Insurgent Movie Review for Kids

Insurgent Movie Review for Kids

Is the second installment of the Divergent series, Insurgent, an appropriate movie for kids?

Insurgent is the continued story of Tris, Four, and the entire city of a futuristic Chicago that has been divided into five factions according to the personalities of the people.

In the first movie of the series, we see a violent power struggle take place for rulership of the factions. Because Tris is a Divergent (one of the people who don’t fit into just one faction) the Erudite rulers try to kill her and others like her. Long story short, she saves many people from killing others while having their minds controlled, then she leaves the city with several loved ones.

In this second installment of the Divergent series, Tris and company are figuring out how to fight against Jeanine (the president) and the Erudite rulers in order to stop the continued tyranny and murder being committed. Jeanine has found a Box that she needs open with a message from the Founders, which can only be opened by a Divergent. She believes this will restore order and publicly justify the need to eliminate all Divergents.

Sounds like a fight scene or two might be in order, right?

Positive Elements

Tris and Four are both very self-sacrificing characters who frequently risk their own lives for others. Other main characters also put the lives of others before their own as well.

Tris displays mercy multiple times to people who have betrayed her, killed other people, etc. This mercy comes from a strong sense of love towards others, especially for those close to her.

Four is very protective of Tris, seeking to keep her safe at all times. When Jeanine demands that the factionless turn Tris in so that more people won’t die, Four continues to protect her and refuses to give her up as a sacrifice.

Johanna (leader of Amity) tries to protect Tris, Four, and others for as long as she is able to. Jack Kang (leader of Candor) puts Tris and Four on trial and determines their innocence in court. After this, he seeks to help them.

Negative Elements

Sexual: At one point in the movie, Tris and Four apparently have sex. They both remove their shirts and kiss, with the camera giving us a view of her bare back and side, plus his bare upper half. The camera focuses on them for a short, intimate kissing scene. The next scene then shows them cuddling in bed.

Another brief scene shows Tris in the shower (from the shoulders up).

Some of the clothes worn by main characters are very tight, with some of the women showing cleavage. We also see Tris in a white nightgown.

Violence: The body count in this movie gets pretty high. The most disturbing scenes are the ones where main characters kill others, execution-style with a gun to the head. Tris almost commits suicide at one point, pointing a gun at her own head.

Several characters are shot and experience mind-control, leading them to try to commit suicide by jumping off a ledge. One of them actually does commit suicide in this manner.

The Divergents who go through a simulation to open the Box have needles attached to them that suspends them in the air. We see them twist and turn while in the simulation, facing great dangers and fighting other people. In real life, we see them bleeding out of their nose and ears as they get closer to death. We see one Divergent’s body snap as she dies while in the simulation.

Fight scenes appear throughout the movie, with guns, swords, knives, fists, pipes, and various other means being used as weapons against each other. A few people are beaten up, with blood showing on their faces.

At one point, Tris and Four receive truth serum, which inflicts pain on them when they try to lie. We see them get injections into their necks. There are a few other points where injections are used as well.

Language: There were 4-5 occurrences with swear words.

Additional: Some characters lie and betray each other.


Insurgent is an action-packed movie that is very confusing at times. The story doesn’t always make sense. When watching the movie, it felt like the audience either didn’t have all the needed information for the storyline, or the script was just written semi-poorly. Most kids won’t understand the bigger themes in the movie, such as the liberation of the Divergents, but will pick up on the concrete themes listed above. They will see some examples of mercy and self-sacrifice amidst terrible violence.

Unfortunately, this movie was much more graphic than the first Divergent movie, mostly with the gruesome violence. Considering this movie was designed for teens, I’m disappointing that there was a scene with partial nudity as well, which was a very sensuous scene with kissing and caressing.

Insurgent was much more gruesome than the first Divergent movie. Because of the graphic scenes, I wouldn’t recommend taking kids to this movie.

Kid-friendly Rating: Two-thumbs down.