Sean (Caleb Milby) is a teenage kid who feels like life is passing him by. His family wrestles with the financial and emotional toll of a tragedy. Sean spends his evenings and weekends at work, while his classmates enjoy sports, friends, and normal high school life. He’s a target for the school bully. He desperately wants to impress a girl (Rachel Cameron) who, in Sean’s mind, is way out of his league. Then one night a winning lottery ticket enters his life, and Sean realizes it could change everything. The only problem … it doesn’t belong to him.
More than a story of just two teenagers, Treasure Lies is a story of two families from two very different places in life, whose worlds are woven together in heartache. Each is teaching important lessons in their own ways.
Sean lives in an average neighborhood, attends an average school, and just like every other average 18-year-old boy, he wants a sweet ride and a pretty, popular girlfriend. The way Sean sees it, the answer to all of his goals is simple: money, money, and more money.
He works hard at the TC Mart convenient store, giving up his senior trip to New York for extra hours. Everyone sees how hard Sean works, but few people know the struggles he faces outside of finances. He recently lost his brother in a car accident, and though his family’s deep Christian values have drawn them closer amidst tragedy, they can’t always provide their remaining three children with the best of the best.
After making her usual purchases at the TC Mart, Mrs. Agnus asks Sean to scan her lottery ticket. He scans it and chunks it in the trash, like every other time, but right after Mrs. Agnus leaves the store, Sean discovers that she was a winner!
For several days, Sean struggles with whether or not to keep the lottery ticket. The money could buy him a brand-new jeep, or impress Melissa, the most popular girl in school, with an expensive night on the town. However, Mrs. Agnus is a dear friend to Sean. He personally delivers her groceries to her home, and she always tries to buy him a few snacks while he’s working. So, once he decides to return the ticket to Mrs. Agnus, she doesn’t answer her door, and he has no other way to get in touch with her. Despite this kink, the Holy Spirit works on Sean’s conscience, and he is determined to set things straight.
Treasure Lies is a powerful Christian movie that encourages viewers, especially teens, to walk the walk, even when a different path seems smoother and might provide financial freedom. Sean learns that money doesn’t buy you happiness, especially as he sees Melissa’s wealthy father struggle to put God and his family above his house, tennis court, and Mercedes. He learns that though it’s his place to stand up to typical jock bullies, two wrongs never make a right. Meanwhile, Sean discovers that a peaceful conscience is worth more than any amount on a lottery ticket could afford, and that while hardships—even the death of a brother—are devastating, they serve as an opportunity to extend the kind of grace and forgiveness that only God provides through His children to serve as a witness for others.
A few scenes are more suitable for an older audience, like a lighthearted “birds and bees” reference shared between Sean’s parents. A few bullying scenes are scattered throughout the film, including teen fist fights and name-calling sessions. In addition, there’s the obvious lottery ticket that Mrs. Agnus purchases, but this light form of gambling serves as the cornerstone for Sean to do the right thing and, in a sense, redeems the purchase.
Overall, Treasure Lies represents the peace that comes from listening to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and the grace and mercy that we as Christians have the chance to extend to others. This family-friendly film earns Dove-approval for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
Treasure Lies is a perfect tool for parents to use to inspire their teens to walk the Christian walk, even if the path seems bumpy and challenging at times.