We live in an age hungry for extraordinary events. The Germans have a word for this — wundersucht, which means "a passion for miracles." Thousands of pilgrims flock to places that report healings of terrible diseases or supernatural phenomena such as weeping statues or the face of Christ appearing in strange places.
Polls reveal that 83 percent of the American public believe in miracles. These events defy logic and the consensus view of reality. Commonly associated in the history books with the ardent faith of saints, in the movies, miracles often show up in the lives of ordinary people. It may be that some inexplicable event turns their lives upside down. Or sometimes the miracle may simply be that the characters act out of love for one another and are willing to ask for and receive help.
We've found some movies about miracles in our reviews database. But first, here are a few soul-stirring quotations to frame this exploration.
- "Mysteries are not to be solved. The eye goes blind when it only wants to see why."
- "When there is great love there are always miracles. Miracles rest not so much upon faces or voice or healing power coming to us from afar off, but in our own perceptions being finer."
— Willa Cather
- "Leaving the miraculous out of life is rather like leaving out the lavatory or dreams or breakfast."
— Graham Greene
- "Miracle is simply the wonder of the unique that points us back to the wonder of the everyday."
— Maurice Friedman
- "All of our life is a miracle. . . . There is not a minute in the twenty-four hours that is not filled with miracles."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
- "Coincidences and miracles are only glimpses of how closely connected with God we really are."
— Paul Pearsall
In Henry Poole Is Here, a depressed man with a terminal illness moves into his childhood neighborhood. He just wants to be left alone but then his neighbor sees the face of Christ on the stucco wall of his house. Soon people are praying in his backyard and claiming that touching the wall has cured them. Henry doesn't want to admit it, but he's in need of a miracle too, and it comes in some unexpected ways. Read our full review plus a statement from director Mark Pellington.
- Agnes of God explores in a very intense and involving way the ambiguity of contemporary attitudes toward miracles: individuals evidence both hunger for and skepticism about them.
- The Big Squeeze proves that great good can miraculously result not only from the efforts of caring souls but also from the machinations of self-centered schemers, dreamers, and con men.
- Bruce Almighty is a spiffy cinematic parable about a selfish and obsessed television reporter whose spiritual journey opens his heart and sets him on a path of using his gifts to serve others.
- Commandments explores the moral education of a man undone by grief and loss; he and others in this drama are awed and stopped in their tracks by an inexplicable event.
- Gospel According to Vic delves into some of the curious ways in which people in contemporary Scotland respond to miracles.
- Household Saints shows how God moves mysteriously in our lives to work miracles while we are dealing with such seemingly insignificant matters as sausages, card games, ironing, and scrubbing floors.
- Leap of Faith reveals that miracles cannot be summoned by command; they happen spontaneously by grace, and often to those who least expect them.
- Lorenzo's Oil is the true story of two loving parents who fashion a miracle to save the life of their son, who is afflicted with a rare disease.
- Michael focuses on the adventures of an archangel who loves sugar, makes women swoon, and is mainly interested in small miracles.
- Millions is an endearing, charming, creative, and spiritually uplifting movie about miracles, money, saints, and the divine love that will not let us go.
- Noel is set in New York at Christmas and deals with miracles that cannot be fathomed by the head but prove to be no stretch at all for those who live by the heart.
- Powder revolves around an adolescent alien whose mystical vision and compassion make him a true miracle worker.
- Resurrection is an extraordinary film about a healer and the power of love.
- Saint Ralph is a heartfelt story about a teenager who proves that ordinary individuals can do extraordinary things through strong intention, fiery determination, and a little help from their friends.
- The Third Miracle is an absorbing religious drama dealing with the complex subject of miracles and also delves into questions about the meaning of Christian faith, the value of saints, and the authority of Rome in the Catholic church.