The Saratov Approach - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Saratov Approach Reviews

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September 4, 2016
Suspencful, heart wrenching and highly entertaining.
½ March 19, 2016
Are you guys serious? This is a mormon propaganda movie. There's a lot that does not stack up here and the movie clearly was not shot in Russia. There was a witness to their first encounter with Nikolaj; a priest was watching them as they walked towards the apartment 105; they got directions from another guy. Russian police are not dumb. They can follow leads. Furthermore, if you add up all the probabilities, they were unlikely to be shot, even when the kidnappers realized that they were not going to get paid. 4 years for kidnapping is a lot better than life for murder. Could have been a good movie but they had to make out this was "God's plan". The only convincing aspect of the movie was the anguish of the parents and the communal prayer that crossed denominations. Finally, when is Hollywood going to stop using the "backwards R" in the Russian alphabet which actually makes the sound "ya"?
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2015
Might have a bit too much of a religious slant for some folks, but I still found the true life story of Mormon Missionaries kidnapped in Russia to be compelling, thrilling and touching.
September 28, 2015
Had me in tears more than any other movie I've seen. Sadly the acting on the part of the mothers was poor, but other than that it was amazing.
March 29, 2015
Amazing. Made me cry a few times.
March 29, 2015
Easily one of the most powerful Mormon dramas to date! Scary, intimate, and well-directed.
February 12, 2015
A good film apart from the irritating religious preaching goody goody undertones of the story.
½ November 24, 2014
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 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!
November 8, 2014
So this movie was amazing. I hadn't heard of it or recall the story when it happened back in '98. Mike found it on Netflix.
October 30, 2014
This is an awesome story of two young men committed to spread the word of God and having such a strong faith as to die for it. One of the kidnappers is said to have been a Norman himself.
October 20, 2014
I loved the movie so much I found myself sifting through the reviews for a while just because I couldn't stop thinking about it. Now I'm leaving a review because I'm still thinking about it.

The only flaw is I feel like the actor who played the missionary that was talking about why he changed his mind about going on a mission paused a little too often and long when he was trying to be dramatic
October 14, 2014
Not great, but good Mormon movie. Acting was OK and climax was too soft... But it was really religious and some scenes were really funny! It has heart and wonderful message. So I kinda liked it. I really recommend it!
August 30, 2014
This movie was fantastic. It moved me to tears....
August 22, 2014
Some of the more dramatic moments were slightly overdone, but overall a wonderful and moving show.
½ August 11, 2014
Great movie about Mormon missionaries being captive in Russia
July 26, 2014
This was a great story. You kind of have to know it will have a religious slant so please don't be surprised going in.

I loved it. Good acting and great heart.
½ July 24, 2014
Good story bad acting.
July 14, 2014
The acting was decent. The story incredible
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2014
This dramatic thriller was all about religion, and if you are a non-believer, simply skip it! Written and directed by Garrett Batty it stars Corbin Allred, Maclain Nelson, Nikita Bogolyubov and Alex Veadov.

The movie is about the 1998 kidnapping of the two Mormon missionaries, Andrew Lee Propst and Travis Robert Tuttle in Saratov, Russia. The kidnappers wanted US$300,000 ransom from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but nobody wanted to pay the ransom for different reasons. For five days the two missionaries were handcuffed and held captive in a small room. When no ransom materialized, the men were driven to a field and released. Doesn't sound too exciting, especially when we all know the outcome of the story... but, there was suspense in the movie, excitement, and very believable acts and results of the faith of the young men.

At the time, this event was a significant international incident, but the director wisely chooses to focus its time on the missionaries and their captors. Some blamed a limited budget for it, but the important story really is what is happening within that relationship where they both slowly make their way through a barrage of emotions, confronting fears of their captors and their own mortality, and slowly coming to understand the role their faith will play in their predicament.

Please, do not dismiss this movie because it falls into the category of Mormon cinema, and the well-tread subcategory of missionary movies that is so prominent within it. Check it out and you will see that director Garrett Batty's effort is very solid. I didn't like the hand-held camera work and the intense original soundtrack, but the locals from The Salt Lake Tribune praised the film. Some of the scenes were not very impressive, they were executed rather like a routine, but they are countered by most of the emotional scenes of Allred and Nelson re-creating those days of captivity. Not a bad viewing!
June 30, 2014
Religious propaganda. You almost got me, Batty. Almost.
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