Seems like there were saviors—and a Savior—all over the big screen in 2004. They came in all shapes and sizes—from a comic-book superhero to a kind-hearted music teacher, from a courageous soul trying to save over 1,000 of his fellow men to the King of Kings dying to save all of mankind.

The films depicting these characters were all stories of redemption. They certainly weren't all "feel-good" movies which left you bouncing out of the theater with a smile on your face (though a few of them certainly did just that). But they were all stories that communicated truth, love, grace and redemption—and they're the movies that make up our first annual list of The 10 Most Redeeming Films of the year.

This won't be our only Top Ten list gleaned from 2004's movies. Next week we'll post our Critics' Choices for the Top Ten Films of the Year—a list that very well might be a good predictor of how things might shake down at the upcoming Academy Awards.

But for now, we present—in alphabetical order—our list of 2004's most redeeming films. Note that some of these are still showing in theaters, so you've still got a chance to catch them on the big screen.

America's Heart & Soul

The glory of this film—a documentary that doesn't feel like one—is its simplicity and authenticity. Sure, cinematographic guru Louis Schwartzberg made it look beautiful, but it's the people—everyday Americans, doing everyday things, from the ordinary to the extraordinary—who make it feel beautiful. In 25 vignettes profiling all sorts of Americans, we meet everyone from Thomas "Roudy" Roudebush, a Colorado wrangler who found new life after kicking alcoholism; Appalachian rug weaver Minnie Yancey of Kentucky, ...

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