realized it had bad material.

This was not a mortal sin, based on what you have told us. The peer pressure and the fact that you didn’t choose the movie made it so that your did not have full consent, nor did you choose the grave matter, so thus no mortal sin.

It could have been a venial sin, depending on how long you watched it after you realized what it was, and the thoughts that went through your mind, but I cannot know myself.

So, good job, but take it to your priest or spiritual advisor, and talk it over with them just so you can do a little soul searching on your true intentions, then don’t worry about it.


Portrayals of sin or inappropriate acts are not always sinful. If you feel compelled to act out what was bad in the film then it would be a problem. You will watch movies throughout your life and many will contain scenes with acts you would never do but you aren’t always doing wrong.

I partially disagree. Watching a movie which has sex scenes or other can be sinful, even if you don’t have an inclination to do them, because it is the very act of watching which is wrong. You are putting aside and trampling upon the dignity of the actual person who acting out that scene, and participating in their sin.


In rereading your post, I think I might see where you are going. In movies where grave sin is portrayed as part of the plot, or is necessary and brief, I don’t think it is sinful to watch, granted you are of proper age and disposition. However, as soon as the purpose of the film is to get arousal out of watching sin, it is gravely sinful.

A month ago I rented a movie that I knew had some immoral content. I didn’t know the specifics, but the movie had been very popular, the overall topic interested me, and there is such a huge variation in the meaning of the R rating that I thought I’d take a chance. Well, it got pretty raunchy pretty fast. But, unlike you, I kept watching the movie, thinking that the worst parts must be over. Wrong. It kind of saved the worst for last.

So, that being a Friday night, I got myself to Confession the next day. Did I feel “dirty”? You bet. Did I exercise poor judgment? Absolutely. Was it a mortal sin? Clearly not for you, nor for me either. But I think I learned to guard my eyes and ears better, and Christ gave me sacramental grace to help me in the future.

It’s not easy or even possible to avoid every cultural contaminant. You did the right thing promptly. Go easy on yourself. And a trip to the confessional, even if not strictly necessary, will ease your mind.

I watched it for a few minutes after it got bad. I didn’t leave RIGHT after I realized it was bad. Do you think that counts as venial? I am being scrupulous, right? I have been suffering with it for a few weeks. :shrug:

Take it to confession and talk to your confessor. That will both make you sure and relieve your stress.

I already did confess it. The reason why it is coming back to haunt me is because I received Holy Communion before I confessed it but I truly thought I didn’t have a mortal sin on my soul. Then the next day, I thought about it more and thought maybe it could be one so I didn’t receive again until I went to Confession. I’m sorry to bog you down with my problems, I just want to feel peace, you know? I even talked to Fr. Serpa about receiving if I truly thought I didn’t have mortal sin on my soul and he told me that it was all fine. It just nags me and nags me (probably the devil) and I thought that maybe if the movie wasn’t even a mortal sin in the first place (because I was never really sure whether it was or not) then all my problems would be solved. From what I see from everyone’s responses, I think that I conclude it wasn’t one.

The reason porn is sinful, is because it is designed to stimulate lust. Almost every film has scenes of immorality, even historical docudramas. The best a person can do is use their inner barometer and weed out, like the OP did, the objectionable material. In other words, turn it off or don’t watch it. But you have to be careful and not get into the “all things witnessed cause perversion to you” mindset.

There was a reason I added the sentence about these depictions causing a person to act on them. That is of course a problem.

A priest at my church gave a sermon at mass using the film “The Devils Advocate” with Al Pachino to illustrate a point. I’m sure the priest saw plenty of sin in the film but saw it as a portrayal of human actions.

Do not worry. There was no bad intent on your part and you removed yourself from the situation. That is to be commended.

Agreed. No sin. As long as you did not believe it was mortal at the time of your communion, you are free and clear. Let it go, and feel the peace of your forgiveness. :slight_smile:

^ Ditto! Be at peace Catholicgirl! :slight_smile:

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