Parents' Guide to

If I Stay

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Heartbreaking but faithful adaptation will please book fans.

Movie PG-13 2014 106 minutes
If I Stay Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 20 parent reviews

age 10+

It’s the best!!!!

Others say that this has little inappropriate scenes but people over 11 should start to feel comfortable with this kind of stuff. My 11 year old loved this movie
age 16+

Terrible Ending

The ending was the worst! The movie is sad and ropes you in only to end so suddenly! Please don’t waste your time on this!!!!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (20 ):
Kids say (51 ):

If I Stay won't work for everyone, particularly viewers who don't care about young adult romances, but those who give it a chance will be rewarded with one of YA's sweetest relationships. The two main characters are ably portrayed by Moretz and British newcomer Blackley. A musical theater vet, Blackley plays Adam more like an indie rock singer-songwriter than the alterno-punk version of him in the book, but he's still up there with Augustus Waters, Lloyd Dobler, Michael Moscovitz, and Patrick Verona as one of the best teen boyfriends in pop culture. This can be a heartbreaking story, but it's also hopeful. Mia's tale shows how transformative love and art are and how we're happiest with people who see and support what makes us unique.

Fans of the book will be understandably biased in their experience of the movie, because director Greg Berlanti has fully captured what author Forman calls "all the feels" of her book while still making a few necessary changes for the visual translation of the story. Moretz trained for six months to portray a cello prodigy, and it shows -- the scenes of her playing (even if a professional is what audiences hear) are beautiful and poignant. Admittedly the "in limbo Mia" conceit might seem overly sentimental, but as Mia's memories begin to unfold, viewers will be pleasantly immersed in her back story -- from her hipster parents (lovingly played by Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard) to her awesomely supportive BFF Kim to her hilariously punk-loving baby brother, and, of course, her life-changing relationship with Adam.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate