The Best Easter Movies for Christians

The Gospel According To St. Matthew

There aren’t as many Easter movies to watch as there are Christmas movies, but the number has been steadily growing in recent years. As much as we like bunnies, we prefer our Easter movies to be religious. After all, Easter Sunday (also known as Resurrection Sunday) is the most important day of the year for Christians, even more than Christmas, as it is the celebration of Jesus being resurrected from the dead.

So with that in mind, here are ten of our favorite Easter movies, from biblical epics like The Ten Commandments to modern classics like The Passion of the Christ. These Christian Easter movies commemorate in a passionate and powerful way the life, mission, message, sacrifice, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Consider adding one or more of these memorable productions to your movie collection to inspire you, uplift you, and help you focus on Jesus during the Easter season.

The Robe (1953)

This film tells the story of a Roman military tribune named Marcellus, played by Richard Burton, who happens to be placed in charge of the unit set to carry out the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Marcellus wins the robe that Jesus wore in a game of dice after the crucifixion. He is tormented by nightmares after the event, and his view on life will be challenged as the effects of the robe take over. The film explores the transformative power of faith and the impact of Jesus’ teachings on the lives of those who encounter his robe. (Rated G; 2 hr 15 min)

The Ten Commandments (1956)

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Rameses, this biblical epic follows the life of Moses as he leads the Israelites out of Egypt. Although not directly related to Easter, the film’s themes of faith and redemption make it a classic to watch during the Easter season. (Rated G; 3 hr 40 min)

Ben-Hur (1959)

This epic historical drama, directed by William Wyler and starring Charleton Heston, tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince who seeks revenge after being betrayed by a Roman friend. The film opens with the birth of Jesus, and culminates with Judah Ben-Hur at the crucifixion, while providing a powerful and moving portrayal of faith and redemption. This movie won 11 Academy Awards including “Best Picture.” Even the 2016 version of Ben-Hur can’t compare to the original. (Rated G; 3 h 32 min)

The Gospel According To St. Matthew (1964)

Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini recounts the birth, life, teachings, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in this faithful adaptation of the Gospel of Matthew. Nominated for three Academy Awards, the film takes Christ out of the opulent church and presents him as an outcast Italian peasant. Shot like a historical documentary, in a black-and-white “cine-verite” neorealist style with non-professional actors, the film offers a raw and authentic portrayal of the biblical story. In Italian with English subtitles. (Not Rated; 2 hr 12 min) Watch an edited, colorized version on Freevee.

The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

This epic film wondrously recreates the life of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, from his birth in Bethlehem to his baptism by John, the raising of Lazarus, the Last Supper, and finally his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Starring Max Von Sydow as Jesus and featuring an all-star cast including Charleton Heston (John the Baptist), David McCallum (Judas), Dorothy McGuire (Mary), Sidney Poitier (Simon of Cyrene), Claude Rains (Herod the Great), Donald Pleasence (The Devil), Martin Landau (Caiaphas), and Janet Margolin (Mary of Bethany). (Rated G; 4 hr 20 min)

Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

This British-Italian television miniseries, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, is a detailed and accurate account of the life of Jesus Christ. Beginning before the Nativity and extending through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, this miniseries brings to life all of the sweeping drama in the life of Jesus, as told by the Gospels. The series stars Robert Powell as Jesus and features an all-star cast, including Anne Bancroft, Olivia Hussey, and Christopher Plummer. (Rated G; 6 hr 22 min)

The Jesus Film (1979)

Filmed on location in Israel at authentic biblical sites, and financed primarily by Campus Crusade for Christ, this film is a classic. Translated into over 1,200 languages, it is popularly shown to non-believers by believers. This movie is based primarily off of the book of Luke. It is a journey of Jesus’ life that goes all the way from the miracle birth, to the crucifixion and resurrection. (Rated G; 1 hr 57 min)

The Prince of Egypt (1998)

This animated musical tells the story of Moses, who was raised as an Egyptian prince before discovering his true heritage and leading the Israelites out of Egypt. While not directly related to Easter, the themes of faith, perseverance, and redemption make this movie a fitting choice for younger children. (Rated PG; 1 hr 39 min)

Jesus (1999)

A made-for-TV miniseries about the life of Jesus Christ now available on DVD. A great piece as it is an effort to encompass the life, work and death of Jesus as we know it from the Bible. Jeremy Sisto stars as Jesus. This film also stars Debra Messing, Jacqueline Bisset, Gary Oldman, and David O’Hara. (Rated PG; 4 hrs)

The Life of Jesus (2003)

Starring Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus and narrated by Christopher Plummer, The Gospel of John is the story of Jesus as told through the eyes of his disciple, John. The film focuses on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, offering a very human, intimate picture of the passion and compassion of Christ’s three years of ministry. Christians will come away with an even greater appreciation for their Savior and the love that prompted his mission on earth. (Rated PG-13; 3 hrs)

The Gospel of John (2003)

The Gospel of John is the first-ever word-for-word filmed version of the biblical text. Using the original Jesus narrative as its script, this profound film sheds new light on one of history’s most sacred texts. Beautifully shot and informed by the latest theological, historical, and archeological research, this film is something to be enjoyed and treasured. This movie is also called “The Visual Bible.” (Rated PG-13; 2 hr 41 min)

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

When it comes to talking about Easter movies this one definitively portrays the Easter message in the highest grossing Christian movie of all time. The Passion of the Christ chronicles the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Starring James Caviezel as Jesus and directed by Mel Gibson, the film is known for its graphic and realistic depiction of Christ’s torture and suffering. It is not recommended for young children or for the faint of heart. The film offers an extremely painful, emotionally moving reminder of the suffering and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ at his crucifixion. This movie, while violent, delivers a message of salvation and gives a visual aide to Christians so they can fully understand what Jesus did for them. The film is portrayed in the biblical Aramaic and Latin languages with subtitles in English. (Rated R; 2 hr 7 min)

The Apostle Peter: Redemption (2016)

This film follows the story of Peter, played by John Rhys-Davies, as he seeks redemption after denying Jesus three times. Tormented by his denial of Christ, Peter spent the rest of his life attempting to atone for his failures. The film explores themes of forgiveness, faith, and the power of God’s grace. (Not Rated; 1 hr 29 min)

Risen (2016)

This film offers a unique perspective on the resurrection and how it may have been perceived by those in power at the time. It’s seen through the eyes of a hardened Roman Centurion charged by Pontius Pilate with the task of investigating the disappearance of the crucified body of Jesus of Nazareth. The investigation leads Clavius, played by Joseph Fiennes, on a soul-searching journey that ends in a life-altering decision. The battle-weary soldier puts his faith in the risen Christ and finds the abundant life he’s always longed for. (Rated PG-13; 1 hr 47 min)

His Only Son (2023)

HIS ONLY SON is the first feature-length film chronicling one of the most controversial moments in the Old Testament—when the Lord God gave Abraham the ultimate test by commanding him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, on the mountain of Moriah. The story of Abraham and Isaac points to Jesus and God’s plan of salvation for mankind, which makes it a perfect Easter movie. What Abraham went through and how God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, and what we celebrate on Easter with Jesus’ sacrifice for us, is a powerful parallel. Read our complete review here. (Rated PG-13; 1 hr 46 min)

The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection (TBD)

The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection is confirmed as the sequel to the 2004 film, with Jim Caviezel reprising his role as Jesus. It aims to continue the narrative and explore the three days between Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection. The sequel may be released as a multi-part film, potentially spanning two or three movies. A release date has not been announced, but rumor has it the film will be coming out in late 2024!

Did we leave out one of your favorite Easter movies? Leave a comment!

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