Atheism movies

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Mainstream Hollywood films that support atheism? Movies about atheism?

Originally from atheist movies on RRS.

Atheist movie list on Amazon

The Wizard of Oz - The classic Wizard of Oz is a tremendously pro-Atheist movie.  Wandering people with no brain, courage, home or heart seek out heaven at the Emerald City.  When God is revealed to be nothing more than a man behind the curtain people are granted their brain, heart, home and courage because they didn't need religion but got it when they lost their superstition.

Inherit the Wind - A school teacher gets arrested, and must stand trail for teaching the theory of evolution in school.

Contact: Jodie Foster plays an agnostic atheist scientist looking for signs of alien life.  The religious counterpart is viewed as anti-science because of ideology.

Straw Dogs (the remake) - An open Atheist and his wife from L.A. move to a small southern town in the bible belt and face harassment.

Monty Python's Life of Brian - which parodies the birth of Christianity.

300 - a freethinking theme in: "This day we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny and usher in a world brighter than anything we can imagine..." Retelling the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, it depicts the titanic clash in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive Persian army.

The God Who Wasn't There
A documentary by Brian Flemming about the lack of evidence for Jesus Christ. In the movie you learn about the long gap between when Jesus lived and when he was written about. The movie was distributed for free in a Blasphemy Challenge that asked users to commit an unforgivable sin in exchange.

Religulous - Bill Maher incurs the wrath of multiple religious zealots of myriad faiths in Religulous, a snarky but unexpectedly powerful documentary. Maher bluntly disputes the value of religion in a world made increasingly dangerous, on the one hand, by fanaticism of all kinds and the human race's environmental self-destructiveness on the other. No one is immune from Maher's dogged questions about the illogic and negative fallout of doctrines that advocate violence or shun scientific evidence or marginalize minorities or punish anyone who disagrees with any religion's extreme tenets. Maher takes his inquiries to the Vatican; to small, evangelical Christian churches; to Jerusalem; to Amsterdam (where elements of an increasingly vocal Muslim community have shown violence toward critics); to a large, African-American church in a big city; and to several bizarre theme parks celebrating creationism and the life of Jesus. Wherever he goes, Maher seeks to demonstrate that many of the world's major religions are rife with hypocrisy, completely self-referential, and destructive to the collective good. The fast-moving, globe-trotting film is full of highlights, including a great scene where Maher, in disguise, argues for the core beliefs of Scientology to a bemused crowd at Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park. There's also a wonderful moment where Maher, just having been thrown out of the Vatican, gets a terrific interview with a maverick priest. Raised Catholic but in reality half-Jewish, Maher also spends time with his mother and sister trying to reconcile the role of religion in his childhood. Everything is really leading toward Maher's major point that atheists and agnostics are in a sizable minority but are afraid to speak out in these days of zealotry. If that minority stays in the background, Maher says, we may very well be heading toward catastrophe. --Tom Keogh

Planet of the Apes (The original) - Turns the scopes monkey trial upside down, and explores the relationship between man and ape in a very dark and twisted way. Makes subtle references to religion and evolution. A bewildered astronaut (Charlton Heston) crash-lands on a strange planet ruled by apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport.

Serenity - based on the Firefly TV series.  I wouldn't say it's pro-atheist, but it definitely paints a universe in which religion has changed, and to a large degree, been marginalized.  The main hero is an ex-Christian who has become self reliant and now opposes the oppressive "thought police" style government.  His non-Christian status is not thrown at you all the time, but you can't watch the movie or the series without noticing it.

Red State
Three teenaged boys are lured to the town of Cooper’s Dell with the promise of a party. But instead of enjoying the night of their dreams, the teens are plunged into the nightmarish world of Pastor Abin Cooper and the Five Points Trinity, a fundamentalist group with a stockpile of weaponry and a deadly moral agenda. When word of the teens’ disappearance reaches the authorities, a military task force is mobilized. With Cooper’s Dell teetering between salvation and damnation, the ATF braces for a furious gun battle with Cooper and his heavily armed followers in this fever-pitched action thriller from writer-director Kevin Smith.</p>
Blade Runner
The replicants come to earth to seek out their creator.
The Crucible
The Salem witch hunts are given a new and nasty perspective when a vengeful teenage girl uses superstition and repression to her advantage, creating a killing machine that becomes a force unto itself. Pulsating with seductive energy, this provocative drama is as visually arresting as it is intellectually engrossing. Arthur Miller based his classic 1953 play on the actual Salem witch trials of 1692, creating what has since become a durable fixture of school drama courses. It may look like a historical drama, but Miller also meant the work as a parable for the misery created by the McCarthy anti-Communist hearings of the 1950s. This searing version of his drama delves into matters of conscience with concise accuracy and emotional honesty. Three passionate cheers for Miller, director Nicholas Hytner, and costars Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder. --Rochelle O'Gorman

The Magdalene Sisters - based upon the real story of women who were enslaved by the Catholic church in the late 20th century.  It reveals that only the power of the church was able to keep these women enslaved and for the community to accept it. A movie guaranteed to make the blood boil, The Magdalene Sisters gives a lacerating account of life inside a Magdalene Laundry, one of the dismal asylums for "wayward women" run by the Catholic Church in Ireland. Director Peter Mullan, inspired by a TV documentary on the same subject, follows the miserable fates of three young women who are institutionalized in the 1960s for flimsy reasons; their lives are at the mercy of sadistic nuns (Geraldine McEwan is superb as the head of the place). The film sounds tortuous, but its rich sense of outrage and excellent performances--Nora-Jane Noone is a real discovery--make it consistently gripping. The movie won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival and went on to become a box-office hit in Ireland, where the Magdalene system was still a fresh memory. It had been abolished only in 1996. --Robert Horton

Deliver us From Evil– A devastating investigation into the pedophilia scandals tearing apart the Catholic Church, Deliver Us From Evil begins by looking into one priest, Father Oliver O'Grady, who agreed to be interviewed by journalist/filmmaker Amy Berg. O'Grady's genial calm is at first ingratiating, until he begins to describe his crimes with an unsettling sociopathic detachment. But O'Grady's blithe interview is only half of the story, as the documentary also unveils how church superiors covered up O'Grady's crimes and shuffled him from diocese to diocese in northern California, finally placing him in an unsupervised position of authority in a small town, where he sexually assaulted dozens of children; the video deposition of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney is a grotesque portrait in brittle denial. What makes Deliver Us From Evil crucial viewing, however, are the remarkable interviews with a few of the victims (now adults) and their parents, whose stories are wrenching and riveting. With the support of a priest seeking to reform the church, two of the victims actually go to the Pope, seeking some form of help in addressing O'Grady's crimes. This stunningly potent documentary combines raw feeling with lucid and persuasive discussions of the reasons for--and disturbing breadth of--this crisis within the Church. --Bret Fetzer

Elmer Gantry -- Tells the story of a fast talking salesman turned into a con man preacher. Burt Lancaster earned his only Oscar as the wide-smiling, glad-handing, soul-saving charlatan Elmer Gantry, a salesman who turns his gift for preaching into a career at the pulpit. Climbing on board the barnstorming evangelical tour of revivalist Sister Sharon Falconer (Jean Simmons), a true believer in the Aimee Semple McPherson mold, Gantry declaims, invokes, and sermonizes his way to the top until a former flame-turned-prostitute (Shirley Jones in an Oscar-winning performance) threatens to reveal his dark past as a womanizer and con man. Lancaster harnesses all his physical vigor and natural charisma for this role, literally throwing himself into his preaching with the vigor of an acrobat and the sing-song delivery of a gospel singer--he even brays like a hound to show the Holy Spirit within him. Gantry is a showman, pure and simple, and while he doesn't fool true-believer Sister Sharon, he gives her a few object lessons in playing the crowd.

Altered States
William Hurt, in his screen debut, plays the mad scientist who develops a kind of think tank that regresses him to a primal state. In other words, he enters a meek scientist, but emerges a hairy ape. The film's pacing is part of the problem, as it talks us to death in the beginning, than lapses into more typical fare, disregarding the intellectual aspects of the original material. This film marks the screen debut of Drew Barrymore
2001 A Space Odyssey
A space mission that could reveal man's destiny is jeopardized by a malfunctioning shipboard computer. A dazzling journey that tops them all -- and showed the way for other effects-packed films that followed.
Heart of the Beholder
a 2005 drama film that was written and directed by Ken Tipton. It is based on Tipton's own experience as the owner of a chain of videocassette rental stores in the 1980s. Tipton and his family had opened the first videocassette rental stores in St. Louis in 1980. Their business was largely destroyed by a campaign of the National Federation for Decency, who objected to the chain's carrying the film The Last Temptation of Christ for rental.

The Handmaid's Tale – Following a war where WMD have rendered most women sterile, the USA has become the theistic Republic of Gilead. The few women believed to be fertile are forced into sexual slavery for the nation's elite in an attempt to restart the population.

The Truman Show – The director will go to any length, including impersonating god to keep the protagonist in the dark over what is really going on.

The Wicker Man – A police officer goes to a remote island to investigate a case of a missing girl. When he gets there he finds that the island has reinvented an ancient religion. Do not get the Nick Cage version. Watch the 1973 version starring Christopher Lee.

The Invention of Lying: staring Ricky Gervais was a good comedy and highlights the stupidity and gullibility of unquestioning masses.</p> <p>War on Science (BBC horizon): The theory of evolution is under attack from a controversial new idea called intelligent design. But is it science? creationsim conservative right wing fundametalism documentary God creator biology Phillip Johnson Professor Richard Dawkins Sir David Attenborough science controversy pseudoscience Edwards vs. Aguillard supreme court Dover religion science illusion of God atheism secular extremism


Bounce: features an atheist character. Ben Affleck's atheism is briefly revealed when the recovering alcoholic criticizes AA's higher-power routine. The movie portrays the redemption of this atheist.

Dogma - This Kevin Smith movie pokes fun at religion in an hilarious manner. When two banished angels find a loophole that will allow them back into heaven at the cost of humankind an unsuspecting mortal woman two prophets and the thirteenth apostle are the only ones who can stop them.

Contender: Joan Allen is a U.S. Senator nominated for the vice presidency, she admits her atheism and support for the separation of church and state at a confirmation hearing.

Richard Dawkins "The Root of all Evil?": He explores the state of the three Abrahamic religions in the world today, from the political influence of rich and powerful Christian fundamentalist institutions in America to the deadly clash of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Middle East. He describes the Holy Land as the least enlightened place in the world, a microcosm of the threat to rational values and civilisation posed by religion, whose irrational roots, he says, are nourishing intolerance and murder.

The Enemies of Reason: a two-part television documentary, written and presented by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in which he seeks to expose "those areas of belief that exist without scientific proof, yet manage to hold the nation under their spell", including mediumship, acupuncture and psychokinesis. It includes interviews with Steve Fuller, Deepak Chopra, Satish Kumar, and Derren Brown.

Agora: Set in ancient Egypt under Roman rule, AGORA follows the brilliant and beautiful astronomer Hypatia (Weisz) who leads a group of disciples fighting to save the wisdom of the Ancient World, as violent religious upheaval spills into the streets of Alexandria. Among these disciples are two men competing for her heart: the witty, privileged Orestes (Isaac) and Davus (Minghella), Hypatia’s young slave, who is torn between his secret love for her and the freedom he knows can be his if he chooses to join the unstoppable surge of the Christians.

The stoning of Soraya M: A chilling true story. Academy Award® nominee Shorheh Aghdashloo stars as Zahra, a woman with a burning secret. When a journalist (Jim Caviezel) is stranded in her remote village, Zahra takes a bold chance to reveal what the villagers will stop at nothing to hide. Thus begins the story of Soraya (Mozhan Marnò), a kind woman whose cruel, divorce- seeking husband trumps up false charges of infidelity against her, which carry an unimaginable penalty. Soraya and Zahra attempt to navigate the villagers’ scheming, lies and deceit to prove her innocence. But when all else fails, Zahra must risk everything to use the only weapon she has left – her voice – to share Soraya's shocking story with the world.

Creation (Charles Darwin movie): More than 150 years after its publication, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species and its theory of natural selection remain the subject of much debate; the divide between those who accept Darwin's ideas as incontrovertible science and those who consider them blasphemous may be wider now than ever. Released in 2009, director Jon Amiel's Creation goes right to the heart of the matter--indeed, right to the heart of Darwin himself. As portrayed by Paul Bettany, the Darwin who has returned to England following his voyage aboard HMS Beagle is a man for whom "deeply conflicted" is a barely adequate description. Well aware his theory is "perhaps the most powerful idea ever to occur to a human mind," he is caught between the scientists who insist that he has "killed God" and the religious conservatives, including his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly), who counter that his very soul will be in peril if he finishes and publishes his book. What's more, he is haunted, sometimes literally, by the death of his favorite child, Annie (seen in frequent flashbacks), and its effect on his marriage--in fact, it is this personal angle that dominates the film. But while the toll his work has taken on his health, his faith, his family, and his very sanity is obvious, he also knows that it is far too important to ignore. Creation is not a documentary; liberties have been taken, and there are multiple sequences, including Darwin's nightmarish fever dreams, that are clearly the invention of the filmmakers. But Bettany and Connelly, who are a real-life couple, are both superb; the cinematography is gorgeous; and various scenes illustrating the notion of "survival of the fittest" in nature are riveting (there won't be a dry eye in the house when Darwin tells his dying daughter about the fate of an orangutan captured in Borneo). And while the tone of the film would seem to favor science over religion, the DVD includes numerous bonus features in which both sides have their say. This one is not to be missed. -- Sam Graham

8: the Mormon Proposition: A searing indictment of the Mormon Church's historic involvement in the promotion and passage of California s Proposition 8, and the Mormon religion s secretive, decades-long campaign against gay rights.

Harvey (1950) An unintended allegory on the mental state of the religious; Elwood P. Dowd is a pleasant and eccentric bachelor living with a 6'3" white rabbit named "Harvey" that only certain people can see. After supposedly meeting this rabbit, Dowd's sanity is put into question by his sister, Veta.

A Jihad for Love

For the Bible tells me so


Constantine's Sword

The Sivas Massacre

Generation Jihad

-Amen (2002)

-Priest (1995)

-The Name of the Rose (1986)

-Wise Blood (1979)


-The Most Hated Family in America (2008) [Really hard to sit through]

-BBC Panorama: British Schools, Islamic Rules

-BBC: Vatican, The hidden world

Judgment Day: Intelligent design on trial]] (Nova documentary)

'Through the wormhole' first episode, 'Is there a God' Other episodes are also very interesting.

'Penn & Teller - Bullshit' S1 E1 - Talking to the dead, S1 E8 - Creationism, S2 E6 - The Bible, S3 E6 - Holier than thou, S3 E12 - Signs from heaven, S5 E5 - Exorcism, S7 E2 - Astrology, S7 E10 - The Vatican.

-Ken Miller on Intelligent Design

-Sam Harris - Believing the unbelievable

-Any of the Intelligence Squared Debates on the subject

-Dirty Pictures

"The four horsemen" - discussion between the four most prominent atheists of the moment: Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris