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Movie Review

Seven Pounds a.k.a. “Sieben Leben,” “Siete almas,” “Sedam duša,” “Sept vies,” “Sete Vidas,” “Syv liv,” “Epta zoes,” “Hét élet,” “Sapte suflete,” “Sedem dus,” “Sedm zivotu,” “Seitse elu,” “Seitsemän elämää,” “Septynios sielos,” “Sette anime,” “Siedem dusz,” “Yedi yasam”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality.

Reviewed by: Mia J. Best
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Drama Romance
Length:
2 hr. 3 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
December 19, 2008 (wide—2,600 theaters)
DVD: March 31, 2009
Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures
Suicide

Suicide, what does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Forgiveness

sin and the fall of man

goodness and righteousness

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Do Not Enter

How can I be and feel forgiven? Answer

If God forgives me every time I ask, why do I still feel so guilty? Answer

Forgiveness of sin

Pain and suffering

Where did cancer come from? Answer

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn't this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer

What kind of world would you create? Answer

Hope

faith


death

Final judgment

God

How can we know there’s a God? Answer

What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
Featuring: Will Smith
Rosario Dawson
Woody Harrelson
Michael Ealy
Octavia Spencer
more »
Director: Gabriele Muccino—“The Pursuit of Happyness,” “One Last Kiss,” “Remember Me, My Love”
Producer: Columbia Pictures, Escape Artists, Overbrook Entertainment, Relativity Media, Molly Allen, Todd Black, David J. Bloomfield, Jason Blumenthal, David Crockett, James Lassiter, Domenico Procacci, Will Smith, Steve Tisch
Distributor: Columbia Pictures

“Seven Names. Seven Strangers. One Secret.”

Initially, I recommended this movie for adult audiences for its movie making quality and ability to draw the viewer in emotionally to the characters. But after pondering on it and some thought-provoking conversations, I cannot recommend this movie at all. Because the entire thrust of the movie gives nobility to a faithless, selfish and reprehensible act.

“Seven Pounds,” starring Will Smith as IRS agent Ben Thomas, takes viewers on a mysterious and emotional journey, without revealing where it’s heading until the very end of the movie. But it doesn’t take long to surmise that when Ben makes a house call on “official” IRS business that there is much more to his visit than taxes. The audience eventually learns that Ben becomes a benefactor to strangers in need, giving sacrificially to save their lives. The plot is revealed slowly, allowing the viewer to become fascinated by the characters and their lives.

As the story unfolds, it comes into focus that Ben has some sort of master plan in the midst of his charitable work—a personal agenda involving him, as well as those he has chosen to help. When one character asks Ben, “Why me?” Ben responds, “Because you’re a good person… even when you think no one is looking.”

An unexpected glitch in Ben’s plan is a blossoming romance with one of his beneficiaries, Emily Posa, played by Rosario Dawson. Dawson gives a beautiful performance full of light and shade of a vibrant woman whose life is held captive by a critical medical condition. The romantic tension between Emily and Ben is given time to build, so when they finally do kiss, it is more meaningful. And by Hollywood standards, the love scene between Emily and Ben was modest, showing partial nudity (less than what you would see on a hot day in the park). What made the moment seem tender was the direction to gradually zoom out from inside the bedroom to the window outside with the view obscured by rain hitting the windowpane. It added a bit of visual poetry.

Despite all the good that Ben does, it is apparent that he is himself most miserable, haunted by a tragedy in his past. So, all his generosity, at its core, comes from a troubled and guilt-ridden conscience. It is his prescription for redemption.

Reader, beware of plot ***SPOILERS*** below.

I struggled with how to address the morality issues in the movie without spoiling the plot that the writer and director took such pains to keep a mystery until the end, but feel that they are too important to not address. I did, however, enjoy the journey of discovering the full plot as the movie unfolded, but had serious moral issues once the ending was revealed.

Ben gives the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of others, by laying down his life. The willingness to do that is a noble act that can draw comparisons to Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said, “No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends” John 15:13 (AMP). But the method by which Ben chose to do that was to commit suicide. There is a difference between laying down your life and taking your life by your own hands.

Another important difference between Ben’s sacrifice and Jesus’ is that Ben was driven by the guilt of a tragic mistake in his past, where Jesus was motivated by love. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He gave Jesus. And Jesus said in John 10:17-18 (NKJV),

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

And while Ben selected people in need that he determined were “good people,” in Romans 5:10 it tells us that God loved us and reconciled us when we were His enemies.

So, while Ben’s actions of helping others in need are very Biblical, choosing to take his own life is not. This is why I must caution viewers about this movie. While it doesn’t glamorize suicide, it pulls on all the emotional cords to make Ben’s final act of giving seem noble and selfless. The truth is that suicide is the most selfish act there is. It is an act that says, I give up; I can’t possibly believe or hope that anything better is going to happen in my life. It is the ultimate faithless act and denotes a lack of trust in God. ***END SPOILER***

According to the Bible, all things are possible, if you can believe, and all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26; Mark 9:23).

So again, despite some excellent performances, I cannot recommend this movie due to the serious moral issue of suicide.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor

SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on-line, full-length motion picture.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—If nothing else, this movie gets people to think and hopefully discuss what they really believe. I didn't think the movie was ALL good or ALL bad. It was complex… like life… like the world. Will's character was fallen; humans are fallen. Life is messy and painful and confusing.

I think it's important to note that Ben's motivation for committing suicide shifted, once he fell in love with Emily. Before he met her, he saw his “sacrifice” as merely penance for his “sin” and an end to his emotional anguish. He saw no value in his own life. He hated himself. He commented to Emily in regards to his life, “Unremarkable would be an upgrade.” more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Erika, age 27 (USA)
Positive—I was pleased with this movie. It is refreshing to see that there are still writers out in the world that have a sense of decency and would make a movie where someone would try to do something so nice for so many people. In the real world today there are so many suicidal people in the world that go out and kill people and then take their own lives. It is a senseless thing to do either way. But for goodness sakes this is just a movie it is not glorifying suicide it is a fictional tale that tells a story of how one man tried to help others when he had the chance. I personally don't even believe in the act he was doing when he was doing good things it doesn't mean because I saw this movie I'm gonna go against my beliefs and sign the back of my drivers license. To me, it is just a really heartfelt movie that makes you wish there were more people that cared about others in this world.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ann, age 36 (USA)
Positive—(Faith: Catholic) First, if you feel it is okay to judge (even though I was taught that the Bible says “judge not lest ye be judged”), I must do the same to make a point, so it is not so much judging as debating (I have spoken to my priest about this, and he said that this was okay as I am simply asserting my beliefs, both religious and professional).

Now, I take issue with anyone who thinks it is okay to compare ANYONE with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He is beyond comparison. To me, that is blasphemous. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mary Frances Davenport, age 48 (USA)
Positive—The comments posted here show clearly how great this movie is. Let us first get clear what this movie is not. It is not a sermon. It is not promoting suicide. Realizing this, I think, could help many to more acutely evaluate the issues. First of all, the director and writer masterfully weaved a story that forced the audience to participate intellectually and emotionally in the unfolding of the plot. [This, alone, can get many out of their comfort zone, as most of Hollywood is simply dictated entertainment (those disappointed probably were a bit miffed about picking the “wrong” side a bit too early in the movie). I applaud this technique, as it opens up questions as to how we, as the audience, can easily pass through a movie or tv show, swallowing all premises that come our way to allow for a logical ending.] Tangent aside, even once the ultimate plot is exposed, enough suspense and mystery is woven in to make every moment of the story intrigue.

Morally, one must fully understand that Ben is a seriously flawed character. Like many on the path of success, his character floated above the “real” world. This ignorant autonomy and arrogance led to the tragic crash, both in the death of 7 individuals and the character's life. Ben's life can in no ways be of one as an example of Christ. But that does not mean his end action is not completely selfless. Most, if even considering these actions, would at least want some sort of acknowledgment. Ben was haunted and not fully in possession of his rational faculty by the end. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—JRS, age 25 (USA)
Positive—Although I saw the main character as extremely depressed, I think his motive changed from giving his life as suicidal and depressed to giving his live as a loving action. I wonder, for those who provide security for our president and are willing to “take the bullet for him”—is this suicide also? It is not ours to judge, but a very thought-provoking film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Sharon Nutting, age 53 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I recently viewed this film and have to say that it was a tear-jerker. I walked out of the cinema crying. While I loved the main character’s selflessness and generosity, as seen earlier on in the movie, I in no way can condone his suicide, even if it was to benefit others. Only God Almighty has the right to take away life. Life is a gift and should be valued. I am all for doing good onto others. Christians should heed the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31 NIV). But even more importantly heed the greatest command “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NIV).

The only reference to God in the movie was in the beginning where the main character acknowledges that God made the Earth in seven days. However, there is no other acknowledgment of God in this movie. It reminded me of how lost people are in this world, and how what is up is down for them and vice versa. Man’s way or what man sees as right, may be very wrong in God’s eyes. All things must be measured up to God’s value system.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Ann, age 37 (USA)
Neutral—The writing: BRILLANT. The acting: BRILLIANT. Now where it gets murking…

I DO NOT recommend this movie to: Teens, or anyone suffering from depression. REASONS: Will Smith does it again with his quality film ability, the bedroom scene tastefully done (I hope you never change Will). The bathroom scene was was disturbing and deceiving in a sense. The reason why Will’s Smith character “Ben” did this was because not because he was kind as I’m sure he looked like a caring person. The reason he was giving his body parts away was because he was FEELING GUILT AND DEPRESSION… If we can grasp that he was not in the right frame of mind I think we can understand the movie… more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Virginia Luna, age 47 (USA)
Neutral—Alright, first off, I agree wholehearteldy. This movie is not for anyone struggling with depression. Let me stress that. And I don’t think it’s for teens even.

The acting is superb. At times the movie moved a bit slow for me and my husband, and we started to get frustrated with it. It wasn’t the death, or the trauma or the suicide that was so sad for me—albeit all that was sad—it was the complete absence of God in this film which gave a sense of real hopelessness.

For me, this film did a wonderful job to show just how overwhelmingly impossible tragedy and trauma is without God. There was no grace, no forgiveness, no hope for restoration. And this helped me understand his conclusion. And while his choice to offer gifts to others as a means to bring himself some redemption seemed noble, in the end it was futile. Because there is no amount of good he could ever do that could accomplish that. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—JB, age 33 (USA)
Neutral—…I thought this movie, generally, was one of the best movies I have seen in a while. I was trying to figure out the plot the entire time, up until Ben’s suicide. The movie evoke several emotions and I enjoyed the experience. Throughout the movie I recognized the pain and misery he was in. I also recognized the love he felt and shared with Emily. He did want to live, but after Ben and Emily talked about “what if’s” and his almost immediate visit to see her doctor afterwards only to recieve a fatal response; he commited to her by his death.

I struggled with his decision in the end. As a follower of Jesus I questioned how he had taken his life and if it was justifible because of the circumstances. I realize that it’s not, for, ultimately, his act was selfish. Though he loved her he never told her the truth. He should have told her about his motives when they met and after they fell in love. I'm sure if he would have told her about his intentions in killing himself to give her a heart she would have disagreed with it despite how loving it may have seemed.

He was also selfish in that he had no consideration as to how she would feel about his afore mentioned intentions; his mind was already made up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Meagan, age 22 (USA)
Neutral—…I have just finished watching “Seven Pounds”—had no expectations—never knew anything about the movie, actors or story. So, therefore, we watched and listened to this movie with fresh eyes and ears. I thought it was a beautiful story that made you think about your life in this world, about people, about relationships with those who you know, who are in need. I did not expect a christian ending, as the writer and crew I don’t think were of Christian faith.

I think that Wil’s character did everything in his human power to show that there is HOPE and that, in his little way, that he could offer someone a second chance. How many of us with faith step out of the boat and show through action that much passion to those in need. To actively show God’s love and kindness? more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Nia-val Ngaro, age 36 (New Zealand)
Negative
Negative—Indeed, this movie Positively depicts today's society and way of thinking! The movie was flawless in that it mirrored what many find acceptable in today's world and find worthy of glorification… It confirms exactly what the bible says our world looks like today and what people will do at all costs to perpetuate an agenda Not Authorized by our Creator.

One only has to read their own comment or review of this movie to negate any and all (as well as their own) argument as to whether movies in general are influential in any way shape or form… The mere justification of one's opinion for or against anything is rooted and motivated in what they believe to be true…

The truth is that God never authorized suicide … He has already died for us that we could trust and find salvation in Him… when someone (fiction or nonfiction) tries to take the place of Christ on the Cross and be the unsung hero so that others might live is vanity… It is sin to a real life Ben or sin to the one who perpetuates this fictional and untrue idea that one has any right to commit suicide. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—S.H., age 36 (USA)
NegativeThis movie absolutely glamorized suicide and promoted people taking their lives into their own hands, rather then trusting them to God. The main character was promoted as a loving, handsome, strong, amazing man who did something completely wonderful by killing himself for others. The act of suicide itself was shown as a way to end pain, to end a life that the person felt was worthless, and to help others. It was shown as a way to find redemption from the wrong a person has done. I have struggled with the issue of suicide in my own life, and I have counseled others who have struggled with this issue, and I felt this movie could easily push someone over the edge, if they were struggling with this issue. Due to the ever increasing suicide rate in this country, I would not only advise people to not see or promote this movie, I would advise people to also take a stand against this movie and others that glamorize and promote suicide.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Joann, age 26 (USA)
Negative—After watching this movie, I was very disappointed. The movie made suicide look like something good or heroic, but it’s not. My biggest reservation with this movie is that there are some that will try and say that Ben Thomas acted out of love, when, in fact, he acted out of fear and guilt, which are not in any way associated with love. I was expecting an uplifting movie and left the theater bewildered at what I had seen. I’m a big fan of Will Smith, but this is one movie I will not be buying or ever watching again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Howell, age 28 (USA)
NegativeDisgustingly twisted and sick way of making suicide look heroic. ANY Born-Again believer should be horrified by this film. Well acted and well made-but morally evil.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—J Reese, age 43 (USA)
Negative—Come on Will Smith! I’m normally a liberal when it comes to movies (and a huge Smith fan), but this is ridiculous! Promoting Suicide?! Seriously???? I’m so ticked off by this mere concept! So what you’re saying is, it’s noble to commit suicide if you’re helping other people?! I see the redemptive “thought” they were trying to convey, but it’s a twisted viewpoint.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Anthony, age 26 (USA)
Negative—The movie “Seven Pounds” was disturbing and disappointing to me. It portrays someone still fighting for control of their life out of guilt, when they once had everything living the life, until a tragedy hit. Are these good deeds, when you choose to impersonate a IRS federal agent (stealing his brother’s identity for your own agenda), misuse of a friendship (asking a childhood friend to carrying out his suicide death wish), and that suicide is the answer to redeem himself from the guilt by donating seven items from his body in his suicide request? To me, there is no parallel to Christ’s redemptiveness for mankind in this movie.

The movie left me grieving for how self-centered we can become; the battle we fight desiring to be in control of our lives (selfishness), and how distorted our thinking can become in what we can perceive as a good deeds. Overall, the acting was good, the music was awful, and the movie depressing. I have been touched by suicides in the past two years, and it leaves a void in those who loved that person, and only Christ can heal through time.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Olga, age 51 (USA)
Negative—I’ll get to the point; I was disappointed in this movie. I expected an uplifting movie about a guy who tries to help others in need. Instead, I got a deeply depressing movie about a guy who tries to salve his conscience by parting out his body parts and his property! Suicide is never the answer! I found the few profanities that were sprinkled in unnecessary, as well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Louis, age 39 (USA)
Negative—I just returned home from watching “Seven Pounds” on Christmas evening. I don’t recommend this movie for anyone. The message that I took away from this movie is that if your life is not so good, and you don’t see any way that it is going to get better, then go ahead and kill yourself, donate your possessions and usable body parts to good deserving people, and your suicide will be justified. I think this sends a terrible message to an already struggling world.

I am very disappointed in Will Smith for making this movie. I am even more disappointed in myself for not researching it better before laying down my money to watch it. The fact that Woody Harrelson is in this movie should have thrown up a huge red flag to me that it was not going to be a movie with a good moral ending, even though he does play a good person in this film. Please don’t go see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Bryan, age 52 (USA)
Negative—I found this movie to be very offensive, in that I believe it appeared to make suicide an honorable, self-sacrificing act. It is just the opposite, no matter how they try to portray it in this movie. That whole bathtub scene is so very disturbing and one that nobody needs to view. It completely overshadows any of the good in the movie. There are some that say that this movie is not about his suicide, but from the very beginning in his phone conversation, that is the focus and goal of the movie. I can’t imagine how anyone could come away from this movie not feeling disturbed.

The ending where the two recipients meet is so bizarre. If they had received his heart and eyes due to his death caused by an accident, or something beyond his control, it would have been different. It’s a twisted story. Too bad he didn’t have the courage to live and channel his grief and pain toward acts of sacrifice. He still could have given away his possessions and even parts of his body without ending his life.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Emkim, age 63 (USA)
NegativeThis is the most depressing movie I have seen in years. It’s another of Hollywood’s culture of death movies, along the lines of “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Million Dollar Baby.” A guy does something he feels guilty about and decides to do penance for it by donating his bodily organs (one lung, half his liver, bone marrow, eyes) and ultimately his life, when a dying woman needs a heart.

Its message is the opposite of a movie like “It’s A Wonderful Life,” which was inspiring, because it told of how a man’s life enriched the lives of others. On the other hand, this horrible movie suggests that killing yourself might enrich the lives of others. I saw where it was going halfway through and would have walked out had it not been for my two friends who had paid for my ticket and were there with me.

I rated it morally “very offensive” for the fornication, as well as for its promotion of suicide. Don’t see it. It’s two hours of your life that you’ll wish you had back.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Edith Carter, age 48 (USA)
Negative—…I feel like I am preaching to the choir, but perhaps someone will spread the message, or I say the true message about this film. I can only hope and pray. So I sound like I know a little bit about the depth of this film, allow me to back up, and tell you about me first. I myself, in the last 10 years have suffered the loss of both my parents and a man who would have been my father-in-law, but he past away right before I married his daughter. However, I have been happily married for a year and a half now. Thanks. My point, I, with the help of Jesus Christ, have come to understand loss, gain, pain, happiness, how precious life is, and certainly unselfishness. And I have read and heard a lot of views on this movie, almost all good reviews and all commenting on Will’s performance and how deep the movie is. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Adam Hembrough, age 33 (USA)
Negative—I watched this movie last night with my 16 year old daughter. It was a very entertaining and thoughtful movie, as long as you did not have a Christian worldview. I was very sad after watching it. Will Smith’s character plays a very sad, yet noble man. My daughter cried during the movie. I did not. I could have, because it was very tender and well done, yet because of my worldview centered in the Father’s will for His people, I could not cry.

After the movie, my daughter became very angry with me because I told her why I did not cry. First of all, as many other people have written—suicide is simply wrong. It is a coward’s way out, and I am appalled that Hollywood would make it seem noble. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Susanne Rippey, age 36 (USA)
Negative—Suicide is not a valid means to help others! Unfortunately, the reviewer’s “Average” rating and lack of disclosure about glamorizing suicide led me to see this totally unbiblical movie! I didn’t know whether to sleep, cry, or walk out. My wife took the walk after 30 min. She was followed by at least 5 others. I stayed due to morbid curiosity.

Any movie that attempts to make something noble about suicide is misdirected and preposterous from the outset. So many people (mainly family members) are hurt by suicide of their loved ones and that story was completely ignored. Here is a movie about a guy that is trying to help people by killing himself? Absurd! No mention is given to anyone in his immediate family (except for his brother, who he basically ignores) and close friends and to how they would be affected. Suicide is and always has been a predominately selfish act with little or no relief from guilt even years later.

My question is: How can the screenwriters totally miss this point and just focus on the few that the main character did help? Some movies just should not be made, and this was certainly one of them.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Kyle Barrier, age 46 (USA)
Negative—We were not impressed by this movie at all. The intention behind the story was good—to be a person and wanted to help others, because he felt he did something wrong at one time in his life. However, the fact of planning to give parts of his body and through an act of suicide (clearly showed in the movie for about 5 to 10 mins.) was too much for us, and this to be done at the end of the movie. The end is what stays the most in your mind; we did not like that part at all. The story could have been the same, if he would have had an accident …or something else? I know I’m not a writer, but this is why we did not like this movie. Also, it was very slow to go into what was happening; it took us probably 25 min. to figure out what was going on.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—David April, age 34 (Canada)
Negative—I bought the DVD because I though from what I saw of comments on it that it would be a good movie along the lines of “The Pursuit of Happyness.” The plot was rather annoying having to jump between scenes trying to figure out what was going on. As an adult I was able to handle the movie, I plan on getting rid of it by selling it because I can’t give it away because I have moral objections to it. The thing that disturbed me the most after watching the movie was that it was only rated PG-13. In our society there are so many young people that are on the bridge of suicide and to me this movie says that if your life is horrible and you can’t see any way out of it that if you become an organ donor than it’s okay to kill yourself, and this completely opposite of what the Bible teaches.

I would have felt a little better about the movie had it been rated R because then young people would have a harder time seeing it as well as it would mean that there is mature content that is not suitable for younger viewers. Young minds and for that matter teenage minds are easily impressionable, and this does not exclude christian teens either. There are at least three teens at my church that were delivered from suicidal thoughts a few months back and they don’t need to see a movie like this, let alone all the teens we don’t know about that have these kinds of thoughts.

My prayer is that parents will read reviews on this movie and not let their kids watch it, or at least be prepared to explain how it was wrong and that suicide is not the way out that you need to seek help to overcome the issues, and make sure they understand that.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—April, age 24 (USA)
Negative—I agree with most of the negative comments. Interesting twisted plot, some redeeming qualities, but overall, I don’t believe this is healthy for our world right now. I know some nominally Christian people who took the whole plot hook, line, and sinker and said yes, that was a sad, but nice, thing to do. I think we can all agree on the point that suicide is wrong (except a couple US states, some European countries, maybe more of which I am unaware). And Will’s character was obviously mentally disturbed and felt that he couldn’t live with himself after what he did through negligence.

What stuck out for me as the most offensive part is that a movie like this is produced in a time when human life is already almost a commodity. What constitutes death? Brain death? When the organs shut down? Heart stops beating for 3 minutes? People have come back, assisted and unassisted, from worse when some may have pulled the plug long ago. The “right” to die, and the “duty” to die are very grey areas in today’s society.

Some are concerned that we deny or terminate life-sustaining treatment (extraordinary measures or even just food and water) in order to harvest organs, “mercy kill” the patient, or even to benefit the lives of family or ease “society’s” burden.

Example: Terri Schiavo. Or Do Not Resucitate orders are placed without guardian’s knowledge (a child with Down’s is found in cardiac arrest, and no resucitation is given because this child is “not worth” the cost and will not have a “normal” quality of life). We pay scientists and “doctors” to create embryonic humans, to implant several, and then “selectively reduce” the pregnancy (i.e. suck out/murder the few extra tiny babies that implanted when the parents only wanted one or two.) Life is not sacred, it is in my hands, a scientist’s hands, and eventually the government’s hands. (Socialist medicine, rationing of care, or as in China, where your child will be forcibly aborted when a perceived “right” has become a duty or obligation). We want abortion “rights” which one day become duties. We think universal reproductive healthcare will be so nice. It seems nice all sugarcoated like this melodramatic movie makes suicide palatible, but women’s reproductive “rights” are not so nice for the babies killed in the womb and parents who mourn lost parenthood. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Kristin, age 29 (USA)
Negative—I liked “Seven Pounds”—interesting topic that makes you think, excellent actor’s play and cast, etc, etc. But when you start thinking of movie it makes you sad. From the Christian perspective, of course, we understand that we can find redemption in Christ. I remember the story of Angus Buchan (now a famous South African preacher. There is a movie about him—“Faith like Potatoes”) who killed a three year old child of his friends by an accident. He felt tremendous guilt. But he believed in Christ and found redemption and forgiveness in God. Now, years later, through his ministry thousands of people came to God. Families got restored, suicides and crimes prevented, people lives changed.

At the end of the day it is the life after death, the eternity that matters. I’m thinking of another ending of “Seven Pounds.” What if Ben/Tim—instead of slicing himself and taking his own life—would have adopted 7 troubled teenagers instead—who are on the way to prison/drugs/ruining their lives? What if those teenagers, through his love, care and example, become good people?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Natalia, age 32 (Russia)
Negative—My parents and I watched this movie a long while ago when I was in my pre-teens. At first, it started out decent enough, showing how Ben tried to bring happiness in the lives of other people, including Emily (whom he develops romantic feelings for), by doing good deeds for them, in spite of the haunting pain and anguish in his own life. Sounds a lot like what true believers/disciples of Christ would and should do, right? So then why did I rate it negative and as “extremely offensive”?

Because ultimately, this movie glamorizes, condones and even supports suicide. Yup, I said it. My problem isn’t with the nonlinear structure of the story, or the flashbacks, none of that; my main problem is that it promotes an act that screams of a destructively selfish, faithless, nihilistic, godless and abhorrent line of thinking that is spiritually detrimental and continues to claim and doom many lives and souls every 2 minutes in America, and is the ultimate thumb nose at God and His Plan for our lives according to His Word and Will in Christ Jesus, which is the only True Plan that we as believers, disciples and servants of Christ should live by every day of our lives.

So since suicide is the complete opposite of that—and one of the many despicable tools of the enemy to ensnare more and more lost and vulnerable souls—why are movies that support and glamorize it being released? And why do some people who claim Christianity continue to watch and even defend movies like this, and in turn continue to fall for the baloney of “Oh, he’s doing it for the greater good of helping others” and then sucking other untaught believers and naive unbelievers into that deception?

One of the reviewers tried to compare what Ben did to the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross, which is spiritually and morally inaccurate, as well as offensive. What Jesus did for us was out of true, genuine, selfless and self-sacrificial agape love, and plus, Jesus is our Lord and Personal Savior and the True Messiah and was God wrapped in flesh during His time on Earth. Ben was a lost, flawed and troubled man who did good at first, but then threw all of that away by committing an act that was selfishly focused on himself and escaping his own guilt and suffering at the expense of the people who cared about him, namely Emily and ***SPOILER*** his brother, the real Ben, whom Thomas (Will Smith’s character’s real name) illegally stole IRS credentials from and impersonated.

Oh, and Jesus also rose again three days after burial for our justification and with all power of Heaven and Earth in His Hands, too. Ben/Thomas can’t do that at all. MAJOR difference! more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Kyria, age 22 (USA)
Comments from young people
Neutral—I went and saw this movie for my birthday; I am a huge Will Smith fan and was expecting a great movie and an amazing dramatic performance from Smith. That is, in a sense, what you get, however, this movie is very controversial with what the Bible says about suicide. I wrestled with this after I got out of the theater, I was wanting to justify what Ben Thomas did by giving his life for Emily, but it is not in our authority to take God’s place. In my opinion, he was a “good” man, but he could have done so much more to benefit others alive than dead. Overall, this was a good movie, however, very depressing; you leave the theater in shock, and trying to figure things out in your head.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mason, age 15 (USA)
Negative—Warning for people that want this movie to remain a mystery, you probably do not want to read my review. My whole review is a spoiler because it is essential for you to know the ending, as well as the middle, to understand if this movie is appropriate for your viewing. I’m going to cut right to the chase and tell you my opinion and observations about this film.

Will Smith plays a suicidal man who hates himself because he blames himself for a car accident that killed his wife and seven kids in a bus. His goal is to kill himself, but he is so guilt ridden he feels the need to donate seven pounds of vital organs to people that are dying and, to his standards, “who deserves it.”

He tells his friend in the movie, without words, I am going to kill my self, either way, so help me get these organs to the these people. So his depressing story finds himself wrapping himself up in a relationship with a girl (sexually, too) and a man as a friend.

Now that everything is ready to go he fills a bathtub of ice water up to the brim and puts his jellyfish in it. I promise you it is the hardest thing watching someone kill themselve on purpose on screen. It’s such a dramatic scene that I wish such a film would be R. He holds on to the bath tub railing and screams in pain with dramatic music playing in the backround as if this is a tough but wise descison for him.

Personal experiance, I was once suicidal, but now am safe… a friend of mine is suicidal right now… This movie tried helplessly to justify goodness in his suicide! HOW DARE ANY ONE DO THAT! If I saw this movie in my suicidal state it would have encouraged me all the more to kill myself. Also, …if my friend would have seen this movie, she probably would be dead right now. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Luke, age 19 (USA)
Positive—I think this movie was pretty well done. It was a very complex story that you really had to sit down and pay attention to carefully. There wasn't much that was too offensive except for one sexual scene and the idea of suicide being tossed around. The whole movie wasn't centered around the main character (Will Smith) trying to commit suicide. Rather… it was his acts of kindness.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Alex, age 18 (USA)
Positive—This is one of the best movies that I have seen. It is a tear-jerker and a very sweet story. Very moving. As far as the morality of the film, there was a little profanity, and some very minor sexual content. Overall, a great movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Lindsey, age 13 (USA)
Non-viewer comments
Just a comment, there is a difference to someone in war, terrorism perhaps to save others by throwing themselves on a grenade knowing that others around them may all die, not much choice there, one or all. one dies that others may live, as Christ did for us, in seven pounds, if this person had faith, he had a choice to live, live his life in service of others, benefiting many more people and showing what could be done in a faith driven life.
—C. D., age 51 (USA)
I have not seen this movie, only the trailer, which says: “God made the world in seven days” …has everyone forgotten He made it in six, He rested on the seventh! That in itself is enough for me not to watch it.
—Peter James, age 34 (Australia)
I have not seen this movie, but I have noticed much controversy over the suicide issue. As someone who struggles with the temptation of suicide, I know that although this movie is fiction, it is extremely damaging to anyone who already is hopeless about life! It doesn’t matter if it is a tearjerker or not! This movie has the potential to send people over the edge. Just watching the preview and reading secular reviews made me so tempted, that I had to be prayed over. Although this movie is meant to be helpful and touching, it is ultimately deadly.
—Name Withheld, age 17 (USA)
I honestly don’t see how the movie “glorifies” suicide. First off, it’s a movie. The idea behind the movie was incredibly original and dramatic. If you are depressed, I’m sorry if I offend you, but this sort of movie would be one that I would hope you wouldn’t consider if you believe you would be negatively impacted by it. In the beginning of the movie, the main character states that “In seven days God created the world and in seven days, I destroyed mine.” This obviously denotes that this man was not on the right track, and the movie does not encourage suicide. I very much enjoyed the movie, and while the characters decision at the end was sad, the people he effected made you smile.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Christian, age 17 (USA)