She Made Them Do It (Lifetime) Advance Review

Lifetime brings us another based-on-a-true-story crime movie, She Made Them Do It, tonight at 8 pm. She Made Them Do It tells the story of Sarah Pender, a convicted double murderer who, having lost all of her appeal options, finds another way to get out of prison if only for a little while. Jenna Dewan-Tatum (yes, married to Channing Tatum) stars as Sarah Pender who, if the story is true, is probably one of the best manipulators and masterminds of recent times. The movie mentions comparisons to Manson. Although I am not sure to what extent that is true, if even half of what is portrayed in this movie is true, Sarah Pender is probably right on his heels.

After enrolling in college and finding a means to pay her way by selling drugs to fraternities, Sarah Pender’s life is derailed when her two temporary roommates are found shot dead and left in a dumpster. Despite her pleas of innocence, Sarah is convicted for each murder to be served consecutively, totaling 110 years in prison. Much of the movie takes place after this time and shows Sarah establishing relationships and planning her life and escape long before she even knew how it would occur.

Jenna Dewan-Tatum was captivating as Sarah Pender. I found myself transfixed to the screen watching her interactions and her ideas unfold. Sadly, even though I could tell she was not sincere, she was still likeable. Although that may not say much about my judgment of people, I think it is a testament to the actress’ ability. If Sarah Pender is really that charismatic, and she must be to have accomplished a prison break out and number one fugitive status for some time, I can see how it was done.

She Made Them Do It is a well written true crime story. The pace is even and holds the viewer’s interest. Aside from Jenna Dewan-Tatum, other characters are equally compelling such as Laurie Mackenzie Phillips as Jamie Long and April Telek as Mimi. This is definitely a movie I would watch again and it has even inspired me to read up on the real Sarah Pender.

Tune into the world premiere of She Made Them Do It tonight, December 29, at 8 pm ET on Lifetime and then come back here and tell me what you thought.

  • courtney

    Good movie

    • Dani Bradford

      I agree!

  • Tam

    Good movie… Wonder if the Bob character is true. Can’t find anything on the net about it.

    • Dani Bradford

      I could not find anything either. Glad you enjoyed the movie.

  • VirgoVirgo

    Perfect review. I felt the same way…and yep, if the movie is accurate, she is a genius mastermind that uses it with evil intentions. And she is definately guilty. Very good movie. I even caught the encore, 2 hours after the premiere; I was confused after the first one, but it was crystal clear after the second.


    • Dani Bradford

      Good to know others enjoyed it as much as I do. It is almost terrifying if she was that genius, isn’t it?

  • L.J. Long

    Trust and believe, as Jamie Long’s husband, I saw very little truth or fact in this movie. It, like the book, is a great work of fiction, but to say it is based on a true story is far from accurate.

    • VirgoVirgo

      I would think there would be something that could be done about them inaccurately portraying Sarah’s story, especially since they deemed it “based on a true story.” But, I’m sure Lifetime has themselves protected, legally. I personally don’t like being lured into a movie, as being a factual account of the “true story,” only to discover it is more fiction than truth. Despite it being a great movie & story; Lifetime, you should be ashamed, and as an avid supporter, this majorly disappoints me. Please take care to have more integrity with future “based on a true story” stories. Thanks.

    • Dani Bradford

      Unfortunately, that seems to be true with most based on real life story movies. They make good movies but usually ramp up the more sexier details, or add some of their own, to keep the viewer watching.

  • Love Lifetime Movies

    I am a LMN, Lifetime junkie and I became interested in this movie immediately when I realized that it was “based on a true story” and me being from Indianapolis caught my attention even more. Although I was torn whether or not to believe Sarah was as “manipulative” as they stated and portrayed her to be. So I had to do my research on the whole story and was upset Lifetime did not have the complete truth behind the story and left out very important information to this terrible crime. I have my own opinion about how I felt Sarah came across during some of the interview and to me she had a strong personality and can see why she was so liked by many which could come across to some as manipulative. I just didn’t catch that vibe when watching the episode of “Snapped” that showed Sarah, Rick, her mother and sister as well as prosecutors and law enforcement that were involved with the real Sarah and the real story. Only because I have worked as a nurse in one of the correctional facilities that was part of this story do I know that all people who are incarcerated are not BAD people. They are all human beings as we all are that have made bad or poor judgement and get their freedom taken away. If I’m not mistaken that is what jails/prisons are meant for, to learn a lesson from a mistake or mistakes. We all have made mistakes in our lives, and that is why mistakes are a learning tool to the human mind to learn from or make better judgement if you get caught in a position where you think twice. Don’t get me wrong there are some that are and are lifelong criminals. In this situation I want to believe there were both. I want to believe that Sarah got mixed up with the wrong crowd and made a bad decision or poor judgement when she knew Rick wasn’t allowed to carry a gun because of prior felonies, knowing that tension was rising because of drugs as well as admitting to being under the influence of Meth. My heart goes out to Drew and Trisha’s family’s as well as Sarah and Rick’s, even though I feel Rick was the mastermind in this crime, four families were still torn apart two of those extremely worse than the others. I am excited to read the book, to see a third side as well as comments and opinions of others to see if I am alone in how I portray Sarah and her personality. Although I enjoyed the movie, I have to admit I enjoyed watching her interviewed for the series “Snapped” and see that more of the REAL “based on a true story” to this terrible crime. I still wonder why she would not testify for herself and prove herself to the 12 jurors that she was guilty of accessory to the murders but wasn’t the one that pulled the trigger, but then again was her life being threatened herself?!?! And why wouldn’t lifetime show that the letter sent to Rick was fraudulent and played a major role in her sentencing or why she didn’t fight that tooth and nail …!