What Do You Need to Drop Off to Do the Right Thing? (Movie Review)

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans8 Minutes

What would you have done with a million dollars when you were 13 years old? That’s the weighty decision three teens grapple with in the humorous and hope-filled family drama, Drop Off.  This charming movie written and directed by Lyman Dayton (Where the Red Fern Grows) primarily rests on his skill and the performance of a team of elementary school actors: Lucas Van Orden (Tim), Jimmy Linares (Cruz), and Porter Nielsen (Josh). Shawn Stevens, who plays Winston Pruitt anchors the youngsters and helps maintain movie momentum. Drop Off explores friendship, faith, kindness, and finding the courage and wisdom to do the right thing!

 A Little Entertainment

Out in the rugged desert terrain to test their biking skills and courage, three teen boys enter into an adult-sized moral quandary. Criminals fleeing from FBI agents throw a duffel bag of money into what they thought was deserted wilderness—only to see it land next to the teen bikers. The boys, all from financially-strapped homes are certain the money is a godsend. While they briefly consider the idea of let’s ‘do the right thing,’ they are captivated by the possibilities of the cash. The longing to meet real family needs (avoid foreclosure, a life-saving surgery) and the temptation of plain old greed drowned any desire to do the right thing.

As the boys scheme and plot, they drag the man they perceive to be the town drunk (Winston Pruitt) into their mess. Thinking he won’t be sharp enough to ask questions, they ask for his help. The local pastor, sheriff, and the boys’ families remain on the periphery pointing the boys in the right direction. Meanwhile, the criminals and the FBI are tracking their movements in the hunt for the money. Mixing a dollop of danger with humor, teenage drama, and old-fashioned morals, Drop Off offers families a bit of fun with a good message: doing the right thing in the first place saves a whole lot of hassle.

A Bit Deeper Digging

How often have you known the right thing to do but convinced yourself you had a better plan? If we’re honest, we all do it. In Drop Off, the boys knew that the found money did not belong to them, and they knew turning it over to the police was the right thing to do.

But there were GOOD things they wanted to use the money for (along with new motorbikes and clothes for themselves, of course). It was the proverbial angel on one shoulder saying one thing and the devil on the other saying the opposite. From eating that luscious, decadent dessert to buying the car we can’t afford, we’ve been in the middle of that battle—and lost—more than once. And more times than night, we quickly understood that the good of the moment does not outweigh the good of what is right in God’s eyes. Jesus sets us free from that vicious cycle. Without Him, we often really can’t do the right thing.

2 Timothy 3:7 describes the problem as “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” To arrive at truth is more than knowing it in the mind—it is weaving that truth into the fiber of your being, living that truth with the thoughts of your mind and the actions of your hands. The Truth Paul is discussing with Timothy is the Gospel—the beautiful truth that we do not have to be driven by desires that send us into sin’s captivity. We can be compelled by the love of Christ to desire only what He desires, which is always for our good and His glory. On our own, we’re quite likely to fall prey to the temptations of doing good in our own way instead of relying on God’s good ways.

Drop Off didn’t use any moralistic sermons. The main characters of the movie lived out nice, sound—old-fashioned—values. While that works in a movie, we all know that good intentions don’t create a good life. We need the wisdom of God, the completed work of Christ, and the ongoing help of the Holy Spirit. Here are some verses and questions that can serve as conversation starters for family discussions about learning to live your faith.

Do not conform to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will (Romans 12:2 NIV).

What is the world’s pattern? Why did the boys want to be like the ‘rich kids’ even though they weren’t nice? What thoughts got the boys down? How does the Bible help you renew your mind? Can you know what God says is best?

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whosoever loses their life for me (Jesus) will find it (Matthew 16:25 NIV).

How did the boys try to “save” their lives? Did it work as they planned? What does it look like to lose our lives for Jesus? How did doing the right thing work for the teens in the movie?

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

What kind of fears did the boys have in the movie? Did they talk to anyone about their worries or just try to solve the problems? What do you do with your worries? How does trusting God allow Him to help?

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

How can we LIVE for Jesus? What would that look like? The boys were driven by desires they trusted in to make their lives good. What problems came by not trusting in God enough to do things His way? How do you know Jesus loves you?

Movies like Drop Off are a great doorway to deep discussions about the greatest treasure of all: Jesus Christ. Let your family devotional time be a simple conversation time. Young people have amazing insights into the incredible mysteries of Scripture.