The 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005

What do exorcists, terrorists, caped crusaders,  and a talking lion have in common? They're all characters in some of the year's most redeeming movies, presented here in our second annual list.

So, we put our heads together to come up with the 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005, and what a diverse list it is. Our second annual such list includes everything from brutal boxing to wheelchair rugby. Everything from exorcists to terrorists. Everything from a mysterious caped crusader with a penchant for justice, to a wide-eyed young boy with a heart for compassion. And a talking lion.

What do we mean by "redeeming" films? They're all stories of redemption—sometimes blatantly, sometimes less so. Several of them literally have a character that represents a redeemer. And with some of them, the redemption thread is buried beneath the surface; you might have to look a bit harder for it, but it's most certainly there. Some of them are "feel-good" movies that leave a smile on your face; some might leave you with more of a contemplative frown, asking, "How should I process that?"

See for yourself in the list below, which we present in reverse order, with the No. 1 movie at the bottom. (Just imagine the drum roll in your head and play along, OK?)

10. Cinderella Man

The story of real-life Depression era boxer James Braddock, who literally went from the soup lines to the world championship, is more than just another story about someone who overcame tremendous odds. It's a story of family and friendship, of goodness and faith. Braddock, played marvelously by Russell Crowe, is portrayed as a God-fearing man of integrity who is madly in love with his wife and kids. It's a story that illustrates the power of truly knowing what you're fighting for. Crowe and Paul Giamatti, who plays Braddock's manager and best friend, both turn in Oscar-worthy performances.
(Our full review.)

9. Batman Begins

Yes, there's a marvelous tale of redemption ...

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