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Good movies
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 When it is cold outside, there is nothing better than to hunker down with a blanket, hot chocolate and a good movie. But how does a person find a good movie? This might help. Recently Christianity Today Magazine published its list of the "10 Most Redeeming Films of 2007." One of these might just be perfect for a home or church movie night.

 1. Into Great Silence (NR):

This is a documentary about the life of the monks at Grande Chartreuse Monastery in France. Described as tranquil and spell binding, this may be just the movie to watch when de-stressing at the end of the day. It raises the question, "If these people can spend a lifetime in prayer, why is it so hard to spend 10 minutes in prayer?"

2. Lars and the Real Girl (PG-13):

The plot is ridiculous. A lonely, delusional young man buys a life-size doll on the internet, falls in love with it and tells people that it is his girlfriend. His friends love him anyway and help him come out of his delusion. It is described as "sweet, funny, and heartwarming." Monks praying sounds more interesting. Next.

3. Juno (PG-13):

This is the one about the 16-year old girl who got pregnant, plans at first to abort, but then decides to have the baby and give the child up for adoption. The title comes from the contraction of the word "did you know," or "juno?" (It could be a good "reality" movie for a youth group.)

4. Amazing Grace (PG):

This is the story of the battle of William Wilberforce, John Newton (author of "Amazing Grace") and their friends to end the slave trade. It is a great movie, full of history, and with lessons on love, repentance and perseverance. It is well worth watching.

5. Bella (PG-13):

Called "a love story without the romance," it is the story of a chef at a Mexican restaurant in Manhattan named José who learns that one of the waitresses, Nina, is pregnant. It is described as a film on "love, family and friendship." The previews to this one look pretty good.

6. Into the Wild (R):

This is the true story of Chris McCandless, the Duke University student who gave his money away and hitchhiked across America to escape society and get back to nature. According to CTM, "The beauty and wisdom he encounters along the way have much to offer us all." This is one of those Titanic-like movies which would be more fun if you didn't know how it ended.

7. The Kite Runner (PG-13):

Based on a best-selling novel, this is the story of an immigrant to the USA from Afghanistan who had betrayed a friend in his homeland. He goes back to Afghanistan. It has been called a story of "friendship and family, of guilt and reconciliation."

8. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (PG-13):

This is the true story of magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a massive stroke and was paralyzed - except for the use of one eye. This film is shot from his perspective, stuck in a wheelchair, seeing the world from only one eye. He is surrounded by people who love him, and, amazingly, finds joy again in life.

9. Ratatouille (G):

Called, "the best animated film of the year," it has been called both beautiful and full of great messages. There was also the warning that this movie will make you want to run out and buy some French cuisine. We don't have any in Covington, do we?

10. Freedom Writers (PG-13):

This is true story of an out of control high school class in southern California and the teacher whose believes that they can do great things. Her compassion changes their world. It is an old story, but it is real.


John Donaldson is the pastor at Newborn & Mansfield UMC. Send e-mail to