The Darkest Minds

Rated 2.0

After a disease wipes out 90 percent of America’s children, the survivors all have mutant powers that make them a threat to adults; they are to be either sent to concentration camps or killed. If you’ve seen The Hunger Games, Divergent or The Maze Runner, there are no surprises in this low-rent X-Men knockoff (from Alexandra Bracken’s novel), just the usual tale of bravely “special” teenagers bent on saving the world from treacherous adults. Chad Hodge’s script is top-heavy with confusing exposition, and the whole thing is hopelessly derivative, but director Jennifer Yuh Nelson keeps things moving right along, and the cast—led by Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson and Mandy Moore—is okay. Bracken’s book was the first of a trilogy, so the movie’s makers clearly harbor hopes of a franchise. Fat chance.