(2014)

Critic Reviews

48

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
The strength of Burger's movie is the fact that a non-reader of Roth's work can enjoy Divergent and not be confused by any aspect of the storyline.
83
Woodley, through the delicate power of her acting, does something compelling: She shows you what a prickly, fearful, yet daring personality looks like when it's nestled deep within the kind of modest, bookish girl who shouldn't even like gym class.
75
What about those who haven't read the book? Divergent, the movie, still offers a smart, spunky, sympathetic heroine, a hunky love interest and a sobering if rather obvious message about the value of being true to oneself rather than mindlessly conforming.
75
Divergent is less action-oriented than "The Hunger Games" but no less compelling.
67
Because there's some genuinely great ideas in the film, and some terrific character work, but it's given such uneven attention, alternately languished upon and glossed over, that the portrait Burger creates feels complete without, well, making us feel a whole lot else.
65
Over-plotty, convoluted, full of unanswered questions and unquestioned assumptions - is a big part of the problem here, but director Neil Burger (“Limitless”) pulls off a neat trick here, in that Divergent is a pretty diverting piece of moviemaking pulled from a not-especially-good story.
63
Despite two strong lead performances and a welcome dose of female empowerment, this somber tale feels too familiar and formulaic.
50
The film transcends the déjà vu of its borrowed trappings but ironically sacrifices all momentum in favor of a long series of physical tests.
50
Divergent, the latest outcast-teen-battles-The-System thriller, is similar enough to “The Hunger Games” that hardcore Katniss fans may dismiss it. But it's a more streamlined film, with a love story with genuine heat and deaths with genuine pathos.
50
Divergent is a clumsy, humorless and shamelessly derivative sci-fi thriller set in a generically dystopian future.
50
The bestselling first book in yet another dystopic Young Adult series, Veronica Roth's Divergent is engrossing enough to devour overnight, and flimsy enough to forget by morning light. Neil Burger's film adaptation faithfully reproduces the same effect.
50
The generic bulk of Divergent hits its marks and moves on.
50
This society makes no sense except as a metaphor. The social layout of Divergent was supposedly devised so as to maintain peace, but putting people into airtight factions guarantees conflict.
45
Director Neil Burger, whose last divergent character was the smart-drugged protagonist of Limitless, allocates more than enough of this overlong movie to details of life and society in future-Chicagoland. But he fails to make any aspect of the premise persuasive.
40
By trying to cram in as many explanatory info dumps as possible, Burger neglects to tend to the elements of the film that could easily make up for any narrative deficiencies: namely, a sense of place and a feeling of urgency.
40
Director Neil Burger struggles to fuse philosophy, awkward romance and brutal action. Even with star Shailene Woodley delivering the requisite toughness and magnetism, the clunky result is almost unrelentingly grim.
40
Too bad this would-be heir, Divergent, is so unimaginative and bland.
38
Except for Kate Winslet's fearsome turn as a villain, the only terror Divergent roused in me was that the drag-ass thing would never end. Sorry, I'm a Candor.
20
Wall Street Journal
In all candor, and with all the amity I can muster, Divergent is as dauntingly dumb as it is dauntingly long.

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