2007 | Unrated
directed by Carlos Reygadas
Sunrise is a classic symbol of Easter, and the opening shot here—a film about resurrection in a literal sense—features a breathtaking sunrise over a rural landscape. Opening on a dark sky and then gradually illuminated by morning light, this powerful scene must be seen to be believed.
2006 | Rated PG-13
directed by Sofia Coppola
After a long night of partying (18th-century Versailles style), the young queen of France and a crew of her corseted best friends frolic in the gardens at dawn, watching a gorgeous sunrise as a new day sheds redemptive light on the champagne indulgences of the night before.
Pride & Prejudice
2005 | Rated PG
directed by Joe Wright
This already beautiful movie gets more gorgeous in the final act, a memorable romantic catharsis wherein Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy come together in a sunrise-bathed field and kiss for the first time. It's a classic "new dawn" picture of hope and renewal, forgiveness and reconciliation.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2002 | Rated PG-13
directed by Peter Jackson
After the long, bloody night at Helm's Deep, the battle finally turns with the arrival of Gandalf as he promised: "On the first light of the fifth day, at dawn, look to the east." Just when all hope seems lost, Gandalf's arrival with the rising sun signals victory.
The Passion of the Christ
2004 | Rated R
directed by Mel Gibson
After a grueling, gruesome crucifixion, Jesus dies and the screen goes black—only to be illuminated moments later by the sun's morning glory on the third day, its beams shining through the holes in the hands of the resurrected Christ. It is the Divine Sunrise, which shines for all eternity.
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