Mainstream movies with positive Catholic portrayals

So what are some mainstream or “secular” movies that have in them some positive portrayal of Catholicism? I don’t mean movies you’d necessarily see in an EWTN catalog specifically about a saint or something (unless it’s an Oscar-winner like A Man for All Seasons. :o) But anyway, post whatever you come up with if you’re not sure. :o I’ll throw out a few:

Spider-man (2002) - Aunt May, knelt bedside, prays the Our Father.

Alive (1993) - Crash survivors pray the Rosary.

End of Days (1999) - Character draws strength after meditating on a crucifix.

Braveheart (1995)
Schindler’s List (1993)
The Mission (1986)
The Passion of the Christ (2004) (Not sure if this counts?)
I also love other historical fiction movies like Rob Roy, the 2010 version of Robin Hood, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which happen to have Catholic characters, but I don’t recall any specific, explicit mention of Catholicism in those movies (it’s been so long since I watched them).

I actually found Angels And Demons to portray the Catholic Church in a positive light. Although the main character is a non believer, the methods of the bishops in conclave, and the Church’s thoughts on science and responsibility were truthful.

I also think some horror/scary movies can allow people to consider Catholicism as a positive institution, such as Bless the Child.

Hellboy. Professor Brutenholm is a Catholic whose rosary (after Brutenholm’s death) is used to remind Hellboy to do good when he is tempted under diress to initiate Ragnarok. Also, although it could be seen as criticizing clerical celibacy, “The Thornbirds” portrays priests (Cardinals de Bricassart and Contini-Verchese and Bricassart’s son) as normal, basically good human beings.




“On the Waterfront” where the priest gives the beautiful passionate oration.

“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” takes a fair and balanced look at exorcism (Is it real, or is it not? kind of movie) while portraying priests and Catholics as intelligent, rational and good people.

“The Sound of Music” (obvious choice) my new favorite movie. Shows nuns and aspiring nuns in a very good light and not at all one-dimensional or boring or overly somber contrary to popular thinking.

I thought of that one too but I didn’t know if that would qualify as “mainstream.” Excellent movie, though.

A movie called “Black Robe”, released in 1991, is worth a look, as is the novel of the same name by Canadian Brian Moore.

X2:X Men United features a Catholic mutant who carries a rosary and prays either the Our Father or Hail Mary in german.

Tv series LOST. The title has a brilliant double meaning, though I’m not sure that those who are immersed in pop culture would understand. Watch it on Netflix from the beginning of season 1 and hang in there. The Catholic symbolism is amazing by season 7. It’s a mind bender.

The Rookie (with Dennis Quaid)
The Scarlet and the Black

That’s Nightcrawler who has long been portrayed as a devout Catholic in the comics. Although the writer who had the longest run on X-men (Christ Claremont) did this with the most flair and was capable of portaying people from a variety of faiths with quite a bit of subtlety given the medium he was working in and how unusual it was in that era to portay a comic book superhero’s faith openly. There are plenty of conversations from the comics I remember where Nightcrawler and Wolverine talk about faith. They are portrayed as been unusually close friends despite their extremely different takes on religion as both respect each other as been men who live by a code of honour. One conversation that stuck in my mind for a long time was Nightcrawler arguing with Wolverine about the morality of using deadly force on a consistent basis. His line that, ‘It may be logical, it may be neccesary, but is right?’ was unusally thoughtful for a comic book of that.

Mentioning superheroes Daredevil also shows a priest in a positive light and of course Daredevil along with Nightcrawler is one of the most prominent Catholic characters in comics.

Rome, Open City is a move that shows a priest in a hugely sympathetic and heroic role. Here’s a clip of the ending below. Warning if you want to watch the whole movie don’t watch the clip:-

“Return to Me”


“The Trouble with Angels” :smiley:

“We were soldiers”

I love the part near the end where the family is hiding and the sisters make a confession to the Mother Superior about sinning…

Trouble with Angels is such a good movie.

Are we allowed to consider older movies in this. If so I’ll throw in an old Cagney movie (partly because I am a huge Cagney and Bogart fan)

Angels with Dirty faces (1938) here’s a trailer for it below:-

Ditto this one. I thought it leaned favorably toward the reality of exorcism even though there was no explicit ruling in the film on whether it was real or not.

Oh, yes! Excellent one!

I have never seen the show but there are a lot of people who say that many of the themes are right out of The X-Files (The TV Show, not that awful anti-Catholic movie from 2008.) The X-Files TV show was very favorable quite often toward Catholicism—the character Scully was Catholic. You see a lot of the same guest actors from X-Files on Lost too.

If you posted a movie but didn’t share what about it was favorably Catholic, please share! :o

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit