The Giver

The Giver

The Giver

In a utopian future where society lives in ignorant bliss, only a sage known as The Giver (Jeff Bridges) possesses all memories of the past. Now, 16-year-old Jonas (Australian newcomer Brenton Thwaites) is selected to be the new Receiver of Memories. His world of conformity and contentment cracks open when he learns his forefathers gave up individuality to eliminate conflict. Co-stars Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift. Based on Lois Lowry's 1993 award-winning young adult novel. 

2014Rating: M, Mature themes and violence97 minsUSA
DramaScience Fiction

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The Giver / Reviews

Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

Based on Lois Lowry’s bestselling young adult novel, helmed by action director Phillip Noyce (Salt, Sliver), starring the likes of Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and, er, Taylor Swift, The Giver is another Divergent Twilight Ender’s Game. Introduced as a seemingly perfect society, the world of the film is soon revealed to be an individuality-stomping dystopia. Leading us through is Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), chosen by the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep, rocking a grey wig), to receive the memories of Jeff Bridges’ Giver. Bridges’ elderly Obi Wan teaches of a world before the fascism of ordered perfection, blowing Jonas’s mind with tales of art and freedom.

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Variety

Variety

The Giver reaches the screen in a version that captures the essence of Lowry’s affecting allegory but little of its mythic pull.

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Urban Cinefile

Urban Cinefile

While there are echoes and plot resonances from other films and sources, as a film The Giver always feels fresh.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

The enervating hash of dystopian dread, vague religiosity and commercial advertising-style uplift is nothing if not stale.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

There's enough that's fundamentally good in the meat of film not to wholly reject what The Giver is giving us.

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The Dissolve

The Dissolve

Every aspect of The Giver feels both painfully familiar and like an awkward, unsupportable stretch. For a film about the deep, hidden dangers of enforced sameness, that’s almost hilariously ironic.

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Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

The problems show up during the climactic action sequences. Logic is jettisoned and once that happens, the basic flaws in the whole scenario become all too obvious.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

A lazy ending mars this fine, if generic, take on a much-loved YA novel.

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