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?)
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.)
Yes, there's a marvelous tale of redemption ...1