The Giver

Pleasantville meets Tron meets your 5th grade reading list meets the abyss of pop culture meets uggghhh meets an unholy disaster.


The fatal irony at the heart of The Giver is too hilariously blatant to ignore: here is a dystopian teen drama about the perils of sameness that feels exactly like all of the other movies in its increasingly crowded genre.

That being said, The Giver has a semi-decent excuse. The film, which veteran director Phillip Noyce is powerless to protect against an embarrassing script by Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weide, was adapted from Lois Lowry’s seminal 1993 novel of the same name, a cornerstone of contemporary YA fiction that paved the way for the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent. But if a film version of The Giver was always going to be rendered somewhat familiar by virtue of its legacy, there’s no reason that it had to be this compromised and complacent. There's no reason why it had to be so informed by the stories derived from its source material that it ultimately embraces the blind conformity that Lowry implores readers to recognize and destroy.