The Giver

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The Giver
220px-The Giver poster.jpg
Genre: Drama
Starring: Jeff Bridges
Meryl Streep
Brenton Thwaites
Alexander Skarsgård
Katie Holmes
Taylor Swift
Cameron Monaghan
Odeya Rush
Emma Tremblay
Photography: Black and White
Release Date: August 15th, 2014
Runtime: 97 minutes
Country: United States

The Giver is a 2014 American social science fiction film directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Cameron Monaghan, Emma Tremblay, Taylor Swift, Thabo Rametsi, and Alexander/James Jillings. The film is based on the 1993 novel The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Bad Qualities

  1. False Advertising: In the poster, it's supposed to show that Fiona is with Jonas throughout much of the movie, but in reality, Fiona rarely gets screen time.
  2. Laughable and poor acting.
  3. It can get too dark for a PG-13 movie when The Giver accidentally transfers a war memory to him looking like a R-rated bootleg of Saving Private Ryan, and in one scene where hunters shoot elephants and the elephants fall down and dies on-screen.
  4. Cartoony and ugly CGI.
  5. The idea of civilization's freedom being limited is cliched and has been overused many times.
  6. Very poor grasp of the source material:
    • Ceremony of Twelves is renamed to Ceremony of the Grown, which makes some form of sense here as one of the jobs given to women involves being a birthmother.
    • Jonas is now 17 while in the book he was 12. It's possible that this was done to make teenage girls see a new Edward Cullen/Peeta.
    • Asher was given a job called "drone pilot" when in the book he was given a job from the recreation center.
    • Gabriel became part of family unit after Jonas was selected but in the book he came right before the ceremony.
    • Jonas never got a dance memory in the book but in the movie, he did.
    • When Jonas leaves, his best friend, Asher, tries to stop him from breaking the rules, but instead gets into a fight and Jonas punches him, but that's not what he did in the book, because Asher is Jonas' best friend, and best friends don't punch each other. Plus, Asher didn't try to stop him in the book and and this scene is not only pointless, but also leaves a plothole. How can he be awake in the middle of the night?
    • Fiona is planned to get released in the movie but in the book, she was never planned nor even released.
    • In the book, the bicycles are not explicitly described, but in the movie, they are made to look futuristic by 2014 Hollywood standards, which makes the movie dated.

Good Qualities

  1. The happy moments are pretty good.
  2. Some tolerable characters such as Asher and Lily.
  3. Good acting performances by Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush.
  4. Strong ending.
  5. Jeff Bridges as The Giver was actually a decent casting choice.
  6. It gets the main points of the novel right.


Critical reception is mixed-to-negative. It currently holds a 35% Rotten Tomatoes rating. The site's critical consensus reads, "Phillip Noyce directs The Giver with visual grace, but the movie doesn't dig deep enough into the classic source material's thought-provoking ideas." The score on Metacritic is 47 out of 100. However, it did win Truly Moving Picture Award from Heartland Film 2014.