Following their escape from Dauntless, Tris, Four, Caleb and Peter are living a peaceful yet tense life among the Amity faction in relative obscurity. However, when they are tracked down they are forced to go on the run. Leader and dictator, Jeanine, has discovered a box in the ruins of the Abnegation faction that she believes will give her ultimate power and, realising that only a pure Divergent can open it, Tris once again becomes her main target. Tris must decide what is best for those around her and choose her fights wisely in order to protect her loved ones and everyone who is at the mercy of the relentless Jeanine.

Insurgent (2015) – Director: Robert Schwentke

Is Insurgent appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 119 mins

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet

Genre: Science Fiction, Action/Adventure


The sequel to 2014’s hugely successful ‘Divergent’ and based upon the second book of the Veronica Roth trilogy, ‘Insurgent’ continues the story of Tris, the ordinary girl born into extraordinary circumstances. Much like Katniss Everdeen in ‘The Hunger Games’, Tris (or Beatrice Prior, played by Shailene Woodley) is both tough and compassionate, doing what is necessary for the greater good but doing all she can to protect those she cares for.

Woodley’s portrayal of Tris is competent enough but does not come across as remarkable like her character would otherwise suggest and, unlike in ‘Divergent’, the love affair between her and Four seems forced and the chemistry between them is lacking. The haphazard approach to character motivations and scene progression suggests that the transition from book to screen has missed several important steps as certain things that happen require much more explanation than is given. For instance; a character who betrays Tris gives the bare minimum of reasons for why they have chosen this course of action.

Unfortunately, ‘Insurgent’ is a disappointing follow-up to the excellent ‘Divergent’ and appears to be relying on its predecessor’s popularity to make up for its own shortcomings. Although it is a very dull story which drags along to its (admittedly more interesting) finale, it does lay the groundwork for an interesting plot for the next movie, ‘Allegiant – Part 1’, so while it isn’t a great movie in itself, it is worth a watch in order to keep up with the plot and see what direction it will go in next.


Due to her feelings of guilt over people who have died because of her, Tris has a very realistic dream where she sees these people, with bloody wounds on their bodies blaming her for their deaths. One of them says, ‘You killed us all’. This happens towards the beginning of the movie and could be a little shocking and frightening for younger viewers. Another similar dream happens later in the movie where Tris sees a man lying in her bed with his throat cut, she cries out in horror and, although this moment only lasts for a few seconds, it again could be quite distressing.

A fight on a train results in a normally peaceful character killing someone by hitting them repeatedly with a metal pipe. He is seen raising the pipe and delivering the blows but the body is off camera so nothing graphic is seen and there is no blood. This character is visibly shaken by what he has done and is unable to help another who is struggling to fight off an attacker.

Both Four and Tris have to be tried for their crimes by being given a truth serum. This is administered via a large needle into their necks. They wince a little but do not seem to suffer too much pain. It has previously been explained that the serum will cause a great deal of pain to them and, although Four struggles a little, Tris suffers more, due to her feelings of guilt over several deaths and her reluctance to admit to them. However, this appears to be more upsetting for her than painful so it should not be too distressing for kids.

A woman is being experimented on due to Jeanine’s obsession with opening a mysterious box. She is suspended in the air by several cables; she screams and struggles in pain. Shortly afterwards she suddenly stops moving and it is made clear that she is dead. Jeanine is uncaring and simply orders for another person to be brought in for this procedure.

An attack on a building causes many established and innocent characters to be shot and appear to be dead. However it is soon made clear that the ‘bullets’ are designed to render the victim unconscious. The bullets are seen poking out of the skin but do not appear to cause any pain. The attackers of the building capture several selected people and, when one does not appear to be what they want, the shoot him dead. He is not an established character and the death is not shown directly but this lack of compassion could be quite upsetting for a lot of kids.

Three characters whose minds are being controlled stand on a ledge high above the ground. They repeat the same words, calling for Tris to be handed over to the state and with each sentence they take a step closer to the edge. Tris and another character race to save them but are not fully successful when one character falls to their death, and lands face down on the ground.

Around half way through the movie, Tris and Four become intimate. They kiss passionately and start to remove their clothes. They are both seen topless although Tris is only seen from the back. The camera cuts before anything more explicit is seen and the next shot is of them lying in bed together.

A major character is forced into the machine that will unlock a plot important box. Several cables – which end in long, sharp needles – snake down from the ceiling and hover around them. After several tense seconds these stab roughly into the character. They lurch and cry out in pain but are quickly taken into a simulated world and appear not to feel anything more from the needles.



While it is an important movie to watch in terms of following the plot of the series, ‘Insurgent’ isn’t anywhere near as interesting or exciting as its predecessor and it is likely that the heavy story of oppression and very few action sequences are going to make this hard work for kids to sit through. We feel that due to adult themes of dictatorship and little light relief, this movie is most suitable for kids aged 11 and over.

  • Violence: 4/5 (One character attempts to upset Tris for fun by blaming her for her parents’ deaths. She responds by suddenly attacking him and holding a knife against his throat before she is pulled away. A young girl, aged around 8 years old has a gun pointed at her head and for 5-10 seconds it is unclear whether she is going to die. One character has their nose broken and lands heavily against a glass wall. Blood is smeared all over the glass and his nose and he appears to be in some pain. Many ‘bad’ characters are killed including some major ones. These deaths tend to be by people being shot in the head although very little blood is seen)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (Most deaths are either ‘bad’ characters or characters who are not fully established in the storyline so should not be too upsetting. One major character dies and is seen with blood coming from their ears and nose. Another character derives cruel pleasure from making a character emotionally suffer by saying they will show them the body of a loved one.)
  • Fear Factor: 3/5 (several tense scenes where characters have to fight their way out of a situation or use their intellect to get out of a dangerous situation)
  • Sexual Content: 3/5 (A female character is seen in a shower and although it is clear that she is naked, the camera only shows her from the shoulders up)          
  • Bad Language: 2/5 (a couple of moderate curse words are used)
  • Dialogue: 3/5 (lots of dialogue involving deaths, killings, oppression and cruelty. The ‘bad’ characters have no good in them at all and either enjoy hurting innocent people or are completely uncaring of other people’s suffering)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of rebellion, oppression, fighting for the good of innocent people, sacrifice, bravery and love.

Words by Laura Record

Insurgent [Blu-ray] [2015]

New From: £3.10 GBP In Stock

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