Customer Reviews


2,428 Reviews
5 star:
 (1,181)
4 star:
 (563)
3 star:
 (322)
2 star:
 (199)
1 star:
 (163)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


301 of 326 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation but those who haven't read the book will enjoy it, too.
"Divergent" will inevitably be compared by many to that other YA book series, "Hunger Games." And while both books have strong young heroines, the books and movies are actually quite different. See the movie and judge for yourself. I went to see it with my family, but the theater had audiences of all ages - from older 40-50 something couples, to groups of...
Published 6 months ago by Marcy G.

versus
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average
Had it been made with some more originality - or ten or more years earlier perhaps - "Divergent" would have received more positive reviews. Everything in this sci-fi fantasy action (based on Veronica Roth books) is so familiar, especially for those who have seen "The Hunger Games" and other young adult themed films, that you can almost predict what is happening next...
Published 2 months ago by Tsuyoshi


‹ Previous | 1 2243 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

301 of 326 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation but those who haven't read the book will enjoy it, too., March 22, 2014
This review is from: Divergent [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"Divergent" will inevitably be compared by many to that other YA book series, "Hunger Games." And while both books have strong young heroines, the books and movies are actually quite different. See the movie and judge for yourself. I went to see it with my family, but the theater had audiences of all ages - from older 40-50 something couples, to groups of high school-college friends, to middle schoolers with their friends or families. I would recommend this to the same audience that went to see "Hunger Games" - PG-13 and up.

For those not familiar with Veronica Roth's book, "Divergent" is the story of Beatrice (Tris) Prior, a young lady living in futuristic Chicago. Due to post-war effects, their society is divided into 5 factions that represent 5 virtues - Abnegation (selflessness/service to others), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace) and Erudite (knowledge/learning). Those who do not belong to a faction (basically, ostracized from society) are called "factionless." When they come of age, they attend a ceremony to select the faction they will join for the rest of their lives. Most choose the faction they are born in, while others may "defect." During the pre-ceremony aptitude test, Beatrice is told that her test results were "inconclusive", meaning she doesn't see to belong to a specific group. They call this "Divergent." Their society views "Divergents" as dangerous so Beatrice must keep this secret to protect her life. When she chooses her faction, she meets her new mentor and trainer Four and the brutal Eric and forms friendships with other new initiates Christina, Will and Al. The physical and mental training (think "boot camp") is intensive and challenging and Tris needs to find a way to survive. She eventually finds an ally in Four, who isn't quite what he seems.

The movie does a great job introducing the faction-based society to audiences, so you don't need to have read the book to enjoy or understand the plot. Having read the book, I would say I am very satisfied with the casting choices and the outcome of the film. I would consider this a faithful adaptation to the book - some scenes were excised due to time constraints and/or continuity/flow, but this is understandable if you take into account the differences between the book vs. film medium.

In terms of casting, I admit I was skeptical about Shailene Woodley (Tris) at first. Physically, she doesn't quite match up to book Tris (who is supposed to be small and waif-ish). But Shailene has the ability to take on this role of a vulnerable and conflicted young woman at the beginning of the film who grows in strength and confidence as the story goes on. Some would say that Theo James is much older than his book counterpart, but I can clearly see why he was chosen to play the complex Four. Theo plays Four with quiet strength and charisma - he is an imposing authority figure, but there is some vulnerability a well. He won me over from the first scene and he and Shailene have an undeniable chemistry. Kate Winslet (Jeanine Matthews), Jai Courtney (Eric) and Miles Teller (Peter) are also stand-outs. The remaining main supporting cast are Tony Goldwyn and Ashley Judd (Tris' parents), Ansel Elgort (Caleb - Tris' brother), Ray Stevenson (Marcus Eaton) and Tris' fellow initiates Zoe Kravitz (Christina), Ben Lloyd Hughes (Will) and Christian Madsen (Al). They capture the essence of their book counterparts very well and, while they are currently relative unknowns, I can see bright futures for the young cast. (And, yes, girls and boys, whether intentional or not, there is a lot of "eye candy" in this movie. I get it. Even Jai Courtney's Eric looks good in a dangerous/tough guy sort of way). Four is my favorite character in the book series and I am pleased to see that Theo James more than lives up to expectations.

The film was shot in Chicago so the filmmakers had to perform some digital magic to make it look and feel like a post-war, dystopian society. Costumes and sets all look spot on. It all works. Director Neil Burger injects pace, energy and a sense of foreboding and danger to the film. As soon as Tris leaves her faction, the action kicks off. There are lots of fight scenes between the initiates and among various characters, and yes, there is violence akin to what you would see in the "Hunger Games" series. There is also a budding romance - and while it is not as heavy a focus as it is in the books, it is equally satisfying.

As a big fan of the first 2 books ("Divergent" and "Insurgent"), I was very satisfied with the outcome. So many books out there get ripped to shreds by the time they make it to film, so I am glad to see that the screenwriters were very diligent in capturing the essence of this dystopian world and the characters that we love so much, and did not feel the need to change the story drastically. The plot follows that of the book and several key scenes are intact (albeit shorter and more compact) - whatever changes are made are relatively minor in comparison. The main characters are there, and there are more minor characters that may have been excised or will make an appearance in the next film. We hope this movie does well enough so that "Insurgent" is made, because that follow-up brings us more dimension to the story and fleshes out the role of these characters. For example, Marcus Eaton, Jeanine Matthews, Caleb, Peter and the Candor, Amity and Erudite factions, and Four's background are expanded more in the second book and new characters will be introduced.

My family and I came out of this film having a few discussions afterwards. Overall the reaction was very positive and we all enjoyed it immensely, so much so that we are all planning to see it again. I would highly recommend this movie not just to the book fans, but those who enjoy futuristic, dystopian films. Young and adult alike in my household enjoyed this film so it works for a broad range of audiences.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


279 of 327 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the same old story, but told well, March 23, 2014
This review is from: Divergent [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Nine Things about the Movie “Divergent”

1. This film is based on the first book of the popular young adult trilogy of novels.

2. If you haven’t noticed, contemporary young adult stories typically follow a set formula - an innocent kid joins a larger society and must be categorized. But then the kid discovers they are “special”, which causes problems for the society, and the kid must lose their innocence to survive in a dangerous world . Some recent examples are “The Hunger Games”, “Ender’s Game”, and the Harry Potter series. “Divergent” sticks to that exact same formula.

3. Just because you have seen this basic story multiple times does not mean the movie is bad. These kinds of stories are popular because it is the archetypal “hero’s journey” myth, and, if they are well-made, hit a nerve with us. Such movies can sometimes become classics - “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars” are other, older examples of pretty much the exact same story.

4. Thankfully, “Divergent” is well done, and holds its own among its cinematic peers. It’s about a girl named Tris who takes a test (kind of like Harry Potter’s “sorting hat” or Ender’s training monitor) to discover which of five distinct factions she will become a member of (like Hogwart’s Houses or the Zones in “The Hunger Games”). But she is so special that the test breaks, and nobody knows what to do with her (like all the stories I just mentioned). So she must trust her gut and decide in secret.

4. Tris chooses her faction and begins her training, but she’s so gifted that she draws attention to herself, not only from her fellow classmates, but from her hunky instructor, too. And the leaders of another faction, who have controversial political aspirations.

5. The movie handles the usual themes well - conformity vs. independence, fear vs. bravery, and the trauma of growing up. But it also subtly asks a couple of bigger questions that are unfortunately not explored here; questions like “What is human nature, anyway?” and “While conformity may seem bad, what would happen if we were all independent?”.

6. The acting is decent, and the main characters have good chemistry. Thankfully, the movie delays the inevitable romance as long as it can, and tries not to let it get in the way of the bigger story.

7. Being aimed at young adults, there is not much blood or death, but some people may be surprised that there is a relatively high amount of violence, both explicit and implied.

8. The other two books, “Insurgent” and “Allegiant”, are expected to be made into movies and released in theaters in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

9. So yes, the story is old and predictable. No, “Divergent” won’t become a timeless classic. But if you aren’t just totally over this type of movie, it’s worth seeing. And it makes you realize why this same story keeps getting turned into movies over and over again: The issues that teenagers struggle with never go away. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are all dealing with the same existential problems. Only our perspective changes. And sometimes our choices.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars some of the scenes that I couldn’t quite picture in my head while reading the book came alive on the big screen., September 7, 2014
This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
I saw this movie opening weekend in the theater.

Admittedly I am really skittish about going to see book to movie adaptations, especially for books I loved. For someone who once helped run the TwilightMoms Site and avidly followed the filming of the first Twilight movie it’s strange to admit that I have only seen Twilight & New Moon. I never went to see the others because they just didn’t live up to the world and characters I had created in my head. I loved the Hunger Games but haven’t gone to see the movies. I probably will sometime. Maybe when the final movie is out. I hear their pretty well done but I just haven’t been able to make the leap yet because the cast doesn’t match the ones in my head.

I was however excited to see Divergent on the big screen. I liked this clip. It seemed like they got the casting and story-line right when I watched it.

I read Divergent over 2 years ago and loved it. I think having such a long time between reading the book and watching the movie made it easier for me to enjoy the movie. If all the details had been fresh in my mind I would have likely been annoyed at the changes that were made. I know there is no way to fit everything into a movie but all too often there are too many thing changed or interpreted differently than I envisioned them leaving me disappointed.

Overall I thought Divergent was one of the better book to movie adaptations I’ve seen. It was much darker and more violent than the way I saw it in my head as I read the book. However some of the scenes that I couldn’t quite picture in my head came alive on the big screen.

The PG-13 rating comes mainly from the violence – there is a lot of it. The sexual content and language were fairly mild for a PG-13 rated movie but there was a little of both.

Will I see the next movie Insurgent? Probably. I didn’t love Insurgent the book as much as I did Divergent but I maybe the movie will change my mind. Will I see the 3rd (& 4th one because they are splitting book 3 into 2 movies)? Only if I love Insurgent. I’m a happily ever after kind of girl and didn’t love the way Allegiant ended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average, July 27, 2014
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Divergent (DVD)
Had it been made with some more originality - or ten or more years earlier perhaps - "Divergent" would have received more positive reviews. Everything in this sci-fi fantasy action (based on Veronica Roth books) is so familiar, especially for those who have seen "The Hunger Games" and other young adult themed films, that you can almost predict what is happening next.

The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, where the entire population is divided into five factions based on their dispositions. Shailene Woodley ("The Descendants") is Beatrice Prior, 16-year-old daughter of an "Abnegation" family, who decides to be "Dauntless" at the Choosing Ceremony.

We don't know why she should choose that group whose sole interest seems to be doing parkour. That doesn't matter; the point is, renamed as "Tris," she struggles to survive the tests, and finds herself slowly attracted to the mysterious instructor Four (Theo James).

Directed by Neil Burger ("The Illusionist" "Limitless"), "Divergent" is 140 minutes of very average fun. The lead players are both very good, but the concept of "Divergent," those who can think independently, is not fully explored. I hope the studio will come up with new ideas that are more interesting for the planned sequels.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I enjoy movies set in the the future, August 22, 2014
By 
Anna (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
I enjoy movies set in the the future. I saw some reviews and it looked interesting...it is.....if you are under 30. The characters are in now way connected. There is no one over 30 appearing in the movie! I couldn't understand some of the character's actions: why did the first lady testing the heroine let her pass. . Why did the 'police' or 'enforcers' or whatever they called themselves act like a bunch of hooligans running and jumping and screaming through the streets? Why did the heroine pick them to become a member of their sect? What was the role of the divergents except to look miserable old and dirty? The heroine was a pasty-faced looking lady with no acting skill. Finally: What was Kate Winslet doing here? Did she need to make a car payment?
The plot was a tangle of threads there was no character development. I do not recommend this movie
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not even worth it, if it were free!, August 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Knock-off of hunger games, and twilight! The story was also full of holes, and at times made no sense. This movie was poorly written and directed. Boo this movie!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another post-apocalyptic teen, April 4, 2014
This review is from: Divergent (DVD)
Not that that's a bad thing, especially since this and recent like it have been very well done (*). The dystopic society has been split into five "factions," apparently forgetting just how badly that "separate but equal" thing has worked in our world. This system has built-in tensions, as one faction has control of the government, but a second faction takes control of the military, which itself is another faction. That all plays out well enough and, without the frustration of real cliff-hanger, paves the way for a sequel. Then there are those like our heroine, Tris, who lies outside any of the neatly defined roles demanded by the social power structure ...

Good one, on the whole. Plenty of action while staying close to the "humanly possible" range, interesting portrayal of the evil intellectuals, gritty "basic training" sequences - but I found the segregation of newcomers and natives inadequately explained. Likewise, the lack of hormonal involvement when teens of both sexes are thrown together in privacy-deficient living quarters. Especially when those young men and women are so whole-heartedly devoted to their physical selves, and to physical awareness of others. Oh, there's more than a hint of something simmering for Our Heroine, but it's surprisingly chaste - well, that's better than the pasted-on romantic involvements that so many movies suffer.

Good entertainment, but not one for the ages.

-- wiredweird

(*) I mean, this seems well done as movies - I haven't read the books and can not comment on them as adaptations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'd rather watch three hours of CSPAN, August 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This movie is ATROCIOUS! It makes me wish I had those hours back in my life. It makes The Hunger Games look like high art. In fact, it basically IS the hunger games with different names. Same futuristic society with completely unbelievable social rules, same plucky young woman who is somehow supposed to be special, same sexual-tension-but-chaste-hugs-only... if you're a Twilight fan it might be insipid enough for you. Apallingly crappy acting, zero budget, insane confusing plot filled with inconsistencies and loopholes, a warrior caste that plays wargames with razor darts but no goggles.... AVOID AVOID AVOID
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I haven't read the books so i have nothing to compare it to but it was a waste of money to rent, August 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Awful. I haven't read the books so i have nothing to compare it to but it was a waste of money to rent. So predictable and cheesy. We kept watching to see if it would get better. All we did was waste more of our lives.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hunger Games, not so much., August 30, 2014
This review is from: Divergent [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I think you can tell how good this was by the speed with which it went to Netflix, Amazon, video, etc.. I know I wish I had the two hours of my life back that I wasted watching this video. Like David Letterman used to say, "People Are Hungry For Entertainment," and they must be. Poor character development, acting talent that was nonexistent, and a story? who knows. I think the writers were trying to develop something of a Hunger Games theme, but they appear to have missed the mark badly. And, there wasn't anyone with the strength of a Jennifer Lawrence to carry this story.

Obviously, this movie must have appealed to someone, maybe the Young Adult market. However, I think that what this story lacks is the breadth of appeal that the Hunger Games had, it drew you in. This was too focused on the YA market, it lacked convincing execution and did not have the complexity to draw in a more mature audience. Of course this is why I recognize it as a "copy of", an "imitation of", a "knock-off of". I know I won't be viewing part II, that is if there is a part II, but I'm pretty sure there will be.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2243 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Divergent
Divergent by Lionsgate
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.