Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 94 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 13+. The original novel was meant for tween and teen audiences, and although this film adaptation adds some romantic and action elements, it should work for the same age group. Some kissing between teenagers; the threat of harm and death against the young and the old; and various violent images, such as war, used as teaching tools regarding the past. Overall, though, the movie lacks the same emotional impact as the novel.
Lois Lowry’s sci-fi young-adult novel ‘The Giver’ gets the Hollywood treatment in this adaptation that saps the original text of its streamlined subtlety. Reformatted into an action movie, ‘The Giver’ doesn’t have the same effect.
By Roxana Hadadi
Through her creativity, her writing style, and her success, author Lois Lowry is responsible for books like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent,” but the big-screen changes made to her novel, “The Giver,” do her a disservice by putting her on par with those descendants. The original version of “The Giver” was streamlined and simple, a thin volume with an ambiguous ending and long staying power. The movie version, from director Phillip Noyce and screenwriters Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weide, feels simultaneously bloated-yet-superficial in comparison.