All Saints (2017) — PICK

Dunkirk (2017) — PICK

The best faith-based film in years and the year’s best blockbuster spectacle are among the latest home-video releases.

John Corbett stars in All Saints, a fact-based film about an Anglican clergyman at a doomed rural parish who winds up becoming involved in a community of refugees, members of the Karen people of Myanmar.

Most faith-based films aim at edifying the faithful. Welcoming strangers, learning about other cultures and challenging one’s preconceptions are not typical themes. All Saints explores the Christian ideal in a way that is attractive and challenging, regardless of viewers’ faith, or lack thereof.

Dunkirk plays not only as Christopher Nolan’s best film, but as a kind of an antithesis — even an antidote — to all the others. Nolan has struggled in other films with the idea of redemption for regular people — and finds it in the famous evacuation operation that gave rise to the phrase “Dunkirk spirit.”

This claustrophobic war movie about soldiers crowded on a jetty or hunkered in the bellies of destroyers is ironically liberating, precisely because the stakes are clear and the goal and burden of survival is shared by soldiers and civilians alike.


Caveat Spectator: All Saints: Brief references to war crimes, including rape; a single rude word. Older kids and up. Dunkirk: Intense but largely bloodless battle violence; limited profanity and bad language. Teens and up.