The Ten Most Spiritually Literate Films
The Ten Most Spiritually Literate Foreign Language Films
The Five Most Spiritually Literate Animated Films
The Ten Most Spiritually Literate Documentaries
Ten More Spiritually Literate Films

Each year we see hundreds of movies and review those we can recommend to you as good companions for your spiritual journey. To explain our choices, we note which of the 37 spiritual practices in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy each film's story and characters illustrate. We encourage you to see these movies in the theater or via DVD or a streaming service. Click on the links to read full reviews.

The Ten Most Spiritually Literate Films

Beasts of No Nation
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga
Set in Africa, a powerful cry from the heart to respect the rights of young boys and end their enslavement in war.

Bridge of Spies
Director Steven Spielberg
A terrific portrait of an American hero during the Cold War whose zeal for justice is awesome.

Director Todd Haynes
A mesmerizing and emotionally rich movie set in the 1950s about a shop girl and an older well-to-do woman who fall in love.

Director Peter Landesman
A gifted Christian pathologist takes on the National Football League over the life-threatening consequences to players of violence in the game.

Ex Machina
Director Alex Garland
An intriguing four-character sci-fi drama about explorers of artificial intelligence.

Far From the Madding Crowd
Director Thomas Vinterberg
A meditation on yearning and the brimming hearts of three men and the woman they all want to marry.

45 Years
Director Andrew Haigh
A powerful portrait of a loving wife who finds herself impaled upon the emotional cross of jealousy.

Good Kill
Director Andrew Niccol
A heart-rending drama about drone warfare that proves there never has been, and there never will be, "a good kill."

The Martian
Director Ridley Scott
A science fiction gem that includes a tribute to the importance of little things like duct tape.

Director Tom McCarthy
A convincing affirmation of investigative journalism and a ringing condemnation of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

The Ten Most Spiritually Literate Foreign Language Films

A Borrowed Identity
Director Eran Riklis
A touching and inspiring film by an Israeli director that fosters the spiritual practice of open-mindedness.

Charlie's Country
Director Rolf de Heer
A touching portrait of an Aboriginal elder who is determined to live in the old ways.

Directors Jon Garano and Jose Mari Goenaga
An alluring drama of love and loss that will bloom in your consciousness and soul.

Marie's Story
Director Jean-Pierre Ameris
A remarkable spiritual drama about compassion, loving, and creative caregiving.

Director Deniz Gamze Ergüven
An astonishing Turkish drama about the oppression of five spirited young women whose sexuality frightens the Muslim elders in the community.

Directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache
A French dramedy about a Senegalese immigrant that offers us positive messages about friendship, love, and hope.

The Second Mother
Director Anna Muylaert
A splendid and engaging morality play about class warfare and the challenges and disappointments of parenting.

Stations of the Cross
Director Dietrich Brüggemann
A spiritual movie for practicing empathy and compassion for fearful fundamentalists.

Director Colette Bothof
A touching portrait of a shy 16-year-old whose life is transformed by her encounter with an outsider.

White God
Director Kornel Mundruczo
A poignant Hungarian parable about the terrible things that can happen when there is no reverence for dogs as fellow companions.

The Five Most Spiritually Literate Animated Films

Directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson
A vivid and creative view of the harm, loneliness, and pain brought into the world by mental illness.

Boy and the World
Director Ale Abreu
A colorful and out-of-the-box animated feature from Brazil that charts the quest of a boy to find his father.

The Good Dinosaur
Director Peter Sohn
A charming story of a dinosaur with a good heart who learns the meaning of courage on his way home after many adventures.

Inside Out
Directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo del Carmen
An animated masterpiece that helps us understand, appreciate, and re-frame our emotions.

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
Director Robert Allers
A visually impressive animated film presenting eight profound and poetic wisdom teachings.

The Ten Most Spiritually Literate Documentaries

The Armor of Light
Directors Abigail Disney and Kathleen Hughes
A conscience stirring documentary about two Christians and their crusade for gun control.

Bikes vs Cars
Director Fredrik Gertten
Reports from cities around the world about the need for bikes and the problems faced by those who ride them.

The Hand That Feeds
Directors Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnik
A rousing and hopeful documentary about the creation and triumph of a small union in New York.

He Named Me Malala
Director Davis Guggenheim
An inspiring documentary about the teenage advocate for girls' education, reconciliation, and peace.

Heart of a Dog
Director Laurie Anderson
A content rich cine-essay that mines the many meanings of life, death, story, compassion, and beloved pets.

The Hunting Ground
Director Kirby Dick
A hard-hitting and disturbing documentary about the treatment of women who have been sexually assaulted on U. S. college campuses.

Jafar Panahi's Taxi
Director Jafar Panahi
A cogent and playful documentary about the banned filmmaker's return to the streets of Teheran.

The Look of Silence
Director Joshua Oppenheimer
Troubling story of a young Indonesian optician's quest to learn who killed his older brother and why during a purge of some one million Communists in the country.

We Come as Friends
Director Hubert Sauper
A riveting documentary that will bring your blood to a boil when you see how Africans are being exploited once again.

Where to Invade Next
Director Michael Moore
A creative and inspirational documentary meant to revive the American Dream by showing us examples of where it is alive and well.

Ten More Spiritually Literate Films

The Danish Girl
Director Tom Hooper
An astonishing biopicture of a trailblazing transgender artist and his wife, who is a master of being present in love.

The End of the Tour
Director James Ponsoldt
A creative and engrossing film about two writers trying to determine what is important to them.

James White
Director Josh Mond
A poignant drama about an immature young man who rises to the occasion as a sensitive and loving son when his mother is dying.

The Letters
Director William Riead
A tender and touching biopicture on the life and spiritual work of Mother Teresa who viewed herself as an instrument of God's love.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
An astonishing dramedy about life, death, and the mysteries that imbue them both.

Director Ragnar Bragason
A deeply spiritual film, set in Iceland, about grief, forgiveness, and personal transformation.

Mr. Holmes
Director Bill Condon
One last case for the elderly detective that convinces him to cherish the mysteries of his existence.

Director Sarah Gavron
An engrossing film about the transformation of a working-class mom into a radical feminist in 1912 England.

Director Jay Roach
An ethically stirring biopicture about the courageous screenplay writer who triumphed over the Red Scare crusaders of the 1950s.

Director Paolo Sorrentino
A distinctive and alluring blend of soul searching and philosophical musings amid the challenges of conscious aging.