The Saratov Approach
In 1998, two Mormon missionaries (Corbin Allred, Maclain Nelson) in Russia are kidnapped, beaten and held for ransom.
Release Date: October 09, 2013
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The Saratov Approach is one of those movies that is high quality, engaging, and well worth your time ... but will have only a limited release and not much visibility because it's not the next Iron Man or Twilight. Unfortunately, too many movies suffer from this situation.
The story told in this movie is true, which makes it immediately engaging, but it's also backed up with solid acting and quality film making. There is very little objectionable material in the movie, but some rather intense scenes and situations that cause me to recommend the film for teens and above. As a film about religious missionaries, there are 'inspirational moments', yet they feel real and a part of the story rather than lame or kitschy as in most movies ( 17 Miracles comes to mind on the lame and kitschy front, whereas Luther comes to mind as another movie that does 'inspirational moments' right ).
There is a subtle, but powerful, message portrayed in the movie through a tattoo that, for me, just brought the whole thing together. I highly recommend seeing The Saratov Approach if you're in an area where it will be showing.September 30th, 2013 · Details8 Thanks ·
I served as a missionary from 1995-1997 in eastern Europe and this true event occurred the winter after I came home. My older brother was a missionary in Saratov and came home in 1996. So as you can imagine, this movie was fascinating to me and I felt loosely connected to it. Take my review with a grain of salt as it's not totally objective.
The performances from the 4 main actors were exceptional. Less important roles were not as convincing and I cringed a couple of times during the scenes with parents.
The story is amazing. In order to avoid spoilers I will just say that the psychology and spirituality explaining the decisions that were made were interesting and inspiring. These 2 young missionaries embodied what I was trying (and mostly failing) to become as a missionary.
One thing that surprised me was how heart-pumpingly suspenseful some of the scenes were. The emotional intensity of the situation was conveyed very well.
The main themes were decidedly Christian - submission to God's will and the doctrine of Christ. These themes could be perceived as being delivered with a slightly heavy hand. However, kindness, compassion, and goodness in dark circumstances were universal themes and are uplifting to everyone regardless of any kind of ecclesiastical affiliation.
In short - basically the best movie I've seen all year, which is saying a lot since I saw Despicable Me 2.November 8th, 2013 · Details3 Thanks ·
The Saratov Approach captures far more than a Mormon audience. Although the story depicts the experience of two missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it does not impose the religion on the audience. Rather, it reaches to religious people worldwide and shows the power of joining together as different faiths to help a cause.
I was extremely impressed with the four main actors. The movie also shows that missionaries aren't peculiar individuals who have no sense of life before their service. I loved the dialogue about the NBA Finals with the Utah Jazz vs Chicago Bulls. I love the friendship and concern that the two missionaries had for each other.
Overall, you don't have to be Mormon to enjoy this film. It does a great job from beginning to end at keeping you captivated and telling a real story how you'd expect it to be told.October 4th, 2013 · Details2 Thanks ·
Unlike many LDS films like 17 Miracles and The Singles Ward, which are made almost entirely for LDS audiences; The Saratov Approach is a film made for everyone.
It manages to bring in the inspiration and meaning of the church in a non-forceful, or some what cheesy way. I was extremely impressed by how it was all brought up in the movie. Another great thing was the acting, it was very strong, and it's always good to see that from a group of unknown actors.
I did feel that the first 20 minutes were a bit slow, but it quickly picks up and throws you into an emotional roller coaster. One thing i noticed was I began to think of how much fun a mission would be, in the midst of them being held captive haha. Seeing the companions bond together and encourage each other to hold strong to their faith and hope was extremely uplifting.
I very highly recommend this movie to all movie lovers!
Score: B+June 25th, 2014 · Details1 Thank ·
This is one of my favorite movies, by far. In today's society and government, we tend to separate God from life without merging the two. However, this movie did a great job at showing how real the two are. Regardless of what denomination you are, this portrays a very real feeling of the sacrifice that all missionaries give, and adds even more by having them hostage. I am a recently returned RM from Texas, and my brother is in Mexico now, so I definitely connected with this movie. Watch this, you will never regret it.February 28th, 2014 · Details1 Thank ·
Excellent!October 22nd, 2013 · Details1 Thank ·
I was surprised to find out how short a time the two missionaries were actually held captive. In the movie it feels like forever. Despite becoming a little slow in the second half, the Saratov Approach is a watchable movie about a frightening reality for two young men in Russia. Filmed in Ukraine, the movie feels authentic, and I enjoyed the performances by those who played the Russian characters.October 13th, 2013 · Details1 Thank ·
Well acted. Screenplay takes all of to the edge of our own safety and has us think about what we would do in similar circumstances.January 31st, 2014 · Details
...where the screenplay really shines is in its ability to capture the complexities of what at first appears to be a simple case of good versus evil. The longer the missionaries are held, the greater the moral dilemmas becomes for the prisoners, the perpetrators and even the parents. Watching these characters struggle to find (and have the courage to do) the “right” thing brings an unexpected depth to this movie. Those who view this film are as likely to be touched by this inspirational story as was the general public who watched these events unfold in the media during the spring of 1998... See Full ReviewJanuary 28th, 2014 · Details
Intense and commanding, glad I was able to see it. Limited audience but SAFE!December 24th, 2013 · Details
this movie is very well done.at the beginning the use Ashaky cameratechnique, they did it for too long, and it made me sick. Other than that it was great. Very moving and eye-opening.December 19th, 2013 · Details
It does an excellent job of telling a true story. I especially like the way you get the thoughts and feelings of all the players - missionaries, captors, families. It is definitely well worth your time.December 6th, 2013 · Details
From beginning to end, The Saratov Approach firmly holds your attention. Though it depicts the unfortunate story of two missionaries being kidnapped and held for ransom, it is powerful and touching all throughout. Despite being about Mormon missionaries, the movie can uplift and inspire anyone of any faith to live a little more Christlike. There are some intense scenes, but overall I feel this is a very family-friendly movie.October 19th, 2013 · Details