Divergent (2014): a mini-review

Divergent Movie Poster



In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.




After the recent phenomenal success of The Hunger Games (2012) and its sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), it was really only a matter of time before other books of a similar nature would be adapted and brought to the silver screen. Unfortunately, the latest such film, Divergent, based on the book with the same name by author Veronica Roth, is quite the disappointment. The film takes place in a dystopian society set in Chicago where its inhabitants have been broken up into five distinctive factions, each focused on a specific set of human traits. The lead heroine, Triss, is played by Shailene Woodley, who impressed me in her film debut via Alexander Payne's The Descendants (2011), is such a poorly-drawn character that I had a hard time connecting with her ordeal. There really is nothing that Triss does in the film that makes me fear for her safety or rise to support her, that is a shame seeing as Woodley is a young and talented actress with a bright future ahead. She is joined by Theo James, of Downton Abbey (2010-present) fame, who plays Four, the lead mentor of the athletic Dauntless faction. James, too, suffers from sub-par character development which he tries to overcome through his charisma but ultimately fails. Other than the acting, the production design, music, and cinematography are decent, but nothing special. Divergent just gives me this overwhelming feeling of being a badly-executed The Hunger Games rip-off that does nothing to build excitement and energy with its audience. That is a true shame as the few and rare redeeming moments in the movie hinted at the potential director Neil Burger could have explored. Instead, what viewers end up with is a below-average motion picture that will be soon forgotten.


MATM Rating:





Neil Burger




YouTube Preview Image



2 hours and 19 minutes








Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi




Shailene Woodley Theo James Still 1
Shailene Woodley Theo James Still 2
Shailene Woodley Theo James Still 3
Shailene Woodley Theo James Still 4
Shailene Woodley Zoë Kravitz


6 thoughts on “Divergent (2014): a mini-review

  1. Haven’t actually read this yet due to the fact that I’ve just bought the e-book of this and I don’t want to spoil the fun! I read a sample first and it sounds great. I shall pop back for a full read of this post after I’ve read it through :) The pics are brilliant, and tempt me to go and see the film later. Though films rarely match the original written version so that remains open to consideration! Off to start reading now you’ve wet my appetite!!

  2. Nice review Moe. The Hunger Games at least breathes some fresh, new, fiery breath into this whole YA genre. However, movies like this and that dreadful piece of junk, the Host, are just making it worse for all of us. Yet, they continue to make money and therefore, they’re going to keep on being made.

    1. Thanks Dan! :) It’s unfortunate that sub-par films will continue to get made since they are money-makers, instead of actually being good films. Appreciate the comments 😀

Leave a Reply