Parent reviews for To Save a Life

Common Sense says

Message-heavy teen drama with iffy behavior, dark themes.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 28 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 32 reviews
Parent Written byknuckleheadmom January 16, 2018

Great Film For Teenage Life Choices

A Christian film mostly appropriate for high schoolers. It can be easy to pretend all the issues in the movie don't exist for our children but they absolutely do. Good for a parent to watch with their teenager for discussion. To see the consequences of poor choices as well as how Christians should handle real life situations. Teenagers are socially awkward, and the movie definitely promotes an anti-bullying message, how support, encouragement, and coming together can change people's lives. Also a good family message. Younger kids won't understand scenes of intense drinking, suicide, cutting, and sex before marriage.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bykpianist7 October 1, 2014

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written bybearesponsibleparent April 22, 2013

Too much for young ones and not believable for older teens.

Our youth group showed this movie to children ranging in age from 11 to 15 years old which I thought was entirely inappropriate. Compared with other inspirational movies with positive Christian messages, such as "Soul Surfer" and "The Blind Side," "To Save a Life" had the awkward feel of an after school special. Worse, it was overloaded with issues that most 11 and 12 year olds are probably aware of but not yet facing themselves - premarital sex, teenage pregnancy, abortion, etc. - and not equipped emotionally to fully absorb and process in a way that is helpful or meaningful in their lives. I felt that the attempt at conveying a positive message about turning to God was somewhat muddled as the issues were too heavy for the ill-equipped script, cast and director to handle. Many of the scenes were contrived and unrealistic, even cheesy, like the school lunch scene. It didn't ring true to my 14 year old. In fact, rather than taking away a positive message, my daughter remains haunted by the scary image of a boy cutting himself with a razor blade. My suggestion is skip it. Much better options out there.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byTopDog65 April 11, 2011

Take Responsibilty

To Save A Life is a Good movie for teen entering high school as it gives a fairly realistic overview of the pitfalls they will face. Depression, suicide, bullying, loneliness, sex, drugs, pregnancy, confusion and pain all went to my high school. And yours? The film is a conversation-starter at least and, at best, guide to finding help. "Good" movies, faith films, and family movies can't win because if they show the problems people really face, then they're too worldly. If they suggest or encourage a morality determined by God, they appear to offer pat, unrealistic answers. The characters in the film make mistakes and deal with the consequences. God doesn't appear at the end and make it all better. Roger isn't resurrected and Amy's pregnancy test is still positive. The best part of the film is that character have to face their mistakes, find the answers, and take responsibility. That's a Good movie.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byProject836 January 11, 2011

The church must stop hiding and confront the culture

First of all, this was an excellent movie that the whole family can enjoy. I would not venture to say that many of the characters are “good role models” despite making better choices toward the end, they do not set an overly great example. It’s ironic that some of you think the film does not invoke the name of Christ enough while others accuse it of overtly proselytizing. The fact of the matter is, “To Save a Life” is the story of a young adult coming to understand who Jesus is, therefore you can’t expect him to accept Jesus then run right out and start preaching. Movies like those are the reason so many people hate Christian movies, they’re not true to life. In response to the previous abortion comments, it is tremendously selfish to say that one should not even take into consideration the life of an unborn child when the child becomes an obstacle to you achieving your goals. The title “To Save a Life” is multi-faceted in this film. Friend to friend, stranger to stranger, Holy God to sinful man, and even parent to child. It is also great that it does show how Christians are human, and therefore imperfect too, further illustrating the truth that Jesus doesn’t demand perfection but accepts the sinner who will turn to Him. Ultimately, in your face reality melded with the forgiveness and hope of Jesus Christ.

This title contains:

Language
Positive Messages
Adult Written byjennana12 December 13, 2010

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 12-year-old Written bybcirone November 9, 2010

Great movie about consequences of bullying

I'm thinking of having my girl scout troop (12/13 year olds - 7th graders) watch this movie as a group and sent a note to the moms to see if they think it's appropriate. I know my 12 year wouldn't have a problem watching it. I feel middle schoolers are not naive and that knowledge is power.

The scene where the main character and his girlfriend are in bed is done tastefully. It is implied, there are no naked bodies. The scene where the gun is used in the school may be a little scary, but it can open up the discussion, "what would you do in this situation". Unfortunately, in this day and age, everyone needs to be aware of the situation around them.

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Positive Messages
Adult Written bySarah Grace September 27, 2010

Shallow and not much of a real point...

For a Christian movie, it had better acting than usual. Yet, for a christian movie, it was awfully shallow and not very different from some secular movies. I mean? How many people DON'T already know that they're supposed to love each other and be GOOD? Plus, as the movie shows, even Christians fail at being perfect. So, what's the point? Jesus isn't the point of this movie, that's for sure. And He's the only one that can truly save a life. Seriously, you can act all good and stuff, but if you're not going to tell people about the truth also, you may as well not even be a Christian.
Adult Written bytlister7 May 20, 2010

Good for teens and older

I was a bit hesitant to go and watch this film. I had seen a few other Christian films before and the acting was not impressive, resulting in a big distraction from the actual story. This was not the case in To Save a Life. The acting was not at the same level of movies with A-List actors, but not bad enough to create a distraction. As I already mentioned, because the acting was up to par, I was able to concentrate on the story and what exactly was going on. The story was excellent. I applaud everyone in and involved with the film because of how daring they were with portraying a lifestyle that is so prevalent in today’s society, but never portrayed or talked about by churches. As a child, I was raised going to church every Sunday and Wednesday and I was never told about that kind of lifestyle. I just knew that whatever it was, it was frowned upon. Now that To Save a Life surfaced, I believe that people will now be able to see what that lifestyle is about and the destruction it can cause along with how, if managed correctly, it can be a good way to relax by just hanging out with friends and not worrying about anything. The “relatability” is fantastic. They showcase so many different characters in which anyone can find a person they can relate to. It was a great film, and I will and have suggested it to all my friends and family.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byYasmina March 15, 2010

I thought it was a waste of time and money

This was an absolutely awful movie. I agree completely with the person who said it was a chain of after-school specials all rolled into one. But unlike this person, I DID walk out halfway through. The worst aspects of the picture included:
1. Obviously pro-Christian agenda and continual emphasis on prosthelytizing not only the high school aged characters, but the audience as well.
2. Bad acting.
3. Lack of originality.
4. Characters who were so inhumane and insensitive that you really can't feel sorry for them when misfortune befalls them.

I wish I hadn't wasted my time or money on this. I looked at the ratings online, but didn't read the reviews before I went. I regret that oversight. I had to go home and wash my eyes out afterwards.
Parent of a 2-year-old Written byQuestionable Ma... March 15, 2010

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 16-year-old Written byLove the Lord March 12, 2010

Thanks for the help!

"And of course the promulgation of the lie that even one episode of unprotected sex will lead to pregnancy."
The above statement is a lie. One episode of unprotected sex will lead to pregnancy. I have friends and family that this happened to. The review containing this statement helped me decide to see "To Save a Life" because statements like the above cannot be allowed to continue. Why do we want to lie to our teenagers? They need to know the truth and be talked to like they have a brain.
Adult Written byjoeyconnick March 3, 2010

Appalling and dangerous

This movie is appallingly bad, a series of afterschool special cliches that are crowded together as an excuse to proselytize for the purportedly redemptive power of Christianity. There were only about 3 other people in the theatre when I saw it and quite frankly I would have walked out halfway through but I wanted to see if it would actually maintain its lack of quality. I was shocked: it actually got worse as the film went on.

Most disturbing is the message that young people with dreams should willingly give up their dreams rather than *gasp* considering having an abortion. And of course the promulgation of the lie that even one episode of unprotected sex will lead to pregnancy. Conveniently, the main characters end up not having to give up their dreams thanks to the "miracle" of an open adoption--but that fairy tale ending doesn't come about until after we're hit over the head with the message that NOTHING, bar nothing, is more important than throwing away your future so you can be teenage, unwed parents. This message is irresponsible beyond belief.

Overall, I think it's highly disturbing this movie was made, let alone that it found distributors. I'm exceedingly glad it's being pulled from theatre in my city after only 1 week of release.
Adult Written byFemiluv February 27, 2010

Amazing movie!!!

Very nice movie, I had seen a trailer and thought it was a pretty decent movie but it turned out to be better than I'd hoped. A 14 year old came along with us, and he also enjoyed it.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byleesy6688 February 11, 2010

Real stuff Parents and Teens should know about.

I thought this movie was a great visual to parents and friends how might not be aware of the issues teens actually struggle with today. I work with Freshman girls who told me how accurate this movie is, to their lives as High Schoolers. It does go over some topics that might make you squirm in your seat, but it's all real life stuff that our Youth needs help on. The movie is an eye opener. I also thoroughly enjoyed it because it makes it clear that Church isn't perfect, and church isn't the answer. God is the one that will be with you always and never let you down. Going to Church, calling yourself a Christian means nothing if you don't have your heart set right on Jesus Christ.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byTravelingsojourner February 3, 2010

What a Message, What a Movie!

The movie is incredible, as it deals with multiple issues that especially affect teens. I thought the review from S. Jhoanna Robledo was harsh as this movie has elevated Christian made movies to a whole new level. This shows the good, bad, & the ugly of teen issues, hypocrisy that can seep into "Christian" circles, and powerful role models who are real, and who really care about others. If you are a teen, have interaction with teens, or ever were a teen this movie is for you!

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byKram February 2, 2010
Great movie with a great message, a movie every teen should see!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byYouth Pastor Dad February 1, 2010

Great Movie for Teens about Consequences.

I think this is a great movie for teens, and I think that the CommonSense Media review is a slight bit harsh. I would advise parental guidance, and would not suggest this movie for teens younger than 15 (depending on the child, some younger teens may can handle this). Positively, it shows consequences for poor choices, caring adults, the seriousness of bullying, and how one can be intentional about making a difference in the world.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byAsfmlycnr January 31, 2010

Great Conversation Starter

Loved this movie. I'm a parent, and yes, it makes me uncomfortable to see the scenes depicting sex, drinking and drug use. But let's face it, this isn't the only place our kids are going to see these things, and it probably itsn't the first time they will be seeing these things. Middle and high school students are exposed to so much by their classmates. So as parents we squirm a little in our seats, but gain an opportunity to talk to our teens about these things and reinforce our values.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 16-year-old Written bywaynemc January 31, 2010

Good movie For teens and parents

I took my 16 year old daughter to see the movie. It was a great movie to see how god can change the way we look at others. I feel teens will relate to the message a possative one in a negative world. We need more movies like this one .

This title contains:

Positive Messages

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