Back left
Back right

Clouds Movie Review - Well-Acted Tearjerker

Reviewed by on Oct 14, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Clouds on Disney+. It’s the true story of a talented teen coping with bone cancer. Will it sadden but also inspire you? Check out our movie review.



In Clouds, 17-year-old high school senior Zach Sobiech (Fin Argus) learns the hard way to live as if each day might be his last. Zach, a fun-loving, talented songwriter and singer has been living with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, for a long time. He was in remission but now the disease is back. He and BFF/songwriting partner Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter) opt to spend whatever time Zach has left pursuing their dreams of success in the music industry. With the support of mentor/teacher Mr. Weaver (Lil Rel Howery), the love of Zach’s life Amy (Madison Iseman) and Zach’s parents Rob and Laura ('90’s icons Neve Campbell and Tom Everett Scott), they might just make it happen.

Zach and Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter) are BFFsZach and Sammy are BFFsCourtesy of Disney

All the Time in the World?

Zach Sobiech, bald from chemo treatments and on crutches, attends a talent show at school where his singing/songwriting partner Sammy is supposed to perform. She gets stage fright so he goes on in her place, making jokes about his condition and sings “I’m Sexy and I Know It”. He’s a hit. Sammy feels inferior to graceful dancer Amy, Zach’s crush. At home, mom Laura encourages Zach to write and sing some of his own songs. She has found new lyrics in his room. After Laura texts asking why he doesn’t ask her out, he invites her to a picnic with him wondering why she would want to date a bald, sick guy. Amy and Sammy are in touch. Sammy knows Amy really likes him and tells him so.

Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter) has too much stage fright to go onSammy has too much stage fright to go onCourtesy of Disney

It’s Back

Zach feels extra bad, starts coughing and misses the picnic while he has emergency surgery on a collapsed lung. Amy is upset until she learns about the operation. She doesn’t know that he has been told the cancer is back and he has six to ten months to live. He continues a “normal” routine, going to class where mentor and teacher Mr. Weaver assigns the students to write a college entrance essay that answers questions like what you want to do with your life. What life? thinks Zach. Amy sees he is upset so after class he tells her he’s terminal then pushes her away. Later mom avoids working on paperwork with Zach that will be his last wishes. She tells him to decide what matters to him most and move toward it.

Mr. Weaver (Lil Rel Howery) helps launch Zach's music careerMr. Weaver helps launch Zach's music careerCourtesy of Disney

Miracle Cure?

Zach stops chemo and his hair grows back. He and the family travel to France to the healing waters of the Lourdes shrine. It will be a family vacation and, who knows? It might help. Amy waits at home hoping Zach will want to date her again. They text while he is abroad. Later, back home, Zach tells Sammy he wants her to help him write and perform their songs. She tells him Amy wants him to ask her to prom. Summer, Amy and Zach attend a Jason Mraz concert at the local, large theater complex where Zach has arranged for the marquee to say “Amy, will you go to prom with me?” Of course she says yes. He loves that the whole audience just knows Jason’s songs and sings along. Maybe someday.

Zach wants to take Amy to promZach wants to take Amy to promCourtesy of Disney

More Than Friends?  

After having an extra tough, painful day and night, Zach climbs into neighbor Sammy’s window at four in the morning to ask her to make a music video and album with him. He comes upon her diary thinking it’s song lyrics. She has written things about him that indicate she hopes someday they will be more than just friends. He is stunned but admits those thoughts had crossed his mind too. They cry together and end up writing a song that gets attention on YouTube. Meanwhile the holidays come and go and Zach and Amy grow closer talking about having kids someday as if all were normal.

Zach (Fin Argus) climbs in the window at 4 A.M.Zach climbs in the window at 4 A.M.Courtesy of Disney

More Popular

Sammy and Zach make more music that gets more and more hits on YouTube but Zach realizes he won’t live for them to go our tour and become famous. He is in such a funk that everybody tries to cheer Zach up, so does Mr. Weaver. No luck. However, when Zach’s dad borrows a very fast, hot sports car for Zach to drive, he perks up and dad and son take a ride and bond closer. He and Amy almost hook up but he cries and tells her he has nothing to give her. He races the car in tears and almost crashes. His parents have an argument. They can’t talk about Zach dying.

Zach's dad is about to let him drive a hot carZach's dad is about to let him drive a hot carCourtesy of Disney


Mr. Weaver contacts an old friend who is a music exec. At BMI. Sammy and Zach are flown to NYC and, under the name “A Firm Handshake”, are signed to a songwriting contract! Having broken up with Amy, Zach is inspired and writes “Clouds” which becomes a big hit. Zach gives the money earned to Osteosarcoma research. When the song hits the radio, family and friends jump up and down in celebration. It seems that Zach might not make it long enough to take Amy to prom but they get back together. His parents decide to have an event for Zach at the local theater complex. It will be like prom and more and earn money for Zach’s charity.

Will this be Zach's last performance?Will this be Zach's last performance?Courtesy of Disney

Final Days

Zach and parents plan his last rites with good humor, not sadness. As the concert/prom event nears, Zach gets sicker and weaker. Will he even make it? How will he say goodbye? We see the real Zach singing and playing over the credits.

Wrapping Up

Okay, I challenge you to watch Clouds without at least tearing up a bit. It’s a real tear-jerker and young, cute actor Fin Argus is very believable as Zach. Some of the story gets repetitive (Zach is better then worse, back and forth and he and Amy keep breaking up and getting back together) but that is life, relationships….and illness. Zach’s struggle and determination to live each day to the fullest is so inspiring especially in these emotional, troubled times world-wide.

Zach and Sammy build a music careerZach and Sammy build a music careerCourtesy of Disney

Knowing that Zach really existed and that the film is based on the memoir “Clouds: A Memoir” by Zach’s mother, Laura Sobiech makes it all the more poignant.

Sabrina Carpenter on set with the actors and their directors Justin Baldoni and Madison IsemanOn set with the actors and their director (center)Courtesy of Disney

It’s nice, probably for your parents, to see ‘90’s film icons Neve Campbell of the Scream films and Tom Everett Scott, That Thing You Do and more, as Zach’s parents. Both are very good as is Sabrina Carpenter as Sammy. The film has a weird love triangle from which, only Sammy seems to suffer. Would have been nice if she had had a boyfriend.

You can check out the song “Clouds” and learn more about the real-life Zach on YouTube. We can award four stars.

Clouds Movie Rating: 4

Clouds Movie Review - Well-Acted TearjerkerCourtesy of Disney

Clouds starts on Disney+ Friday, October 16th!

Could You Be as Brave?

Would you be as brave facing a terminal disease? Have you or a friend experienced a battle with cancer? Do you think we all need to be brave and live well each day during our current troubles? Pour out your heart with a comment here or on your profile page.


Learn about the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund:

  • It was founded by Zach and his family in 2012, in partnership with Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
  • To date, the fund has raised $2.1 million from 71 countries around the world. 
  • 100% of all donations to the fund go to research for better treatments for this deadly cancer.
  • In the seven years since Zach’s passing, researchers have made 16 new research discoveries about the genetics of osteosarcoma and opened a national clinical trial to test a potentially groundbreaking drug.