Divergent - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Divergent Reviews

Top Critic
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
March 31, 2014
Barely diverting.
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 27, 2014
It's all pretty dumb, and it marks a career low for director Neil Burger, who's made some first-class indie dramas from his own scripts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
March 24, 2014
The first film adapted from Veronica Roth's generically dystopian book series arrives with a sludgy, gray-hued plop.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
March 21, 2014
The climactic chases, shootouts, and fistfights have been staged, filmed, and edited with insobriety. Visual clarity shouldn't be too much to ask from these movies, even if they fail to achieve ideological coherence.
Top Critic
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
March 21, 2014
Jackhammer music and sound design are all that hold the action scenes together.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 21, 2014
If you can forget what it's saying, Divergent is fairly entertaining.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
RogerEbert.com
March 21, 2014
The performances -- namely from stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James and Kate Winslet in a juicy supporting role -- always make the movie watchable and often quite engaging.
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
March 21, 2014
Woodley is an obviously talented actress, a standout in The Descendants and The Spectacular Now but she's let down by the story surrounding her.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
March 21, 2014
Fans of the book will likely be pleased. More importantly, people who don't know a thing about the books may get swept up, as well.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 21, 2014
With a couple of elaborate action set pieces and some trippy, dreamlike sequences when Tris' thoughts are on display, Divergent is sure-footed, suspenseful, and sequel-ready.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 21, 2014
The dark, oppressive movie around Woodley drags her down like an overcoat with stones in the pockets.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 20, 2014
Directed by Neil Burger, Divergent is a solidly engaging outing. Only one wishes for more.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 20, 2014
Although not quite as well-focused as The Hunger Games, Divergent employs many of the same elements: a futuristic post-war setting, a strong heroine, a romance, and a struggle against the oppression inherent in the status quo.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 20, 2014
Though its main appeal will be to those who read the book and are young adults either in fact or in spirit, "Divergent" does have something for the rest of us and that's the chance to see the pair of performers who make that romantic music together.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 20, 2014
Ironically for a film about non-conformity, it adheres to the playbook rather slavishly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Zwecker
Chicago Sun-Times
March 20, 2014
Overall I was delighted with Divergent and am eager to see how the remaining two films continue to take us on Tris' adventure, as she and Four attempt to learn what's really going on in their very crazy world.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
March 20, 2014
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.
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 20, 2014
"Divergent" is almost good enough to make you forget what a cynical exercise it is on every possible level.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mara Reinstein
Us Weekly
March 20, 2014
The thriller moves as fast as one of the speeding trains that Tris must learn to jump out of.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 20, 2014
The real problem with "Divergent"? In the end, it doesn't dare diverge enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
March 20, 2014
Hey, we gotta kill time between Hunger Games installments somehow. Why not Divergent?
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
March 20, 2014
It's rare that a movie is as good as the book on which it's based. It's even more unusual when it's better.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gail Pennington
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 20, 2014
Is the premise of "Divergent" both overly familiar and borderline ridiculous? Sure, maybe. But channel the 13-year-old girl in you and enjoy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 20, 2014
A movie like this doesn't require a lot of tonal variety to succeed, but imagination is crucial.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
L.A. Weekly
March 20, 2014
I beg of you, teenage girls who may yet make Divergent a box office hit. We can't avoid the future - dystopian or not - but we can at least prevent regrettable fad tattoos.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 20, 2014
In all candor, and with all the amity I can muster, "Divergent" is as dauntingly dumb as it is dauntingly long.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
March 20, 2014
Unimaginative and bland.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
March 20, 2014
For a film about a defiant young heroine discovering she's a renegade nonconformist at heart, "Divergent" sure colors within the lines of the young-adult dystopian literature's playbook.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 20, 2014
It takes about 10 minutes to figure out that "Divergent" will not present a serious or intelligent vision of the future.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 20, 2014
...The faithful but dramatically flat film version of Divergent, from Veronica Roth's 2011 bestseller, couldn't stir palpitations in shut-ins. It's that bland and lifeless.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
March 20, 2014
Somewhat silly and teen to the extreme, but Woodley and James are surprisingly strong. It's up to them to keep this hopeful franchise alive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mike Ryan
TIME Magazine
March 20, 2014
It's impossible to ignore the overwhelming sense that we've seen all this before, only with better execution ...
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
March 20, 2014
It's hard not to root for Ms. Woodley, who has been coming on strong in recent indie titles like "The Descendants" and "The Spectacular Now," but she seems palpably uncomfortable here.
Top Critic
Kevin McFarland
AV Club
March 20, 2014
The significance of certain deaths hangs entirely on Woodley's performance. She's mostly up to the task ...
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
March 20, 2014
"Divergent" is a big, clunky slog of a movie, desperate to cash in as a successor to "The Hunger Games" as a franchise but never really proving up to the task.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 20, 2014
Without [Woodley], "Divergent" would be a grim slog indeed.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 19, 2014
The movie version of Divergent is no divergent. It goes along to get along. It's tame, formulaic and strictly by the book in every sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press
March 19, 2014
By the end, you may want to hop onto one of those trains yourself and hope it arrives somewhere a lot less grim. But two sequels await. So there's always hope.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 19, 2014
Two sequels derived from Veronica Roth's novels have already been announced. Hopefully, they'll have more personality than this clunker.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 19, 2014
Woodley, at every turn, lets us feel as if we're in her shoes, not so much Dauntless as thrillingly daunted.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Andrew Barker
Variety
March 16, 2014
Even though it stretches to nearly two-and-a-half hours and concludes with an extended gun battle, by the time "Divergent" ends, it still seems to be in the process of clearing its throat.
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
March 16, 2014
Even with star Shailene Woodley delivering the requisite toughness and magnetism, the clunky result is almost unrelentingly grim.
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
March 16, 2014
Jolts around in fits and starts, never sufficiently explains its premise and, yes, rips off far too many notions from better books and movies to stride successfully down its own path.