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A Moving Film That Makes Me Think About My Own Family and What's Important
rannynm20 August 2014
If I stay is a beautiful, moving film about a teenage girl and the life or death decision she must make. Mia is a teenage girl that has a wonderful, quirky family, a boyfriend who loves her to pieces, and a bright, ambitious future. But, all of that changes when she and her family are in a fatal car accident. While Mia's body is in a coma, her mind journeys back to all of her memories, triumphs, heart breaks and future. She has to make the decision on whether or not to fight and stay alive, or let go and leave this world. Will Mia stay?

I love this movie. It made me laugh, cry and it helped me to see all of the good in my own life that I should cherish, because you never know when it could all change. The cinematography is beautiful. Most of the film is filled with memories that Mia has and the way they are portrayed is very neat. The music is also beautiful. Mia is a cellist and a lot of the film focuses on her dreams of becoming a successful musician, so the film is filled with beautiful classical music.

My Favorite character is Mia played by Chloe Moretz. This film shows so many aspects of Mia's life, so it's easy to find something to relate to. She has a great passion for playing the cello and dedicates most of her life to it. She has difficulties relating to her parents and even her boyfriend since their musicals tastes are far more edgy than hers. She has to face her insane loss and she has to choose between many different things in life. There's something about her life that I think anyone can relate to, so she's a wonderful character. Chloe does a wonderful job portraying everything she's going through and she moved me to tears many times.

This film makes me think about my own family and everything I would do for them. It makes me think of my life and all the joys and sorrows I've faced. There was not a dry eye in the audience because this film provokes unique memories for every individual. I felt especially connected to Mia's family because I too have a younger brother and am very close with my parents, so I was very touched by Mia's situation.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 because of the intense emotions and mature content. Make sure you check out If I Stay in theaters August 22nd.

Reviewed by Raven D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
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The Cello & Guitar
Knox D Alford III (knoxiii)12 November 2014
What sleight of hand! A moving love story between a high school cellist prodigy & a rising rock star (slightly older). If I stay implies a choice is to be made. Perhaps there is. Who am I to say? If there is no one knows for sure, & if they proclaim otherwise, they are a clear & obvious fraud. This story revolves around this existential question & successfully gives deep & equal background for both. Many will flat out cry, & I remember two instances of prolonged hard blinks, fighting off tears.

The maturation of Chloe Grace, as I call her, has been sublime to watch. I rarely watch Carson Daly, but remember the genuineness & wit from his interview with her before an early hit movie. This was ingrained into my memory as someone to keep track of. She displays masterful acting, as the female lead. If I could buy stock in an actress, she would be my blue chip 1st choice. Everything about her is amazing, including her "Joliesque" lips. They are similar, yet all her own.

It gives me great pleasure to recommend this movie. It was enjoyable to see the clear chemistry between boy & girl. They were successful in portraying the emotions of true love, the give and take, and sacrifices that make it endure. Chloe Grace Moretz outshines everyone else in the story. The supporting cast was good, but never had the chance the moment she was cast. The ending seems predictable but it was far from it. The director makes two equally compelling cases for her choice. Enjoy this movie about young adult love, and don't be surprised if you compare it to your own love stories. I rate this a very solid 7/10 stars on the back of Chloe Grace's performance. Others who enjoy this genre more than I may well rate it 1-2 stars higher. Chloe Grace continues to rise in her mastery of the art.

Knox D. Alford, III
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DJRMewzique22 August 2014
Anyone interested in this film already knows the premise by now if they have read this far, so I won't rehash it.

All I will say is that this film could have easily been contrived and cheesy and hokey and clichéd but rather, the end is result is truly one of the finest, most real representations of youth and love I have seen in a long time. And the fact that it seemed so genuine is exactly why I have not cried in a film so much since...."The Perks of Being a Wallflower." Chloe Grace Moretz has already proved she is a force to be reckoned with, but by an accomplishment like playing the key character in a film that was made to be a tearjerker without coming across as completely laughable shows what a strong actress this young woman truly is.

Excellent, relatable script, wonderful direction and perfectly edited, the fact the a bunch of tween girls went "Huh? What? That's the end?" when the credits began to roll proved that R.J. Cutler knew exactly when to end this film at the precise moment. There was no need to overstay the welcome.

Make sure you have some Kleenex.
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Affecting, Without Being Manipulative
Carl Schultz4 June 2015
'If I Stay' is without shame a picture aimed straight at the tear ducts, presumably in the belief that a good crying spell is both therapeutic and cathartic for the spirit. And the picture mostly works hard to earn its tears honestly: The characters are attractive and appealing and likable, and the actors playing the characters also are attractive and appealing and likable. This is the rare picture which features no bad guys. Everybody's a good guy.

Based on Gayle Forman's 2009 young adult novel of the same name, 'If I Stay' chronicles the emotional experience of a buttoned-up 17-year-old cello prodigy Mia Hall, played here by actress Chloe Grace Moretz, and her worlds-colliding romance with an up-and-coming young rock-and-roll guitarist named Adam. That both Mia and Adam are on the cusp of professional breakthroughs in their musical pursuits accounts for most the of the ups and downs in their relationship.

Unfortunately, their romance is in the middle of one of its downs when Mia and her family are involved in a catastrophic auto accident, casting Mia into an out-of-body experience in which she can observe the people she loves, but not communicate with them or interfere with their actions.

'If I Stay' is a picture that gives you the kind of satisfaction you get from being on time for an appointment, following your doctor's orders, eating the right cereal, taking your medicine as prescribed, or getting a flu shot: You might rather be watching 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' a 'Fast and Furious' movie or 'The Expendibles,' but you just know that a movie with this much cello music in it has got to be good for you.

And it is fairly good. Young Mia has wonderful support from her parents, a set of amiable former rockers played appealingly by Mirielle Enos and Joshua Leonard. Leonard especially, late of 'The Blair Witch Project' hysteria of 1999, has matured into a solid character actor and possesses a sort of good-natured, loopy appeal which in 'If I Stay' contrasts nicely with the buttoned-up performance of Moretz as his daughter.

In the film, it's shown in flashbacks that Mia's folks grew up and embraced responsibility when it became apparent to them that the late nights and party lights did not blend well with parenthood…an epiphany which makes even more perplexing their almost pushing young Mia out the door to be with her rocker boyfriend.

As Mia's rock guitarist boyfriend, Jamie Blackley is somehow manages to be sullen without actually pouting, and is simultaneously withdrawn and inarticulate about romance yet strong-willed and verbose about music. You can see why Mia's attracted to Adam, but if you're like me you might be more than a little conflicted about their falling into bed quite so quickly, especially if, like me, you view the picture with your girlfriend's adolescent daughter present.

Unfortunately, at some point—I'm not exactly not sure when, but I think it's about an hour into the picture—the narrative becomes sticky and manipulative, and the picture begins to rely on broad characterizations, familiar stereotypes, and the familiarity of plot devices from movies past, to sort of swindle the tears from the audience.

And that's too bad, because by that point I'd already decided I enjoyed the picture, and was unprepared to modify my opinion. That the scene which I believe began the manipulation featured the showcase moment for veteran actor Stacy Keach, as the crusty but lovable old Grandpa, made the cheat seem even more unexpected and surprising. Keach, much like Robert Loggia, seems like such an honest, sturdy, and dependable actor.

But having said that, about 80% of the success of 'If I Stay' belongs to young Chloe Grace Moretz in the central role as Mia. Moretz is earnest enough in her craft to make us care about young Mia even through her most puzzling and selfish interludes.

Moretz followed 'If I Stay' with a supporting role the high-profile action film 'The Equalizer,' with Denzel Washington. And combined with 'If I Stay' and Moretz' affecting characterization in the title role of the most recent remake of 'Carrie'—not to mention Hammer's under-appreciated 'Let Me In' and the 'Kick-Ass' pictures—it's plain that this is one young actress who's going places. Fast.

I liked 'If I Stay.' But I think I already told you that.
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Real and genuine - a cut above the rest
phd_travel4 September 2014
This is a well balanced romantic drama. The movie has a good balance between family tragedy of a horrific car accident and teen romance of young love. Also the theme of music is well shared between classical cello and Pacific Northwest rock band. The romance is a convincing tale - not too passionate for their age but with the real problems of differing paths and East Coast (Juillard) vs West Coast (rock band). This is a problem that face many couples and it's good to see proper issues as the problem instead of trumped up melodrama. The story felt more real than "The Fault in Our Stars" and less sentimental too. In fact although the tale is a sad one, it's the best of the recent teen based romance movies far better than "The Giver".

Chloe Grace Moretz proves she can do anything from horror (Carrie) to action (Kick Ass) to moving romantic drama. Her face is sensitive and expressive. Even though she is very pretty she is such a good actress she can still pull off the shy musical prodigy without being fake. Her love interest is played by Jamie Blackley who does a good job without overacting. He isn't too good looking so it's a believable romance. The ex rocker type parents seem like they couldn't have had such a beautiful daughter but never mind. Stacy Keach is surprisingly effective as her grandfather.

Well done - moving, involving, rings true.
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Didn't appreciate it as much until an accidental 2nd viewing
deprofundisss11 January 2015
I thought it was pretty good the first time. To be honest, I was half asleep when I first saw it, to the extent that I didn't realize I had seen it just based on the name of it, so I accidentally started streaming it today without realizing I had seen it before several months ago. I know, this doesn't sound supportive of this movie. For the record, I almost never watch movies more than once...I get too bored. After it started this second time, I did realize immediately that I'd seen it before, but I figured I'd stop it the moment I became bored, which I knew was inevitable given that I'd seen it before. Well, somehow I watched it all again, in its entirety. This time, I saw more depth than I'd seen before. Bottom line, this is worth watching. Of course, it's not perfect, and the main character looks like she's 12 rather than 17 or 18, which is a little bit creepy. But it has heart, and it's beautiful. Granted, I don't totally agree with the ending, but up until then it brought up questions that were very meaningful for anyone who has experienced loss. Kudos to this movie for being unexpectedly watchable for a 2nd run, and for actually being better another time around.
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moving, if you can relate to it
tim-584-9572822 March 2015
hey I loved this movie. If a movie stirs my emotions to a point where my body can't control itself, cry, laughter, anger etc, then in my mind it's done it's job. Movies are escapism. If you don't feel like you've been transported into the movie, then you're just not into it.

As a father I relate to this movie, the sacrifice the father makes for his talented daughter.. It well and truly stirred my emotions. It's a 10 in my book. The concept might appear cheesy to some, but it was up my ally.

If you're a romantic at heart, you will enjoy this flick. If you don't want to embrace being taken on a journey of what it might be like in he next world, then go check out something else.
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Watchable, but very Disappointing and Forgettable
rocketrider2314 September 2014
When I first saw the trailer for If I Stay back in April, I got chills and it quickly became one of my top five most anticipated movies of the summer. From then on, I stayed away from all other trailers and clips so that I could see the movie knowing as little as possible, to the point where I'd put the TV spots on mute and run out of the theater when a trailer came on. Based on the trailer I saw, I honestly expected something similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or a dramatic Inception. However, after having finally seen it this weekend, I am sad to report that If I Stay is nothing like that at all, and is instead probably my most disappointing movie of the summer.

If I Stay follows Mia, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, an 18 year old girl who likes classical music and cello, and who's still not quite over her ex, Adam (Jamie Blackley). Then on a snowy day, her life is completely turned upside down when her family and she get into a deadly car crash, sending her into a coma. In this coma, she has an out of body experience in which she needs to decides either to die and go up to heaven or live with the physical and emotional repercussions, all while flashing back to the relationship she and Adam had.

The movie is primarily made up of flashbacks to the relationship that Mia and Adam had, and the chemistry that the two of them share isn't very strong and can be described as okay at best. Chloe Grace Moretz is a talented young actress who really gives it her best in this film, whereas her costar Jamie Blackley ranges from decent to mediocre. The relationship between their two characters is cute and sort of fun for the first half of the movie. However, in the second half when their relationship slowly starts to go downhill, Adam becomes a jerk and is unlikeable and unreasonable, which made me have a tough time feeling bad for him when he was an emotional wreck. Also, with Adam and Mia's relationship, something felt missing. Rather than true love, it felt like a typical high school relationship where the two people think they're love, then someday breakup and later realize that they never actually were in love.

Then all the other characters are either annoying or underdeveloped. Mia's parents are somewhat likable, however, most of their jokes and dialogue come off as either flat or cringe-worthy. Then there's this couple who is close friends to Mia's parents, and they are present in the hospital for most of the movie and in many of the flashbacks. In one scene they talk about never wanting to have children, but then they are later seen in another scene with a baby (referred to as their son) who is then never referenced or seen again afterwards. The one exception to all this would be Mia's grandfather, played by Stacy Keach, and he had one scene in particular that I did really like (those who have seen the movie can probably guess what scene it was). Perhaps I am just being biased since I do enjoy Keach and his acting, but I do think he gave a good performance.

Now I have some things to say regarding the ending. I'm not going to outright say any spoilers, but I'm kind of going to imply what happens in the end. Therefore, if you do not want anything spoiled about If I Stay, skip this next paragraph.

Mia makes her decision to stay or leave based off of a five minute speech that one character makes to her, and then the movie ties itself up really nice in a bow and leaves everything real hopeful and bright for the characters. While I do like happy endings, I felt in this case a less hopeful ending would have been better suited to really make her decision difficult. Not Requiem For a Dream level hopeless, but rather cutting the whipped cream and cherry on top. However, I do have to say that with the route they chose, the last ten seconds of the film were perfect. The place where the last shot cut could not have been better.

In the end, If I Stay is just another average teen romance movie, and it's not even all that interesting. The trailer makes the movie seem like a tear-jerking drama that takes place all in her mind about her decision to live or die, when in reality, it's a high school love story consisting of 70% flashbacks that only spends a small portion with her out of body experience. I REALLY don't want to give this movie anything below a 6/10 because of how much I had been looking forward to it for so long, but I have to give it a 5/10. It's even possible that in the future my score will go even lower. While it is somewhat entertaining, If I Stay is a rather weak romance movie for teens and is overall very forgettable.
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A lot of music and tears in this teenage romance tearjerker love story.
Bo Atdrinks2 September 2014
A Warner Brothers/MGM film. 'If I Stay' is a tearjerker film about a teenage-girl who experiences an out-of-body experience whilst in a coma.

The teenage-girl is played well by Chloe Grace Moretz. As film opens we discover that she is part of a sickly-sweet family that seems just too perfect. Off out together, they are involved in an accident. Miss Moretz's character, Mia Hall, comes to, but does not understand why she is being ignored by the emergency services, as she stumbles about in a dream-like state. Seeing herself, she starts to understand, as she goes to the hospital. These scenes all occur at the start of the film, the rest of the film is based at the hospital, with the majority of the film being flash-backs.

Director RJ Cutler has done a good job here. The scenes at the accident are, as said, rather dream-like, thus capturing the confused state of Miss Hall. Miss Moretz captures well the disorientation of her character. Both Director Mr Cutler and actress Miss Moretz capture well the out-of-body experience. As a disembodied spirit, Mia Hall has no physical abilities thus travel can only be achieved via open doors etc.

Thus, 'If I Stay' is completely different from 'Ghost' and 'Truly, Madly, Deeply', both of 1990. Those films were about the interaction of living breathing humans and the spirits of dead humans. Not so in this film. 'If I Stay' does however share one thing with both of those other films, a love story.

Flashbacks tell us that the teenage schoolgirl Mia Hall, has fallen in love with older boy Adam, played by Jamie Buckley. The two were attracted to each other, and did fall in love, but were troubled with what might be described as musical differences. Thus this film has a major musical plot-line that reminds of the recently screened 'Begin Again'. The films are similar in many ways, the major one being that we viewers get to hear a fair bit of music. Mia and boyfriend Adam are both musicians, though very different ones. However the music does provide one further link to 'Truly, Madly, Deeply'.

The two young lovers are ably supported by a great cast, all of whom are good, but special mention should go to those playing family members. Joshua Leonard plays Mia's father. He and the Director got the flashback scenes just right, they are also funny, as we see the younger wild rocker turn into the more sedate parent. Hair-styles in those scenes was particularly good. Mireille Enos, playing the mother, has some poignant scenes with her daughter. However the most emotional scenes were with veteran actor Stacy Keach. He gives a stand-out performance, particularly in one very emotional and very important scene.

Preparing for her role in Kick Ass (2010), Miss Moretz trained with a stunt-crew for three months and also did most of her own stunts. For her musical role in 'If I Stay', Miss Moretz is also reported to have engaged in much musical study. Last year she gave a tremendous performance in the 2013 remake of 'Carrie'. Here, in 'If I Stay', we once again see Miss Moretz play a somewhat shy girl, that sometimes seems dreamily unaware, but that at other times capture perfectly the utmost depths of the rawest of emotions.

Shauna Cross wrote the screenplay of the Gayle Forman novel. Director RJ Cutler has done a great job. Outside shots, particularly those featuring different seasons, were done well, ably capturing the sense of passing time.

This teenage love-story shares a supernatural spiritual love story like 'Ghost' and 'Truly, Madly, Deeply'. Like 'TMD' it also has some hauntingly beautiful music. The film is also about music and could be described as a teenage version of 'Begin Again'. If you liked any of those films, then 'If I Stay' will appeal to you.

This tearjerker deserves 10/10 but needs a hanky.
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faithpetrie444 March 2015
When it first came out I read the book, cried then went to see the movie where I cried yet again. The chemistry between the characters in the film is one of those which I don't think you see very often in a film. Normally films which are based on books aren't actually that similar but I thought it was fairly similar. I loved the story line and the drama in the film. It's most definitely one that I would watch again. I would recommend it to friends and family being the socialite that I am. Typical college girl me. Sigh. Look I you want to rate the film just watch it because I personally thought it was fabulously entertaining. At times it was slightly boring and hard to understand, although I would've liked a tiny bit more action. Just a little.
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A Cello Runs Through It
3xHCCH4 September 2014
The cello is my favorite musical instrument. One of my favorite movies of all time is the Japanese Oscar Best Foreign Language film winner "Departures" and a cello played a prominent part in that one. "If I Stay" is another film in which a cello takes center stage, and I would not miss it even for that reason alone.

"If I Stay" is a dramatic film about a shy cello-playing teenager named Mia Hall. She has cool supportive parents, who were once in the punk scene. Her boyfriend Adam is the front man of an up-and-coming rock band. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly with her. She is awaiting for her acceptance letter from the Julliard School. Then one beautiful winter day, a tragic car accident happens.

I was looking forward to good cello music, and it did not disappoint. Those music in those scenes showing Mia auditioning for Julliard were breathtaking. As it turns out though, the cello music is not the only thing good about this film.

This film is a tearjerker of the highest order. The script was written in very emotional language by Shauna Cross based on a best-selling novel by Gayle Forman. Thankfully, the cast, though mostly unknown except for the lead actress, does very well in bringing this script to life.

Chloe Grace Moretz is really a phenomenal young actress. She gained attention as the ultra-violent It Girl, the best part of the "Kick Ass" films. Now a little more grown-up as Mia, Moretz provides this role the grace and elegance. A lesser actress may have made those death scenes mawkish and those romance scenes cheesy. Those cello-playing scenes were killer scenes.

Jamie Blackley was fine as Mia's boyfriend Adam. He seemed uncomfortable at times, and his chemistry with Moretz was not entirely convincing. I like the actors who played Mia's parents Denny and Kat better, Joshua Leonard and Mireille Enos. That New Year's Day scene where Kat was drying the dishes while Mia washed was especially well-written and well- acted out.

I had seen Liana Liberato in her devastating film debut as a victim of child rape in "Truth." She also did well her as Mia's loyal friend Kim. I think this is the first time I have seen perennial bad guy Stacy Keach in a role that made him so emotionally raw as Mia's grandfather.

The storytelling, with its weaving in and out of past and present events, was very well-edited. However, the pace taken by Director RJ Custer can feel very slow and repetitive at certain times in the middle, which made me look at my watch a few times. Overall though, it was effective in its intention as a tear-jerking romance. Your handkerchief or tissue paper will definitely get wet with this film with its many touching scenes.
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Chloe Grace Moretz's Best Performance Yet
Andrew Ramirez24 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Normally I completely agree with meta critic but this is the one time that I do not agree. I went in with low expectations but I was completely wrong.I do not normally give out ratings without thinking about it first. If I stay is one movie that I believe is 10 out of 10.

Chloe Grace Moretz performance in this movie was amazing. She is always referred to as a future great actress of the industry but I felt that she has not completely proved herself yet until I saw this film. Moretz plays Mia Hall so well and so believable. I think she portrays the love and the actions of a teenage girl in love with great accuracy. Her on scree chemistry with Jaime Blackley was on point. He also performed great. I did not expect much from him but he along with everyone else in the film performed great.

This movie has a little bit of everything. It makes you smile, it has music, a strong story, great acting and a lot of emotion. The film does not center around her out of body experience but centers around Mia's love for Adam. The film skips back and forth from her out of body experience to her memories with Adam and her family. This was done well and allows us to understand the love and bond that they have because it skips back to different points in their history. The story is not about god or the afterlife but simply about a choice that she has. Does she leave with her family or does she stay and continue fighting through life with Adam by her side?

I honestly really enjoyed this movie and thought multiple times during it that this movie is really good. I never think about movies much afterward but with this one has been on mind. The ending was perfect especially with the gasps and reactions of the audience. Best movie of the summer by far.
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Beauitiful and mesmerizing work of art.
Edin Dino11 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I never cry. Never. I sometimes feel like I got no emotions in me. But this, this movie, oh, how to explain it. Beginning was beautiful, slow, accident seemed like a dream, I waited for her to wake up and rejoin her family, but, what I got was my own life going fast forward in front of my eyes, and I felt every her word resonating somewhere deep inside me, her grandpa's words hitting me like a train, and I sobbed. Couldn't stop myself, just couldn't, just didn't want to. It felt good. To feel the pain. And not every movie could do that. Not every actor could send me back to somewhere I thought I forever left behind. And entire cast just created perfect medium for me to feel something.

I can't be objective here. I don't even know if I am reviewing the movie or just trying to share how I felt for almost an hour, I don't know, but what I know is that I can't recommend this movie to those who are unstable and still in process of healing, because as Tom Odell would tell you, if you don't break down before him getting a chance to tell you that, "Take my heart and take my hand, Like an ocean takes the dirty sands, And heal...". When movie finished, and Tom began singing, I just had to give up and let my tears go as they wished. As much as I hated myself for letting go of my self-control so easily, I felt alive and I would never give up experience of watching this movie.

Sorry for being overly pathetic, but I had to be completely honest.
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No substance to grab you with
ansgarlarson10 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
While this movie's characters and plot have potential to hold the viewer's suspense throughout, this movie BORES the audience with the drawn-out, very predictable layout. As stated in any description of the movie you'll see that the main character slips into a coma and sees her situation from an out-of-body experience. She is torn between the decision to return to her life or transition to the afterlife but, she's only reviewing portions of her life already lived. These scenes have already been depicted and/or forecasted during the movie's introduction to the character in the first thirty minutes of the movie and are painfully redundant. Like I stated above, the movie has potential to hold the viewer's attention but it displays a typical low-budget "indie" feel with a lack of originality. The movie's only saving grace would be a "twist" ending but, if you find yourself still watching after an hour and five minutes, despite your own better judgment, you will be begging for the time you've wasted back. Trust me, you will be fast-forwarding through much of the movie and you will have not missed any essential details at all. You will find that the ending will only disappoint you. Save yourself, don't wast your time.
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I don't think I've seen another movie that induced as many eye rolls.
kutie-1424 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I am actually the target audience for this movie- a teenage girl. If I Stay is about Mia Hall- the one sided protagonist- who gets into a car accident and must decide during an out of body experience if she wants to live or die. Mia is supposed to be "quirky" and "loveable" but I hated her. There are only three things she likes. 1. Cello. 2. Classical music. 3. Adam. As if there weren't enough "I love him so much I'd waste away without him" movies already.

Speaking of Adam, he was a manipulative douche bag and I feel sorry for any teenage girl who takes him as an example of a good boyfriend. Apparently, if you kiss your girl and break into her house enough, that makes it OK for you to get mad at her for making her own decisions about her own future without consulting you, which is actually a huge red flag.

One major plot point that didn't make any sense was that Mia liked classical music while Adam and her family liked rock. According to If I Stay, people can't like more than one genre of music, and if they like one different than someone else, it's gonna be real hard for them to get along.

If I Stay is set in Portland, close to where I actually live. I can say with complete certainty that Portland is a very diverse city, yet the only POC I saw in this awful movie was the spiritual black woman whispering advice to Mia's comatose body. The main characters could have been a lot more varied, but apparently only white people are good enough to make a movie about. Seriously... even the other members of both Adam and Mr. Hall's band were white and they were barely even seen.

Speaking of diversity, when we find out the piano player in Willamette Stone is a lesbian, it's only because Mia is jealous of her relationship with Adam. Huge red flag. Her lesbianism is only used to further the assumption that boys and girls can't be Just Friends.

In the same sense, Mia's family is only killed off just so Adam can be the one to motivate Mia to stay, because it's """true love""". Give me a break.

Don't give your money to this movie. You'd be better watching The Fault in Our Stars and pretending the cancer is a car accident and imagining the Anne Frank House as a boathouse.
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I DID NOT want to stay for this movie
kmol2261707 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, let's get this over with. This was a terrible movie. Do not go waste time and money to see this. If I stay, was nothing but a big snooze party. The characters were annoying, with little or no character development. The entire time my cousin and I were looking at each other with eye rolls, laughs at things that weren't supposed to be funny, and lots of times I checked my watch to see when the movie would be over. Alright, I have to admit that it was a clever idea, but the overall production of it wasn't good at all. The music (which I was looking forward to enjoying) was mediocre, the characters all were annoying, the story line was messed up and confusing. Also, I had read the book, and it wasn't the best adaption. The whole time I was just waiting to see what happened. It was so boring, and oh, I didn't even mention the music! The cello was okay, but the music the character Adam sung was terrible. When he started playing in a hospital (bad idea you might wake people) I literally whispered to my cousin, "if I were her I'd unplug my IV and die so I wouldn't have to listen to that awful music anymore."

So, story line is a girl falls in love with a guy named Adam and is in a coma and has to decide if she wants to live or die or pass on. Pretty neat idea right? And you'd think with a story line like this the characters would be pretty cool right? Wrong!!! Mia was annoying... always complaining and for some reason I really hoped she'd just moves on and get out of this ridiculous story. Adam... he was a mess. Okay, first, he was incredibly selfish and awful. He: sneaks into her house, gets mad at her for wanting to go to a certain college far away since he won't see her (really?!!? CAN YOU BELIEVE HIM? HE HIMSELF IS ALWAYS LEAVING HER, AND NOW HE WONT LET HER LEAVE?!?) He gets mad at her for stupid things and he's really annoying, a really bad person, and a bad character. If we were supposed to be charmed by his bad boy looks and the fact the he was in a band, we weren't.

Also... the ending!!!! I won't spoil too much, but the entire time my cousin and I were like WHAT?!? The whole reason we wanted to come to the movie was to see if she stayed or left (I was hoping she would leave) I just disliked it entirely. I'm also a teenager, and if they were trying to impress young teenage girls, they failed. I was disappointed, bored, and was about ready to walk out of the theater.

Please, do yourself a favor and don't waste your money on this movie.
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Move Over... Chloe has arrived and she is very good
aharmas24 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"If I Stay" is a meditative story of what we do when we have to make the ultimate choice. A teen finds herself revisiting important moments of her life at a crucial time, and by the conclusion of the movie has to decide whether she should which one of her beloved she will follow. Chloe is nothing short of sensational here, giving a very sweet, strong, and sensitive performance as the girl who has lived a very good life but finds herself at odds when she meets the young man who could be her soul mate. There's a lot of love and affection in this movie, and it is very painful to see that there are times in life when pain rears its ugly head, and there's not much we can do about it.

Mia (Chloe) is born to a loving pair of free spirits. These two Denny and Kat (Mirelle Enos and Joshua Leonard) are remarkable in their portrayals of two very sweet and loving parents. They show hints of a wild and fun past, but they are able to transition into a mature and nurturing set of individuals who are willing to do everything they can to support their children. It's heartbreaking to see their fate, and we immediately miss them because the characters are probably two of the most wonderful creations of the last decade. It's not that we believe them incredible because we recognize their flaws. It's just that in this film we see their good side, though we recognize they have fears and broken dreams, too, but here the children are the important part of their lives.

The film is about choices and growing up. Mia finds herself a bit insecure and can't see herself getting into Julliard. It's obvious to everyone she has the talent and the passion, the fire and the craft is hers, but she's slow to recognize much of what's obvious, and this includes the arrival of the man who might be her perfect partner, Adam, in a great turn by Jamie Blackley. He loves music, he loves life, and most importantly, he loves her.

Most of the film is spent in the hospital, as Mia watches everyone's reaction to her family accident. She wavers between staying or going. She hears people express their vote of confidence that she'll be able to pull through, and that it's up to her to decide. She's loved by all the people who come in await the turn of events, and things become more intense as the hours pass by, and while she looks back at her life, we understand that this is not an easy choice. The family she knows is now for the most part gone, but there are others who also have plenty of love and affection for her. It's just that if one knows those parents are not going to be around anymore, faith in surviving dims pretty quickly, and it would take a very special individual to give you hope again. So we keep on hoping, waiting, and trusting that the ultimate decision will be the right one, and that no one will be disappointed.

Waiting is painful for all of the parties involved, including us, but we are fortunate to see a great director and some very good actors working on this story. Most impressive is Chloe who can say so much with those expressive eyes of hers. She has already proved herself a physical performer who is not afraid to show the dark side of humans. I can recall her amazing part in "Kick Ass", and she's the one element in "Hugo" that kept me from running out of the theater. Indeed, she's grown up in front of her eyes, but this girl has taken on a very difficult role, and she's given us a full performance, an innocent at first who grows in front of our eyes as she experiences life, and she is lucky to have her immediate family provide her with strength, love, and support, only to have her suddenly, face a cruel turning point in her life all by herself. We know she can handle because there's inner strength and intelligence in this young lady. The question is whether she'll play it safe or she'll continue to meet the challenges of her special life.

This is an interesting film and demands a second viewing in order to fully appreciate it. I want to go back and see more of the quiet moments. To listen to the dialog and the messages in the superb line up of songs, to see the choreography of those family and neighbors reunions long gone from the movies and very welcome in here. Enos' performance is like watching flowers bloom and the rainbows in full display. She's life herself and her eyes are great conveyors of emotion. We believe Mia and her are fully related. She's the muse that inspires love, confidence, and strength. It's a wonderful piece of acting.

We now know that "Carrie", "Kick Ass", and her other turns were not flukes, that she's the real thing. I'm glad she's not involved in any of those silly trilogies, that she's moving on to serious film making and will be able to see more of this young actress. Here's someone who can project real emotions without the need of contrived action backgrounds and silly story lines.
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Average story but good acting.
Nicole C11 November 2014
I was really excited to watch this after seeing the trailer, and not to say that I was disappointed but I was kind of expecting a bit more. The whole story basically revolves around her first love and whether she should stay. Though I appreciate that it wasn't as lovey-dovey as most young romances (or high-school relationships) tend to be, I would've liked if there was more to the story other than that.

The music element was pretty cool, and I wonder if she really plays the cello herself, because it looked really authentic. Same with the other actors in the band.

The acting was pretty good, it wasn't spectacular but it was good enough for the film. Moretz surprises me by the range of her characters, as I first knew her from Kick-Ass which is profoundly different. Blackley does a good job too, though I guess I didn't really feel the connection between the two,and maybe that's why I felt that there was something missing from the film. I didn't sympathize with them and so thought that the film was just all right. Though the parents had real character to them and they played the part of a family really well.

Another thing I noticed was that when Hall was a 'spirit' people still tended to move out of her way and it was really obvious. There was this one scene where her friend opens a door and she pushes it a bit further as if for the person behind...which was Hall as a spirit. That was not good. Do people actually see or hear her? If not, it should be consistent throughout. And it also seemed as if she could touch things, though people didn't notice.

Read more of my movie reviews at: championangels.wordpress.com
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shvthr Chev16 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
cheesy and hokey and clichéd. it was wasting time and money. I don't know how to classify this movie. during the whole time I was playing with my phone to kill the time. there was nothing new in the story line, the same clichéd issues about high school teenagers fell in love, a girl was interested in music and has a full support of her family, all characters were good people everything was perfect in their life. this movie was so far from the real. it was too boring there was nothing to follow, you could easily predict how it will be finished. the music which was supposed to be the interesting part, was awful again. i'm not gonna say the story again as all people did it earlier in other reviews, all i can is; this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It should get a rating of 1. Don't watch this movie!
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As Bad As a Weepy Pop Song
Matt Greene30 August 2014
Music is a recurring literal and allegorical motif in If I Stay. In keeping with this tired trend, if If I Stay was a song, it would be a weapy Avril Lavigne ballad: fake, melodramatic, and boring. It's blandness to the nth degree, with little to no style OR substance to pull it out of its own self-absorbed pretension. Who will this movie appeal to? It's too slow for tweens, too tepid for adults. Unless you're looking for something stupid, vapid, depressing, clichéd, annoying, and laughless, don't bother. The movie's essentially a fantasy for shy teenage girls: the dreamy, popular older band-boy inexplicably notices you, pursues you, and falls in love with you. She's a shy but stuck-up classical cellist jerk. Her love interest is a selfishly immature hipster jerk. They are a match made in conceited jerk heaven! But when a tragic accident puts you on the brink of death, your conscience must decide: do I keep living, or do I avoid pain by dying? This pretense could make for some interesting storytelling, with a ghost having to watch her life play out without affecting it…but nope. Moretz, who I normally like, is given nothing to work with and turns in her worst performance to date. A bevy of Portlandia-style caricatures parade around screen shooting for authenticity and consistently missing. I couldn't contain my eye-rolling at the onslaught of cynical clichés and bad quips about the "power" of music. Some decent scenes of actual musicianship, a couple of good performances (Grandpa), and a modicum of sweetness are completely overwhelmed by the inauthentic and never-ending dullness.
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A movie that wasn't cheesy but a little generic in some parts. The ending was perfect & really helped. Better than I expected
Tony Heck24 September 2014
"Sometimes you make choices and sometimes they make you." Mia has a great and loving family. A boyfriend who is in love with her and she is one step away from her dream of going to Juilliard. All that changes after a car wreck leaves her alone and fighting for her life. Watching her family and friends at the hospital and looking back over her life she must decide to stay living and chase her dreams or let go and be with her family. First thing I have to say is that while this is a sad movie it wasn't as depressing as I was expecting. The movie did a really good job of making it emotional without feeling forced. The movie was able to stay away from becoming overly melodramatic or too cheesy. On the other hand though the movie was a little generic in some parts and you were able to see certain things coming. The whole movie you are trying to guess whether she will stay or go and I had a feeling that the choice would make or break the movie. I could see points for both sides and I have to say that I thought the ending was perfect. Overall, a movie that wasn't cheesy but it was a little generic in some parts. The ending was perfect and really helped the movie. This was better then I was expecting. I give it a B.
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Enter the Void ... this ain't
A_Different_Drummer8 September 2014
Off the top, I cannot think of a film that brought with it higher expectations. In my review of KickAss2, I pointed out that Chloë Grace Moretz was not merely good in the film, she was the ONLY good thing in it, showing a knack for saucy dialog and delivery, and generally (given her age) being willing to go further with her character than other members of the cast twice or three times her age.

And I have always had a weak spot for these tales of life between life, Enter the Void, Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Stairway to Heaven, these are some of the films that spring to mind.

So, how can you not have a great film here? Easy? Terrible script (so bad it should never have made it to production) along with some really bad casting choices and top it off with some of the worst editing in the history of the medium.

That last item is especially important since a film about someone wandering in limbo (real time) while having flashbacks (past time) requires editing at the Oscar level. Here it seems the budget can't even afford an editor NAMED Oscar.

Chloë Grace Moretz, who verily stole KickAss2, and had the best lines in KickAss1, seems here lost and completely unconnected with her character or the hapless audience.

In fact, it is veteran Stacy Keech who actually steals the few scenes that he has, and for mere moments in an otherwise forgettable exercise makes the viewer CARE about what happens next.

Fans of Ms. Moretz (and there are many, including, don't forget, this scribe) need not feel compelled to shoot the messenger (reviewer) here, a quick glance at her bio shows her to be a very hot property now, with multiple projects underway, and many chances in her long career ahead to make up for this travesty.
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Surprisingly good
Rachel Brown1 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I'm just going to say this straight out, I'm not a fan of these kinds of movies. I find movies like this a snooze fest. This movie was surprisingly good. If I stay is about a teenage girl named Mia Hall who gets in a car accident with her family. Losing them all and having to decide if she's going to live for love or die and go with her family in peace. In the beginning, her and her family are eating breakfast when it's announced that Mia and her brother, Teddy, and her father (he's a teacher) are going to be having a snow day. Her mom calls in to work sick, so she can spend the day with the rest of her family. The make a plan to see Gran and Gramps, Henery, Willow, and their baby. Those plans of course go sour. Throughout the movie you get to see what Mia's life was like before the accident in flashbacks, which in my opinion really adds to the story. It adds to the heartbreak and the heart wrenching choice Mia has to make. The casting in this movie was perfect. Every casting choice made was brilliant. Anyone being a HUGE, fan of Chloe Grace Moretz or her roll in the Kick-Ass movie series, might have thought that she couldn't pull off this roll. I thought that too, and boy was I wrong. Jamie Blackley who plays Mia'a hunky boyfriend, Adam Wilde, was fantastic. I've never seen a movie with him in it, and when I was looking at the cast list, and I saw his name I thought "Who is Jamie Blackley?" I was a little nervous again because of that casting choice. After watching the movie, I can tell one day he'll be a big star. Maybe not Brad Pitt big but big enough so when he's the leading man or the lead people won't be confused on who that is. When I went in to the theaters, I was expecting this movie to be a train wreak. I was very wrong. To me, this movie had it all. A great plot. Great dialogue. And a great cast. You need to watch this movie, it's heartbreaking. It's brilliant. And it will bring you to tears.
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I wish I'd left
Mike Allen9 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I am furious... You wanna know why?

I am proud of the fact that I have never in my life watched an episode of Glee...

There are several reasons for this... It's reputation precedes it for a start. I am 49, I have pubic hair, a brain with two hemispheres, I never drink soda or eat fast food, I put my smart phone down occasionally. . Add to that the fact I am old enough to have seen some incredibly thought provoking movies of a philosophical persuasion.

This nonsense is an hour and a half of Glee... When I think of all the things I could have done with that hour and a half... I could have scooped my own eyeballs out with a fork... I could have gone to a local bar and got my head kicked in by the doorman... I could have finished a book I'm reading.

And now the spell is broken... Hollywood sneaked a very long and very naff episode of Glee past me and I feel strangely violated.
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An Emotional, Moral Filled Tale
rgkarim22 August 2014
Surprise, surprise another weekend, another movie based off of a book. I start my review off this evening with the latest popular drama entitled If I Stay… Why we have yet another somber, emotion engorged screenplay when we just had one, I will never know, but Hollywood is eating up the profits from movies like this. So with the hot little topic these movies are at the moment, I go once more into the dimly lit theater to determine if this movie is worth your hard earned money. What is my verdict? Like always, please read on to find out.

The key factor that these movies go for is the ability to bring about some type of emotion. If I stay is no different, though in this flick… you can pretty much guess what emotion is filling the screen. From the trailers, one should be prepared to go in for a tear jerker movie, filled with sad and morbid factors for the whole nine yards. In my theater, there were plenty of emotional fans crying, gasping, sobbing, and any other description you can think of as Mia (Chloë Grace Moretz) faces her trial of choosing to live. Before you turn away though, If I Stay surprisingly has some happy emotions to it as well, spread amongst the misery to help lighten the mood. Perhaps this is what kept me interested in the movie, as the delivery did a nice job balancing both happiness and sadness. Integrating the disaster amidst memories of Mia's life is a great approach, helping to establish and develop a backstory without giving it all away at the beginning. While I'm sure fans of the book already expected this, but I appreciated the development of the relationships with her family and friends, gradually building up to where the movie starts. The timing of these memories was spot on, each memory slightly deeper as Mia fights to hang on to life, using a different aspect of her life to carry on. Of course, the movie is full of morals about the various components of life, each done in an artistic fashion that is filled with glorified movie magic. One can certainly appreciate what the story has to teach, enough to oversee a little of the cheesiness in some of the scenes and dialog.

Of course the balanced emotions are only one part of the strengths of this movie. The acting is not half bad, with Moretz doing a good job at playing the awkward girl role. Moretz is dynamic and I enjoy her broad spectrum of characters she can play and the way she brings her lines to life. In this role she gets to act like a real person, reacting to the situations life deals her as she tries to break out of her comfort zone. Yet, for me there was a little too much crying and weakness in this character, her drawn out rants of crying and screaming a bit taxing for my patience. Of course this fits with the theme of the movie though and helps one relate to the turmoil she is feeling. Playing her opposite is Jamie Blackley who is perhaps the central point in Mia's world. Blackley's character is an attempt to represent the wild, unruly side, but his character is more relaxed than wild. The audience will get more than their fill of his songs that fit well with the scene he brings to life. However, some of the songs are simply shoved down our throats in an attempt to promote the actor's talent at singing songs that sound all the same, (like a Taylor Swift album). Regardless, I like how real his character is, and not some extreme, high on life, rogue whose bad boy attitude has all the girls swooning. The rest of the cast was fine, and well fitted into the story, but they were all rotating around the giant love relationship in this movie.

This brings me to the next part of the review, some of the weaker aspects of the movie. Despite the relationship being a little more realistic than others, it still has its moments of sheer fantasy and movie magic that sob lovers will enjoy. The predictable nature of the movie is also a bit old as well. While I did enjoy the balance of memories in the story, it was obvious where the tale was going with the underlying themes in it. Such predictability is overshadowed by the slow pace of this movie, as the lack of any exciting events leads to movie to be slightly boring. I'm still weaning myself away from the action, but this movie seemed to go around in circles instead of covering any forward ground. One minor thing is while I normally love songs that help bring out the emotions in the scene, this was a little too somber for my taste. Soft and classic rock fans will rejoice in the soundtrack, but it just didn't do much for me in this movie, and once or twice made me very sleepy.

Overall If I stay is an emotional tale that drama lovers I feel will love. It's got great life lessons, an intertwined tale of both joy and sorrow, and some decent acting that fit well to bring the novel on the screen. Yet, don't let the trailers and commercials overhype the movie, nor should you go in comparing it to the book. While I have not read the novel, my track record leads to usually disappointment, so try and block that mindset if you can. Is it worth a trip to theater? My opinion is not really, as there is very little quality that would look better on a bigger screen. Truth be told it's a great girls night out movie, or a movie you can treat your significant other too in hopes of getting reciprocation. The scores for the film are:

Drama: 7.0 Movie Overall: 6.5
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