As teens, we all suspected that something nefarious lurked just beneath the surface of every well-scrubbed suburban home development. In "The Giver," Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) finds out the secret of his wholesome-seeming society, and yeah, there are some big secrets behind all the sunny smiles. Like those daily injections all the kids have to take. What are up with those?
Jonas is already getting a little too curious for his own good when he's given the role of "Receiver of Memory." That means he's one of the very few people who gets access to all sorts of crazy cosmic truths and secrets, just by holding hands with The Giver (a sensei-like Jeff Bridges). Looks pretty trippy! As you can glean from this trailer, Jonas is not too psyched with what he learns, and the feeling is mutual. Meryl Streep appears as a society elder whose job is to keep things running smoothly -- and that includes everyone taking their daily injections and coloring within the lines. Although she obviously rules with an iron fist, Streep has definitely taken it down a notch or two since last summer's "August: Osage County."
Forget about "Anastasia Krupnik." You can tell this Lois Lowry tale is serious business because there are people wearing menacingly futuristic uniforms, and Jonas is running away with someone's baby.
If there's anything worse than a nasty, dirty, violent future, it's a sparkling clean one where nothing bad happens. Maybe there should be a sequel where Jonas is dropped off in Panem.
"The Giver" hits theaters August 15, 2014. Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgard co-star in this film by Phillip Noyce ("Salt," "Rabbit-Proof Fence"). A fun game is to try and see if Taylor Swift is anywhere in the trailer!