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Movie Review

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Reviewed by: Theresa Snowbarger
CONTRIBUTOR—first time reviewer

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Teens Family
Genre:
Biography Music Documentary 3D
Length:
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
February 11, 2011 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: May 13, 2011
Copyright, Paramount Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
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music in the Bible

Featuring: Justin Bieber—Himself
Boys II Men—Themselves
Miley Cyrus—Herself
Sean Kingston—Himself
Ludacris—Himself
Jaden Smith—Himself
Usher Raymond—Himself (as Usher)
Diane Dale—Herself
Bruce Dale—Himself
Ryan Good—Himself
Allison Kaye—Herself
Carin Morris—Herself
Scrappy Stassen—Himself
Kenny Hamilton—Himself
Scooter Braun—Himself
Mama Jan Smith—Herself
Jeremy Bieber—Himself
more »
Director: Jon Chu
Producer: AEG Live, Insurge Pictures, Island Def Jam Music Group, MTV Films, Magical Elves Productions, more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“Find out what’s possible if you never give up.”

Copyrighted, Paramount Pictures

This is the story of Justin Bieber’s rise to teen sensation. The story begins with his mother talking about the circumstances under which Justin was born. How she was a pregnant teenager, and she and Justin’s father split up shortly after he was born. Justin was raised by his mother and his grandparents. It was said, on more than one occasion, that Justin has always been very close to his Grandpa. She saw at an early age that he was musically inclined and did videos of him that she posted on YouTube for family members to see. He was discovered by a man who thought he had the “it” factor and invested quite a bit of his own money to market him in the music world. The story goes on to show how hard he worked to get his name and music out in the public eye, with the culminating factor being selling out the Madison Square Garden arena for a concert.

The tour they are filming in this documentary consists of 86 shows, so we see Justin enjoying time on the tour as well as times where he is feeling sick and run down. His voice teacher mentions once a comment he made about wanting to be a normal kid, and she tells him, that this is his new normal. His manager Scooter Braun makes a comment at one point that his job is to make Justin into a good man. Throughout the movie we see photos of Justin from significant times of his life growing up, as well as videos of baseball games, swimming lessons and shoveling snow.

Overall, I felt the movie was very inspiring. There is more than one occasion that the whole crew (including Justin) pray about the decisions they are making and for the shows they are about to do. After the final concert of the movie (The Madison Square Garden show), there is a voice expressing their thanks to God, as well as praying for the wisdom that comes with the responsibility of Justin’s fame.

This movie definitely emphasizes the fact that Justin is “worshiped” by fans all over the world. The looks on their faces and the comments they make when they see him in person are staggering. I don’t see how any 16 year old can handle that type of rise to fame and fortune so quickly, but it also shows him praying for all his glory to go to God. Maybe he will be able to use this fame to spread the Name of the Lord.

The idol worship is disturbing, and the another negative I noticed is when Miley Cyrus is on stage with him at a concert wearing an EXTREMELY short and tight mini skirt. I was very disappointed by that. There are also several scenes of fans screaming “Oh my G*d,” as they are trying to get a glimpse of Justin.

I saw the movie with my 9 year old daughter and the theater was pretty full. Girls from ages 7 through teens, and they all seemed to really enjoy it. They were singing and laughing. There were also tears when Justin was sharing his heart and during a time he had to make a difficult decision to cancel a concert. In the car on the way home my daughter, and I talked about how if God puts a passion in your heart, that He can help you to pursue your dreams and never say never! Justin’s overall message of the movie to not give up I think could have a big impact on lots of people.

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


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—This film is an excellent film and is a good family movie. From young to old, all will enjoy this. My sixteen year old and her best friend didn’t need to twist my arm to see it and I’m more than happy I went. It was very motivational to see this movie as it’s all about a sixteen year old who aspired to make his dream of being an entertainer come true. You’ll find no swearing in this movie and inspirational moments where you see Justin when he is young, singing Christian songs and also the crew and family praying together before his concerts. This is not your average movie—it’s a rarity to see a teenager who is respectful, goes to church and pray’s and isn’t ashamed to showcase it in a major motion picture! Imagine that. A role model who hasn’t sold out! We want a sequel! :)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Suellen Sheard, age 41 (USA)
Negative

none

Comments from young people
Neutral—There is nothing wrong with this movie, but Justin Bieber is not a good role model. Little girls who love Justin Bieber(and maybe some guys), don’t look up to a 15 year old kid as your role model. He is most likley to let you down.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Spencer, age 13 (USA)
Positive—I HAVE TO DISAGREE! Justin Bieber is wonderful role model. This movie shows how normal Justin is and how he just wants to have fun like all other teens. In this movie, it shows he’s dedicated and how religious he is. Such as, praying before each show, praying to recover from sicknesses, and also ALWAYS saying, “God has truly blessed me with this experience.” So, overall, a great movie, and you will definitely leave with Bieber Fever, and you would of gotten to know him a lot better as a great person.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Caylee, age 12 (USA)
Positive—Going into this film, I had no intentions of enjoying this movie. I only went to have a good time with my friends, and this movie is what they wanted to see. I was convinced I, the typical teen, would be texting during the film’s entirety because I wouldn’t be interested, but I was SO WRONG! This film was very inspiring, showing how Justin came from the little cute boy singing for fun and growning up into a teen sensation.

The 3D version of this movie is fantastic, and at times even I, basically the only “non-belieber” in the room, was fooled, thinking I was at a live concert! The only content in the movie I felt inappropriate was the fact that Miley Cyrus was in the movie, like the reviewer said, with an EXTREMELY, unnecessary, short, tight, mini-dress.

And, of course some of the interviewed fans are a little… overly passionate about Justin, but, of course, that’s just doomed to happen. Other than those two small mishaps, this was a great movie! I totally recommend it! Super inspiring!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tiffannie S, age 15 (USA)
Positive—This movie was absolutely amazing. Not only will young girls and boys like it but adults/tees will also. Many of my guy friends went to see it (hating him before) and they loved it. Before, they were like “Ew Justin Bieber sucks; I hate him,” and “He’s so gay!” but after watching “Never Say Never” their now saying “Wow, he seems really cool.” It’s inspirational and just brilliant. I don’t know anyone that’s seen it and has not enjoyed it, even adults, boys and teenagers. GREAT movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Morgan, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I was a big fan of Justin Bieber before seeing this movie and now am an even bigger fan. This was a heartfelt story of Justin’s rise to fame and fight to be the best musician he can be. Despite all the fame Justin Bieber appeared to be extremely humble and there were several scenes of him praying. You wont regret seeing this film. I walked out of the theatre feeling inspired and proud of the Biebs.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Meg, age 15 (USA)
Positive—the movie is very Excellent! and I’m a big fan of Justin B. !! :))
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—iloveBieber, age 11 (Philippines)
Positive—This movie was very uplifting. As many reviewers said, the filmmakers chose to include multiple scenes of Justin, his family, and his crew praying. Really the only moral flaw I could find was the emphasis on achieving success and gathering fans. There was the infamous scene with Miley Cyrus in a short dress, as well as a clip where he brought a girl on stage and snuggled up to her a little too comfortably. At those points, the Christian message of the film seemed to take the back seat. So those moments didn’t really appeal to me.

I would take a strong Christian example, over some kid playing his guitar in a giant floating heart, any day. Anyway, I really respect this kid for the way the movie was made, and the degree to which his family is involved in his life. Justin Bieber regularly sets a good example for young people (like me!). It’s just that the movie implied to me that he’s a little too wrapped up in what his fans want.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Lauren, age 17 (USA)
Neutral—kinda boring.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Andrew, age 15 (USA)
Neutral—Justin Bieber is a Christian singer, so I think everyone should watch this movie and listen to his music…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joshua Sites, age 16 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—When I first heard Justin Bieber sing on the radio I did NOT think he sounded gay or girlish. He always sounded male to my ears, and he still does. I do not hate Justin Bieber, I just think that he is a passing fad that will eventually fade into the background like Jesse McCartney and Drake Bell. I believe that he has had too much exposure (like Miley Cyrus… grrr) and that he will get swallowed up by all this fame and fortune.

When I heard they were making a movie, I groaned as the rest of the “Bieber Fever” teens out in America cheered. I mean, what’s next?!? Justin Bieber cereal?!?! Anyways, no I did not see this film. From the reviews on here that were Positive, I can presume they enjoyed it. Wherefore I, on the other hand, believe that “Rango” and “Gnomeo and Juliet” were better choices for me to spend my money. On the regard of his Christianity, I do believe he is Christian. Now, I have finished my rant. Thank you for reading and hopefully none of you teenyboppers is holding a pitchfork with my name on it…
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—Rosette Williams, age 14 (USA)