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Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics What's this?

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1160 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen returns home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a Victor's Tour of the districts.The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen returns home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a Victor's Tour of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell), a competition that could change Panem forever. [Lionsgate] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Nov 19, 2013
    91
    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is movie escapism made with intelligence, and that doesn't come around often enough. As I sensed this movie ending I wished it wouldn't, and when it did I wanted the next one now. Take that, Bilbo.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Nov 21, 2013
    88
    Very few people will take in this spectacle of a society amusing itself to death, of “reality games” and the vapid media hysteria that surrounds them, and not draw a parallel to our own televised bread and circuses. At its best, “Catching Fire” is a blockbuster that bites the culture that made it.
  3. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Nov 19, 2013
    83
    Lawrence steps up. And her character's fierce independence provides a welcome alternative to certain vampire-fixated young-adult heroines who define themselves entirely through the attention of much-much-older men.
  4. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Nov 19, 2013
    79
    Steady-handed action is enough to elevate this film above its predecessor.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 19, 2013
    75
    Catching Fire has the bonus of a genuinely charismatic performer at its center. Jennifer Lawrence, now an Oscar winner thanks to "Silver Linings Playbook," emotes like crazy throughout "Catching Fire," but you never catch her acting.
  6. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Nov 21, 2013
    70
    Insofar as Catching Fire does ignite, the match to the flame is Jennifer Lawrence, who gives Katniss layers she lacks even in the books’ fairly rich characterization.
  7. 50
    Deep thoughts about re-directing cynically manipulated celebrity, lump in the throat moments at people rising up against their oppressors, a couple of memorable deaths and attempts at sacrifice play as flat when there’s nothing around them to serve as contrast.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 261
  1. Nov 22, 2013
    10
    I really liked The Hunger Games, it was truly different, original and overall very entertaining and touching. Catching fire is a really bigI 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. Expand
  2. Jan 22, 2014
    10
    This is one of those rare times when I have read the book and was pleased with the movie. The producers/directors did a fine job followingThis is one of those rare times when I have read the book and was pleased with the movie. The producers/directors did a fine job following the story and the actors did a great job making the characters true to form.

    Loved this movie!
    Expand
  3. Mar 3, 2014
    10
    I loved the first Hunger Games film, but I realized after watching it a second time it was merely a nice setup for something potentiallyI 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
  4. Jun 11, 2014
    8
    First of all I'd like to start out saying that I think this second one was better than the first. What amazes me the most about this is thatFirst of all I'd like to start out saying that I think this second one was better than the first. What amazes me the most about this is that the movie/story/book/author/director were able to keep the whole series going with this book. Them thinking of a way to keep it going in such a clever fashion amazes me. This I think is better than the first because not only did it portray the story better but it did it in a way that gets me excited and suspended. Movie over book, but only for this second one, catching fire, for the first it would have had to be a whole different conversation. Expand
  5. Nov 25, 2013
    8
    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 beingIt'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.
    Expand
  6. Aug 23, 2014
    7
    This was definitely a step up from the first Hunger games. It gets deeper into whats going on outside of the games and that caught myThis was definitely a step up from the first Hunger games. It gets deeper into whats going on outside of the games and that caught my interest. The ending makes you me believe the next one will be a step even better. Expand
  7. Jan 22, 2014
    0
    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. AreHow 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... Collapse

See all 261 User Reviews

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