Critic scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
Lively, entertaining and well made, pic is thankfully neither mawkish nor grueling, though its refusal to confront some of the harsher realities of its dramatic situation does leave it feeling somewhat bland. Read full review
A cute kid dying of cancer is usually a surefire way for filmmakers to get the tears flowing, but despite a few powerful moments, this children's-book-turned-movie isn't designed to make its audience cry. Read full review
A little wan but a lot likable, Gustavo Ron’s Ways to Live Forever is a forthright and surprisingly buoyant drama about facing death before you have really lived. Read full review
The result is as sugary as a fatal toothache, though it's hard to hate a film that merely wants to give the world a hug. Read full review
Parents need to know that Ways to Live Forever is an emotional adaptation of author Sally Nicholls' 2008 children's novel about a 12-year-old English boy dying from leukemia. The story follows how a teacher encourages Sam and his friend Felix (who also has cancer) to write because words are a way "to live forever." There are a few British swears and insults like "bloody" and "daft," and a couple of sweet first kisses for Sam, but otherwise there's not much iffy stuff in the movie in terms of specific content. But the heavy themes and focus on dying makes it a better fit for older tweens and teens who will be able to handle the sadness of Sam's inevitable death.
Families can talk about how Ways to Live Forever portrays children with cancer. Is it more upsetting to see movies about children facing death than adults? Do you think kids can handle movies about kids who are dying?
Talk about what Sam and Felix put on their respective bucket lists. What do you think you'd want to do if you knew you only had a limited time to live?
This movie is based on a book; does the movie make you want to read the novel? What more about Sam (and Felix) would you want to read about?
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