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          In a world full of horrible teenage adventure films, Divergent is actually a nice surprise. While it does have some common problems found in many teen films, mainly too much exposition, slight melodrama, and weak supporting characters, there are also surprising positives, mainly the strong performances by Shailene Woodley and Theo James, who both avoid overacting in favor of playing actual characters (a trait that was unfortunately avoided by Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, and Miles Teller, who all seem to be playing generic, stereotypical characters). Even though the film is much too long and feels a little unfocused throughout its runtime, the performance by Shailene Woodley carries the film through its ups and downs. Director Neil Burger also does a good job at creating well shot sequences with a unique visual style that avoids quick cuts and shaky camerawork. All dystopian films require a slight twist to make them interesting (Blade Runner is about technology, Minority Report is about laws), and with Divergent its family and choices. While these themes could’ve seen more focus than it received, they are still discussed enough to avoid being generic. It’s predictable, but still a nice surprise that is proves to be more Harry Potter than Twilight. Grade: -B

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