The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Unstoppable (2/15/2011)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and peril, and some language.

Starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson

Directed by Tony Scott (The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Déjà vu, and Man on Fire)

Todd's Rating: Worth Buying

Unstoppable is a drama about a runaway train carrying a cargo of toxic chemicals which pits an engineer and his conductor in a race against time. They're chasing the runaway train in a separate locomotive and need to bring it under control before it derails on a curve and causes a toxic spill that will decimate a town.

Denzel Washington and Chris Pine are perfect in the veteran/rookie relationship role. Their dialogue is sharp and witty. But more than that, there are so many times throughout the film that they exchange a look that is so genuine – as if they really were the grizzly old veteran and the young rookie know-it-all. They play the roles perfectly.

The story is based on actual events and being from Pennsylvania made the movie even more enjoyable. There are times when the fact that a movie is “based on a true story” that makes what you are seeing more intense and more gut wrenching. And believe me I was on the edge of my seat for most of this one. Literally, several times I actually sat up and leaned forward…sitting on the edge of my seat. That’s classic Tony Scott film making.

Finally there is the action. Two words…IN – TENSE!

Seriously, Tony Scott knows how to make a great movie with great action and a great story. He understands the balance between the two and once again delivers an almost perfect film. He draws us in to each character by slowly revealing their stories and the things that have lead them to this point in time. We begin to care about them, which makes us root for them when things look bleak. And when we find our new “friends” in trouble we get that feeling in the pit of our stomach called worry. Our hands get sweaty and our adrenaline starts pumping. That’s the mark of a great director leading a great cast through a great story.

If you haven’t seen it yet…stop everything and go see Unstoppable…It’s Worth Buying.

This movie is Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and some language and I think it would be fine for most older teens.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?

A: This is a great picture of how one bad decision can quickly become a much larger problem. In the movie a railroad worker makes a bad choice and watches as the train rolls away. Throughout the film we see him watching how his decision affects so many other people.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
A: We should realize that every decision we make (even a seemingly small decision) affects us and the people around us. And when those decisions are bad decisions, the consequences can be very painful.

In Galatians 6:7-8 Paul tells us, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?
A: The simple reality is that we can talk all day about making wise decisions, but we need to actually make wise choices and avoid making the decisions that lead to destruction.

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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