Anthem of a Teenage Prophet (2018)

Director: Robin Hays

Writer: Joshua Close, Andy Matic, Elisha Matic (Screenplay) Joanne Proulx (Novel)

Starring: Cameron Monaghan, Grayson Gabriel, Peyton List, Juliette Lewis, Aaron Pearl, Richard de Klerk, Alex MacNicoll


Plot: Anthem tells the story of Luke (Monaghan) a teenager who foresees the death of his new best friend Stan (MacNicoll), the most popular guy in school. When this premonition becomes reality, Luke must deal with the trials and tribulations of being dubbed “The Prophet of Death” and being titled a freak by the entire town.


Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Coming-of-Age Film


Story: Anthem of a Teenage Prophet starts when high school stoner Luke Hunter (Monaghan) gets a vision that his close friend Stan (MacNicoll) will be killed on the way to school in the morning, the next morning, Stan is killed, leaving the rumours about his vision spreading like wildfire through the town. Stan’s girlfriend Faith (List) is broken up about his death as you would imagine, while Luke feels the guilt of not being able to help.

When Luke suffers a second vision of death, he tries to stop it, failing in the process, his mother Mary (Lewis) tries to help him as Luke must face the reality that he will be heading off to college and this new pressure is only going to make his life more stressful.


Thoughts on Anthem of a Teenage Prophet


Characters – Luke Hunter is the normal high school slacker, he spends his time getting stoned more often than studying and it is while getting high, he gets the vision of his best friend dying, when it actually happens, he is left guilt riddled and scared of just what he might be capable off, add in the pressures of high school, the anxiety of growing up and living up to his parents expectations, Luke will face the toughest couple of months of his life. Faith was the girlfriend of Stan the teenager killed, she is left broken and turns to Luke for friendship through the difficult time. Mary is Luke’s mother that does her best to help him through his own struggles with what he saw and what he is going through when it comes to his future. Fang is Luke’s oldest friend, he has his own problems and with Luke being there for him, the question remains can they help each other through the struggles.

PerformancesCameron Monaghan in the leading role here is outstanding, we get to see him show nearly every emotion imaginable for a teenager going through the troubles of high school, we understand each moment and this is because of his performance. Peyton List continues to give us strong performances here with her work, showing the loss she suffered in the film. Juliette Lewis bring the experience to the film handling the mother role effortlessly and knowing how to like Monaghan take centre stage.

StoryThe story here shows the struggles a teenager has after having a vision of his best friend being killed becomes a reality and he must deal with the guilt of not being able to stop the accident, while continuing to use this gift to try and help other people close to his life with their own struggles. This story gets to reflect high school anxiety, pressure and demand with the guilt of not being there for friends, showing us how a couple of moments extra time with each person in your own life will provide a positive out light which will make life more enjoyable, even after getting through tragic events. This is going to be one of the best coming of age stories you will see this year, balancing everything out perfectly for the story to unfold at a natural pace.

SettingsThe film is set in mall town America, showing the unity between the people in the neighbourhood and the desire to escape to make the most of life from the students, we have iconic settings that will help people achieve what they want from their moments in life.

Scene of the Movie –

That Moment That Annoyed Me How easy it is for the teenagers to get drugs.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best films you will see, it has a serious subject matter that is relatable for the audience as well as showing us just how hard the modern pressures of teenage life can be.


Overall: Must watch coming of age film.





Jamie Marks is Dead (2014)

Director: Carter Smith

Writer: Carter Smith (Screenplay) Christopher Barzak (Novel)

Starring: Morgan Saylor, Noah Silver, Cameron Monaghan, Brett DelBuono, Fred Tolliver Jr, Ronen Rubinstein, Liv Tyler, Judy Greer


Plot: In a wintry small town, the body of a teenager named Jamie Marks is found by the river. Adam, the star of his cross-country team, becomes fascinated with Jamie-a boy nobody really knew or interacted with, except occasionally to bully him. When Jamie’s ghost begins to appear both to Adam and Gracie, the classmate who discovered the body, Adam is caught between two worlds. He has a budding romance with Gracie, but he also feels a deep connection to Jamie, who brings him closer to the world of the undead.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Interesting Drama


Story: Jamie Marks is Dead starts with the discovery of Jamie Marks (Silver) body in a riverine in the small town he is from, bullied by most, it is Adam (Monaghan) who looks back at his brief memories of his time with Jamie wanting to pay respect to where he was discovered, where he meets Gracie (Saylor) the girl who found the body.

When Adam becomes friends with Gracie the pair start to get visits from the ghost of Jamie which drives Adam’s interest into what happened to him leading him down the narrow road between life and death as he is left to question his own sexuality and uncover the mystery surrounding Jamie’s death.


Thoughts on Jamie Marks is Dead


Characters/PerformanceAdam is the star runner at his high school, he keeps to himself without getting involved in being or conducting any bullying. He gets drawn to what happened to one of the victims of the bullying as he hits the awkward age where he must discover his own sexuality. Gracie is the one friend Adam finds himself having, she is also a lonely character that is seeing the ghost of Jamie too but not on the same level as Adam. She does also give the warnings about getting to know the ghost can be. Jamie is the bullied school boy who ends up dead, he returns as a ghost to show Adam a way through life getting him to help solve his murder or the mystery surround his death.

The performance are all good from the main actors, they help unfold the story for us in a way that keeps us interested in seeing where it will go.

StoryThe story does follow on high school student that is trying to figure out who he is, be it in life, he sexuality and his draw towards a recent death in the town. Looking at how it all unfolds we get elements of the ghosts of our past guiding us to the answers that seem easiest rather than the ones we need to see. This is slow moving at time but does keep you full attention to just what will happen.

SettingsThe small town settings is always good for the dramas as it shows how the town can show us just how cruel people can be and how easily the stories can spread.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that is good for what it is telling us, we have a good story, good acting and a meaningful message.


Overall: Drama that keeps your attention without being edge of your seat.




The Giver (2014)

giverDirector: Phillip Noyce

Writer: Michael Mitnick, Robert B Weide (Screenplay) Lois Lowry (Book)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan, Taylor Swift


Plot: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Enjoyable


Story: The Giver starts by taking us to the community that has been formed after war where we meet Jonas (Thwaites) who about to be assigned his job once they finish school, along with his best friends Fiona (Rush) and Asher (Monaghan). Jonas has always been thinking he doesn’t fit in, you know what this is just going to be the same old young adult idea, I can see it coming.

Jonas gets given the ultimate honour being selected as the new receiver of memories the highest honour anyone could get in the community. He receives training from The Giver (Bridges) the close to retirement age meaning he will give Jonas al of the memories of human history the one thing no one in the community is allowed to have.

Becoming the Receive means he can change the rules learn about something beyond their world which could bring down the community forever as Jonas becomes confused that no one else is allowed to feel these memoires.

The Giver is another young adult film that follows the traditional style of the film with an almost check list of ABC of things to see in the movie. I did like the idea of how the world is created and could fully believe that it comes off correctly for these people. I did like how the emotions really hitting our character and how it changes him. Where it could come off negatively is that we did see this happen to often in the genre but if this is a one off film in the genre it would have been a lot popular and we would see the end of the story in later film.


Actor Review


Brenton Thwaites: Jonas reaches the age where all school student graduates and enter into the chosen careers, Jonas is given the biggest honour and that is being the next Receiver. Jonas has to go through training which is going to give him all the emotions from human history but this only drives his desires to learn more about the world he lives in. Brenton is good in this leading role fitting the traits needed for the young adult genre.

Jeff Bridges: The Giver is the outgoing Receiver that needs to train Jonas and not make the mistakes he has made before. He tries a different approach from a life time of having the memories that have consumed him free the rest of the community. Jeff is good in this role never looking too out of place.

Meryl Streep: Chief Elder runs the community and with this power she watches over everything making sure everything in the community stays calm. Meryl is good in this supporting without really getting to the highest levels of her abilities.

Alexander Skarsgard: Father is the man that has raised Jonas because in this world you don’t have parents, he is good man never understand anything he does could be wrong. Alexander is solid in this supporting role.

Support Cast: The Giver has a small supporting cast with the genetic characters you would expect to see like the love interest and the reluctant best friend going into battle. They all work well in the stories path that help along the way.

Director Review: Phillip NoycePhillip does give us a good young adult film which does come off like the ones we have seen before.


Romance: The Giver does use the love angle to push the character to finally achieve the freedom desired.

Sci-Fi: The Giver puts us into a world where emotions are banned and well we have seen before but everything comes off really well.

Settings: The Giver creates a world we can see isolated from the world believe they are safe in their ways.
Special Effects
: The Giver has good special effects to make see the black and white mix with the colour being seen by the characters.

Suggestion: The Giver is one to try if you are a fan of the young adult genre. (Try It)


Best Part: The world created.

Worst Part: It is a builder film.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Search for truth. Find freedom.


Overall: Another good addition to the young adult genre.