The Dystopian Sci-Fi Movie On Free Streaming Should Have Been A Superhero Franchise

By Steven Nelson | Published

darkest minds

Dive into a world where the youth are not just misunderstood, but also feared for the powers they hold. In The Darkest Minds, a compelling science fiction thriller brought to you by the creators of the celebrated series Stranger Things, we explore a dystopian society that casts away its own future generation.

Strap in for a narrative where the stakes are high and the young protagonists bear the burden of change. Now streaming free on Amazon Freevee, this cinematic journey brings together elements of survival, friendship, and the undeniable strength of unity amidst chaos.

The Darkest Minds is a dystopian sci-fi thriller based on the novel of the same name by Alexandra Bracken

In the not-so-distant future, The Darkest Minds immerses viewers into a world overtaken by a mysterious pandemic, which either kills the children or leaves them with potent supernatural abilities.

The government, gripped by fear and an insatiable desire for control, rounds up the surviving children, segregating them into color-coded groups based on the perceived threat level of their newfound abilities.

the darkest minds

Amidst this bleak backdrop, we meet our heroine, Ruby Daly, a 16-year-old with formidable abilities that place her in the most dangerous category, the “Oranges.”

Determined to break free from the oppressive government facility she’s confined in, Ruby manages to escape, finding herself in the company of a group of runaway teens – Liam, a “Blue” with telekinesis powers, Chubs, a super-intelligent “Green,” and Zu, a young “Yellow” capable of controlling electricity.

In The Darkest Minds, youth that survive have superpowers. 

Together, they embark on a perilous journey to find a safe haven, a mythical place rumored to harbor kids like them. Along the way, they forge strong bonds, navigate threats, and discover the power and responsibility that comes with their abilities, all while challenging the fearful society that seeks to suppress them.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Alexandra Bracken, the film beautifully intertwines elements of adventure, romance, and rebellion, painting a poignant picture of friendship and courage amidst adversity. The ensemble cast brings depth to their characters, with Amandla Stenberg leading the way with a powerful portrayal of Ruby, alongside Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks, and Miya Cech in supporting roles. 

the darkest minds

This group of resilient young individuals strives to change the narrative, proving that they are not the threat society has labeled them to be, but rather the beacon of hope for a brighter future.

The Darkest Minds stars Amandla Stenberg along with Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks, and Miya Cech

The Darkest Minds faced a diverse spectrum of opinions among critics, finding itself somewhat ensnared in the middle ground between praise and criticism (though admittedly more towards the latter). While the film was applauded for its young and vibrant cast, led by a striking performance from Amandla Stenberg, many felt that the narrative trod too familiar a path, echoing elements from a host of young adult dystopian movies that preceded it.

Critics pointed out that despite its attempt to carve out a unique space in the dystopian genre, the movie couldn’t fully shake off comparisons with notable franchises such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.

Some suggested it failed to bring a fresh perspective or new depth to a well-tread genre. Furthermore, there were sentiments that the film was unable to fully flesh out its intriguing premise, resulting in a narrative that sometimes felt rushed and underdeveloped. It’s currently sitting at a paltry 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Nonetheless, The Darkest Minds found a more favorable reception with the audiences who appreciated the film’s portrayal of friendship, empowerment, and rebellion, elements that resonate well with the young adult demographic. Its underlying messages of unity, perseverance, and the fight against oppression struck a chord with viewers who could overlook its shortcomings and enjoy the ride. 

The visual effects and action sequences were also noted as highlights, drawing viewers into the dangerous yet enticing world that The Darkest Minds sought to portray.

In the box office realm, the film faced stiff competition, and its performance was somewhat underwhelming, not fully recouping its production budget during its theatrical run. While it might not have been a standout blockbuster, The Darkest Minds still managed to cultivate a devoted fan base, appreciative of its efforts to bring Alexandra Bracken’s beloved novel to life on the big screen.

The Darkest Minds never garnered any sequels in what could have been a budding superhero franchise

That being said, plans for more movies in The Darkest Minds series never materialized. Between the box office and critical run, there simply wasn’t an appetite for more stories in this potential superhero franchise.

In conclusion, The Darkest Minds emerges as a flick with undoubted potential and vibrant youthful energy, echoing the rebellious spirit of the generation it portrays. Despite facing a tough crowd of critics and a familiar narrative terrain, the movie holds a special place in the hearts of those who resonate with its underlying message of resilience and friendship. 

While it may not have broken new ground, its essence remains a testament to the ever-evolving, relentless spirit of young adult dystopian cinema, cementing its place as a watchable entry in a genre replete with tales of youthful rebellion and resilience. It stands as a reminder that sometimes, a spark of originality can be found in even the most familiar landscapes.