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33 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Good Movie

Author: moe_z24 from United States
23 April 2006

This is a pretty good movie. It has a good story and good acting. It's based on a true story a son, Joe Spring, who goes missing after he doesn't return home when he said he would. His mother, Teresa Spring(Kelly Rowan from Fox's "The OC") learns that he never made it to the party he said he was going to, so she goes searching for him.

It's a different kind of movie, the kind that can teach you stuff. I think it was good because it's a Lifetime movie and they usually turn out pretty good. Next time this movie's on, I suggest watching it. I know I will. I think it can teach parents to always make sure you know where you're kids are because you never know if you will see them again.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Loosely based on true story (possible spoiler)

Author: m_hanrahan from Canada
29 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie doesn't claim to be a true story; rather it claims it is "based on a true story". Given the number of details that have been changed, I would say "LOOSELY based on a true story" would be more accurate. I live in the Vancouver area, which is near Aldergrove where the Spring family lives. I also grew up in Quesnel, which was Joe Spring's initial destination, and roughly halfway to his final destination of Prince Rupert (which wasn't mentioned). As such, I took a special interest in the events as they unfolded at the time.

The whole subplot involving the drug dealers was completely fabricated. So were all other encounters on the trip. They had him found on his return trip over 400km (250miles) from where he was actually found, when he actually went missing on the initial leg of his journey. The movie also implied that he was facing winter-conditions out in the wilderness. In fact, the events happened in late May, and while Canada is known for its winters, there would have been no snow on the ground, and the temperatures would not have gone below freezing. Seasonable daytime highs of 21C(70F) would be expected. Finally, while the true family dynamic can only be known by the Spring family, I suspect that the dysfunction was largely exaggerated by the writers.

In reality, he left his home at 11pm after a late shift at work. The area he was found was roughly 500km(312miles) away, which would have put him there at around 4am depending on how fast he was driving. Having driven that stretch of highway hundreds of times, I know how dangerous it can be, with all its twists and turns and steep banks, if you are not alert, especially when it's dark. Most sections on this highway have been fitted with "wake-up" strips along the shoulders and median to help prevent this type of accident, but I don't believe they were in place at the time Joe Spring went missing.

There were some points in the movie that did ring true, however. He did survive 8 days trapped in his car without food and water after veering off the road into the trees. The initial search and rescue operations were centered on areas far from where he was found. And, he was found by helicopter after the search and rescue operation was called off.

The most remarkable fact to me, which would seem to have been ideal "movie material" that was left out was that when the police officers found him, they had to chase off some curious bears who were in the area.

In short, the true story of Joe's will to survive and how his family never gave up hope was remarkable in itself. I do not believe the altered facts were necessary and (to me at least), made the movie less enjoyable.

The following links contain news articles surrounding these events:

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The most padded movie ever!

Author: flyingator from United States
21 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is said to be based on a true story. It started out pretty good and unraveled at a nice pace. After the first half of the movie, though, the characters that you are introduced to and all the previous plot twists become completely insignificant. In fact, the first half of the movie is completely different than the second half. Consequently, the movie turns into a story of of a broken family coming together, completely with the cheesiest attempts to jerk tears from the audience, some are even dull rip-off's from other films. For the most part, all the characters are well acted, which is the strongest thing that it really has going for it. I would have excluded the weird 35-year-old-looking daughter that is supposed to be a fragile little girl. Her appearances are very annoying and she doesn't help at all. Overall, I think this film kind of shows that families should leave everything up to the police in times of crisis. My biggest problem with the movie is how they find the missing kid (the point of the movie). The way that they do makes the previous 95% completely useless (*spoiler* the kid fell asleep at the wheel and ran off the road. A random truck driver had spotted him and came in to tell the cops *spoiler*). So, I suggest you watch the first half then catch the last 10 minutes if you are interested. 95% of this movie has no purpose.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

This sounds familiar

Author: juliebean444 from Canada
24 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I was 18 I lived in a town called Parksville, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. I believe this movie is loosely based on an incident that occurred there with a young man who was on his way to a well known party location, Kaye Road gravel pit. He went missing on his way there when he drove his car off of an embankment. He did remain there for a week, but I can't recall how he was found, just that it was surprising he'd survived. I wonder if this is the same incident. Seems so ironic that something that occurred in such a small town would become a movie 16 years later. If anyone knows if this in fact the case, please let me know. I'm very interested to know.

Thanks! Juliebean.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Loved It!!!

Author: scorbin-1 from Canada
10 September 2007

Really great movie; Good job CTV for making movies like this. Families need more movies they can watch together. This was perfect to watch with your teenagers...some real emotions were shown. I really didn't expect to watch the whole movie, but it really hooked me; I cried, laughed and was on the edge of my seat. It was very realistic, some great scenery of our West Coast. Loved the actors in it... Ryan McDonell especially, who played the older jerk of a brother, but had an emotional breakthrough in the end played his part so well. Would love to see him in a lead role soon! I would highly recommend this movie to anyone...I would love to see it again as well. I'll keep my eyes open for it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining movie. Excellent acting (but 1 horrible acting dude)

Author: readerguy from United States
30 October 2010

I enjoyed this movie even though it is very predictable from scene one. Kelly Rowan, who is beautiful, is excellent (really perfect) as the terrified, but determined mother. The other performances by the other family members were fine, but none really stood out in my mind. The story is well-paced and the Canadian scenery is superb as is usual in Lifetime movies (which I believe are generally underrated). One embarrassingly bad (almost comedic) role was turned in by Michael Eklund as Weaver, the bad dude in the movie. I thought his role, and his "acting," were totally unbelievable, way overacted. He looked like a poorly drawn comic book villain. Whoever cast him should get their hands slapped. Despite that, it was an entertaining movie and worth seeing. Based on an intriguing true story.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: bluenoser from Nova Scotia
30 December 2009

I don't think the story itself was that remarkable, so they had little choice but to pad it out. Unfortunately, it drifted off into so much fiction, it left little but the main concept (boy stranded for 8 days) of the actual story.

In response to the other reviewer who said the weather was warm there, it dropped to 2C (nearly freezing) at night, according to the CBC news account.

I would like to have seen more of young man's struggles during this time. The bears and wildlife would have been an interesting element to add.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Talk about a cliff hanger

Author: rustysheba from Canada
30 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I assume that everyone has seen this as it was shown on May 28th. I didn't plan on watching this made for TV Movie but am glad I did. It was great, truly it felt like we were watching the lives of normal people. What would you do if this happened to you? How could you live those 8 days? As a mom, I was glued to the TV. I couldn't miss a beat of this. When it came to the end and he was found I truly thought he was dead. But it was all so real to me and I was crying along with the mom. What a great story and to think this was true! The scenery of our West Coast was truly remarkable. I've seen some made for TV movies which show the coast, but this one was done very well. You truly felt the pain of the family seeing all the curves on those roads. A good movie for a Sunday Night. Keep up the good work, we need more of these and forget about the reality programs.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Very good

Author: ericshotbabe003 from Canada
29 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is so realistic in so many ways. You have to see it to understand. It makes you smile and cry. I loved it because it's not over-dramatic or too 'Hollywood'. Now I understand why my parents always worry when I drive somewhere at night. Teens, if your parents see this, expect them to be a little bit more cautious when you ask for the car...Kelly Rowan is an absolutely amazing actress. Words definitely can't describe. She's definitely an asset to making the plot realistic. The plot is also very strong, and a very good storyline with excellent actors. A definite must-see movie for anyone of any age. However, be prepared with a tissue box and, of course, your family.

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Disappearing Driver

Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles
13 August 2014

Nineteen-year-old Dustin Milligan (as Joseph "Joe" Spring) likes fast cars and fast women. He's reckless behind the wheel, but mother Kelly Rowan (as Teresa) thinks Mr. Milligan has become a "good driver" now that he's back on the road, after losing his license for six months. Milligan wants to take the car out to a party for the weekend. While they have some reservations, mother Rowan and father Shawn Doyle (as Tim) disagreeably give him permission to make the trip. However, he loses his cell-phone during a pre-trip sex date and doesn't call home as promised. Rowan calls the police, but they can't declare Milligan a missing person right away. Beginning the investigation on their own, the family soon discovers something has gone terribly wrong...

"Inspired by a true story," according to the introduction, this starts out as a very believable drama. Milligan is convincing as a good looking young man interested in sex and cars. Rowan is fine as his increasingly frantic mother. For a supposedly true story, there are some notable problems, however. Matthew Matheson (as Powell River) plays a young boy who stands in the middle of an oncoming car – this suicide attempt (?) and his later solo (?) trip to the police station are not credible. Younger (?) siblings Tegan Moss (as Becca) and Ryan McDonell (as Will) seem older. Perhaps most puzzling is a crash victim's exposed body not attracting wild life. Still, director Norma Bailey and the crew manage to keep the story engaging – and the music is terrific.

****** Eight Days to Live (4/2/06) Norma Bailey ~ Kelly Rowan, Dustin Milligan, Shawn Doyle, Tegan Moss

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