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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1082 Ratings

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  1. Nov 22, 2013
    I really liked The Hunger Games, it was truly different, original and overall very entertaining and touching. Catching fire is a really big improvement on the first Hunger Games, no shaky cameras first of all. Not always that we get good sequels, this middle installment of a great upcoming trilogy is fun, although gripping and violent, entertaining for everyone looking for a good time.
  2. Nov 22, 2013
    The first hour or so of this movie is wonderful. It really fleshes out the setting of the sci-fi dystopia seen only very briefly in the first movie. The second half is a train wreck of improbable circumstances and impossible to follow action scenes. People just seem to... DO THINGS for no explainable reason. I've never seen a movie go from pretty good to horrible beyond saving so quickly. If you look closely you can spot where it happens. It's right around where the actual "Hunger Games" part begins. Expand
  3. Nov 23, 2013
    Winner of the Most Hyped Disapointment of the Year Award for sure.
    Francis Lawrence attempts to fit all the features of the book into the movie whilst trying to stick to the 2 and a half hour limit, which results in it all looking half assed and rushed, that people seem to be talking over each other and it all goes to the point where I would be happier if they had just left it out, any
    character development the book had has been left out, most of the characters' actions get explained perfectly in the book, in the movie it leaves the audience confused. For some inexplicable reason everyone has taken up the practise of cussing at random, and for some reason one of Katniss's prep team was killed offscreen.
    Please try harder in the future Francis Lawrence, for the sake of the fandom, humanity even.
  4. Nov 22, 2013
    Absolutely perfect. There is nothing else I can possibly say, because that it all there is to say. I think I'll go watch the movie again, and then read the book again, then watch the movie again. Just perfect.
  5. Nov 22, 2013
    Warning: I am fairly easy to please. With that said, I was so incredibly floored by how great this movie is. Very intense, action packed, and emotionally charged--the Mockingjay sequels will have a lot of work to do to top Catching Fire. That may be difficult since the final book in the trilogy overall had the lower ratings.

    Catching Fire was, IMO, very close to the book's plot; at
    the very least, it stays closer to the book than the first film in the series did. And comparing this to the first film... Catching Fire is hands down MUCH better. I loved the first film but thank goodness that director is out of the franchise now. Oh and the shaky cam is not overdone so if you get nausea from that, you will enjoy this film even more.

    All of the characters were superb--I particularly loved Elizabeth Banks as Effie.

    I'll be honest, I think I am going to try to check this movie out again this weekend to help boost those opening weekend numbers. Here's to hoping that their opening weekend becomes the second best of all time behind Avengers, which I have a feeling is currently untouchable (though I would LOVE to see CF top Avengers opening weekend numbers).
  6. Dec 1, 2013
    wow i cant believe this is rated good its boring and the hype shouldent be here considering how bad the first one is just fan of the books giving it good rating that annoys me so much
  7. Dec 2, 2013
    This isn't a sci-fi action flick. It is 2 hours of trying on outfits and lamenting about which man to love. Go for the one society tells me to? or go for the salt of the earth hunter. What a new theme!! Oh, and don't forget the 'I am humble, but damn I look good as a princess' storyline. very inventive. After you sit through the 2 hour drawl of the aforementioned, you get 20 solid minutes of psuedo action. Followed by a close up ending that would make JJ Abrahms in his pants. I lost 3 hours of my life that night. Expand
  8. Nov 22, 2013
    This film was amazing! So much better than the first. The characters were so much more believable and the visuals were stunning. This is probably my favourite film of the year!
  9. Nov 22, 2013
    This movie surprise me a lot, the best movie of the series, amazing effects and we also can't forget the beautiful performance of Jennifer Lawrence; and at the end of the movie you stay looking forward to the next one.
  10. Nov 22, 2013
    Quite possibly the best book to movie adaption ever made. I'm speechless. Not one second was wasted. The acting, the storytelling, the graphics. I felt like I was literally rereading the book... on screen
  11. Nov 22, 2013
    This installment of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, is missing the intense relationships that the first movie had between the actors built up to the games and during the games. you dont even know how half of the players of the game died. The movie is all mixed up and is impossible to follow at points. katniss seemed to have constipation throughout the movie. The ending of the movie was a buzz kill. Wont say anymore because I dont want to ruin it for people who did not see it yet. I will say that it does not come close to the first movie. Hope the director has something hidden in his pocket to bring this movie back to life. Expand
  12. Dec 31, 2013
    Beautifully shot and compelling throughout, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire captures the perfect essence and tone of the book while never straying away from it.
  13. Nov 30, 2013
    Read the review, not the score
    Honestly this is one of the best adaptation i have ever seen, there are a couple scenes from the book that i would have liked to see, but they hit it on the nail. Instead of trying to force the book to fit into a movie, they took the book an re-wrote parts to make it s great movie, without losing any of the meaning in the book. This is easily the best movie
    i have seen this year. Expand
  14. Nov 22, 2013
    Catching Fire was incredible. I was able to watch the Double Feature of 1 and 2 back to back, so I got a real clarification of the differences in direction, acting, story, and adaptation from the novel. Save for the things going on in Katniss' head, they did a great job adapting the novel to the movie. The direction was excellent, executing great story elements at just the right time, as well as adding depth to scenery like District 12 and the Capitol. The acting wasn't bad in the first, but was a huge improvement in the second. Anyone who has read the books knew what was secretly going on, and you can see that from the acting of the major characters. I give this a ten because they took something they did SO well with the first movie, and just blew it up. I would consider this the "Empire Strikes Back" of my generation. Expand
  15. Dec 9, 2013
    Catching Fire was an amazing book, and it pleases me to say that the film delivered spectacularly. From the visuals, costumes, makeup, score, and of the course the incredible acting from a dream cast. As faithful an adaption as a fan could hope for. Francis Lawrence proved himself big time, and it pleases me to know he will be directing both parts of Mockingjay.
  16. Nov 29, 2013
    Catching Fire is the second installment to the ever improving and fantastic franchise. It features a team of great actors at its helm that bring the material to life with ease. That material that is brought to life is fiery and almost perfectly written. The depth and emotion packed into each piece of dialogue is incredible. Jennifer Lawrence is a star. She makes it known that she is now one of the best actresses in Hollywood. The team following behind her that include such phenominal standouts are Josh Hutcherson, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks really pack even more of an incredible punch to the screen. This is not only one of the best sequels in recent years, it is one of the best films of the year. Francis Lawrence is welcomed to this franchise, and we all should be glad he is staying. I give this film 100%. Expand
  17. Nov 27, 2013
    It just didn't do it for me. Terrible acting, CGI wasn't great, and the romance took up way too much time. I should stop seeing the movies of books I like.
  18. Nov 27, 2013
    I had really high expectations, and I was not disappointed. it's the best movie I've seen in a while. Many thanks to the film crew for their outstanding work. One more thing Jennifer Lawrence
  19. Nov 22, 2013
    I was very excited for this movie and had been waiting for it very eagerly for what felt like years now and it definitely did not disappoint. It was as amazing as i had expected it to be, if not better. I loved The Hunger Games but this one was even better...with stunning visuals and a great cast, Catching Fire according to me one one of the best movies of the year. I personally really like Jennifer Lawrence and she definitely did justice to the role of Katniss Everdeen. I truly loved Catching Fire and it is worthy of all the great reviews it is receiving...its sure to be a huge box office hit. Expand
  20. Nov 24, 2013
    This film is P-E-R-F-E-C-T. The emotion in each moment of the movie is equal to the book. Suzanne knew how to translate the book to the big screen with the same emotions and better tan we could imagine. The film don't take away anything of the book, all is there. It was so exciting and the actors do their roleplays so excellent. You can feel all the feelings in just one movie.
  21. Nov 22, 2013
    While no conversion from book to movie is ever perfect, they have crafted a movie that captured the feel of the book like few other movie adaptations I have ever seen. If you liked the first movie or a fan of the series, you'll find little to complain about here.
  22. Nov 29, 2013
    I am confused, saddened, and downright appalled at the hype for this "movie." I would have gotten up and left but I didn't drive. I have only walked out of one movie in my lifetime. This should have been the second time.

    First, I suppose it's a feat, albeit negative, to appear both never ending and rushed simultaneously. There was so much unnecessary detail that the parts or moments
    that should have had more detail were sloppily and hastily thrown together just to make sense of what happened in the book. The viewers deserved more after sitting through all of the blandness that they had to endure leading up to the quell.

    Second, the story line is unoriginal and generic. It bears little difference to every other high school novel in which a futuristic government has a sinister plan and plays the public like puppets, resulting in some "twist" where it is not all what it seems. Been there, done that.

    The "funny" parts weren't funny. They were scarce thankfully, but the attempts in this movie to be humorous, sarcastic or witty were pathetic at best. Laughs in the theater were painfully random and misplaced, where I was left wondering who was more out of touch: the writers or the misguided and love struck viewers?

    I could go on an on about my disappointment in this "movie," however, sitting through it once is bad enough and I'd prefer not to relive it. If I were to sum it all up in one sentence it would have to be "They are just trying too hard." The overabundance of detail, the separation into parts in an attempt to hide the fact that it's the same old story we've all read before just packaged differently, and the supposedly quirky and edgy names the characters were given just appear as weak pleas for acceptance. At times I wonder if the movie only is afloat because of the heartthrob status of its actors/actresses.

    Overall, I give it a 1 for the presence of Lenny Kravitz, although honestly, the character was completely non-essential to the plot and it just seemed like he was there to add interest to the movie. However, the whole movie is so far gone that adding him is just the only drop in the bucket towards giving this movie any positive appeal at all.
  23. Nov 23, 2013
    I had a great time seeing the movie, it brings to the stage a different kind of movie, it has everything and well the outfits are great The only thing i didn' t like was the idea that i know there is another one which let's me know that the end is going to leave me hanging
  24. Nov 27, 2013
    I read all three books. I thought the first movie was very good, but this one was even better. The director managed to capture the look I had in my head when I read the books and that is very rare for movies adapted from a book. I also couldn't think of anything that was left out from the book everything was covered. The acting is solid across the board, with special kudos to Jennifer Lawrence who captures Katniss perfectly. Can't wait to see the final movie of the trilogy. Expand
  25. Nov 23, 2013
    The movie rekindled my faith in book to movie film adaptations. The first movie of the series is nowhere near as incredible as this installment. It grasped my soul and left me begging. This is entertainment at its finest.
  26. Nov 22, 2013
    OK, I had already read this book and this movie qqas totally loyal to the book, so this is really good, because as fan I like to see a movie that is the same thing of the book. Other good point is the cast, they are very good. Jennifer Lawrence, it is fantastic again, she is sooo good that i can feel what katniss feel. Woody Harrelson, this man is amazing, because when he is acting the drinker haymitch he iso involved in character that it seemas tha he is realy haymitch. Josh Hutcherson, I had a doubt with him, but now I realize I was wrong about it. The movie it is really good, because we can bring it to our world when we compare the president snow with the people who thinks that they can do everything that they want and the capital is like USA a place that everybody wants to go and katniss the people that wanto fight for those who love. But of course that have some problems like there is some parts that would be interesting to show Expand
  27. Nov 23, 2013
    So I watched the first hunger games movie and at the end I just had to know what happened so I read all 3 books in a row. From reading the first book (after the film) I thought WOW, its just like the book. In fact its so much like the book you could watch the film and start from book 2. So even with a new director on board I had high hopes for this film and hotly anticipated its release.

    In this film they basically cut the book into 3 pieces, the victory tour and dissent, the game build up and finally the games. The first 2 parts were done very well, all except one major major major part where whilst talking to katniss in the victors village, president snow utters one sentence that basically made me say "what the and I'm sure everyone who read the 2nd book said the same.

    As for the games.

    They basically threw all the pages of the book about the games in the air and then randomly placed them into the film. not good
  28. Nov 22, 2013
    I got sucked into the Hunger Games against my will about a year ago when my younger sister forced me to watch the first movie. Skeptical as I was for it to be Hollywood spit, I quite enjoyed it. So for the sequel, I wanted to beat her to the punch and see it first, so then I could show it to her. But I came across a much different truth from watching Catching Fire, and its left me with a very different perspective and reality.

    The best part of the second Hunger Games movie by far and away is we finally see the repercussions and the toll the actions the characters make have on them. The tone of the film is heavily thematic, and it is grossing entertaining in its epic scale and fantastic stakes to these characters under the most dire circumstances man can create and that's why it's fun to watch. It's not, however, the high budget, crisp effects, or Hollywood glitz that make the film so good on a large scale.

    What we are watching is the same result of man creating the highest stakes and most intense scenarios we can, but as an analogy between the brutality and our own hypocrisy. This film displays for us the same entertainment that the morons of the capitol have, meaning we as a ficticious audience are just as guilty of inhumanity as the characters we're loving to hate in the film franchise, and that poses a fascinating question that may be hard to answer.

    What I also found really surprising was how funny the first hour or so of the movie is. It's not laugh-out-loud funny to get laughs from the audience as a comic relief though; its dry humour as our vision into the failing coping mechanism for the characters to justify the efforts they put into their survival. (And all the more drive for their drastic actions).

    But there's one other thing I certainly didn't expect: The intensity of the film and entertainment value (a balance certainly made more obvious for easier viewing than the first film) was able to trigger an emotional reaction for me as I viewed the movie that i haven't experienced in a while. I was able to clear my mind entirely and suspend my disbelief so strongly that I engaged into the action with more fluidity than I have in a very long time. It is so infrequently that I feel such a connection and passion to the fictitious events displayed before me (which I am aware of) and am willing to resonate with an fully encompass.

    I went to a sold-out show with about 500 people in the theatre. I think there are some movies like this which are improved by viewing them in a large crowd because you are experiencing them as a community and the ideas from the story are told to you as a population, and not an individual. This selfless mantra is the whole point of The Hunger Games franchise it's about the equality not in the effort of worth in a person but equality in the right to chance and survive as a life on Earth. No one deserves better than that.

    Catching Fire may be the best blockbuster, and perhaps the best movie sequel I have ever seen. Never before has a movie surprised me with a graceful, dark power than the Hunger Games, and it only seems to get better. My only criticism by far is the movie felt too short I was actually disappointed it ended at the 145 minutes it did. This is a movie you will enjoy immensely and it's one of my picks for one of the best movies this year.

    There's an element of humanity in this movie that cannot be ignored. For once, I'm ever so glad my sister is smarter than me.
  29. Dec 4, 2013
    Phenomenal movie! I've read through the books three times, and have now seen Catching Fire four times in IMAX. It follows the book almost to a tee, right down to some scenes having dialogue straight from the book. The cinematography was fantastic, and the use of IMAX when entering the arena (the view opens up from the standard size to fill the entire movie screen) to show that the arena is a new, different world. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire way through, even when I was tearing up at certain parts. Definitely an improvement on the first movie, which was still great in its own way. Francis Lawrence did the franchise proud and I cannot wait for the next two installments. Expand
  30. Nov 22, 2013
    This one is awesome in every way. Every aspects and action sequences are far way better than the first one. They improve everything from storytelling to character development. You'll get whatever you expect and sometimes it is more than you wish for. There's no stopping for the thrill they give. Every minute, there's a build up of the story. Jennifer Lawrence delivers a true heroine in her character.
    It is a true satisfaction and a must-see.
  31. Nov 22, 2013
    The Hunger Games was a brilliant movie, and this sequel doesn't fail. The movie itself is just really good, they focused a lot on both effects but also a good storyline, and this seems to be a perfect combo. I went to the movies with a high expectation, and the movie did not let me down. If you liked "The Hunger Games" then don't hesitate, it's worth your money. The only downside I saw, was how the movie was kind of split up, the first part was really exciting and filled with good moments, but the second half or rather last 1/3 of the movie was a bit dull compared to the rest. Don't let this stop you though, it was a very good movie and it definitely makes me want to buy it when it comes out. Expand
  32. Nov 25, 2013
    It's been a little over a year since I last read Catching Fire, which I consider the highlight of the literary trilogy. I remember it being darker and edgier than its predecessor, as well as creating an even greater sense of peril. The teenage tributes had been replaced by trained killers of all ages, boasting intellect and brawn that far surpassed Katniss' and Peeta's capabilities. I'm happy to say that not only did this movie bring back those emotions within me, such as the rapid heartbeat following a sword narrowly missing Katniss' face, but also reopened old wounds, making me remember the heartbreaking deaths of characters who you learn to love in what little time you get to know them.
    By being both a deliciously tormenting second act as well as perfecting some of the flaws of the original film, I'm happy to say that Catching Fire improves upon the original in nearly every single way.
    Both Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutchinson are back as the main protagonists, with Lawrence stealing the show once again as an emotionally torn teenager thrust into an unimaginable dystopian future. Here she deals not only with struggling to survive the Quarter Quell, but also debating whether or not to become the inspiring leader of a developing insurrection against the Capitol. Lawrence's performance is flawless, portraying Katniss as a strong heroine suffering from the inevitable repercussions of the first Hunger Games, and reliving the tragic deaths of the friends she made during her time in the arena. Woody Harrelson also shines, playing the lovable drunk Haymitch Abernathy who has slowly evolved into the father figure for both Katniss and Peeta. Every character has been given the emotional depth they deserve: Prim, who was barely seen in the first novel, is now a budding nurse who helps treat wounds and seems determined to help the rebellion. Effie Trinket, the materialistic escort, has seen the error of her ways, and has a truly emotional scene where she realizes that the teens deserve a happier life than the one they were thrust into. New additions such as the charismatic Finnick Odair and the hilariously psychotic Johanna Mason serve as great support for the leads, especially when Katniss struggles on whether to let her guard down or risk being stabbed in the back.
    The action is fast-paced, brutal, and downright frightening in some areas, benefitting greatly from the headache-inducing shaky camera from the last movie. The beasts near the end of the first movie are almost insignificant in compared to what's in store in this competition. The threats always seem real, deaths occur when the scene feels the most safe, and you truly feel that the stakes have been raised exponentially. This all ends in a climax that surpasses its source material with beautiful symbolism and a cliffhanger that keeps the suspense continually building for the finale.
    However, this isn't to say the movie is without its faults. For starters, the first 20 minutes feel like a condensed sparknotes version of the novel's plot line, which hurts the movie when trying to establish how much Katniss has to lose if she disobeys the tyrannical President Snow. In addition, Katniss' relationship between the misled Peeta and Gale has been "Bellafied." While in the novel she seemed unsure about where her heart lied and eventually found her way to Peeta in the end, the movie shows her kissing Gale on several occasions and makes it seem like she is overwhelmingly one-sided. This takes away from Katniss' image as a good female role model for kids because we lose focus on the real conflict against the regime of the government.
    Despite these flaws, Catching Fire is an exceptional movie that builds upon the framework of its predecessor and stands out in its own right. There were too many moments to count when the audience in the theater was ready to jump up and cheer, and I'm hard-pressed to remember the last movie that pulled off such a spark of life in its viewers. For these reasons, the second installment in the Hunger Games series lives up to its title, using moving performances from its leads and heart pounding action sequences to start a fire that I hope only grows until Mockingjay hits theaters.
    Clearly, the odds are in Catching Fire's favor.
  33. Nov 27, 2013
    This film compelled me to sign up and give full marks to here on metacritic! Wow. Saw at IMAX. Faithful to book and 1st film that I thought was better than the book it was modeled upon.

    Casting and acting were excellent. The pace of the movie was superb some parts are indeed slower and less action-packed than other parts, but they need to be. My 11 yo daughter (who was Katniss
    for Halloween), my 15 yo son, my wife, and her parents and I all thought the experience was awesome.

    It is violent. No doubt. So if that concerns you, then that is a caution.
  34. Nov 30, 2013
    This movie is probably the best sequel i've seen since the bourne ultimatum, the action,drama,thriller,and acting is well-balanced, jennifer lawrence,josh hutcherson,and others was great even though a bit underaged. and even i did not understand the movie full enough, it is still the best thrilller and sequel i've seen this year (A Must Watch)
  35. Dec 2, 2013
    I was very excited for this movie and had been waiting for it very eagerly for what felt like years now and it definitely did not disappoint. It was as amazing as i had expected it to be, if not better. I loved The Hunger Games but this one was even better...with stunning visuals and a great cast, Catching Fire according to me one one of the best movies of the year. I personally really like Jennifer Lawrence and she definitely did justice to the role of Katniss Everdeen. I truly loved Catching Fire and it is worthy of all the great reviews it is receiving...its sure to be a huge box office hit. Expand
  36. Jan 22, 2014
    This film, like many of its kind, was made for one reason and one reason only. To make money. This film has no art, no honesty, no truth, zero passion. This is complete trash, just like Harry Potter. Garbage for kids. Just look at the acting, the actors gave extremely uninspired performances. I hate films like this. Doesn't matter though, they made a bunch of money, and they will make more films like this forever and ever, because idiots keep going to suck it up. Whatever.. Hope you all don't choke on your trash. Expand
  37. Mar 9, 2014
    An absolute masterpiece. It kept me guessing and is filled with tension and emotion. The performances are fantastic and believable. The movie had me on the edge of my seat and constantly questioning things like who to trust, or how character relationships would/will turn out. As someone who has not read the books I have no idea what to expect next from this fantastic series, and the ending has me begging for the next chapter. All in all I found "Catching Fire" to be an improvement in every way on the already fantastic original. It's a movie like no other and I highly recommend that you check this series out. I am completely blown away with how fantastic this movie turned out and I already had pretty high expectations. Expand
  38. Nov 29, 2013
    This movie is right up to par with the book. A must see.... multiple times. If you read the book, you will not be disappointed. If you didn't read the book, you will still enjoy it!
  39. Nov 22, 2013
    One of the greatest movies I've seen in a long time, especially after having read the books three times each. The movie nails all main points from the book and even some of the smaller ones. I don't see how someone could rate this movie negatively, even if it isn't their type of movie.
  40. Dec 3, 2013
    Having not read the book, but having had my brother try to explain it all to me one time, I was able to follow along the plot pretty well. The action is well paced and the special effects are very well done. Parts of the movie are a (lite) delve into the terrible world of PTSD, and while I found them to be accurate enough, they were naturally somewhat emotionally draining. I think that almost anyone who likes sci-fi action movies will be happy to see this film. Expand
  41. Dec 1, 2013
    Catching Fire betters its predecessor in nearly every way and that is one hell of a feat due to the first film, The Hunger Games, being one of my favourite book to film adaptations.
    The story picks up a year after the first film, Katniss & Peeta pretend to be madly in love and the 75th Hunger Games quickly approach meaning the previous years victors must go on a tour of the districts.
    However when a rebellious uprising begins to form in each of the district's, President Snow orders new head gamesmaker Plutarch Heavensbee, to kill Katniss and end the rebellion. Plutarch's Hunger Games invite previous victors back to the arena to fight once again putting Katniss in the firing line, however even those in the games have a grudge against Snow meaning things wont quite to go plan.
    Catching Fire is well shot, well directed and of course well written, the performances are once again top notch and the visual effects are simply stunning.
    If you haven't read the books the ending can come as a bit of a kick in the balls when it gives you that cliffhanger but in all Catching Fire is an excellent film that you should without a doubt go and see.
  42. Nov 27, 2013
    This sequel not only delivers, but leaves me wondering where the rest of the series will go from here. It brings intensity, deliverance and much more conflicting situations between the characters and the story itself. Overall, way better than the first. I give it an A!
  43. Dec 1, 2013
    Too dark and dreary. Katniss's character is all over the place. Characters appear with almost no preparation for them. Confusing and guilty of a recent annoyance: same-face-casting. That is, too many characters either look alike or are interchangeable. Makes the first film seem like GWTW.
  44. Nov 28, 2013
    Catching fire, the best hunger games yet? For me yes. Everything that was good about the first one was doubled and is completly amazing. The acting was fenominal and stunning. The scenery was amazing and the twist at the end was great.
  45. dtl
    Nov 27, 2013
    The first Hunger Games movie was a great movie. This was much better. It was the best sequel I've seen in a long time. It had great characters, and great acting, while being completely coherent. There were very few missteps, if any, in the way this movie was made. (Side Note: Jennifer Lawrence is even better than I remember her.)

    You don't need to be a fan of the books to like the
    movie. It stands alone effectively. If you, (like me), did like the books, this movie is even more amazing than it would otherwise be. Expand
  46. Nov 27, 2013
    Considero que está película cumple las expectativas de los fans. a mi parecer es mejor que la primera. En cuanto a la dirección se nota el cambio de director. Es una película más oscura, más profunda en cuanto a los temas políticos inmersos en ella. Las actuaciones me agradan, en especial Jennifer Lawrence. Los efectos muy buenos. El guión excelente. La historia muy interesante y deja con ganas de ver más. Expand
  47. Dec 7, 2013
    The fact that the Hunger Games stories are not crushed by their own weight is mystifying, and an achievement.
    It seems crazy that a film whose ideology is as savagely brutal as the fictional Games would become such a hit. Despite all its violent connotations and tyrannical regimes, the film comes off as the year’s pinnacle of entertainment. Maybe the allure lies in ourselves? We project
    ourselves on screen. We are Katniss fighting back against the oppressors. The film’s core audience is essentially the same demographic that would be sacrificed if such games were ever to become a reality, so maybe everyone is really just preparing for the future? When the Games start, we’ll know what to expect.

    According to IMDB, Post-apocalyptic thrillers are not particularly big money makers; The Hunger Games franchise being the only series that nearly approaches real commercial heavy weights. The first two Hunger Games installments together hold the top grossing spots in the genre, but even then, they don’t come near grossing anything like the top 50 overall films. Avatar and Titanic are the top two. Both have over two billion worldwide gross. Still, Hunger Games has a hard-core devoted fan base that rivals even Twilight.

    At the Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, young fans camped out for three days just to be front and center on the red carpet, catching glimpses of the film’s stars.

    The best scenes of the film visually were the ones shot in the districts. The New Yorker review describes these scenes like “Eastern-bloc depression…drained of vitality,” but Katniss is exactly the opposite. As a hero she is so strong that alleviates the vitality drainage. Once we leave the districts, the filmmakers deflect the intensity of the subject matter using Katniss as a distraction. Katniss keeps the film from being engulfed into an R-rated abyss. I love R-rated abysses, but they don’t draw fans like Jennifer Lawrence’s strong performances in these PG-13 flicks.

    There were some weaknesses. The coincidence that Katniss and Peeta would be drawn back into the turmoil was too much, an obvious excuse just to get Katniss back in the ring. How is that we didn’t hear of these conflicts in the past film? Surely Katniss and Peeta would have the known the traditions of the world they live in.

    Also, why are all the people in the capital dressed so outlandishly? How do they assemble for all public events in perfect symmetry? Why is the President’s only concern with the games? Doesn’t he have other duties?

    What the story lacks in depth, and it certainly does lack, it makes up for in action-packed, well-shot scenes. Despite an appearance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the gamemaker, the curves thrown at the participants in this rendition of the Games weren’t as exciting as the first film.

    The most annoying thing in the film was Peeta Malark. He is a weakling and not an interesting character. On the battlefield he hardly contributes. He seems to function only as a male counterpart to Katniss in the political spectrum as Katniss ends up fighting battles for two in the forest.

    Overall The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was worth the price of admission, and at 2 hours 26 minutes, it flies by quick.
  48. Nov 22, 2013
    My God, this movie was absolutely amazing. The first movie was pretty good, but it was a masterpiece. Catching Fire, on the other hand, tops it almost every way. Acting was excellent, story was really good, music, visuals, makeup all of it. When I read the book I though the first half outside the games was good but not great. But they made it a whole lot more interesting in this adaption. One of the few films, where I think the movie was better. Expand
  49. Nov 22, 2013
    What is really great about the movie is that it really stayed true to the book. While reading, I was imagining how they could possibly encapsulate the details in the film and I was surprised how well Francis Lawrence is able to make everything come alive. Jennifer Lawrence hits another home run. She is definitely a great actress and winning that OSCAR proves her worth. I don't think anyone can play Katniss but her. This film kinda reminds me of Winter's Bone, from it's theme of loneliness and survival. Expand
  50. Nov 22, 2013
    I didn't see a good acting from Jennifer Lawrence or anyone else, except Haymitch Abernathy and Octavia.
    I didn't believe to this "hunger killers" that they participate in terrible game. Where they kill each other. This is bad.
    Who those film amateurs who want to see a movie without meaningless idea and bad acting my advice will be not to see.
    Movie for one time, maybe with a
    girlfriend in the cinema in another case, maybe better wait for DVD or BR. :)

    I expected more from Jennifer as Oscar winner
  51. Nov 25, 2013
    I walked into the theater expecting to see a mediocre film no better than the first, I was however incredibly surprised and absolutely lived the film. Perfectly capturing the book, it has a gripping story, great acting, and fantastic visuals. Definetley a must see.
  52. Nov 22, 2013
    A long 'forepaly' and without a climax. Maybe because I never read the original story, it could not appealed me. Some of the plot seem to have bad logic.
  53. Nov 29, 2013
    I had a great time seeing the movie, it brings to the stage a different kind of movie, it has everything and well the outfits are great The only thing i didn' t like was the idea that i know there is another one which let's me know that the end is going to leave me hanging. I don`t know English well, because I am from Ukraine, so copied comment below, but I like this film and think it is the best thing, what director could do on the book ecranization Expand
  54. Nov 26, 2013
    one freaking word.....Jennifer Lawrence! and i liked the movie because it was superior to the first movie and its more related to the book even thou it missed some material from the book I still enjoyed the stinking movie
  55. Nov 27, 2013
    This 2nd installment of the series carries an atmosphere of intensity and gives weight to the duality of tough choices made, much better than the first, and its quality, here, helps you forgive the 2.5 hour run time.

    Perhaps the first movie had no choice but to spend much of its time establishing characters, connections and personalities, but 'Catching Fire' just gets to have fun with
    everyone and everything in the story, without pausing to recap origins or connections between characters.

    It's a heck of a lot of fun for fans of the book(s) and those that enjoy fictional/futuristic action movies that are rooted in real life themes and choices that real people have to make, either on a local or international level.

    My wife and I were shocked at how much better 'Catching Fire' was compared to the first film installment of this series, and plan to see it a 2nd and perhaps 3rd time before it leaves theaters.

    Jennifer Lawrence also establishes herself as a Top of the List celebrity crush for any guy that likes brains and sass as much as attractiveness!
  56. Dec 2, 2013
    I thought that an absolutely incredible book was turned into a truly great film. If i had gone to the cinema expecting an action film of epic proportions with bucket loads of CGI and explosions, then I may have been a little disappointed. However, what I did see was a film with a gripping storyline that was both dark and disturbing in a way that kept me on the edge of my seat. If I had to give a criticism, it would be that we do not feel the same sympathy towards the majority the tributes than in the first instalment as they rarely speak which makes it harder to connect with them. All in all though, a really good film. I just hope that the third achieves the same standards as the first two. Expand
  57. Dec 5, 2013
    Yea, Jennifer Lawrence is every mans fantasy. I would sure like to well..... you know. If you take her out of the picture, you can better evaluate this film. It is good or should I say entertaining. There are flaws. One, you have to see the first film if you want to know what is going on. Given that every red blooded male has seen the first, let's strike that from the equation. This movie is well over 2 hours long, yet the games section seems short. That sticks in my mind. I guess they tried to put too many sub plots together to make the whole plot feasible. It doesn't go by slowly and the ending is super condensed. If you see this movie, your going to have to see the threequil. Expand
  58. Dec 5, 2013
    Great Movie. Change a lot the meaning of the hunger games and keep you so interested to watch the next one, Mockingjay, I never read the books but I think it will be a great end and will give us some lessons for life...
  59. Dec 9, 2013
    A decent movie with a sporty touch. A welcome change from the usual. The movie highlights the high and lows of the life of a sportsperson. The movie is engaging. For more on this, please visit:
  60. Dec 15, 2013
    With all great scripts sitting on shelves throughout Hollywood, it's a sad day for American culture when such a disturbing movie gets made. What next, a teenager gang rape trilogy whereby the victims get even at the end of the 3rd production? Innocent children slaughtering/killing innocent children should never be glorified in any culture. There's just no justification for such gratuitous violence. No way this movie should have ever received a PG-13 rating. I would argue that Hunger Games is more of a reflection on how sick Suzanne Collins is rather than the American culture. I'm forbidding our kids to even mention Hunger Games in our household. Expand
  61. Dec 27, 2013
    It's just like the book, far better than the previous movie filled with drama and action! A must have and must see! It's easy to follow, emotional and brilliant!
  62. Jan 22, 2014
    How is this piece of crap rated 8? The plot makes no sense, the acting is average. The movie itself is an idiotic boring cruel story. Are people really so stupid to enjoy this? It makes me sad...
  63. Mar 8, 2014
    It's living up to the name of the book in every details. So Hunger games : Catching Fire is good in all aspects. It's artificial but truthful when it talk about the world we are around. The scenario will not possible at all when thinking with today. But it is possible when all things concerned. It's truthful when comes to the human nature. So a perfect 10 is reasonable when the genre, the adaptation, story and the core message concerned. Expand
  64. Mar 19, 2014
    what the hell is this the plot makes absolutely no logical sense they all speck like the editor speed there voices up extremely high oh and wait for this **** when there are fun survival fights they put it in **** pitch black!!!!!! why so i had no idea what was going on all i knew that there was two people trying to fight these beasts from clearly something that is from matrix from where they change things in the arena and why the hell dogs what the **** so wait wait wait you can make anything like a t-rex or a **** mecha but you make dogs what the **** and all the people in the arena are clearly rip offs of characters from one of the best games in the world tomb raider the main boy and girl are clearly laura croft and peter the other geologist and its appoling and the president is the profit from bioshcok infinity and well everyone else is a dochue thus movie is terrible how could anyone **** up a such a good plot like this Expand
  65. Jul 18, 2014
    Ya kids killing eachother, just what I wanted to see, sandy hook massacre must get even better ratings? You sick fuks? Me thinks not, no creativity whatsoever
  66. Nov 10, 2014
    With a deeper exploration of the ones behind the Hunger Games, this sequel retains the glory of the book, adds an aura of political astuteness and obviously the brains and brawns of the cast.
  67. Nov 27, 2013
    great sequal to the movie. great cinematography, music, acting, action, romance, all that good stuff. you don't want to miss it if you saw the first one.
  68. Dec 7, 2013
    A development upon the first film in many ways, Catching Fire does require a little more subtlety in the delivery of its overall message, but still combines glamour with violence and fleshes out a universe that has proved to be captivating and enthralling enough to maintain enough interest for the final installments.
  69. Mar 3, 2014
    I loved the first Hunger Games film, but I realized after watching it a second time it was merely a nice setup for something potentially greater. Catching Fire is excellent entertainment but it's the deeper plot and societal references that will grab you and keep you long after the action has faded. I didn't read any of the books, and as much as I'd like to after seeing the first two movies I almost want to hold off to maximize the impact of the movies. Maybe a "10" isn't a balanced score, but I am hard pressed to think of a movie in recent memory that had me so wired and on the edge of my seat. Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic and the cast surrounding her all turn in great performances as well. This Hunger Games is more visceral - I didn't want it to end, ever. We'll get Mockingjay to close out the trilogy and I was thrilled to hear that it will be a two-part movie. It's just sad to think that there can only be one more complete chapter in what has quickly become the coolest franchise since Harry Potter, especially as The Hobbit has turned out to be nothing special. To Danny Strong (screenwriter) I say: do us proud - Suzanne Collins' oversight will do wonders to keep the movies faithful, but it's your transition from literary fiction to silver-screen entertainment that needs to land the most. So excited. Expand
  70. Nov 26, 2013
    After Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) win the 74th games, they embark on a Victor's Tour. After that unpleasant expedition, they get dragged back into the 75th game. The first half of the film sets up the political and personal drama, while the jungle adventure is full of weird environmental challenges (as opposed to personal combat). Lawrence is grim and serious. So is everybody else for that matter. The effects are fine, but the only visual fun comes from Elizabeth Banks' fabulous fashions. The action is adequate without being especially exciting or remotely inventive. This sequel is a lot more about drama and relationships and much less about action and sci-fi dazzle. Probably more popular with fans of the books, since it serves to set up the coming conflict. Expand
  71. Jan 1, 2014
    I was surprised at how awful this movie was. Granted, the ongoing implosion of our culture and the erosion of our critical standards demand that movies like this one be taken seriously. Even so, I was unprepared for its lack of substance, depth, plot and narrative arc.

    One scene in particular was striking for its pandering, ooh-ahh stupidity and lack of imagination. When the various
    warrior couples are introduced, it put one in mind of the build-up to the chariot race in "Ben Hur" (which I suspect was on the writers' undernourished minds when they banged out the script). In this case, however, the warriors seemed not so much menacing as silly. Nor were their actions and subsequent deaths tied in some clever way to their superbad qualities. The result was that none of the villains was particularly memorable. As for Donald Sutherland's villainy, everything he does and says is either poorly motivated or just plain obscure. It doesn't help that the love story is a boring mess.

    Bottom line: The more you liked "The Avengers", a film with wit, a great villain and terrific dialogue ("You mewling quim!") the more likely you are to hate this film. It is just overblown swill.
  72. Nov 25, 2013
    With spot on acting and an intense roller coaster ride of action, the second installment of The Hunger Games does not disappoint. The awkwardness of Katnis is really starting to shine, and you can see it on Jennifer Lawrence's face as she interacts w/ both Peeta and Gale. Finally, a good only took 11 months for one to come out!
  73. Nov 25, 2013
    Some longer films tend to feel long. This one does not. Great job of interpreting the book, without being so graphically violent as to scare younger kids. PG-13 IS the original fan base for this series so it's important to keep the films accessible to that audience. But I was impressed by how many adults of all ages were not only at this film, but actively reading the books... inspired to do so by their kids/grandkids and the movies themselves. Expand
  74. Dec 26, 2013
    A very slow start for me....but the events before and during the ending was absolutely amazing. A great movie overall....
  75. Sep 24, 2014
    I don't get it. I just do not get it. The first Hunger Games was an unoriginal, monotonous mess. This film (while there are marginal improvements) is essentially a re-hash of the same thing. The first hour is almost a scene for scene re-enactment of the previous film just with a bit more of the bad guys doing bad guy things. Then finally the actual hunger games starts about 80 minutes in and 90% of it happens off screen while we're shown a bunch of exciting shots of our protagonists walking, sitting, climbing trees or struggling with their forced love triangle. It's a thrill ride.
    A big TV in the sky tells us that a bunch of disposable background characters died off screen which I guess we're supposed to care about but I can't help thinking it would've been way more involving if the main characters had come into some kind of conflict with them at any point rather than facing off against CGI smoke and monkies.
    Speaking of the main characters, there is no development on them from the first film. Katniss remains a sullen, brooding misery while Peeta continues to play the role of damsel in distress (much like the first film, almost every scene he is involved in features him moaning about something or needing to be rescued). The supporting characters like Finnick and Johanna are way more entertaining to watch since they actually have some semblance of a personality. Then there's Elizabeth Banks' horrific attempt at an English accent which is almost physically painful to the ear.
    So while I have to admit that this is an improvement on the first film, that really isn't saying much. It is beyond me why this is so popular. The story has been done before, the characters are completely unrelatable and the visuals and writing aren't exactly exceptional.
  76. Nov 29, 2013
    Crafty direction, good casting and prominent acting on its belt, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is an illustrious sequel with solid aspects throughout. Screenplay moves in tight pace, and to its credit, manages to fuse together complex social and political issues with the raw battle royal action sequences. This adds more tension and depth to the macabre rather than simple mindless killing game of its peers, slowly drawing audience to invest more on the characters' and their predicaments. It's a more polished, better structured and choreographed movie than the first, odds are fans and audience in general will favor this second installment.

    Fire of rebellion has been lit after the last Hunger Games. To ensure it won't spread any further President Snow (Donald Sutherland) makes Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), winners of the last Hunger Games, into glorified celebrities. They are tasked to pacify the crowd with faux romance, however things soon go awry and the hunt for lives begins anew. In almost mocking manner, it portrays contemporary and relatable issue with this other world analog. The overabundance of Capitol and constant oppression of lower districts are shown remarkably. It takes its time to convey the motivation of the characters and in the long run gives more profoundness to the ensuing Hunger Games.

    Jennifer Lawrence does a good job as the leading protagonist, it's not often a woman has the role of the strong main character without blowing it out of proportion or resorting into promiscuous shots. She looks capable and also captivating yet possesses a restrained charm. The wardrobe does help tremendously in creating her persona, but she plays the role with good forte. .

    Other more veteran actors, such as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson or Donald Sutherland provide solid performances. Each of them plays their role with distinguished air. Younger newcomers provide exuberance and spunk, I personally like Johanna character as with her unbridled profanities. It’d be better to showcase more of the participants of the Games, but considering they need to trim the length into palatable time, it’s fairly understandable.

    Setting for the movie is quite excellent, dyeing most of its vistas with greyish tone, in exception of several more outlandish settings which is sprayed with near excessive colors. It doesn’t forget to bring ridiculous make up, hairdo and costumes for the opulence display, perhaps to insinuate more of the social commentary. Wardrobe has seen relatively stranger clothing than most movies, they're just slightly more futuristic but still believable as casual wear. It doesn't use much grandiose effect which is fine since the human aspects are more apparent. Things would be less engaging if it goes into exaggerated futuristic theme.

    Actions sequences are steadily performed smoother than the first title, there are no crazy stunts to be had nor does it use overwhelming amount of CG. Battle royal theme can be ironically redundant if the movie used unnecessary complex action. Catching Fire cleverly opts for more consistency in choreography and better pacing. Its theme song is quiet catchy, although somewhat repetitive. Overall ambiance of the movie is delivered in solemn hymn, which might not stand out too much on its own but fits pretty well.

    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire offers superior quality on all its elements; everything works well and even better together. Furthermore, it doesn't try to be anything it is not, only improving from what it already has. Not a lot of sequels, or adventure movie as a whole, can achieve that.
  77. Nov 23, 2013
    Now this is what a book-to-film adaptation is supposed to be like. Catching Fire might be the best interpreted example I've ever seen. The director, Francis Lawrence, seemed to really understand that books, unlike the previous director, Gary Ross, who seemed to miss some key symbolism. Lawrence cuts certain elements from the books, as well as some scenes and characters entirely, but he doesn't miss almost any key sequences that give meaning to the story. The only thing I wish he would've made more like the book was Katniss Everdeen's interaction with Plutarch Heavensbee. In the book, there was a tiny bit of foreshadowing that I would've liked to see in the film. But that's it. That's the only thing in the entire book that was left out that should've potentially been included. That just amazes me how on point they were here. The increased budget also showed. The effects were better, as was the acting. Obviously Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress but the rest of the cast also did remarkably well (Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Lenny Kravitz, etc.). Bottom line, regardless of whether or not you read the books, this movie stands alone as an outstanding viewing experience. I can't wait to see how they portray the third book. Expand
  78. Nov 27, 2013
    Fans of the Hunger Games were dissapointed with the first movie and rightfully so. The film was pretty good, but didn't do the book justice, as it was extremely toned down and nowhere near as in depth as the book was. With a new director for the second book, they did not make the same mistake twice. As someone who has read all the books, I can tell you that Catching Fire is page for page exactly like the book. It was so amazing how much of the book is captured on the screen, as I actually saw the scenes play out the exact same way they did in my head when I first read Catching Fire. Everything down to the last detail is perfect! Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson return and are both fantastic, so good in fact, that I really wonder if Suzanne Collins had them in mind when she wrote this series. The casting is perfect, the acting is perfect, and the direction is perfect. For those of you who never read the series and didn't really see what was so special about the first film, I really suggest that you give this film a chance. I won't give anything away, but this isn't what you expect, especially the ending, and while there are two more films remaining, this will be your last look inside the arena. After Catching Fire, the series turns into something completely different and that's what I love about it. It would have been simple to have three books about the games, but the games are actually a small part of the second film, and won't take place in the next two films. Rarely do I give a film 5 stars, but the second Hunger Games film is done so much better than the first. They don't hold anything back in this one, and you are introduced to a whole other set of unique characters, that you will be seeing in the other films. The cast is brilliant and new Director, Francis Lawrence, manages to capture essence of the book and bring it to life on the big screen, with unbelievable detail. If you didn't read the books and just don't understand what's so great about this series, go see this movie. Expand
  79. Dec 7, 2013
    Like its predecessor, Catching Fire is a refreshingly original and thought provoking blockbuster (a welcome break from those endless superhero movies we just can't seem to be getting enough of). Jennifer Lawrence dazzles once again as Katniss. The handheld camera effect is thankfully restrained this time, but the usually excellent Hoffman delivers a surprisingly underwhelming performance and the script while mostly air tight does succumb to the occasional loophole. Expand
  80. Dec 15, 2013
    Great movie.

    The first half in particular is exceptional, fresh after the events of the first movie it does an amazing job at showing us the ramification of those events. It also fixes all the issues of the first movie by properly building the world this time around so you can understand the gravity of what's at stake, and by making that world truly feel tri-dimensional. All of that
    while also keeping a perfect pace.

    The second half is still pretty good, but not as good. The problem is that it focuses too much on what's going on in the dome right there instead of showing us what it means on a larger scale, and as a result the movie does lose some of the depth it had built during the first half.

    Still, it's a massive improvement over the previous one which was already quite good. Can't wait for the next one!
  81. Sep 2, 2014
    A superb follow-up to the the first of the series, Catching Fire proves the trilogy's worth amidst Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings. By Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence is well on her way to become America's finest young actress--ever present here.
  82. Nov 22, 2013
    The hunger games catching fire is an amazing movie with high intense action in quarter quell and a love triangle between Latinas peeta and Gale. The movie is by far better than the first one and the first one wasn't bad at all. A must see film.
  83. Nov 23, 2013
    Catching Fire is a great piece of entertainment that shines around Jennifer Lawrence. A movie that is equally as good as its predecessor but with a much darker and mature tone. For being a middle movie in a trilogy, Catching Fire succeeds.
  84. Nov 22, 2013
    Bigger and better than the first film of the franchise, Catching Fire fixes the mistakes made by its predecessor, doing justice to the source novel. As always, Jennifer Lawrence outshines every other member of the talented cast.
  85. Nov 22, 2013
    "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" picks up exactly where the last film left off, continuing the sparks of rebellion. This film takes everything that was great about the first film and makes it significantly better. The characters are more defined, the special effects are better, the score is more bombastic, writing is stronger, and the overall feel is grander. The themes of hope that lurks in the series are exemplified even further as the stakes are higher and the amount of freedom is slowly withering away.

    Directing is really the main highlight of this film. The new director, Francis Lawrence, keeps the overall feel of the series, but brings greater control and precise attention to detail to the onscreen action and drama. The action is easier to see and choreographed really well. Interesting shots are used to cover up the grotesque level of violence, but they are no less impactful than actually seeing it. The use of a much steadier camera really makes taking in everything easier. The level of emotion is effectively presented on screen and the use of music excels everything to a more heart touching level. Even though the film is more emotional, it still manages to have some moments of humor spread throughout. The script is tight and really develops these characters that we’ve grown to love. While the social commentary on reality television is on the lacking side, the themes of hope, freedom, trust, and unity are far more assessed.

    While many of the older characters return, there are many new ones introduced. First things first, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen is still one of my favorite characters of all time and I love her here as much as I did before. However, she doesn’t grow as a character as much this time around. She’s more struggling with her inner demons as she tries to find herself at the helms of this new revolution that is around the corner. Peeta on the other hand, grows a lot. He’s more confident and less dependent on Katniss. He can hold his own and even takes the initiative a few times. Effie even goes through some character growth as we see her love for her tributes. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch is still the wise cracking drunk, but has become more generous and caring. While our returning characters are great, the newer additions are just as awesome. The two standouts for me are Finnick and Johanna. Finnick is not only a great looking guy, but has a heart of gold. He seems vain with ulterior motives, but he proves himself to be caring and protective. Johanna is a total bad girl. She’s really in your face, a bit psychotic, and a powerful warrior. However, she can even manage to be funny. All the characters are great including the additions of the new ones. They all get good screen time and development and we can really care for them, unlike the first film where the side characters took a seat to the more interesting Katniss.

    Overall “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is a great follow up to “The Hunger Games.” Everything is better from directing to writing to the use of music. It really expands on the universe and sets itself up for the next two films. The stakes are higher and there are a lot more to care about. I give it 4.5/5, a great sequel that builds up on the original to deliver a really great cinematic experience.
  86. Nov 23, 2013
    With the sequel being more matured than its first movie as it explores deeper on the theme of the whole franchise and also providing more thrilling edge of your seat action, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will lead both fans and viewers wanting more.
  87. Nov 22, 2013
    Jennifer Lawrence has such an expressive face that you have to be sure it is her from one frame of film to the next. I am not a fan of films like "The Hunger Games" but her face and acting grabbed me in that first film just as it does in this sequel, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" which is the second of 4 films that will make up the three volumes of the original story. Like most sequels this is more opf a holding pattern to set up the next two films. The film, Jennifer Lawrence and some of the supporting players will get you through this way too long film that could have easily been cut to run 2 hours instead of the 2 hours and 26 minutes.

    The screenplay written by Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn, based on the novel by Francis Lawrence (no relation to the actress) provide the screen with action, color, blood and just a few spots that drag. The production designer provides good background and costume designer certainly deserves accolades, including those that over the line.

    This new film brings back 24 winners of previous games with only 1 who can win. The government seems to interfere more with the games than it did in the first film but this is because President Snow (Donald Southerland) of Panem sees Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as a threat to his rule and wants to eliminate her thinking that will stop the brewing revolution. Katniss not only has to defend herself with the possibility of having to kill Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) who is in love with her but she is also put in a position of having to choose between Peeta and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) who confuses her with a kiss before she goes off to fight.

    Stanley Tucci chews up the scenery more than he did in the first film while the makeup, wigs and costumes upstages the wearer of all 3 Elizabeth Banks. Woody Harrelson shines as the mentor of both Katniss and Peeta putting himself in position to betray one of them. Lenny Kravitz stands out, once again, as the designer of Katniss's dresses.

    Newcomers to the franchise are Philip Seymour Hoffman who plays more calm than he has in other films while Amanda Plummer, Jeffrey Wright, Lynn Cohen and Jena Malone all bring strong characters to life as competitors in the games. Another game player is Sam Claflin who takes over the screen whenever he is on it, as a egotistical, handsome and, with a 6 pack stomach, gets quite a few sighs.

    As an in between sequel to set up the last two films in the franchise "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" drags a bit here and there but then you can always look at Jennifer Lawrence's face as it almost imperceptibility changes.
  88. Nov 25, 2013
    Easily outperformed the first Hunger Games and shows a real interest level throughout. Special effects are top notch and much better this time around. The performances are striking and the visuals in both movies are what have sold it to me. It is shocking how convincing the utopian future looks so out there yet so believable with its heavy use of eye shadow and solid color palette lighting. This movie is good go see it. Expand
  89. Dec 5, 2013
    I thought the movie was good except for the ending because it just did not seem right..................................................................
  90. Nov 22, 2013
    One could be forgiven for thinking that, after the original film, this second installment would disintegrate into repetition and boredom as is often the case with sequels. Happily this is not so, for whilst it may follow the same narrative formula as before this is turning into a franchise of real quality. It's definitely not just another popcorn movie but is a very accomplished piece of film making in its own right. The setting and costumes continue to be very imaginative. It has a good story enhanced by tight editing keeping the whole thing extremely tense and compelling, and the effects are special. It has to be said that Jennifer Lawrence is turning out to be a great asset for the series and after this one I'm now anticipating the third with some eagerness. Expand
  91. Jun 16, 2014
    I love the story and the special effects are good. The only bad side to this movie is that sadly we've been here before with the first film. I think I sort of went in knowing what this film was going to be like. I wouldn't be surprised if the last two movies are scored lower than the first two. I think the first one is the best. Whenever a new movie comes out you don't know what to expect, will it be good, or will it be bad? No one knows until someone sees it. The one thing I've seen over the years is in all genres especially in action and horror films the special effects have gotten way better. Catching Fire is an awesome sequel, but if there's one Hunger Game film to watch over and over again, it's without a doubt, the first film will always be the best. Expand
  92. Dec 26, 2013
    A very very very strong 8.5 out of 10. November gave us the best blockbuster of 2013. Man of Steel was the best comic book movie of the year but this one surpasses it. I was very impressed. Big improvement over the first one. Great and better acting, great story, great characters especially the two leading ones, one of the best female characters ever, great twists, great pacing (it´s long but it doesn´t feel like it and you really don´t want it to end), spectacular scenes, emotive, deep, touching. It was so on point. There were so many subtle things I´m sure most people didn´t even notice. Even about sexuality, sexual orientation and male and female roles. Perfect film for all ages. So impressed. Expand
  93. Nov 24, 2013
    A thought provoking, visually impressive, and very engaging movie. Now, I'm not some fanboy who's going to say it was the best movie ever, because it's not, but it's still a noticeable improvement on the first film, which was good to begin with. The thing I can't quite get past is the lingering youth novel adaptation feel to the movie which it can't completely shake off, even though you can tell that it badly wants to. It's somewhat hard to explain, but you can still tell that it's aimed at older teens and not adults. That's not to say that the movie is immature. In fact its narrative deals with some very mature issues such as fascism, human worth, and rebellion. It delves more deeply into the themes than the first movie did and shows more brutality at the hands of the tyrannical government regime. Jennifer Lawrence was good in Silver Linings Playbook, and all of her other films for that matter, but she's even better here. She shows
    extreme emotion more naturally than she has in the past and proves a great anchor for the franchise. The new director, Francis Lawrence, who's not related to Jennifer, directs everything a lot more smoothly than Gary Ross, especially the action. The larger budget also helps. Instead of merely being passable, the visual effects are now up there with the best of them. Overall the movie is very engaging and possesses some moments which are truly emotionally stirring, but it still lacks the rapturous grandeur and pure awe of films like Inception and Avatar, and the screenplay, which is good, lacks the precision of films like Zero Dark Thirty, or No Country for Old Men. But, it's still worth going out to see, and even worth buying once it hits DVD and Blue-Ray. I think it deserves Oscars, but that prospect is wildly unlikely. It might have a slight chance in the technical categories, but according to the current buzz, there's way too much competition this year for that to be probable either. We'll have to wait and see.
  94. Nov 28, 2013
    It's kind of hard to compare Catching FIre to its predecessor without talking about the books. I can say right now that as a movie, Catching Fire is noticeably superior to the Hunger Games, but i'm not sure what to credit that to, an overall better job on moviemaking or just the fact that it's based on a better book. Regardless, this film is significantly more entertaining than the original. It takes a look at the bigger picture of the story. It's no longer about the Hunger games, but the corrupt government that's about to face a revolution and all of the politics in between. It may not be perfect, but it's a fun and exciting movie with strong characters and an interesting story, and it's definitely worth more than one viewing. Expand
  95. Nov 22, 2013
    Catching Fire may have The Hunger Games title attached to it, but this is a much more personal film that opts to expand on the lore of Panem and consequences of the predecessor film, while simultaneously upping the stakes in every conceivable way for what is sure to be a crowd pleasing trilogy capping two-parter. Not only is Catching Fire smart, stylistically entertaining, brilliantly acted, and socially relevant, it manages to avoid coming across as 2 and a half hours of filler for an epic trilogy. That test is reserved for Mockingjay Part 1. Expand
  96. Nov 22, 2013
    Better than the first movie in every way, 'Catching Fire' exposes a stronger heroine than ever, not only physical issues but mainly mental, Katniss is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting characters that you can find nowadays, the first hour is incredibly good as it proposes, developing characters, story, and feeding Katniss more and more. The second hour, does not get back, amazing scenes (smart scenes), to feed the viewer.
    Katniss never let love take all your mind, because she knows she has more important things to worry about, but when love takes the screen, it's hard not to surrender, and with the passage of minutes, until the final scene Katniss and the public, are hungry, hungry for more.
  97. Dec 29, 2013
    These films are unbelievably boring I'm told the books are epic but clearly something is lost in the adaption. The characters are bland at best and to be honest if they all died at the start of the next movie and were replaced but a crate full of painted gibbons they would be more interested. I haven't read the books but please someone tell me that they all die in the end...... bland bland bland lord of the flies meh Expand
  98. Nov 28, 2013
    Catching Fire is a great improvement of it's predecessor. It deliver's good action, is quite eventful, evokes strong emotions, and is of course entertaining. For those on the fence about this film it is a good watch.

    Immediately upon commencement I could tell the budget was bigger. It really shows because the Capital is shown in greater detail than previously, enabling us to see the
    contrast between it and District 12. Special effects are more interesting, and costumes are poignant and beautiful. Nothing looks cheap or bad.

    The depiction of Panem being an unhappy to live in, except those in the capital, isn't featured as much in this movie. Instead we see people rising up again the 'peacekeepers' who come down like a hammer. I was definitely convinced these guys don't mess around and brutally suppress resistance. That said you certainly feel for these people and understand their plight.

    Though this is an eventful movie I perceived it's story to be too rushed. I haven't read the book but as a film it jumps from scene to scene where one minute Katniss and Peeta are on a train, then addressing a village, then on a train again, then suddenly back in District 12. It's too disjointed which prevents complete immersion into it's world. I understand this is representative of their experience but it doesn't change my perception of this rushed story.

    One the better films in 2013 with some stand out moments which will leave you somewhat excited for part 3.
  99. Nov 22, 2013
    This is a fantastic film even better than the first. The dark tones mixed with the perfect amount of humor mixed with top notch acting makes this one of the best films of the year. A
  100. Dec 18, 2013
    Great improvement from the first Hunger Games, story in much more complex and interesting, more creative action scenes and truly breathtaking ending makes Catching Fire one of the best book adaptations!

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Nov 25, 2013
    Yet, despite the good acting, the middle section of the film, set at the Capitol, is attenuated and rhythmless — the filmmakers seem to be touching all the bases so that the trilogy’s readers won’t miss anything.
  2. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Nov 22, 2013
    With each on-screen chapter, the poor girl from District 12 continues to fulfill her destiny as an inspiration and a rebel fighter. She is but one female, but she's the perfect antidote to the surplus of male superheroes out there.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Nov 22, 2013
    Everything that felt clumsy in The Hunger Games has been improved upon here. That's most apparent in the clarity of the action, but it also extends to how efficiently the film establishes so many new ensemble members.