Review of Pastor: Theology and Practice by Will Willimon
Weekly U.S.A. Church Attendance: The Sociologists Weigh In

Great movie for pastors: Lars and the Real Girl

Go rent Lars and the Real Girl (PG-13).

How I pick movies:
I have blogged before about how I tend to pick movies: How to Sort Through Which Movies are Worth Seeing.  In short, we often look at Christianity Today Movies and see what they have given 3 1/2 or 4 stars--see their page Our Top Rated Movies.  Amy and I don't really watch R rated movies because they make us cringe too much--the sex and the violence--is that because we are around a 3 year old and 1 year old and so our normal environment is so gentle?  The Christianity Today Movies site is not foolproof--basically they have assembled a bunch of reviewers who are thoughtful Christians but their tastes vary.  So my final criteria is to look at the Rotten Tomatoes site which serves as a collecting place for reviews.  The beauty of Rotten Tomatoes is that they take something very subjective--movies--and provide survey results and excerpts of reviews so that you can easily get a snapshot of whether reviewers liked the movie or not.  Now, this may sound like a lot of research but it can help you find movies that were reviewed by a Christian highly and were liked by a lot of reviewers. 

So, to my point, I would recommend Lars and the Real Girl rated

Here is the Rotten Tomatoes information as an example of how their system works:
Reviews Counted: 125
Fresh: 101
Average Rating: 7.1/10

My synopsis of Lars and the Real Girl:
In the movie, a small town (think "church") helps bring healing to a man with emotional problems because they love him well.  It is quite beautiful.  Lonely Lars pretends a life-sized doll is his girlfriend.  The town goes along with his pretending - showing that they really love him; but they also push him beyond his pretending.  It is a great picture of what the church should be. 

The only disclaimer is that the doll he ordered is a life-size sex doll but this is really quite a minor part of the story.  It is thus rated PG-13 "for some sex-related content." 

Additional recommendations:
Amy and I also liked Dan in Real Life.

and Once

Note again my post:
How to Sort Through Which Movies are Worth Seeing (August 7, 2007).