‘Divergent’ Movie Review Roundup: Is It The Next ‘Hunger Games’?

Fri, March 21, 2014 10:27am EDT by 7 Comments

For over a year, we’ve all heard a lot of hype about Divergent, the latest young adult dystopian movie, which opens in theaters March 21. But does the film live up to all of the hype? We’ve rounded up reviews from top critics to see what they have to say about the highly anticipated movie.

Keep reading to find out whether Divergent deserves your money at the box office this weekend!

‘Divergent’ Movie Reviews

   Rolling Stone

“I’m surprised. Shailene Woodley, a spirited actress in The Descendants and The Spectacular Now, seems an ideal choice to play Beatrice Prior, the 16-year-old heroine who must choose her place in a stacked-deck society. Theo James, the Brit actor who played the Turk who died scandalously in Lady Mary’s bed on Downton Abbey, is a tall drink of glowering sexuality as Four, her partner in dangerous personality traits. They needed to generate a sizzling chemistry onscreen. It’s not there. Nada.”

Philadelphia City News

“The movie, for all of it’s post-apocalyptic themes, is at bottom a love story, and Woodley and James are good together.”

New York Daily News 

“After nearly two and a half hours, you may still be hard-pressed to understand the point of “Divergent.” Let me save you some time: it’s to grab our cash as quickly as possible, before the Next Big Thing comes along.”

Entertainment Weekly

“The second half of the movie goes on a bit, with too many rote combat scenes. Yet the director, Neil Burger (the fanciful craftsman who made Limitless and The Illusionist), keeps you invested, staging a rise-of-the-savior-heroine plot so that it seems less ritualistic than it does in the Hunger Games films.”

Examiner.com

“Divergent” is this sloppy amalgamation of “Inception,” “Total Recall,” and “Equilibrium” slammed together and forced to try to work together in the world of “The Hunger Games.” The film isn’t ambitious enough to be good and it isn’t outlandish enough to be bad. There’s always this safety net hidden from view like the one that welcomes Tris into Dauntless and because of this “Divergent” feels like a lite version of “The Hunger Games.”

The Hollywood Reporter

“Dystopia can be presented in dynamic ways, but this iteration of it is, above all, no picnic for the audience. Woodley, a sensitive performer, is hamstrung by the screenplay but lends her role relatability and a convincing athleticism. Burger and Kuchler’s unfortunate preference for mascara-ad close-ups, however, detracts from the character’s grit. In the hands of Burger, whose credits include The Illusionist and Limitless, the story’s elements of spectacle, decay, symbolism and struggle only rarely feel fully alive. Lackluster direction in the early installments of other YA franchises hasn’t slowed their momentum, though. Divergent will be no exception.”

Vanity Fair

“One moment in Divergent truly gave me chills: Tris looks out past the whirring electric fence that guards Chicago, eyes searching the endless green Midwest splayed out flat before her. “What’s out there?” she asks, and the camera holds its gaze for a second. Suddenly Divergent murmurs with mystery and excitement. I wanted so badly for the movie to head off toward the horizon and explore that supposedly ruined expanse. And perhaps Tris and friends will get there eventually. But for now, alas, we’re stuck in this jerry-rigged Chicago, where everything is repurposed and slapped-together, made from old parts that have, rather suddenly, lost all their lustre.”

HollywoodLifers, are you running to theaters to catch Divergent? Let us know!

– Lee Hernandez

More Movie News:

  1. ‘Divergent’: Final Full-Length Trailer Shows Tris’ Terrifying Fear Landscape
  2. Shailene Woodley’s Pretty Pixie & Sexy Smokey Eye At ‘Divergent’ Premiere
  3. Maggie Q Goes Commando In Daring Cutout Dress At ‘Divergent’ Premiere

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A. M.

Posted at 12:48 PM on April 6, 2014  

Well, it’s true that Divergent’s idea is a little bit hard to understand, but this is the thing that makes the story more exciting. I mean, this book (and film) is different from the others (even from The Hunger Games). And the love story is going slow and beautiful. And the difference is that are just a girl and a boy, not that love triangle between 2 boys and a girl (like The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Vampire Diaries etc.). Divergent is an interesting story, but the second book lets you a little confused after you read it. Anyway….the film wasn’t like how i expected to be, but i think the book is always better than the film because in the book you can describe the feelings of the characters, and so on. It’s true that from the movie are missing some essential parts, but it was already long (2h 30m), what you expected for…..i mean, to show every part of the book…i think the movie must had 7 hours or something….anyway i like Divergent, the book and the movie.

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MM

Posted at 6:05 AM on March 23, 2014  

Summit/Lionsgate picked the wrong YA novel to adapt into a movie and it just get more implausible and confusing as the trilogy goes on. I think had the author took the time to really understand the science behind her 3rd book she may have gone another way. The book Divergent as a stand alone book is ok but the others get worse. I think the Author bit off more than she could chew and by final book It seems like she just wanted to get it over with. If they couldn’t adapt Divergent into a movie people could understand they are in for a uphill battle with the next book and the third is a hot mess they should go for a total rewrite

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Chloe

Posted at 4:36 PM on March 22, 2014  

To truly get Divergent you needed to read the books. The movie didn’t portray the book quite as well as I thought it would leaving out major scenes. Although i feel you can not criticize that “Divergent doesn’t make sense when you have not read the full aspect of it. I do agree the movie did not live up to its expectations but it still was an amazing movie.

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Posted at 10:56 AM on March 21, 2014  

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MM

Posted at 12:42 AM on March 22, 2014  

Well the reviews besides the one listed there are very bad and they are not from unknown critics they are from major outlets. The average rating is about a two stars. This movie will probably win the weekend box office and make a strong 70 million prediction. I for one will not watch the movie because I read the books. The First book was ok but the series go down hill from there. After a painfully horrible 3rd and final book the heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley ) DIES by getting shot of all things by a man who was hot for her mother in a whole messed wannabe version of M Night S The Village. basically the city Chicago is cut off as from the rest of the world as an experiment with a stupid concept of pure genetically people like Tris, her mother, Tobias’s father and practically anyone who can’t fight the simulations like her friend Christina and her traitor brother Caleb who sides with Jeanine and single handedly is responsible for the death of his mom, dad and most of his old faction as well as stands by as his sister is tortured. Confused yet? Yeah well welcome to the club. I believe the author killed Tris for the shock value. She insists it was not (yeah right). Many women are coming forward saying the female lead was a inspiration for their young daughters (Totally set up by Divergent PR team)but if you call a suicidal young woman Tris (Shailene Woodley) who is verbally abused by her boyfriend Tobias (Theo James) is an inspiration figure for the young impressionable mind of your daughters then yes the book series/movie is for you. Don’t waste your time or money.

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Chloe

Posted at 4:40 PM on March 22, 2014  

Escuse me but Tris never gate abused by Tobias. They loved each other and risked there lives for each other. You say you read the books but it doesn’t sound like it when you say that.

 
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CL

Posted at 4:35 PM on March 23, 2014  

I was not very confused by the books or the movie. If you read the books again you might puck up on some things…

 
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