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Top 10 Movie Angels

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Craig Butler. They're guardians. They're escorts. They're helpers. They're trouble. Whatever they are, movies are full of 'em. The theme of death and the afterlife is a recurring one in cinema, and what would heaven be like without angels? While their depictions are often very different – from seemingly evil to perfectly angelic – they always entertain us when they’re dealing with puny mortals. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie angels. Special thanks to our users jkellis, Kelli A Bren, viliguns and AgentZero07 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Movie Angels


They’re guardians. They’re escorts. They’re helpers. They’re trouble. Whatever they are – movies are full of them. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie angels.

#10: Gabriel
“Gabriel” (2007)

Goth angels rule in “Gabriel,” a 2007 Australian film in which a host of angels comes to Earth in a last ditch attempt to save humanity – and themselves. The title angel stands out as the strictest soldier of Heaven; but he’s human enough to disobey orders when it comes to saving his fellow angels, even if it means his own death. He rebels – but he never falls from Grace.

#9: Harrison, Julia, Milo & Penny
“Heart and Souls” (1993)

In this angelic film, four people killed in a bus crash hang around Robert Downey, Jr. and become his guardian angels. Sort of. But this heaven-bound quartet, comprised of a former thief, a would-be singer, a single mother and a woman with unfinished boyfriend issues, makes Downey’s life a bit hellish. That’s Hollywood for you; even the angels want a piece of Downey.

#8: The Escort & Mr. Jordan
“Heaven Can Wait” (1978)

Nobody with the sex life of Warren Beatty could ever be called an angel; so “Heaven Can Wait” had to call in Buck Henry and James Mason to wear the halos. Henry’s rookie angel and Mason’s upper echelon angel are suited bureaucrats, but their formal language, “by the rules” demeanor and humor simply play up their good heartedness.

#7: Al
“Angels in the Outfield” (1994)

Angel Al is charged with making a good kid’s dream come true in this movie. This being a Disney movie, you know he’ll succeed. And Angel Al being Christopher Lloyd, you know he’ll do it in a zany, loopy kind of way. From the minute he makes his outrageous entrance in a cup of soda, Angel Al is as off-kilter but loving an angel as any kid could ever want.

#6: Gabriel
“The Prophecy” (1995)

The version of angel Gabriel seen in “The Prophecy” couldn’t be more different from the one we saw earlier, as he’s intent on waging war with Heaven. And no wonder, since this Gabriel is played by Christopher Walken in all-out evil mode. Eric Stoltz is his good-guy heavenly opponent, but Walken’s Gabriel steals every scene with his petulant sneer, manic glare and total bad-ass charisma.

#5: Bartleby & Loki
“Dogma” (1999)

Kevin Smith’s outrageous satire “Dogma:” you either love it or hate it, but it doesn’t bore you. For that you can give thanks to Bartleby and Loki, the angels played by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, cause they keep things lively. Between their confession that “I just like to f*ck with the clergy” to their arguments over who was more impressive at Sodom and Gomorrah, these two angels make irreverence and destruction a whole lot of fun.

#4: Gabriel
“Constantine” (2005)

That angel Gabriel gets around; in “Constantine,” Tilda Swinton’s androgynous Gabriel at first seems disdainful of the humans she is meant to protect. But, oh it’s more than that: that festering contempt causes the angel to launch a plot to literally make earth a living hell. Hey, Gabriel – a little chillaxin’ wouldn’t hurt.

#3: Clarence Odbody
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)

This Christmas favorite has inspired several other movies, including the Nicolas Cage vehicle “The Family Man.” And Clarence, the movie’s angel, may just be the most lovable heavenly representative on film. Bumbling, confused and more than a little dithering, it’s no wonder George Bailey says this: “You look like the kind of angel I’d get.” But Clarence is also good-natured, kind and surprisingly effective: he more than deserves the wings he finally wins at the film’s end.

#2: Michael
“Michael” (1996)

This heavenly film is about the archangel by the name of – you guessed it – Michael. But in Nora Ephron’s film, he doesn’t act much like an angel. He smokes, drinks, gets into fights and speaks more like a sailor than a citizen of heaven. However his determination to help silly humans realize when they’re in love puts him squarely on the side of the good guys.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996)
- “Frailty” (2001)
- “Meet Joe Black” (1998)
- “Legion” (2010)

#1: Damiel & Cassiel
“Wings of Desire” (1987)

Wim Wenders’ lyrical and beautiful “Wings of Desire” casts its angels as mere observers of humanity. Damiel and Cassiel feel no real emotion: life literally passes them by without really involving them. Their peaceful but bland existence is challenged through unexpected human interaction, after which Damiel chooses to live as a human, but Cassiel remains an angel, haunted by what he’s experienced. Remade in America as “City of Angels,” “Wings of Desire” is both joyful and grim – and, for an angel movie, remarkably human.

Do you agree with our list? Who are your favorite movie angels? For more saintly top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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