Guest / Limited Access /
To Save a Life
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
(47 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving teen suicide, teen drinking, some drug content, disturbing images and sexuality)
Genre
Directed By
Brian Baugh
Run Time
2 hours
Cast
Randy Wayne, Deja Kreutzberg, Joshua Weigel, Steven Crowder
Theatre Release
November 11, 2010 by New Song Pictures/Samuel Goldwyn Films

When I walked out of the theatre after seeing To Save a Life, I was pretty positive about this teen flick. This outreach project of California's New Song Community Church has the best production values I've seen from a church-made feature film, tells a good story, and captures both youth group culture and high school life pretty authentically. The movie is poignant, often funny and filled with memorable scenes. But in the weeks since I first saw it, I've been bothered by some weaknesses and unintended messages that have dampened my praise and recommendation.

Loosely based on the hit song "How To Save a Life" by The Fray, the movie opens after the public suicide of an outcast teen named Roger (Robert Bailey, Jr.). Stud basketball player Jake Taylor (Randy Wayne) was Roger's best friend until Jake's popularity accelerated and he began to see misfit Roger as a social speedbump. Broken, guilt-ridden, disillusioned, and confused, Jake begins to ask hard questions. This questioning and unhappiness leads Jake toward life change as he is pursued by a caring youth pastor, Chris (Joshua Weigel), evaluates his relationship with girlfriend Amy (Deja Kreutzberg), and makes a conscious effort to care for others more than self—to love on the unloved.

It's easy to tell To Save a Life was written by a longtime youth pastor—in this case, New Song's Jim Britts. Two reasons: 1) The film shows knowledge and understanding of teens, their world, pressures, and culture. 2) With noble aims, it tries to address and help almost every conceivable teen issue: suicide, bullying, cutting, drinking, drugs, parental pressure, premarital sex, fear of failure, dating, parents' divorce, hypocrisy, teen pregnancy, bad-influence friends, loneliness, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
From Issue:
January
More from this IssueJanuary 2010
    Browse All Movie Reviews By:
    Read These NextSee Our Latest
    RecommendedNoah
    Noah
    After a flood of reviews and controversy, it's finally here. So should you see it?
    TrendingBill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
    Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
    (UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'
    Editor's PickYou Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
    You Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
    It's not a travel guide. And Colton Burpo isn't the first Christian to have an ecstatic experience.
    Leave a Comment

    Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

    hide thisJanuary January

    In the Magazine

    January 2010

    To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.