Box art for To Save a Life

To Save a Life


Jake is the most popular kid in school and has a promising future, but his world is rocked when his childhood best friend commits suicide.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Message-heavy teen drama with iffy behavior, dark themes.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this Christian-themed drama has tons of heart, it gets a little heavy-handed. Teens engage in all sorts of stereotypically "troubled" behavior -- including drinking, drug use, premarital sex, bullying, and cutting. But the movie's ultimate message -- that this behavior is negative and has consequences -- comes through loud and clear. While it's not particularly graphic, there's one disturbing scene in which an important character brings a firearm to school and then uses it on himself. Production company New Song Pictures is a division of New Song Community Church in Vista, Calif.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what drives Jake to change. Why did he dump his friendship with Roger in the first place? What was the payoff? And why does Roger's death trigger his soul-searching?
  • Is this a message movie? If so, how does it deliver that message?
  • Parents, talk with your teens about the real-life consequences of behavior like underage drinking and sex. What do the characters in the movie learn about these topics? Are they realistic lessons?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 15
    see all To Save a Life reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Hints at becoming a thoughtful portrait of a teen's spiritual crisis, then abandons all narrative integrity to hit its church-mandated marks.

- Andrew Barker, Variety, Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rotten: But forget the lame performances and arch, preachy sentiment; the movie's sham hip-hop and spurious alternative music alone should keep teenagers away. Thank goodness.

- Andy Webster, New York Times, Friday, January 22, 2010

Fresh: Inspirational, genuinely heartfelt and captivating. It's a profound, tender and uplifting journey toward enlightenment and compassion.

- Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

5 stars

I sat down to watch this with my wife. What started out just a little boring kept just kept getting more and more better. Extremely realistic movie, not at all preachy. Just shows what a change in somebody's life can really be. We are all connected yet not really responsible for each others behavior, but God does what us each to have a positive effect on others. Especially our friends. Direction was okay but the acting and writing was the best I've seen in a low budget film. I highly recommend this movie to any family with teenagers that have open minds and a godly heart.

- DouglasWCollins, Sunday, August 8, 2010

1 star

Highly religious overtones, unconvincing actors, and a vague plot equals a failed film without the hope of a resurrection.

- MOVEECRITIC, Friday, October 29, 2010

3 stars

To save a life was a Christian Movie, and no one should be shy from watching it because of that. It dealt with real life teenage issues Different lifestyles was very clearly portrayed, and it was clear that the lifestyle the lead character was living was wrong, I don't know if most people in the world have a decent understanding of what Christians believe is right and wrong. The youth pastor who helped him out did not condemn him, but acted as Jesus would have, love him and accepted him and helped him to find a better of life, a life of purpose for God. I guess the whole point was based to wake up followers up and other people to not sit and watch others who are hurt and feeling alone, but to go out and be someone's friend.

- mvieaddict, Thursday, October 14, 2010