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The Darkest Minds Review

Theatrical Release Poster

Theatrical Release Poster

Based on a Book

The Darkest Minds is a 2018 science fiction thriller film directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, and written by Chad Hodge. It is based on Alexandra Bracken's young adult novel of the same name. The film stars Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Mandy Moore, and Gwendoline Christie. It follows a group of teenagers who are on the run from the government after mysteriously obtaining superpowers.

The Plot

When teens mysteriously develop powerful new abilities, they are declared a threat by the government. Ruby escapes from her camp and joins a group of runaways who are seeking a safe haven. Betrayed by the adults in power, this newfound family soon realizes that running is not enough - they must use their collective powers to wage a resistance and take back their future.

Didn't Quite Live Up to the Novel

The Darkest Minds is Hollywood's latest attempt to make a film based off a YA Novel. This attempt failed to reach the mark.

It failed on so many levels. The story feels so rushed. There are some interesting characters, but they just go to waste. There's an interesting premise. A great idea for a plot, but the entire film just feels flat.

I really didn't know what to expect from this film. The trailers were decent, and I heard the novel it's based on was great, but like most films based on acclaimed novels, this one failed.

Strong Characters

The acting was good. Nobody stood out, but for the most part it was good.

There were some very interesting characters. Whenever the four main characters get together it's great. Seeing their relationship build over the course of the film was enjoyable to watch.

At times their relationships seemed to be forced, but it still works. The characters were the best part of this film.

A Flawed Plot

The plot is where this film fails. It had the potential to actually be a good film. It had some really good pieces to work with, but the execution wasn't great.

The entire film feels so rushed. This film has its good moments, but the entire story falls flat.

I felt that both the beginning and the end were the best parts, but the end isn't nearly as good as it could have been. They try to develop the character, but only when it's relevant to the plot.

I hated the main villain, and not in a good way. He had the potential to be good, but they skip out on his development in such a way that he feels irrelevant and dumb.

The reason he does the things he does makes no sense. They throw in additional "villains," but they really don't amount to anything.

I know this is based on the first novel in a series, but the story feels so incomplete.

The main plot feels thin, but the subplots are even worse. There's an entire subplot dedicated to Ruby going to her parents, but it doesn't amount to anything.

The plot was far from perfect.

The film was littered with promising moments, but as a whole, it fails. They had a fantastic premise to work with, but somehow the story even fails to be original.

For a film about kids with "powers" we don't see a whole lot of it. We see Ruby and Chubs use theirs, but they aren't visual. Even in the final part of the film, we don't see a lot of them using their power.

The relationship between the four main characters was my favorite part, but even that, at times, feels rushed.

The entire film just feels so rushed and at times sloppy. It's a pretty original idea, but the plot feels so generic. A group of people travel to a secret place, and they have obstacles in their way. That's the whole plot.

The film isn't terrible, but so much of the story is rushed that it fails to tell a compelling story.

© 2018 Royce Proctor Jr