Relatable and empathetic.
| Original Score: B
Thankfully, the documentary is realistic; it shows that there's a long road to that kind of ending. But it also shows that the ending isn't as important as the moment.
It's Sam and his parents, who've refused to let his situation keep him from living as full a life as possible, who make Life According to Sam one of the feel-good movies of my year, at least.
Sam Berns's charisma and hard-won grace are present throughout the documentary, which follows the now-17-year-old boy's two-year involvement in a clinical trial for a new treatment.
The story of these efforts, which have produced promising results, is itself remarkable, though nothing in this documentary equals the portrait of the unforgettable son they produced.
This is the straightforward story of a family facing adversity head-on and making inroads against a rare disease.
| Original Score: 3/5
A straightforward, solidly crafted inspirational tale that should appeal to quality broadcasters.
[It] is remarkable in the ways it mimics Sam's guiding principle and spirit. Although it has a lot to tell us about the science of genomes and the rigors of FDA approval, it doesn't necessarily want you to feel sorry or outraged or moved to act.