Since Lois Lowry‘s The Giver was published 21 years ago there’s been an abundance of YA novels that have explored similar territory, likely inspired by her ubiquitous summer reading assignment. Director Philip Noyce‘s film is at a disadvantage in that regard, playing catch up on a trend launched partly by the material he’s adapting. The slew of recent young adult films haven’t been wildly dissimilar from one another, often dealing with characters trying to break free from a familiar dystopia, yet Noyce’s film manages to standout from the herd by being a surprisingly faithful and, more importantly, good adaptation. In this black-and-white community, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is about to turn 16 years old, which means getting a job assignment. Jonas’s assignment isn’t one he’s ever heard of: receiver of memory. As the job title implies, it’s someone who holds the memories of the old world, where there was war, music, dancing, love, and all other kinds of emotions that have no place in this perfect future, which is led by the chilly Chief Elder (Meryl Streep). The man who prepares Jonas for his position is known as The Giver (Jeff Bridges). He slowly shares memories of the way things used to be, opening the young man’s eyes until he sees his world for what it truly is: a lie. Jonas rebels.