The Giver (2014) Review


The Giver (2014)

Directed by Phillip Noyce

Based on The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jeff Bridges
Meryl Streep
Brenton Thwaites
Alexander Skarsgård
Odeya Rush
Katie Holmes
Taylor Swift

Running time: 97 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Jonas is an 11 (soon to be 12) year old boy in a future where there is no war, suffering or pain. He and his family unit follow strict rules within their community including things such as the precision of language and the sharing of feelings and dreams. Everyone is assigned a role in life at the Ceremony of Twelve and no one is more surprised than Jonas when, at his ceremony, he’s selected as the next Receiver of Memory. During his training, he starts to discover that his community may not be as perfect as it seems.


My Opinion:

I’ve just read & reviewed this book HERE (and was lazy & used my same plot synopsis). As always, THE BOOK IS BETTER! I mean, sometimes the film adaptations are okay. However, I was really disappointed with this one so, seriously – please read the book if you have any interest in this story! It’s a quick read. They changed A LOT of details for the movie & made a fairly simple story too over complicated.


As yet another teenage dystopian film, The Giver is okay. It will probably seem boring to teens, though, as it’s not exactly as exciting or action packed as The Hunger Games. I knew they’d do this but it still pissed me off – they added loads of action that wasn’t in the book and gave small characters WAY bigger and more important roles (Meryl Streep’s character has a small part at the start of the book then you never hear from her again plus the two friends aren’t all that significant). It annoyed me as it’s so obvious they’re trying to compete with Divergent, etc, but the book is a lot more subtle and I think the story works much better without all the movie’s added drama (and romance that every teen film seems to require).


Okay – Focus! Just talk about the movie…

Let’s see – I did like the Pleasantville black & white thing with added bits of color as the story went on. Don’t think that’s a spoiler as it’s obvious from the trailers (yes, it’s that way in the book too). I was looking forward to that aspect (I did love that in Pleasantville) but I didn’t think the movie handled it quite right all the time. The boy isn’t at all what I pictured & they changed an important thing about his looks as described in the book. Jeff Bridges is okay but more “gruff” and bitter than I’d expected. I hated Katie Holmes’ character and hated how they turned it into a story more about Jonas & his two friends whereas in the book the focus is much more on his family unit & the child they’re taking care of (Gabriel). Dammit! This is impossible. I clearly can’t discuss this movie without constantly comparing it to the book. I give up. JUST READ THE BOOK! 🙂



The Giver has a simple yet powerful story that I felt got lost in all the extra scenes they somehow felt necessary to add into the movie to keep teenage audiences interested. Give teenagers a LITTLE credit & don’t just assume they can’t think for themselves. The movie takes the one main theme & shoves it down the viewers’ throats whereas the book presents things in a way that gives the reader the ability to make up their own mind about things. I feel that the movie leaves no room for discussion afterwards and the ending of the movie is a big disappointment compared to the excellent ending in the book. I really have no idea what to rate this movie as, if I’d NOT read the book, I think I’d have quite enjoyed it. However, knowing that the story is told in a much better way in the book does annoy me. Hmm. The movie is decent enough, I guess. Just do me a favor & read the book first? Please??

My Rating: 6/10


Sorry – this was a rubbish post! I was actually planning on taking a short break from blogging & leaving My Top Ten Carpets & Rugs In Movies as my last post for a while. Go read that HERE instead – that was fun to put together! I’ll start up the reviews again through October with as many horror movies & scary films as I can manage. 🙂

29 thoughts on “The Giver (2014) Review

  1. Your last picture. Is Bridges wearing a suit and some slippers with no socks?????










    WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?????????????????????!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?


    the IPC

  2. Your post reminds me of an argument with my wife over the film We Bought a Zoo. I loved it, she hated it. The main difference – she read the book before hand and just complained about how much they changed in the film. The comparisons with Divergent et al are inevitable even though the book pre-dates the others by the best part of 20 years. I liked all of the scenes that examined the importance of memory in human identity. Everything else was a bit blah. Still appreciated the different take on a YA film.

    • Lol. I do get a little vocal when I’ve read the book then hate the movie adaptation. I’ve been wanting to see We Bought A Zoo – I won’t read the book first! 🙂 I can see liking The Giver just fine if you’ve not read the book first. Changes that are for the worse are really frustrating, though. :-/ The movie really changed a lot from the book.

  3. I’ll have to take your recommendation and read the book. There’s a bunch of books turned into movies like Gone Girl and the Maze Runner, I also hope to catch up on. Oooh … looking forward to all your scary horror movie posts in October. 😀

    • Hmm. I’d recommend reading The Giver. It’s also not very long & a quick, easy read. Gone Girl was an interesting book as well – I think, if you want to read that one, it really should be before the movie so that the book isn’t spoiled for you! Can’t wait to see that one – hoping to go Thursday. Horror posts start tomorrow! Woohoo! 🙂

    • Thanks! 🙂 Yeah… Read the book instead! (If you haven’t. Have you? Can’t remember if you said!). I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ve adapted Gone Girl. Hoping to see it Thursday. 🙂

      • Are you guys getting Gone Girl on Thursday? I need to burn this cinema of mine to the ground. Pffffffffff.

        Well, you know I am on this book, I am taking your advice (as though I was going to do it any other way). Keep your eyes open!

      • I haven’t. Maybe I should soon! 🙂 Gone Girl looks good, but I haven’t even read the book yet… obviously a lot I need to catch up on!

      • Hehe. I’m so behind on comments… Yes, Gone Girl came out here Thursday. One chain of cinemas showed it Tuesday night but I couldn’t go then. I look forward to your review of The Giver! I finished it in under a week so, for you, it should be about a 45 minute read? 🙂

  4. Great review!! Sometimes I’m loath to watch a film if I loved the book (Harry P for example) because I don’t want the characters or situations to be forever changed in my mind.

    Hello!! 🙂

      • Me too!!! The thing is I really had quite firm ideas in my imagination of what the characters looked like, the films were made really well with great choice of actors but at the same time….I didn’t want my own idea of what they looked like spoilt by the film!

  5. LOL I liked this review I felt we were having a convo with you. I am so sick of these damn dystopian teen movies, all except for Hunger Games… why why?!! Why do these teenagers have horrible futures. Thank goodness we grew up in the 80s and 90s. And yes Jeff Bridges with no socks, ummm of course Eric would notice that!

  6. Pingback: The Maze Runner (2014) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco

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