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Monday, September 15, 2014

Movie Review - The Giver

The Giver  $$$$

97 Minutes
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Meryl Streep, and Odeya Rush.
Director: Phillip Noyce. 

            This seems to be the year of the misleading movie trailers. In the case of The Giver, I suspect it has hurt the success of the film. Based on the trailers I expected a typical dystopian movie for the teen market, but boy was I wrong.
            Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) lives in a perfect community. They have done away with war, violence, greed, envy, and emotion. Everyone gets up in the morning and takes their mandatory injection and then goes and does the job they have been assigned. Life is good.
            That is, until Jonas is assigned to be the next Receiver of Memories.   

            The Giver is not a fast-paced action flick. Which is not to say the film was boring. Far from it. Be prepared for a thought-provoking, emotion-provoking tale about human nature that I think you will be mighty glad you watched.

            Here is how I rated the The Giver: 

            1. Fun – I absolutely loved this film. Within the first five minutes I was hooked and sat in the audience mesmerized by the story.
            The Giver gets a Full MB for fun.

            2. Story – Of the four areas which I rate a movie The Giver rates highest in story. It is well-crafted and meaningful. Lots of great emotion and it makes you think. If I could give it a higher rating for this I would, but instead will let it raise the rest of the ratings.
            The Giver gets a Full MB for story.

            3. Technical – Excellent. Some beautiful CGI. Some work with muted colors to enhance the storytelling. A nice futuristic set. All the work to make you feel somewhere else was nicely done. My hat is tipped to Phillip Noyce. I feel the directing of this film is largely responsible for the success of the story.
            The Giver gets a Full MB for Technical.

            4. Acting – Jeff Bridges, as the Giver, does a great job playing a man bearing the burden of a dark secret. Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, and Cameron Monaghan are adequate as the friends entering the adult stage of their world. They neither impressed me with their acting skill, nor detracted from the movie. It is possible that I am unfairly discounting their efforts since I felt that the movie was a success. I really enjoyed the performance of Alexander Skarsgard as Father.   
            The Giver gets a Full MB for acting even though this is probably the weakest area of the film. Not bad, just not as stellar as everything else. 

            The Giver gets a rating of 4 Movie Bucks. I’m going to see it again and take my wife with me this next time. This is definitely one I am considering picking up for my home movie collection. I highly recommend film for adults. It may be too slow for younger audiences.

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.



  1. I'm so out of the loop I didn't even know they'd made The Giver into a movie! :) But I loved the book. And after your review, I will be sure to see the movie at some point.

    1. Good. This is a movie that deserves to be seen and I am glad that I was able to get the message out. Enjoy.