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

January 02, 2014|Matt Pais, @mattpais | RedEye movie critic

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

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