'Divergent' 2014: Assigning factions to some of the new year's biggest movies

'Divergent'

'Divergent' (January 2, 2014)

In “Divergent,” the Chicago-set adaptation of Veronica Roth’s novel that’s also the most-anticipated movie of early 2014, society is divided into factions emphasizing bravery (Dauntless), honesty (Candor), intelligence (Erudite), selflessness (Abnegation) and peacefulness (Amity). A person inconclusively split between them is called Divergent, and one unable to join a group is Factionless.

With that in mind, let’s look at the most notable movies opening between now and April and to which “Divergent” faction they might belong. Hint: Many characters need bravery!
 
1/10: Lone Survivor
Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster star in a fact-based story about a failed military operation in Afghanistan. Peter Berg (“The Kingdom”) directs.
Faction: Dauntless and Abnegation. Divergent!
 
1/10: The Legend of Hercules
Zeus’ half-God son gets the non-animated treatment, starring Kellan Lutz’s torso.
Faction: Dauntless
 
1/17: Ride Along
Before he can propose to his girlfriend, a guy (Kevin Hart) must prove his worthiness to her cop brother (Ice Cube)—which includes joining him for a [look at the movie’s title now].
Faction: Candor and Dauntless. Divergent!
 
1/17: Devil’s Due
Evanston’s Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”) gets another chance at movie stardom in this horror flick about, surprise surprise, a possible evil presence.
Faction: Dauntless
 
1/17: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Chris Pine steps in as the Tom Clancy-created CIA agent (previously played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck) to try to save America and so forth.
Faction: Erudite and Dauntless. Divergent!
 
1/24: Gimme Shelter
A young woman (Vanessa Hudgens) runs from her abusive mother (Rosario Dawson) in search of support after learning that she’s pregnant.
Faction: Abnegation and Amity. Divergent!
 
1/24: I, Frankenstein
In the sort of grandiose silliness that often stars Paul Bettany (“Legion”), Aaron Eckhart plays Dr. Frankenstein’s creation, who apparently is just one of many monsters out and about.
Faction: Factionless for now.
 
1/31: That Awkward Moment
Three dudes (Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan) bro it up and wind up confronting the possibility of—ahh!—relationships in this raunchy comedy.
Faction: Candor
 
1/31: Labor Day
Kate Winslet scored a Golden Globe nod for this Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”)-directed drama about an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) who kidnaps a woman and her son.
Faction: Dauntless and Candor. Divergent!
 
1/31: At Middleton
A man (Andy Garcia) and woman (Vera Farmiga) hit it off while touring a college with their kids. Farmiga’s younger sister Taissa (“The Bling Ring”) plays her daughter.
Faction: Amity
 
2/7: The Monuments Men
A man played by George Clooney rounds up a team to help with a dangerous mission. This isn’t “Ocean’s Fourteen,” though; it’s based on the true story of guys protecting valuable works of art during WWII.
Faction: Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity and Erudite! Thus: Divergent.
 
2/7: The Lego Movie
Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks lend their voices for this animated flick, which doesn’t look terrible, about a guy who of course discovers he will determine the fate of the world.
Faction: Dauntless
 
2/12: RoboCop
A reboot (starring non-household name Joel Kinnaman) may not sound like a good idea, but the involvement of Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley and Jay Baruchel counts for something.
Faction: Dauntless
 
2/14: About Last Night
The 1986 Rob Lowe/Demi Moore romantic comedy had no diversity whatsoever and was set in Chicago. The 2014 version moves to L.A. with an African-American cast headlined by Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant, Kevin Hart and Regina Hall.
Faction: Candor
 
2/14: Vampire Academy
Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”) directs another story about mean girls. Well, this time they’re not so much mean as following their natural, vampire-y thirst for blood.
Faction: Factionless
 
2/14: Winter’s Tale
A man (Colin Farrell) travels across space and time or something as he uses powers of reincarnation to save the woman (Jessica Brown Findlay) he loves.
Faction: Abnegation
 
2/14: Endless Love
What a concept: A story about a wealthy girl (Gabriella Wilde of “Carrie”) and a rougher guy (Alex Pettyfer of “Magic Mike”). This looks steamy, though.
Faction: Factionless
 
2/21: Pompeii
Gladiators! Lava! Romance! Starring Kit Harington of “Game of Thrones.”
Faction: Dauntless
 
2/21: In Secret
Understandably, a woman (Elizabeth Olsen) prefers a painter (Oscar Isaac of “Inside Llewyn Davis”) to the guy who played Draco in “Harry Potter” (Tom Felton). Passion and murder results.
Faction: Factionless
 
2/21: Barefoot
Scott Speedman (“Felicity”) is starring in a movie?! He’s the rich guy falling for an unrefined girl (Evan Rachel Wood) who’s spent almost her entire life inside. All right, then.
Faction: Candor
 
2/21: 3 Days to Kill
Will a former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) bust out his gun again if it could save his life? Of course. It also helps when the offer comes from Amber Heard (“Machete Kills”) and you want to be around for your daughter (Hailee Steinfeld).
Faction: Dauntless
 
2/28: Non-Stop
An air marshal (Liam Neeson) isn’t hijacking this plane! He’s trying to figure out who’s killing people until money is transferred! Co-starring Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”).
Faction: Dauntless and Abnegation. Divergent!
 
3/7: 300: Rise of an Empire
Greeks and Persians return to the battlefield. Sullivan Stapleton (“Strike Back”) takes over for Gerard Butler. What does it mean when Butler turns down a movie?
Faction: Dauntless
 
3/14: Grace of Monaco
Nicole Kidman plays Hollywood legend Grace Kelly. Politics and love are at stake. The cast features everyone from Frank Langella to Milo Ventimiglia to Parker Posey.
Faction: Erudite
 
3/14: Need For Speed
Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) gets a shot at big-screen stardom in this very “Fast and Furious”-looking action flick about a street racer out for vengeance.
Faction: Dauntless
 
3/21: Divergent
In a dystopian Chicago, Tris (Shailene Woodley) departs Abnegation in hopes of securing a spot among the Dauntless. It won’t be easy. Her instructor Four (Theo James) seems to have her back.
Faction: Divergent, obviously.
 
3/21: Muppets Most Wanted
A case of mistaken identity lands Kermit in jail and a look-alike thief on track for a jewel heist. Hey, it worked in “The Great Muppet Caper”! Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell co-star in the Jason Segel-less sequel.
Faction: Factionless, but the Muppets are their own faction so it’s OK.
 
3/21: Stretch
Joe Carnahan (“The Grey”) helms this action flick about a limo driver and a jerky rich guy. There’s no trailer yet, but Chris Pine, Patrick Wilson, Jessica Alba, Ed Helms and Brooklyn Decker star.
Faction: TBD
 
3/28: A Haunted House 2
There is nothing that needs to be said about this sequel to the terrible 2013 comedy, starring Marlon Wayans.
Faction: Factionless
 
4/4: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The trailer suggests the directors of “You, Me and Dupree,” jumping in for this sequel to 2011’s solid “Captain America: The First Avenger,” have done an exciting job with a movie that seems even more Marvel-y than its predecessor. Chris Evans remains a quality choice for the hero.
Faction: Dauntless and Abnegation. Divergent!
 
4/11: Draft Day
Kevin Costner, Mr. Sports Movie, stars with Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary in this story about the Cleveland Browns organization trying to secure its top draft pick.
Faction: Candor
 
4/11: St. Vincent de Van Nuys
Any kind of movie starring Bill Murray is exciting, as is a drama with Melissa McCarthy. They both appear in this story about a child of divorce finding guidance in his war vet neighbor.
Faction: Abnegation
 
4/16: Heaven is for Real
Greg Kinnear stars in this adaptation of the New York Times bestselling book, based on the true story of a child believed to have returned from a near-death experience with a vision of the afterlife.
Faction: Amity
 
4/18: Transcendence
Johnny Depp and Kate Mara star in the directing/co-writing debut for Chicago native cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight," "Inception"), which, with its mind-bending plot about technological advancement and what it can and can’t do, could be very Christopher Nolan-esque.
Faction: Erudite

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.

 

CHICAGO

More