Review Roundup: Best-Selling Novel THE GIVER Hits Theaters Today!
Adapted from Lois Lowry's novel of the same name, 'The Giver' opens nationwide today, August 15th. As in the book, the story is set in a dystopian society that has managed to eliminate pain and any sort of intense emotion from human beings, a phenonmenon which they call 'Sameness'.
The story follows Jonas, a young boy who is selected to be the Reciever of Memory; a position which entitles him to store all previous knowledge of what like was like before 'Sameness'. Jonas then uncovers secrets about his society that makes him question the foundations of his society and home.
The film stars Meryl Streep, Brandon Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Odeya Rush, and Taylor Swift.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Manhola Dargis, The New York Times: Yet because both "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent" hit the screen first, the movie version of "The Giver" - scene by formulaic scene, narrative cliché by cliché - can't help but come off as a poor copy of those earlier pictures.
Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian: By the end of the movie few won't be rolling their eyes or checking their watch, but there's enough that's fundamentally good in the meat of film not to wholly reject what The Giver is giving us.
Scott Foundas, Variety: Sameness, the conformist plague that afflicts the futuristic citizens of Lois Lowry's celebrated and scorned YA novel, "The Giver," might also be the name given to what ails the movie adaptation - the latest in a seemingly endless line of teen-centric dystopian fantasies that have become all but indistinguishable from one another.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: But there's no thrill of discovery here, at least not in the way millions of readers have experienced Lowry's novel. The Giver, along withEnder's Game, may be one of the book world's original millennial adolescent dystopias. But the film, sadly, is just copying the younger kids' notes.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Toward the end, Lowry's quiet urging to live an ethical life, to think deeply about the world into which you're born - to think, period - dovetails neatly with the faith-oriented Walden Media's worldview, and the result is a family-friendly dystopian nightmare that won't offend anyone but won't get them very excited, either.
Jane Horwitz, The Washington Post: "The Giver" ought to fulfill the expectations of many teens who loved Lois Lowry's 1993 young-adult novel. Those who haven't read the book ought to be transported by the sheer strangeness of the impressively visualized tale.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The film version of The Giver, based on Lois Lowry's Newberry Medal-winning 1993 novel, moves at the speed of syrup. Make that the speed of Syrup from a clogged spout. That's no way to carry a philosophical message to young adults.
L.V. Anderson, Slate Magazine: Lowry's novel, one of children's literature's great stories of nonconformity, deserved an adaption that dared to be a little bit different, instead of the cookie-cutter Hollywood sameness that it got.
Bill Goodykoontz, Delaware Online: This isn't a terrible movie. It just falls flat, in almost every way. It exists and not much else.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes: The novel may have come before The Hunger Games and Divergent, but the movie version did not. The one that started it all now becomes the one that follows in the footsteps of others, with little to justify itself beyond its literary precedent.