Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 20, 2012
    As tough-spirited as fans would hope for - and exciting and thought-provoking in a way few adventure dramas ever are.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mar 20, 2012
    A muscular, honorable, unflinching translation of Collins' vision. It's brutal where it needs to be, particularly when children fight and bleed.
  3. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Mar 16, 2012
    As action, as allegory, as cinema, The Hunger Games is the best American science-fiction film since "The Matrix," and if Ross and his crew stay with the series for the next two books, we may get that rarest of things: a blockbuster franchise that earns our money through craft, emotion and execution, not merely marketing and effects.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 21, 2012
    My advice is to keep your eyes on Lawrence, who turns the movie into a victory by presenting a heroine propelled by principle instead of hooking up with the cutest boy.
  5. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Mar 20, 2012
    A film that transforms a popular work of teen fiction not just by faithfully exploring its themes but, more important, by proving those themes have a very grown-up resonance.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 20, 2012
    There's action here, too, and a great deal of vitality that feels true both to the spirit of Collins' book and to the idea of movie entertainment as it exists.
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Mar 20, 2012
    Leaner than "Harry Potter's" adventures, meaner than the "Twilight" saga, The Hunger Games lives up to its source if not entirely the hype.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1420 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 64 out of 458
  1. Mar 23, 2012
    The movie left a lot to be desired and did not do the book justice. Character development in the movie was weak and if a viewer has not read the book, the characters and their relationships with each other is shallow and confusing. This confusion is clear when reading reviews by people who admit to not reading the books. In particular the relationship between Catniss and her family needs to be expanded upon and built upon so we can understand the relationship between Rue and Catniss and the tragedy of the circumstances they are put into. The relationship between Peeta and Catniss is also confusing and shallow, sanitizing the internal conflict felt by them. And finally we get to Haymitch, who is a shadow of the character he was in the book. Full Review »
  2. Mar 23, 2012
    To me the Hunger Games was sort of like Lord of the Flies meets Mad Max. Has anyone read Lord of the Flies or seen Mad Max with Mel Gibson? There was also a Japanese movie called Battle Royale that came out a few years ago but was never released in the US. Full Review »
  3. Mar 23, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Having read the books numerous times, the movie is lacking is so many ways. Scenes were redacted which I understand you have to keep the film lengthen under consideration but do not add scenes that have no mention or relevance into the movie. Also, the time lines are important in this film. You are building up to something. When you leave so much out how do you have that reference for later films. You do not get to connect with Katniss and Peeta in the film like you do in the books. I blame the SIGNIFICANT shortening of the cave scenes. The whole last 30 minutes of the film was horrible. Adding the extra fighting in the last scene did not add any value but took away from the film. Had the last Cornucopia scene been left as originally written, it would have made for a much more dramatic conclusion and wrap of the film. Full Review »