Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia
Dramatic fantasies about very dark dystopian futures
Plagues / diseases / pandemics
Fictional psychic powers / dangerous and paranormal abilities
Fictional depiction of corrupt, tyrannical and cruel American government that aims to oppress, hurt and even murder children
Imprisoning of children by sadistic and nefarious adults
Cruelty and oppression / execution without a proper trial
Revenge and brutal vengeance commited by young people / Is there a danger in depicting this as justified and a good choice by the heroine?
What does God say about seeking personal revenge and vengeance?
Justified historical rebellions against oppression VERSUS unjustified and anarchistic rebellions fueled by sinful thoughts and actions
Some young teens feel like the world of adults is against them. Is it wise to stoke their fears and anger with a movie featuring an adult conspiracy against people their age?
This movie is primarily aimed at junior highschoolers and older teens—a group that often experiences a rebellious phase in life with bouts of anger and raging hormones. Is there a danger here? Could this film be used in further influencing young people by means of an emotional drama and a heroine with which kids can identify? To what possible end?
Given the signs of our times, could it ultimately be to distrust and break free from parents and the establishment (government, police, church, etc.) and to embrace a social rebellion promoting a post-modern liberal agenda? The popular causes of our day are pro-atheism, anti-Christian, pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQIA, pro-Feminism, extreme environmentalism, pro-Globalism, etc.
Amandla Stenberg … Ruby Daly—a 16-year-old girl with superhuman abilities
Mandy Moore … Dr. Cate Connor—a doctor and member of a fight against the government
Gwendoline Christie … Lady Jane—a bounty hunter
Bradley Whitford … President Gray—Clancy’s father
Harris Dickinson … Liam
Mark O'Brien … Rob Meadows
Wade Williams … The Captain
Wallace Langham … Dr. Viceroy
Patrick Gibson … Clancy Gray—President’s son
Golden Brooks … Molly Daly—Ruby’s mother, Paul’s wife
Skylan Brooks … Chubs
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|Director:||Jennifer Yuh Nelson—“Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Kung Fu Panda 3”|
|Producer:||21 Laps Entertainment
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Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
“The only ones that can help us is US.”
This movie is an adaptation of the first book of the popular DARKEST MINDS young adult fantasy trilogy by author Alexandra Bracken—The Darkest Minds (2012), Never Fade (2013), In The Afterlight (2014). The books were published by Disney Publishing Worldwide (Disney-Hyperion imprint).
“The Darkest Minds” opens with a female narrator explaining how it all started. She sees her friend have what appears to be a seizure and pass out. She goes on to learn that there is a new disease that effects only children, and they exhibit strange unexplained behaviors before dying. Ruby Daly (narrator) arrives home to celebrate her 10 birthday with her obviously worried parents. After receiving a small token from her parents. Ruby sneaks into her parents’ bedroom to comfort them while they sleep. She touches their hand gets a shocking unclear vision, and her eyes glow bright orange.
The next morning she wakes to parents who do not recognize her and instead call the government on her to have her taken away. Ruby quickly learns the extent of the pandemic. All children that survive are rounded up and taken to concentration camps (“rehabilitation camps”) where their abilities are assessed and categorized. Green (super intelligence), Yellow (the ability to manipulate and control electricity), Blue (telekinesis)—and these abilities are considered relatively safe. There are 2 other types of abilities Orange (mind control), Red (projectile combustion). These later two groups are considered the most dangerous, and those chilcren are to be killed upon discovery. Ruby is now on unfamiliar territory and must navigate her own survival. This is the tired overwrought setup of a repetitive genre.
The acting feels stale and boring. There are no standout performances. As I watched, I felt like I’d seen this story before. There is the dystopian view of society and children being our last and only hope for survival. There is the strong female protagonist, such as has been played several times over during the past decade—with few defining differences. This film had potential to be a great stand-alone movie, but, instead of developing characters, it seems like a lame attempt to set up viewers for a trilogy franchise.
Language: One character is frequently foul-mouthed—swearing throughout the film. This seemed to me completely unnecessary and reeks of lazy writing.
Nudity and Sexuality: There is a scene where the lead character is shown covered only by a towel. There is a potential forced sexual act by a villain against a teenaged girl, brief cleavage and teen kissing.
The film deals with a few rising up against an oppressive and corrupt government, using their power to turn others to the truth—even risking their own lives to do so. Well this message is simple for Christians to decipher. Christians views are few in this world and are constantly facing opposition, and we have the truth to provide in love—knowledge of the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ, and it’s our job to share that with people, despite its unpopularity or what may happen to us. You may have the opportunity to simply share a Bible verse in post on social media or in some other way to stand up against the corrupt worldview of relative truths and moralities. Let God’s Word lead us to share the truth of our faith.
If you like repetitive teen-drama dystopian fantasy, you might enjoy something in this movie, but if you’re tired of the repetitive nature of this genre and unnecessary swearing and poor execution, then I recommend you skip this rather disturbing movie.