Film Review: Divergent

Synopsis: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in.

Synopsis: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.

Review: Released this week on DVD and Blu Ray is this post apocalyptic science fiction drama, which while being both SciFi  and teen movie also comes with a hefty dose of allegory and some pretty good acting.

The film centres on a young woman who does not conform to the systems expectations of her, but follows her struggle to try and hide in plain sight by choosing to join the military class.

In fact the film unashamedly shows us what in essence is a class system, but in this world it is the Abnegation Class known as Stiffs to all the other classes that run the show, which is something that the political class known as the Erudite feels threatened by, which is a major plot point in the film that we see through the eyes of the divergent Tris (Shailene Woodley).

I’ll be honest. When renting this film I didn’t really have huge expectations for it. All I had seen really were a few of the trailers for the film when it was released earlier this year and not much else. The trailers didn’t really grab me because it seemed like another movie made exclusively for the teen audience, but believe it or not it’s actually a bit deeper than that and does not spend as much time on the romantic aspect or have as much exposition to it than say the ‘Hunger Games,’ which the film is kind of cashing in on.

We have some familiar faces in the cast such as Ashley Judd who plays Tris’s mother and Kate Winslett as the deliciously fanatical Erudite leader Jeanine, who will stop at absolutely nothing to gain total control of all the factions and make sure that everyone knows their place.

Newcomer Shailene Woodley puts in a strong performance and gets you on side pretty much from the start of the film. The relationship that builds between Tris and Four (Theo James) is quite believable and never forced.

The film has a wonderful score, which punctuates much of the action to a point where you kind of feel in the moment with the characters on the screen.

The story of the film though good doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but it is helped by some really good acting performances and by the fact that you never at any point feel like you are being hit over the head by an allegory mallet. It works as a good story with a beginning, middle and well no end really other than the fact that in being forced to leave their factions the characters essentially begin a journey of self discovery, which being a part of a faction would never afford them, which is likely something we’ll get to learn if the film gets a sequel.

‘Divergent’ is out on DVD, Blu Ray and most Video On Demand services and is worth at least a look if you haven’t checked it out already.

  • The films music really puts you in the thick of the action
  • Nothing really new in terms of storyline
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Music
  • Stunts

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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