Consider these to be prompts to get things moving, or suggestions for expanding a conversation into new territory.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of post-viewing questions. They represent avenues of conversation that I have found rewarding and even surprising when audiences have been willing to stay for a while, share their experiences, and gain from hearing the perspectives of others.


  • What purpose was the film intended to serve? Do you feel that it fulfilled its purpose?
  • Does it entertain? Does it deliver what a general audience would expect of this sort of film, or does it challenge them with something unexpected? Does it accomplish more than mere entertainment?
  • Did it seem focused on delivering a particular message or lesson?
  • Did it seem designed to persuade audiences on certain issues, or was it open to interpretation?


  • What was the film about?
  • How is the film about that? Where do we first sense that theme developing? What methods are employed to emphasize this theme? What lines seem most important? What images? Does anything in the film stand out as a metaphor related to the theme?
  • Do you find that the film offers anything on these themes that you personally have not considered before? Does the film resonate with you as true, or as misleading? Does it convey anything that might influence the way you think about its subject?


  • Consider the technical excellence of the film in aspects such as these:
      • Screenplay
      • Acting
      • Editing
      • Cinematography
      • Direction
      • Production value
      • Soundtrack


What aspects of this production were its strengths? Weaknesses?

The Film’s World:

  • Does this film take place in a world you recognize? Or does it ask us to accept a distorted view of reality?(For example: Pirates of the Caribbean and its sequels ask us to accept that this story takes place in the land of make-believe, full of magic, zany humor, and outrageous superhuman stunts. As when we watch Looney Toons, we have to suspend our disbelief and enjoy the adventure the way we enjoyed fairy tales when we were children. While this is “an exaggerated reality,” its exaggerations draw our attention to shows of virtue, betrayal, heroism, cowardice, and to the consequences of various choices. This makes the films both entertaining and pleasingly meaningful – for most.)
  • If anything is exaggerated, or if the style suggests a different kind of world – a  nightmare, a dream, a cartoon, a fantasy – what was the purpose of crafting the film in this way? Does it draw our attention to any realities in our own world? Or do you find the distortions unfair and misleading?


  • Does this film offer any spiritual insights?
  • Is the audience led to assume that the world in the film adheres to any higher laws or moral order? Is there any suggestion of a higher power? What is the film’s idea of “right” and “wrong”?
  • What do the characters value? How do they demonstrate this? Where do their values lead them?
  • Do any of the characters exhibit any kind of personal faith? If so, how does that manifest itself in their choices and behavior?
  • What does the film suggest is meaningful in life?
  • What assumptions does it ask us to make about the world?
  • Does the film bring any particular scriptures to mind? Does the film illustrate, or conflict with, what Christ reveals to us?


  • What were the choices made by the characters, and what were the consequences of those choices?
  • What has changed by the end of the film?
  • What does the film illustrate for us?

Source material:

  • If the film is based on history, is it fairly accurate and trustworthy, or have the filmmakers embellished the truth or ignored important details? Does this matter?
  • If the film is based on a previous film, a play, a novel, or some other work of art, how does it compare to the original? What are the strengths and weaknesses of its interpretation? Does it reflect the themes and perspective of the original work, or does it alter that? Is the artist enhancing and upholding the focus of the original work, or introducing his own views into the work?


  • Does the director have a particularly distinct style? Would you recognize his work in other films?
  • What does the director’s style reveal about him?
  • Think of a few other directors you’re familiar with – how might the film have been different if one of them had directed it?
  • Are there other filmmakers who have explored this film’s themes or ideas? Put alongside each other, would the films offer conflicting or complimentary ideas?

Your experience:

  • Did you find the film worthwhile?
  • Did the film surprise you with anything unusual in its story, style, technique, or implications?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • What does it make you think about?
  • What will you most remember?
  • Does anything in the film make you think of your own experiences? Did anything resonate with you or remind you of some detail in your own history?
  • Did anything particularly bother you about the film? Do you object to any of the artists’ choices? (This is a different question from “Did anything in the film trouble you?” I am deeply troubled by the violence of the Nazis in Saving Private Ryan, but I have no complaint against the filmmakers.)
  • Do you have any questions for other viewers about their experience?
  • If you could ask the filmmakers a question about the work, what would you ask them?
    Has the film influenced your understanding or caused you to think about anything in a new way?
    Would you want to see it again? If so, why? If not, why not?
    Would you be interested in seeing more work by this director, this screenwriter, or these actors? If so, why? If not, why not?

Further exploration:

  • If you were to watch it again, what might you concentrate on the second time through? How might the experience be different on a second viewing, now you know the entirety of the work? Do you suspect a second viewing would be worthwhile?
  • What other works of art might be worth considering in relationship with this film? What books, music, poetry, visual art, or other films explore the same theme?

Considering the audience:

  • What kind of audience would you say is appropriate for this film? Is it appropriate for teenagers? Young children? Should children be allowed to watch the film without an adult present? How might parents discuss this film with their children in order to make it more rewarding for them?
  • How might a Christian’s response to this film differ from an unbeliever’s?
  • How might an American respond to it differently than a viewer in another culture?
  • How might women, men, young people, and older people see the film differently?
  • How might this film affect viewers as they return to their everyday activity? Will it inspire more hope and faith, or more despair? Will it encourage viewers to have courage, or will it enflame their fears? Will it inspire responsibility or recklessness?