The Giver

6.41 h 37 min2014X-RayPG-13
Based on the beloved young adult novel. A young man (Brenton Thwaites), who lives in a seemingly ideal world, must escape after discovering the deadly truths of his community's secret past.
Phillip Noyce
Jeff BridgesMeryl StreepBrenton Thwaites
SuspenseDramaScience FictionRomanceInternational
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Alexander SkarsgardOdeya RushKatie HolmesTaylor SwiftCameron Monaghan
Jeff BridgesScooter BraunAlison Owen
The Weinstein Company
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Violencefoul language
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4.6 out of 5 stars

10111 global ratings

  1. 75% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

WildChildReviewed in the United States on March 28, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best stories of all time!
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The Giver is probably my favorite book of all time. I was excited when I heard it was going to be made into a movie.

I know this wasn't really a huge hit in the theaters or necessarily with audiences, but I loved it and am glad I bought it.

I love this story so much I have probably "loaned" out a dozen copies of the books over the years, knowing they likely wouldn't be returned and being ok with that - hoping that maybe they would "pay it forward" by passing it along to another deserving someone. I love this story so much if I was wealthy I might go all Gideon's Bible on it and buy a copy for every hotel room on the planet. But no matter how much I evangelize The Giver, it remains that I still have some friends and family with whom I would love to share the story if, if only!, they were readers.

My best friend (and my husband) is not a reader - I watched this movie with both of them. My friend sat silent for a few minutes after viewing and said that it was the kind of story that would stay in your head forever and make you look at the world in a different way - the movie seemed to effect her as profoundly as the book has me, and I know she picked up a copy to watch with her kids as well.

All things considered, I think this was really nicely done. Great cast, beautiful filmography. I really have no idea why it wasn't better received with audiences or critics. I could (and have!) watched this over and over again. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, this book does touch on some issues that may be inappropriate or scary for younger children - I really recommend parents watch it through first to judge if it's right for their families, and to use this movie to encourage conversations with children about important issues.

Finally, love Jeff Bridges as The Giver! The dude abides!
79 people found this helpful
David SeamanReviewed in the United States on February 21, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A long time coming and well worth the wait.
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“The Giver” is closely based on the award winning novel by Lois Lowry and is a twenty year labor of love for Jeff Bridges. His performance as the Giver is Oscar worthy.

Meryl Streep again delivers a remarkable performance proving again that she is capable of understanding anyone and becoming them. She filmed this the same time as “Into The Woods”, a bit of trivia which adds to the miracle as The Leader and The Witch are both very different, very demanding roles.

The true artistry is with the people in post who edited and CGId a masterwork wherein we fall in love with the young boy- the reciever- and are moved by his courage and love. Every element that was selected tastefully lends to the theme and story. The use of color- and the use of black and white- become another character on its own.

This film is a triumph and a family must.
25 people found this helpful
nikkihReviewed in the United States on October 15, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
hated it
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I could not be more disappointed in this movie. If you want to enjoy it, DO NOT READ THE BOOK FIRST! The movie was so dramatically different; there were barely any similarities. I understand the need to adapt books for the big screen, but whoever adapted this one did a horrible injustice to the book. It definitely could have been written better while still fitting within time and cinematic limitations. Sure, it had good actors. Maybe it was brilliantly directed, possibly visually beautiful, but I could not tell because all that I noticed was every single thing that was wrong or different.
7 people found this helpful
Nathan D.Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Extremely underrated movie
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In my opinion, movies are mediums for storytelling rather than purely for entertainment. I will admit that I have not read the book on which this movie is based, but I will say that from a storytelling perspective, this is truly excellent. It is also rather entertaining. Jeff Bridges is fabulous in this film.

It's also not particularly objectionable in its content either. There's no unnecessary profanity, or content that you would normally see them put in the movie for no other reason than to sell the movie. Because of this, it's a movie that has content that's not going to drive parents away from watching it with kids, and everything in the movie feels very relevant and purposeful.

That said, please be aware that the overarching topic of the movie makes it highly advisable to watch it first, and make sure your kids are ready to handle the psychology of what this movie is about. It's a movie that some kids will enjoy asking you lots of existential questions about, or they may just be confused. Definitely not for younger audiences.

Overall though, an excellent film. Has its little imperfections, but what movie doesn't? This tells a wonderful story very well, and won't leave you bored or confused at any point.
DerekReviewed in the United States on November 28, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good Movie
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Many of the reviews here compare this movie to the original book with some liking it and others feeling it fell short in comparison. I did not read the book so I'm merely reviewing the movie. I liked it a lot and recommend it to anyone who enjoys movies about dystopian societies or futures, where a movement develops and struggles to become free or overturn dystopia. The plot moves at a nice pace and I didn't feel there were any slow parts. The acting is quite good (obviously, look at the cast!) and while there were a few elements I wish they had explored further, that didn't leave the me feeling incomplete. I would have liked to have seen this movie in the theaters however I do not recall much publicity when it was released and I do not remember any previews of it while at other movies. Perhaps, because the movie portrays political correctness negatively and a failing society based on making everyone equal, it was a turn off for those in charge of information distribution in our society and therefore it didn't get as much media attention as a movie with a government spokesperson such as Ben Affleck or Matt Damon.
35 people found this helpful
Ben JaminReviewed in the United States on May 27, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Surprisingly great film adaptation of a classic book!
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When this movie first came out, I gave it a pass just because of the poor trailer that turned the movie into some type of teen action movie instead of the exploration and discovery of beauty that was key to the book. The movie does a fantastic job of capturing that discovery! Like any movie adaptation of a book, characters are blended or created to express ideas that only narrative in books can. I have not read The Giver since I was in middle school years ago, so I can't compare the details between the movie and the book. But the emotion, message, and sense of wonder that I still hold in my heart from reading that book long ago was captured in this film.

This movie just needed better marketing!
One person found this helpful
D.M.Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great adaptation of a great book
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A great book and an excellent film adaptation. The cinematography was terrific, with gorgeous black-and-white filming and gradual introduction of color. Jeff Bridges was great to watch, and he has been trying to produce this film for 18 years. It's a pity that today the young-adult fiction catagory is so over saturated, with films that are inferior to The Giver, but which have diluted its financial success. The Meryl Streep character was a good idea, to personify the ruling committee from the book. They aged up the character from 12 to 18, which allowed a more serious romantic story line. The young actors were not terribly strong, with the notable exception of Brenton Thwaites, who has genuine star quality.
18 people found this helpful
Maya K.Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
The movie has the same message as the book
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I am not going to try to compare the movie to the book to claim that one was better than the other. If you have read the book and wonder if the movie is worth watching, I would say Definitely! The message was the same, and the message is beautiful. The movie brought a visual aspect that the book could not. There is something in seeing the images of humanity, the good in our world, the beauty we sometimes ignore or take for granted.There are scenes of violence and humanity's darker side. The real beauty though, is to experience life as Jonas does. It is in a way that most people grow out of by his age. It is also a reminder that life is amazingly precious and holds no guarantees. It also tries to explain that life without emotions, is not really living. This society we are introduced to, does not value the gift of being alive. These people are so far removed emotionally, that they carry out lethal injections as if they are "just another work assignment". Taking a life is just part of the job, like a secretary who is asked to send out a fax.

This is a story of bravery, of love, and of discovery. You will find that message is powerfully presented in book or film form. I would say that to tell this story, the film is more modernized and some things had to be cut, but I was moved by both. The film has to cut out some of the aspects of community life and rituals and a rather long chase scene. I would recommend both to anyone. This is a great story! I hope your experience is as wonderful as mine.
4 people found this helpful
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