7 best movies like 'Divergent' to stream right now

Shailene Woodley and Theo James in Divergent
(Image credit: Alamy)

There's nothing quite like a dystopian sci-fi thriller and "Divergent" is a shining example of what the genre can offer. 

Where to stream 'Divergent'

"Divergent," "Insurgent" and "Allegiant" are streaming on Netflix

"Divergent," based on the 2011 novel of the same name, explores a post-apocalyptic Chicago in a world where society has been divided into multiple factions. They're bestowed with privileges the rest of society, the Factionless, won't ever see. At the age of 16, children take aptitude tests to figure out which faction they belong to or they can choose where they belong best. When 16-year-old Beatrice Prior uncovers evidence of some shady dealings by an already iffy government based on this system, things change forever. 

If you're looking for other movies like "Divergent" and its sequels "Insurgent" and "Allegiant" to give you that same rush of adrenaline right now, we've compiled some of the best movies you can watch right now that follow similar beats.

'The Hunger Games'

The Hunger Games (2012 Movie) - Official Theatrical Trailer - Jennifer Lawrence & Liam Hemsworth - YouTube The Hunger Games (2012 Movie) - Official Theatrical Trailer - Jennifer Lawrence & Liam Hemsworth - YouTube
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Another dystopian story based on a best-selling set of books, "The Hunger Games" takes you to the nation of Panem, which was once North America. The Capitol controls the 12 districts of Panem by forcing each one to send one boy and one girl as tributes to compete in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a televised event where all of the tributes must fight each other until only one is left alive. 

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), the female tribute from District 12, is skilled at hunting, with sharp instincts. But in the Hunger Games arena, Katniss will have to choose between survival and love if she wants to emerge victorious and lay out a new life for herself and her family. 

Watch on Apple TV Plus

'The Maze Runner'

The Maze Runner | Official Final Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX - YouTube The Maze Runner | Official Final Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX - YouTube
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"The Maze Runner" follows Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), a teenager who wakes up in a giant maze with no memory of his past. He joins a group of other boys who are also trapped in the maze, which is constantly changing and patrolled by other Runners who map it to try to find a way out. Thomas soon becomes a Runner along with the only girl in the group, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). Together, they may have the key to escaping the maze. But first, they have to convince the others, who have been stuck there for years, to try and escape with them. 

Watch on Tubi

'The Giver'

The Giver - Trailer - YouTube The Giver - Trailer - YouTube
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Here's another powerful story based on a young adult novel that you may have read in school. Jonas (Brendon Thwaites) thinks he lives in the perfect society, but that doesn't last after he begins to uncover dark secrets about the community around him. He is mentored by an elder known as The Giver, who has a wealth of forbidden knowledge about the past. Jonas soon realizes he must escape his idyllic life to protect himself and those he cares about. But escaping means outwitting a community that has never let anyone successfully do so before, and Jonas struggles with figuring out the best path forward. 

Watch on Max

'The 5th Wave'

THE 5TH WAVE - Official Trailer (HD) - YouTube THE 5TH WAVE - Official Trailer (HD) - YouTube
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Teenager Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) lives a normal life before she finds herself struggling to survive in a world devastated by alien attacks. With the human race facing extinction, Cassie is separated from her family during the chaos. Desperate to find her brother Sam (Zackary Arthur), Cassie ends up joining forces with a mysterious young man, who may be her only hope for reuniting with her brother amidst the ongoing alien invasion. They're forced to trust each other as they fight to stay alive during the fifth attack, hence the movie's name. 

Watch on Starz

'Ender's Game'

Ender's Game Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Harrison Ford Movie HD - YouTube Ender's Game Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Harrison Ford Movie HD - YouTube
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After an alien race called the Formics attacks Earth, only the heroic Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) can win a victory for humanity. In preparation for the next attack, Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) starts up a military program to find Earth's next great defender. He identifies a gifted recruit named Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), who has incredible talent and masters every challenge thrown at him. To get Ender ready for the coming war, Mazer Rackham himself mentors the Wiggin. With the future of humankind hanging in the balance, Ender has to train as hard as possible to stave off the Formics. 

Watch on Netflix

'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones'

THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES - Official Trailer - YouTube THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES - Official Trailer - YouTube
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Clary Fray (Lily Collins) is an ordinary teenager who discovers she descends from a line of demon-fighting warriors called Shadowhunters. After her mother mysteriously vanishes, Clary joins a group of Shadowhunters to search for her. She then discovers Downworld, a realm filled with vampires, demons and other supernatural beings. Clary and her new allies must find an ancient relic that holds the key to rescuing her mother. Of course, to retrieve her mother, Clary has to face off against all the supernatural creatures now on her trail. 

Rent/buy on Amazon or Apple

'The Darkest Minds'

The Darkest Minds | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX - YouTube The Darkest Minds | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX - YouTube
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In a world where teenagers mysteriously develop extraordinary abilities, they're treated like X-Men in that they're looked down on and even imprisoned for their powers. A girl named Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) escapes from her detention camp and joins a group of fellow runaways. They come to terms with the fact that they must stand up and fight back against the adults who betrayed them. Ruby and her friends harness their collective powers and launch a resistance against the forces that seek to control them. Next stop: taking down the system and living new, free lives. 

Rent/buy on Amazon or Apple

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Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.