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To Save a Life
Directed by Brian Baugh
Produced by Jim Britts
Written by Jim Britts
Starring Randy Wayne
Deja Kreutzberg
Joshua Wiegel
Sean Michael Afable
Music by Christopher Lennertz
Timothy Michael Wynn
Cinematography C. Clifford Jones
Editing by Dan O'Brien
Studio New Song Pictures
Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films
Release date(s) January 22, 2010 (2010-01-22)
Running time 120 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,000,000
Gross revenue $3,299,472

To Save a Life is an American Christian drama film directed by Brian Baugh. The film was released theatrically in the United States on January 22, 2010, and was written by Jim Britts. It stars Randy Wayne, Deja Kreutzberg, Robert Bailey Jr., Steven Crowder and Sean Michael Afable. The United States rights were acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films from New Song Pictures.

To Save a Life was produced on a budget of about $1,000,000, but nearly doubled that in its opening weekend. Over 80% of the cast and crew for To Save a Life were Oceanside and North County, California locals. The film was released to 441 theaters on January 22, 2010, and has grossed $3,205,178 domestically. It was received with mixed reviews from film critics.



The movie features the story of Jake Taylor and Roger Dawson, two teenagers in high school. Jake is the most popular guy in school, the star of the basketball team, and dating the hottest girl in school. Roger is the opposite -- no friends, no hope. The two had been best friends as kids, but Jake eventually shunned Roger as his popularity grew in high school.

One day, Roger suddenly commits suicide, rocking Jake's world and causing him to rethink everything. He asks himself if he could have saved Roger. In an effort to make up for his failure to reach out to Roger, Jake begins to seek out the outcasts and lonely. But he quickly finds that his efforts threaten his popularity, and he could lose his friends and his girlfriend. Jake asks himself a fundamental question: What do I want my life to be about?



The movie is a partnership between three faith-based companies: Samuel Goldwyn Films (which released Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and Amazing Grace), Outreach Films, and New Song Pictures.[1] Writer and producer Jim Britts was inspired to make the movie after observing a simple problem: many teenagers are hurting.[2] Britts, a Christian youth pastor in Southern California, with his wife, a schoolteacher, began taking the many stories of teens' struggles and molding them into a movie. "Every day my wife and I talk to teens who are in some kind of pain," Britts said. "I wanted to make a film that would bring hope to hurting and lonely students."[3]

Director Brian Baugh was surprised at the grittiness of the script, in stark contrast to many other Christian films. The movie includes scenes of teen drinking, cutting (inflicting self-injury), moderate profanity, and implications of sex.[2] Actor Randy Wayne, the star of the film, said he originally rejected the idea of starring because it was being made with a low budget, but he eventually accepted the offer and offered to do it for free.[4] The film is being marketed in a more grassroots fashion, a tactic that proved successful for low-budget Christian films like Fireproof.[5] Over 80% of the cast and crew for To Save a Life consisted of Oceanside and North County locals. Several Oceanside locations, including Oceanside High School, MiraCosta College, New Song Community Church, Eternal Hills Memorial Park, Harbor, Guajome Park Academy,and Beach are shown in the film.[6]


To Save A Life Official Movie Soundtrack
Film score by Various
Released January 20, 2010
Genre Christian
Label Twenty Ten Music
New Song Pictures

The soundtack for To Save a Life has been released as a digital download on the official website of the film and Itunes. [7]

  1. "Boom" (Da Enforcerz)
  2. "500,000 Boomin’ Watts" (Flynn Adam)
  3. "Bounce" (J-Rus)
  4. "Fall Back" (Bobby Taylor)
  5. "Outsider" (The Daylights)
  6. "Golden Thread" (Joy Williams)
  7. "Sunset Cliffs" (Paul Wright)
  8. "Go Together" (Jillian Edwards)
  9. "Rollercoaster" (Kendall Payne)
  10. "Hero" (Superchick)
  11. "Future Plans" (Timothy Michael Wynn)




To Save a Life has received generally mixed to negative from film critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 31% rating based on 13 reviews.[8] Metacritic currently has its score listed as 17%.[9] Marjorie Baumgarten of the Austin Chronicle gave the film a negative review, saying, "To Save a Life is a well-meaning but ineptly made message movie..."[10] Melissa Anderson of The Village Voice said, "For all its initial attempts to soften its religiosity... To Save a Life is about as subtle as this closing credit: 'The producers would like to thank: GOD.'"[11] Andy Webster of The New York Times said, "The film would be a mere nuisance if not for its shameless exploitation of school shootings to advance its agenda."[12]

Other reviewers were more supportive of the film. Gary Goldstein of The Los Angeles Times said, "The teen drama 'To Save a Life,' nicely directed by Brian Baugh from a script by Jim Britts, manages to be appealing, poignant and inspiring in ways that are gentle and quite real."[13] Dan Bennett of the North County Times gave the film 3 of out 4 stars, saying, "Not pushy or intent on establishing an absolute doctrine, the film does well by throwing ideas out there, and letting the realistic characters define those."[14] Bob Fischbach of the Omaha World-Herald said, "[To Save a Life's] messages are good ones for kids to hear. The characters' appeal and a sprinkling of humor should help draw a young audience."[15]

Box office

To Save a Life has had a strong debut in its first weekend,[16] amassing a total of $1,581,517, despite playing in only 441 theaters.[17] Theaters in markets such as Burleson, Texas, Oceanside, California, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Evans, Georgia were the film's top grossers. The movie was #3 on Fandango's most requested tickets going into the weekend.[18] The film fell 53.6% in its second weekend to $733,457, and -63.2% to $269,684 in its third, accumulating $3,205,178 to date.[19]


  1. ^ Kilday, Gregg (October 27, 2009). "Goldwyn Films acquires 'To Save a Life'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Yonke, David (January 16, 2010). "Christian movie offers hope for hurting teens". The Blade. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ Patrick, Nikki (January 9, 2010). "‘To Save a Life’". The Morning Sun. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ Hinton, Carla (January 16, 2010). "Film’s ‘heart’ attracts actor Randy Wayne from Oklahoma". The Oklahoman. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ Buss, Dale (January 21, 2009). "What Christians Watch". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  6. ^ Canete, Kimi (January 29, 2010). "Hollywood movie ‘To Save a Life’ filmed in North County". San Diego Entertainer Magazine. Retrieved January 28, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Official Soundtrack For The Film 'To Save Live' Availabe As A Digital Download". BREATHEcast. January 27, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ "To Save a Life (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ "To Save a Life: Samuel Goldwyn Films". Metacritic. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie (January 22, 2010). "To Save a Life". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  11. ^ Anderson, Melissa (January 19, 2010). "To Save a Life Wants To Rescue Kids from the Satanic Messages of Gossip Girl". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  12. ^ Webster, Andy (January 22, 2010). "An Athlete in Search of Redemption". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ Goldstein, Gary (January 22, 2010). "Reviews: Parts are better than the whole of 'Drool'". The Los Angeles Times.,0,7010167.story. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ Bennett, Dan (January 20, 2010). "MOVIE REVIEW: 'Save A Life' stresses message through strong storytelling". North County Times. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  15. ^ Fischbach, Bob (January 22, 2010). "'To Save A Life:' Christian film's messages valuable". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ Knegt, Peter (January 24, 2010). "Box Office: Christian “Life” Debuts Strong; “Heart” Expands Well". indieWire. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. January 22-24, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ Finke, Nikki (January 25, 2010). "'To Save A Life' Slipped Through Cracks". Deadline Hollywood Daily. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  19. ^ "To Save a Life". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 

External links


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