(2014) (Shailene Woodley, Theo James) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Action: A teenager of the distant future must contend with the danger she poses to the status quo when she doesn't fit into any of the five predetermined personality and behavior-based factions into which the populace has been divided.
- In the distant future, war has ravaged most of the planet and what's left of Chicago has been turned into a walled-in fortress. In order to maintain the peace and keep everyone in line, the populace has been divided into six factions. There's Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave protectors), Erudite (the Intelligent), and Factionless (those who don't fit into the previous five and are essentially homeless scavengers).
Every year, teenagers of a certain age must undergo tests that will determine into which faction they'll best fit into, although at the actual choosing ceremony they can choose their own. After that, however, there's no switching or going back to the faction you were born into. Unlike her brother Caleb (ANSEL ELGORT) who lives at home with her and their parents, Andrew (TONY GOLDWYN) and Natalie (ASHLEY JUDD), Beatrice Prior (SHAILENE WOODLEY), doesn't seem to fit squarely into any of them. Her testing confirms that, but the woman administering the test warns her not to let anyone know.
And that's because so-called divergents are seen as a threat to the status quo and particularly Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews (KATE WINSLET) who wants to weed them out to maintain order. She and her kind might also be gunning for rule of the city now held by Abnegation and its leader, Marcus Eaton (RAY STEVENSON).
Despite his parents also belonging to Marcus' faction, Caleb selects Erudite for his future, while Beatrice chooses Dauntless. She's immediately thrust into vigorous physical and mental training -- along with fellow inductees Christina (ZOE KRAVITZ), Peter (MILES TELLER), Will (BEN LLOYD-HUGHES) and Al (CHRISTIAN MADSEN) among many others -- at the hands of the stern and hardcore Dauntless leader, Eric (JAI COURTNEY), who wants to weed out the weak.
His chief instructor and former classmate rival is Tobias "Four" Eaton (THEO JAMES) who puts the initiates through their paces, but has a soft spot for Beatrice who's now adopted the nickname of Tris. As their training continues, Tris increasingly becomes aware that something is not right with the powers that be, all while being warned not to let anyone know of her own divergent status.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Those who are fans of the novel on which it's based probably will, as might those who are fans of anyone in the cast. And since it features a female teen protagonist in action mode (as also occurs in the "Hunger Games" franchise) it might draw girls interested in that angle.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality.
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