At last, a film that stays true to the facts while moving the story along in a way that keeps you glued to the screen. I seriously had to pee, but couldn't leave. Russia in 1998 was a wild frontier. Filled with people used to living under a communist system that had fallen less than a decade before, they were now fending for themselves. There was not enough of anything, and people were desperate. Hearing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was "rich" two Russian men well played by Alex Veadov and Nikita Bogolyubov decided kidnapping and ransoming a couple of <more>
Mormon boys would be no big deal, and lead them to Easy Street.Elders Tuttle and Propst aptly acted by Corbin Allred and Macclain Nelsen became their unwitting targets. We see young men like these every day, usually riding bicycles, two by two. They were portrayed as they are; clean-living guys dedicated to serving others for two long years, at their own expense, giving arguably the best years of their lives to try to make the world a better place. They certainly didn't expect something like this to come along to shake things up.This film is different from previous sermonizing Mormon movies. It has a gripping story to tell that is a lesson for not only all religious groups, but for any company, family or tourist who may find themselves taken for ransom. With over 20 million people currently being held captive against their wills throughout the world, it's a lesson to contemplate. Do you pay, and make it easier for more kidnappings to take place? Do you fight for your freedom? Do you have faith God will hold you in the hollow of His hand, or do you allow yourself to be sacrificed for the good of others? Sure, you could go research this online to find out what happened the film is remarkably exact but I suggest you go see it yourself this weekend. It is showing in theaters throughout the state of Utah first, to hopefully propel it nationwide. I hope they make it. It's one you really don't want to miss.
Wow great job with this one. I was a bit skeptical and unsure going into the movie because of the subject. Would the film makers incite violence on other missionaries? Would the story be enough to keep the film moving the whole time? I was not disappointed. The filming was beautiful, the subject was difficult and bravely done without cliché. The story was inspiring and gripping. From the trailer I questioned the actor selection, but the balance of the actors ultimately was a huge success of the film. Great bad guys, great good guys and the twist at the end was unexpected and so interesting. <more>
I'll see this film again and I'd like to take some friends.
The Saratov Approach although it is based on a true story of 2 LDS Missionaries, is an uplifting, and brilliant story featuring a strong male lead for any Chrisitan, religious or even non-religious people. It excites and leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat nearly the whole time with different twists and turns that take you on an epic adventure through mystery, thrills, and dramatic events! I love this movie and highly recommend if for nearly anyone. But I especially recommend it for aspiring future LDS Missionaries and their entire family. But I must warn that it IS rated PG-13 for a <more>
reason, I would not recommend anyone under the age of about 10 years old to see it. I loved this movie and its story. I hope it goes far!
Lots of camera movement, but the story line was well done with several twists that I did not anticipate. The interaction of the two missionaries with each other and with the abductors was well done. Some of the family scenes were a bit soft.The only thing about the 1998 abduction that I remember, is thinking; "There is no way they can pay a ransom for those two kids they are in big trouble."The movie did a great job conveying the story and the broad support across the nation.It was interesting to look up on line the news casts about the event and then see the movie. Very enjoyable <more>
Exciting and inspiring true story (by amy-strickling)
This movie is a thrilling tale of two LDS missionaries who were abducted and held for ransom in Russia 15 years ago. I am quite familiar with events of their dramatic tale on a personal level so I was very nervous to see the film. Despite the small cast of characters and low budget production, the movie had me interested and on the edge of my seat from the first to the last scene.Most of the movie takes place in the location where the missionaries are held captive, occasionally showing scenes of how the kidnapping is making news and affecting communities back in the US. The acting of both the <more>
missionaries and the abductors is impressive, the emotions of each character palpable.The movie is an excellent combination of suspense, action, inspiring moments and even provides a few laughs. An impressive production!
I am a religious person, and also a Mormon or, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . I really liked this movie. Many of the reviews here are from people who obviously have an ax to grind against mormonism. If you don't like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, then don't watch this movie! But, if you are an open minded Christian or any religious person, for that matter who would like to see an inspiring movie that is based on a true story, this movie is for you. Yes the film is a little preachy, so if that bothers you then steer clear.The movie <more>
is a little slow at parts, but there is plenty of suspense. The main actors do a superb job, especially the Russians.
I think the problem with reviewing an LDS movie is that the people most moved to comment tend to fall into two camps: people who don't like Mormons or Mormonism and therefore would never say anything good about anything featuring either, and Mormons who speak from the other end of the spectrum and defend everything LDS to the hilt. I am LDS so take my comments as you will.I am not too keen on Mormon cinema, though, and only watched "The Saratov Approach" reluctantly. I have to say, the joy of low expectations is that they are sometimes exceeded, and that was the case here.This <more>
is the true story of two Mormon missionaries in Russia who are kidnapped and held for ransom. Throughout their ordeal, they attempt to make the best of the situation while coming to terms with the possibility that they might be killed. We also see the agony their families go through, and how all the resulting diplomatic effort and posturing eventually leads to the fact that no one is going to pay the ransom.There might have been a bit more tension had this not been based on a true story. If you're familiar with the actual case let me google that for you! , you know how the movie is going to end. That makes it less of a thriller and more of a study that leads you to ask how you would respond in a similar situation. It made me think of the French film "Of Gods and Men", another true story which tells of monks in Algeria who are threatened by Muslim extremists and the choices they make in response.Corbin Allred and Maclain Nelson may seem a little old to be playing 20-year-olds, but that's nothing new in filmmaking. Have you watched "Grease" lately? They do a great job conveying initial terror and the gradual change that comes over them the longer they spend with their captors.For those who take exception to the supposed preachiness of this movie, you have to remember that it's telling the story of two men who were kidnapped while serving their church full-time. Of course there will be a strong element of spirituality, expressions of faith, and mention of beliefs. All of this may resonate more with the initiated, but it rings true to the characters and where they were at that point in their lives.Finally, a word to the filmmakers, in case they ever film again: USE A TRIPOD! I understand that the hand-held camera effect adds to the cinema verite and also creates an atmosphere of unease, but there's no reason why an establishing shot of a house has to shake so much! I'm so glad I didn't see this in the theater or I'd have puked in my lap. It was tough enough on my TV. Others have mentioned "The Blair Witch Project", which I did see in the theaters, and I was sick as a dog afterward. So watch "The Saratov Approach" but watch it on a laptop or something.
A good portral of a true story (by lexidietrich-43870)
I had watched interviews with the boys this even happened to, so much of the plot was familiar going in.There are preaching moments, they are mormon missionaries after all, but none of it is ever jammed into the story. It all flows very naturally. Overall a solid film. The camera works was intreasting, 3 outta the 4 main actors did fantasic. The music felt a little repeatitive, but that was my biggest issue with this movie.All of the preaching furthered the story, so it gets a pass. The 8/10 rating is well deserved as I watched this movie twice in a row and enjoyed it both times.
Not bad for being an LDS film (by tomasbat)
As a film that turned out to be better than I expected, I actually enjoyed the Saratov Approach. With a low budget, a somewhat niche target audience the movie was initially released only in Utah, a state with a majority Mormon population , and little source material, the film delivered pretty well. Of course, the film will naturally appeal more to Mormons/Christians in general, but I didn't feel it was overly preachy or pretentious to the point of being unwatchable. Some have complained about the length of the film and a sense that most of the time "nothing really happens". To <more>
be honest, at no point did I feel that the movie dragged.The acting, the pacing, the camerawork, the score... They're all ok not outstanding by any means, but fine and the film works out. The film isn't a breakthrough and it isn't terrible, it's just a decent thriller with a religious/"feel good" twist to it, and it is good for what it is. If you enjoy these types of films, you'll probably enjoy this one. Something I particularly liked about the film is that you could sympathize with the kidnappers and that they actually had something of a backstory. And the two missionaries had pretty good chemistry.There aren't that many good LDS films out there and this is definitely one of the better ones.