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Top 10 Small Budget Christian Movies With A Big Message

Apr 08, 2014

Over the past few years many Christian films have been successful at the box office and garnered a lot of attention. Movie producers are concerned about the amount of money a movie makes, but there is so more behind a film than just dollars and cents. Recently, God’s Not Dead, Noah, Unstoppable, Son of God and many other Christian films have caught the attention of countless viewers. Some are critics and others feel a deeper connection with the stories and actors that comes from their relationship with God. More Christian films are backed with well-known actors and actresses with large budgets, but there are many inspired films that have been produced on low budgets.

Here are my top 10 small budget Christian movies with a big message. Budgets for movies range considerably and after reviewing many films, I considered a low budget film to be under $10,000,000. Many movies on the list had budgets under $1,000,000.

"The Truth": 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

10. Seven Days in Utopia (Budget: $7.5 million)

2011

Rated G

Luke Chisholm (played by Lucas Black) has just entered the pro circuit as a golfer and assumes his career is over after his disastrous first match. Unexpectedly, he ends up in the tiny town of Utopia and meets old man Johnny Crawford (played by Robert Duvall), who was a successful golf pro back in the day. Johnny quickly recognizes key aspects about Luke’s personality that are holding him back on more ways than just with golf. Luke commits to staying to Utopia and comes out a different person who also meets the love of his life. Matt Russell directed the film.

9. Unconditional (Budget: $700,000)

2012

Rated PG-13

Samantha Crawford and Joe Bradford were childhood friends, but they took far different paths in life. Joe became connected with the wrong crowd, ended up in jail, but turned his life around and now dedicates his time to helping mentor children in the living in the poor project section of the city. Samantha married the man of her dreams and they had their whole future ahead of them when her husband was senselessly murdered in the neighborhood Joe works in. This tragedy brought the two childhood friends back together for a reason. Brent McCorkle wrote and directed the film.

8. Grace Unplugged (Budget: $1.7 million)

2013

Rated PG

Teenager Grace Trey has a phenomenal singing voice and is also the daughter of singing legend Johnny Trey. He is using his connections to open doors for Grace, but she wants to go big her own way. She moves to [location] and is on the path to success while at odds with her dad and pushing down a path that doesn’t seem quite right. Grace is making her dreams come true, but has to decide whether she’s walking with God or pushing against Him. Brad J. Silverman directed this movie.

Check out our Grace Unplugged Movie Review

7. Facing the Giants (Budget: $100,000)

2006

Rated PG

Grant Taylor is a high school football coach and letting fear determine what happens in his life. He’s struggling to coach a team that has little talent on the field and he and his wife have tried to get pregnant for years without success. Grant finally realizes how his fears of failure are a huge stumbling block in his life and puts his hope and strength in God. His entire outlook changes and every aspect of his life begins moving forward. Alex Kendrick directed the film and he also played Grant Taylor. Alex and Stephen Kendrick wrote the film.

6. Unstoppable (Budget: $500,000)

2013

Documentary, not rated

Why does God let bad things happen? Kirk Cameron goes on a personal journey exploring this question to examine his faith and find the answer. Unstoppable shares the stories and people he met. The message delivered is powerful and genuine and Kirk’s faith was strengthened in indescribable ways.

"The Truth": Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”

5. Sarah’s Choice (Budget: $900,000)

2009

Not Rated

Sarah Collins’ life is about to change big time as she’s on her way to a major promotion. She works hard and is dedicated to her career when she finds out she is pregnant. In her world, this is a huge hindrance in achieving the success that she has planned for and she’s torn on what to do. She begins dreaming of a daughter and it becomes clearer that she’s experiencing divine intervention that is showing her glimpses of life as a mother. Chad Kapper directed the film.

4. The Grace Card (Budget: $200,000)

2010

Rated PG-13

Bill ‘Mac’ McDonald is a preacher and police officer that learns that his partner Sam Wright feels like life is falling apart and it goes back to when he lost his first son. As they drive around together fighting crime, Mac feels like he is failing as a preacher because he had no idea the pain and suffering Sam felt everyday or how to help him. Sam is at a place where he desperately needs God’s grace and Mac feels convicted to preach and live what God’s grace is. Howard Klausner wrote the film script and David G. Evans directed the movie.

3. Courageous (Budget: $2,000,000)

2011

Rated PG-13

Small-town cop Adam Mitchell thinks everything in life is going smoothly. He has a good job, wife and two kids, but isn’t as dedicated to his children as he should be. His young daughter is killed in a tragic car accident and his entire world breaks. Adam realizes that he needs to be the father that God wants and gets a group of other police officer dads to commit to better their lives as fathers. The outcome is tremendous, but every step requires courage. Alex and Stephen Kendrick wrote the movie and Alex directed it.

2. Fireproof (Budget: $500,000)

2008

Rated PG

Caleb (played by Kirk Cameron) and Catherine Holt have been married for 10 years and are headed toward divorce. They constantly find fault in each other and the bitter feelings turned to resentment long ago. Caleb’s father challenges him to take The Love Dare and at first he is frustrated and disappointed, but then things begin to change and hope is renewed. Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick wrote the film with Alex directing it.

1. October Baby (Budget: $1,000,000)

2011

Rated PG-13

Hannah is a talented actress in college but suddenly has a seizure on stage that changes her life. She is physically fine, but learns that her parents are not her biological parents and the abortion her birth mother attempted failed. Surviving the unthinkable, Hannah had countless surgeries and health problems as a child. After the seizure, she learns the truth about how she came into this world and sinks into a place questioning her worth, value and who she really is. Her parents had never found the right way or time to tell her the truth, but it’s unraveling before her. Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin directed the movie.

"The Truth": Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”

Conclusion

Each one of these movies brings the raw emotion that dealing with the issues discussed naturally demands. Perhaps some of you feel unwanted like Hannah did in October Baby, broken like Sam Wright in The Grace Card, limited by fear like Grant in Facing the Giants or hopeless like Caleb in Fireproof. Many of the storylines in these films are based on true stories, so you are not alone and there is hope. Whether you started playing the critic as you watched one of these Christian movies or expected an inspiring story, the messages can touch lives and leave a lasting hopefulness. A film’s budget is not an accurate measure of the message it delivers. Larger budgets open more doors, including marketing, but all Christian films require commitment and creativity.

Related Reading: Highest Grossing Christian Movies: Top 13 Of All Time

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