Synopsis: Imprisoned by an adult world that now fears everyone under 18, a group of teens form a resistance group to fight back and reclaim control of their future in The Darkest Minds.
Release Date: August 3, 2018 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Thriller
Ever since the triumphant conclusion of the Hunger Games series and the whimpering ending of the Divergent franchise, there has been a hole in the Young Adult Dystopian Movie Market. The Darkest Minds is here to try and fill that gap.
Everything about The Darkest Minds is spelled out for and spoon fed to the viewer, to the point where it’s almost insulting. It feels as if the movie doesn’t think its audience is going to catch on to the concepts and ideas, so it verbalizes them with a nod and a wink to make sure that everyone’s following along. There are plenty of important themes and analogies in the film, but they’d be more effective if the movie gave its audience a little credit and let them figure stuff out for themselves.
Score and Soundtrack
Like any self-respecting Young Adult movie, the soundtrack to The Darkest Minds is packed with ethereal alternative pop music. The songs are stuffed into the usual places, mostly occupying the sonic space during montages and transition scenes, so they do take center stage when they are played. Unfortunately, there’s nothing special about them. They sound like the songs from every other YA movie. They’re decent tunes, but they’re very forgettable. There are no hit singles, just some well written filler songs.
The interactions between characters in The Darkest Minds are painfully uncomfortable to watch. There is absolutely no chemistry with this cast. It doesn’t help that the story forces an awkward romantic angle between Liam and Ruby that seemingly neither character actually wants to consummate, but even the conversations between other characters, like Ruby and Cate or Chubs and Liam, are fumbling and twitchy. While the actors aren’t done any favors by the cringe-worthy dialogue, they still should be able to salvage a little bit of comfort and camaraderie with their performances. In The Darkest Minds, there is none. It’s like the actors are less into making the movie than the audience is into watching it.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Jennifer Yuh Nelson
- Producer(s): Dan LevineShawn Levy
- Screenwriter(s): Chad Hodge
- Story: Alexandra Bracken
- Cast: Amandla Stenberg (Ruby), Harris Dickinson (Liam), Skylan Brooks (Chubs), Miya Cech (Zu), Mandy Moore (Cate), Mark O’Brien (Rob Meadows), Bradley Whitford (President Gray), Patrick Gibson (Clancy Gray), Wade Williams (Captain McManus), Gwendoline Christie (Lady Jane), Wallace Langham (Dr. Viceroy)
- Editor(s): Maryann Brandon
- Cinematographer: Kramer Morgenthau
- Costume Designer: Mary Claire Hannan
- Casting Director(s): Tara Feldstein, John Papsidera, Chase Paris
- Music Score: Benjamin Wallfisch
- Country Of Origin: USA