Rating: PG-13, for mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence.
This sci-fi drama/thriller is based on yet another Young Adult novel set in a rigid, post-war future. Naturally, this means one plucky teen will rise up and shake up the status quo for the benefit of the oppressed masses. Brenton Thwaites plays that teen, Jonas, who learns that he will become the keeper of all memory in this antiseptic, black-and-white community. Jeff Bridges plays the giver of the film’s title, who passes down the knowledge he’s been storing. This includes color, music and love but also violence, war and hatred, with a series of harrowing images flashing through the young man’s mind. Jonas and his girlfriend, Fiona (Odeya Rush), end up in danger when it becomes clear to the elders (led by Meryl Streep, no less) that they’ve begun thinking for themselves. There’s also a disturbing subplot involving the killing of infants who aren’t up to the community’s precise standards. For mature tweens and older.