5 Great Movies to Teach Students About Ethics

Teaching ethics and moral decision making to students can be a complex task. To simplify and add a bit of fun to the process, we can use the medium of film. In this blog post, we’re diving into five captivating movies that offer insights into the world of ethics and moral decision making. Each of these films presents unique situations that prompt us to consider the consequences of our actions and their impact on ourselves and others. So, what are the 5 Great Movies to Teach Students About Ethics? Let’s find out!

The Crucible (PG-13 – 1996)

In The Crucible, we journey back to the 1692 Salem witch trials. The townspeople, gripped by fear and suspicion, must grapple with the question of truth versus lies. As accusations fly, the characters are forced to weigh personal safety against integrity and honesty. The film offers a stark reminder of the dire consequences of deceit and mob mentality.

The Crucible Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet (PG13 - 1996) Cover

Just Mercy (PG-13 – 2019)

Just Mercy presents the real-life struggle of Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer defending a man wrongly accused of murder. The film provides a deep dive into the ethical dilemmas within the justice system. It poses questions about the fairness of capital punishment and challenges us to consider the value of mercy and understanding.

Just Mercy Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet | Google Slides (PG13 - 2019)
Just Mercy Movie Guide (PG13 – 2019)

12 Angry Men (NR – 1957)

12 Angry Men is a classic that explores the ethical responsibilities of jury members. As twelve men deliberate on a murder case, we witness the importance of impartiality, empathy, and the pursuit of truth. The film prompts us to consider the power of our biases and their potential to cloud judgement.

12 Angry Men Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet | Google Formats (NR - 1957) Cover
12 Angry Men Movie Guide (NR – 1957)

Fahrenheit 451 (TV-14 – 2018)

Fahrenheit 451 takes us to a dystopian future where books are banned and burned to control public thought. The protagonist, a firefighter responsible for burning books, begins to question the morality of his job and the society he lives in. The film encourages us to reflect on the ethics of censorship and the value of free thought.

Fahrenheit-451-(TV14---2018)-Cover
Fahrenheit 451 Movie Guide

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

(TV-MA – 2019) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of a woman whose cells have been used for countless medical breakthroughs without her consent. The film examines the ethical boundaries of scientific research and raises questions about consent, exploitation, and the value of a human life.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Movie Guide | Questions (TVMA - 2019) Cover
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Movie Guide (TVMA – 2019)

Movies are an engaging way to stimulate thoughtful discussions and impart vital lessons to students. These five films provide valuable insights into ethics and moral decision making, making them excellent resources for educators and students alike. So, what do you think of our picks for the 5 Great Movies to Teach Students About Ethics? Do you have other movies that you think should be added to the list? We’re all ears!

Do you want to search for more movies by their educational key concept?

Check out this blog post to discover 21 educational key concepts and find more movies that align with each one!