15 "Redemptive" Films You Should See Now

I just came from speaking about film criticism at the Biola Media Conference, on a panel with myself and Justin Chang of Variety. The topic of "Christian" or "redemptive" film was raised, and the moderator (Biola film professor Lisa Swain) asked Justin and I which filmmakers we thought were currently making the most "redemptive" films--were they Christians or non-Christians? Even in spite of the nebulous meaning of "redemptive film," Justin and I both immediately jumped to the films of the Dardenne Brothers as examples of some of the best "redemptive" cinema happening these days. But there are many others I could have mentioned. So, for those who were in the session this morning (or anyone else), here are some other recent films I would recommend that you immediately Netflix, if you haven't seen them yet:

Once (John Carney, 2007)

United 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006)

L’Enfant (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2006)

The Son (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2002)

A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)

The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)

Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2009)

Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas, 2009)

Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009)

Before Sunrise / Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 1995, 2004)

Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt, 2006)

Ballast (Lance Hammer, 2008)

Munyurangabo (Lee Isaac Chung, 2009)

Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)