Share

Watch It

Enter your location to get local movie times + tickets:
On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Divergent Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

Copykatniss Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    48

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 20

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    In all candor, and with all the amity I can muster, Divergent is as dauntingly dumb as it is dauntingly long.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Village Voice Amy Nicholson

    It'd be easier to root for lead Tris's (Shailene Woodley, the go-to girl for drab roles with grit) quest to escape her Abnegation roots and those ghastly gray skirts to prove herself a worthy Dauntless if director Burger felt committed to the concept.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Andrew Barker

    By trying to cram in as many explanatory info dumps as possible, Burger neglects to tend to the elements of the film that could easily make up for any narrative deficiencies: namely, a sense of place and a feeling of urgency.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    Director Neil Burger struggles to fuse philosophy, awkward romance and brutal action. Even with star Shailene Woodley delivering the requisite toughness and magnetism, the clunky result is almost unrelentingly grim.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Despite two strong lead performances and a welcome dose of female empowerment, this somber tale feels too familiar and formulaic.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Divergent is less action-oriented than "The Hunger Games" but no less compelling.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Woodley, through the delicate power of her acting, does something compelling: She shows you what a prickly, fearful, yet daring personality looks like when it's nestled deep within the kind of modest, bookish girl who shouldn't even like gym class.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Bill Zwecker

    The strength of Burger’s movie is the fact that a non-reader of Roth’s work can enjoy Divergent and not be confused by any aspect of the storyline.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Divergent reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 13 & under

Strong female character leads in violent dystopia.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Divergent is the first page-to-screen adaptation of author Veronica Roth's best-selling dystopian trilogy. Set in a future Chicago, the movie is slightly less violent than the book but still depicts the brutal world of a post-apocalyptic society divided into factions or groups. People are killed, orphaned, injured, and thoroughly beat up in bloody hand-to-hand combat (including guy on girl fist fights), violent bullying, an armed occupation, and mass killings of unarmed people. There's a central romance, but it remains fairly chaste -- only some longing looks, embraces and one extended, passionate kiss. The movie features a brave, vulnerable, and fierce female main character.

  • Families can talk about the popularity of violent dystopian stories aimed at teenagers. What purpose does the violence serve in the story? Is it different to see violence rather than to read about it? How does the violence in the book compare to the movie?
  • How does Tris compare to other female protagonists in young adult books and movies? What are her views on love, family, and relationships? Does she have the qualities of a role model?
  • Discuss the central romance between Tris and Four. Were you surprised at how slowly it progressed? What messages about love and sex does the film communicate?
  • Fans of the book: was the movie a faithful adaptation? What differences did you like, which scenes from the book did you miss?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The lead character deals with important issues about identity and finding her place in a controlling society. Tris and Four struggle with what it really means to be selfless, brave, smart, and kind, as they explore trusting their own beliefs rather than those imposed by the separatist government.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Tris doubts herself sometimes but taps into her bravery and ingrained selflessness to protect others even when she doesn't realize it, like when she stands up for Al and takes a punishment for him. Four encourages Tris to use her upbringing's focus on selflessness to be even more courageous. Tris and Four are a good role model for a teen relationship; they treat each other as equals, defend and protect each other, and go slow with their romance.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: There is a less violence in the movie than in the book, but it's still a violent story. Several characters are shot at, injured, or killed including beloved parents. Teen siblings are orphaned by the end of the movie. The Dauntless faction of brave risk takers requires a brutal initiation that includes several scenes of bloody hand-to-hand combat (until someone can't get up any more), knife-throwing, marksmanship, and more. Characters are routinely sparring and injuring one another -- or entering fear simulations to deal with their greatest fears, whether it's wild animals, confined spaces, drowning, etc. A character commits suicide and his dead body is briefly shown. Three masked guys grab Tris, beat her up and nearly throw her to her death. Christina is forced to hang off of a ledge for a certain amount of time to atone for her cowardice. During a climactic sequence, drugged soldiers shoot and kill unarmed citizens.

  • sex false2

    Sex: In addition to a few longing looks, just one long passionate kiss (with the guy shirtless), and some heartfelt embraces. During a fear simulation, Tris imagines Four kissing her on a bed and trying to convince her to have sex before she's ready, but she defends herself.

  • language false2

    Language: A couple of uses of "bitch," "s--t," and "a--hole." Other insults include "Stiff," "coward," "stupid," "loudmouth."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: In one scene it looks like some of the Dauntless are drinking, but it's not clear.

Advertisement