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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1476 Ratings

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  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. Expand
  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.
  3. Mar 23, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  4. Mar 29, 2012
    The premise is excellent. An Orwellian future where children are offered to the state as entertainment. There was so much promise. Not having read the books, it's like being invited to a party but not knowing anyone. There was very little character development. Further, the casting of Peta seemed poorly done. Lenny Kravitz does an excellent job in the background. The "Rue" racial thing, I don't get and can't imagine it makes a difference. But my real question is, in a dystopian future, why are all the children so beautiful? Shouldn't there be some level of emaciation if the outer sectors struggle just to be fed? Despite these problems, the first half of the movie is well pace and knitted together. Something happens in the first "combat" sequence. The combat fog falls and the pacing changes. The whole experience is uninspired. The action sequences themselves are far too close. Take your dramamine if you're in the theater and be prepare to have no idea what's happening. The movie is interesting. But a good premise and interesting plot don't necessarily make a quality movie. Expand
  5. Mar 30, 2012
    I don't blame the books. I haven't read them but just looking at wikipedia the overarching story as a lot of rich material to draw from. This movie just will have none of it. It was poorly written. Poorly acted (the lead girl was good but that was pretty much it). None of the backstory was explored. Just a bad movie plane and simple. The movie is really about a 3/10 but I'm giving it a 0 because of others voting it up. Basically the movie is totally overhyped. It really isn't good at all. Characters have no back story besides the 2 leads and they expect us to connect to other characters when something happens to them? Literally characters are introduced for 5 minutes and we are supposed to feel sad when they die? Ha. If the point of the games is to kill everyone else then why would these people form teams? Why would they sleep all at the same time? Why did one not wake up to betray the others silently. Just far far too many plot holes. Expand
  6. Apr 16, 2012
    This is a movie about a brutal gladator like event for people who don't like violence and like sparkly vampires. This is book i simply a short story called "the lottery" merged with a far supiorior Movie called battle royale. The lead actor "whos a hunter" does inane things like sit in a sunny clearing and run around in a blue blazer in the forest while shes supposed to be in a life and death game. Totally unrealistic and the combat was poor. Expand
  7. Mar 23, 2012
    I haven't read the books yet but I certainly will now that I have had the pleasure of seeing one of the best films in recent memory. The screenplay is tight and fast paced but the story keeps its integrity throughout the film. The acting is first class and Jennifer Lawrence will have a long and prosperous career unless she does something really stupid. (see Lohan, Lindsay). The only criticism I have is that they "dumbed down" the graphic violence to get a PG13 rating. The killings are done so quickly and cleanly that the camera barely gives you time to realize what has happened. The "anti- CSI effect" sanitizes the brutality of the contest and in a way it hides the evil of the adults who have orchestrated these "games." I look forward to the sequels with same anticipation of the Harry Potter movies. Expand
  8. Mar 23, 2012
    I do not get the negative reviews? The movie followed the book quite closely which I had hoped for and was not disappointed! Yes some of the richness of the book was left out but still for 2.5 hr long as is. I forgive some trimming. The acting was excellent loved Jennifer in Winters Bone and she did Katniss perfectly! I will rave and recommend friends see it!
  9. Apr 5, 2012
    This movie was absolutely horrible. No story, plot, character depth or development. Most of the actors looked as though they already knew the movie was bad and just phoned in their performances. Gary Ross should never be allowed to direct anything ever again. The camera work was so horrible I suffered dizziness and nausea through the entire film. Barely anything was explained in the movie, so if you never read the book, you were kept completely in the dark about what was supposed to be going on. Gary Ross only knows how to do 2 shots. Extreme unfocused closeup, and extreme focused closeup. All of the backdrops and costumes were completely wasted since you could never see a whole person. You were only allowed to see someone's eye here, or mouth there. The most baffling thing about this movie are all of the good reviews I see from the critics. But that just goes to show you that they are never right when it comes to judging a movie. This was the second movie I have ever walked out on (the first being Battlefield Earth) and demanded my money back. As long as teenage girls dominate the box office, we will be forced to see shallow, superficial, emotionless drivel. Expand
  10. Mar 23, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Based on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy, in a futuristic time where a nation had fallen apart after a horrific war two tributes from each district are chosen to fight to the death until one victor remains in what you would call a reality television show that is broad cast live to audiences. To those who are familiar with The Hunger Games trilogy, prepared to be impressed with this sensational adaptation and to those who aren't, prepare to witness an incredible journey filled with suspense and originality.

    Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), a citizen of District 12 volunteers to tribute for The Hunger Games to save her little sister Prim from being tribute. Against a fellow citizen Peeta (Josh Hitcherson) who she develops a relationship with, has to fight to the death and although we don't see much of Gale (Liam Hemsworth), there is a clear understanding of their relationship and how he feels for her. Katniss must fight for her life on this suspenseful and emotional must see journey.

    Filled with convincing performances by all the cast, The Hunger Games is a winner! Staying true to the book, director Gary Ross does a flawless job of introducing the first of the trilogy. It's an emotional fight to the victory that instantly captures you. A fearless adaptation where every minute keeps you enthralled. With its inventive story and strong cast, The Hunger Games works on screen and ends on top .
  11. Mar 23, 2012
    The Hunger Games = Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with Teenagers. I'm not saying it is a bad film but much of the premise was clearly borrowed from the Mel Gibson apocalyptic trilogy of Mad Max/ The Road Warrior.
  12. Mar 23, 2012
    The movie was very superficial. Glossed over the backstory and pretty much all of the relationships in a rush to get to the games. Then much of the tension of the games was missing, too. Not sure I would have been able to follow if I hadn't read the book. Add the "Blair Witch" camera work, and the whole experience was disappointing.
  13. Apr 15, 2012
    Not worth seeing at all. I only saw it because while planning to see 21 Jump Street (which is rated R) and having already been standing at the ticket booth, I found out my friend was still 16, and The Hunger Games was the only other interesting looking movie playing. I was with 2 friends, and none of us enjoyed it, mostly because it was painfully long, the plot was dull and slow-paced, and the character development was horrible, with useless characters and unnatural character relationships, that would have only made sense if you've read the book. On top of that, the cinematography was awful. The camera was constantly shaking, which made it look very unprofessional as a film. And the fight scenes were painful to watch because they were so poorly done. Bad camera work + bad fight scene choreography = severe motion sickness. And to add to that, the music never fit, especially during the fight scenes. In fact, the music was lazily written, with more focus on ridiculous audio effects rather than the actual musical aspect of it. And one more thing: Editors have no reason to tone the color down throughout the entire movie just to give it a slightly darker feeling. Be more creative. In conclusion, we would have had a much better experience had we seen 21 Jump Street instead of this over-hyped, lazily put together piece of crap. Expand
  14. Mar 27, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I saw the movie as two distinct parts - the introduction and every thing leading up to the actual hunger game, and the game itself with the resolution. The first part is very interesting, and the the tension leading up to Katniss's "insertion" into the game is palpable. I was almost jumping out of my seat with anticipation. However, the second part of the film is a complete let-down. Perhaps we've seen too many Survivor & Challenge seasons, but the action is flat and borderline boring. Even though everything is at stake, it doesn't feel that way. The PG-13 rating takes much of the grittiness away from the story. I would have liked to have seen Katniss take part in more than a single killing. She essentially backs into the win.â Expand
  15. Mar 25, 2012
    This movie sucked. Most overrated film of the year. it is du;; and boring, there is no back story. The games it self its repetitive and dull and the shaky hand filming made me vomit. What a waste of 2.3 hours. I only gave it a one because Stanley Tucci was good in it.
  16. Mar 25, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is just awful. There are many terrible aspects and you SHOULD NOT waste your time if you have or have not read the books.

    1. Camera work is awful. Everything is shaking so bad in every action scene and every partially moving scene (anything that is not a static conversation) you see random blurs of faces and quickly and poorly cut sections of the movie. 2. Music: Very often, there is no music when there really should be and it just ruins the whole atmosphere. The music at the beginning of the Cornucopia scene is nill and the atmosphere is wrong. You would expect fast paced drumbeats with screams and punches and such... Instead, you get a stupid buzzing noise as the camera shakes to death as you hear no screams and this goes for like 2 minutes... -_-

    3. Story: Extremely shallow character development and tons of things completely uncomprehendable by non-book readers.
  17. Apr 28, 2012
    This was a very average movie. Too much drawn out story and not enough action. I also kept comparing it in my head to battle royale which made it seem even worse despite the age of battle royale. I was also left in no state of worry for the main character who i didn't care about and i never felt she was in any danger.
  18. Mar 29, 2012
    In the least surprising cash-in in the history of anything ever, The Hunger Games took its already film-ready premise which had already borrowed from Battle Royale, glossed it up pretty, removed any and all significance from the original novels to satisfy the teen crowd, deconstructed every single character and made new ones to fit a film that was supposed to be horrifying more than anything else, naturally made Katniss attractive instead of being the poverty-stricken malnourished slum-girl she was in the novel, made all the guys beefcakes, gave everyone unspeakable combat skills when they should have next-to-none, when the entire point was to throw random kids into an arena and told to kill each other, and basically turned it into exactly what it was supposed to be: A cash-in, without exception. All significance is gone, and respecting the origins of the novel isn't even considered here. Disappointing beyond words? Definitely. But an obvious way to market it as an arena battle to the death involving children? Checkmate. Anyone who read the first novel knew quickly that this was going to be turned into a film, and it was going to be a sure-fire cashflow frenzy with the right style and marketing. Done and done. For anyone who doesn't care for anything the book stood for or even knows to begin with, here you go: A generic action flick with a few twists that are comically predictable, all done in perfect PG-13 format--ironically still being about desperate kids picked out of a raffle murdering each other with sharp objects. But if you've read the novels, you knew exactly what they were doing the instant you saw the official movie poster, and you can at least avoid some of the despair because you knew it had been coming all along. Expand
  19. Mar 23, 2012
    I waited eagerly for this movie to come out for months, bought tickets in advance, and showed up to the midnight premier trembling with excitement, and I was not disappointed. The cinematography at the very beginning was stunning. I was reminded of footage from the Great Depression, with the ragged children and old people, the downtrodden workers. The poverty in the districts was apparent. The movie was very tensely shot, the audience felt physically nervous when the characters did, and several of the key moments were heart-wrenching. (When Gale carries Prim away and Katniss is marched to the stage was just terrible to watch.) Cinna was absolutely masterfully done- he was a quiet, graceful, honest presence. Rue was PERFECT. They way Rue and Katniss' alliance was formed was quite masterful as well, though a bit truncated. Rue was such a lovable character though, that her death was 'toned down', probably because people don't want to see a sweet little curly headed girl be rent in half with a spear. It seemed almost too quick and they cut out most of the song. I enjoyed how they showed the uprising of district 11 ( I like to think the man who started it was Rue's father) but was disappointed that they didn't include District 11's gift. The violence over all was toned down considerably, which I expected since they wanted to keep it PG13. Mostly you saw a lot of scuffling a la "cloverfield" and then a body fell. There were a few exceptions, but mostly we just saw brief ( and I mean, a second) shots of the aftermath.

    The Capitol was fairly well done- attention to detail was excellent. It appeared very ominous, with all the bright colors seeming off, the people looking frightening in their candy-colored costumes. Seneca Crane easily makes himself hated, and President Snow is like an evil Santa Claus. There is a foolish blood lust in the capitol, accentuated by Effie Trinket and her horrible comments like "You're only here for a short time but you get to enjoy yourself!" (Read: we feed you well before we kill you) Effie lacked some dimension in my opinion, though. She seemed to be soley comedic relief. Haymitch did a great job. His drunkenness was minimized, and he displayed genuine caring that wasn't seen originally in the books, but it played out well. This movie inserted lots of excellent sensory techniques to suck in the viewer. There was a high pitched buzzing after an explosion, and the familiar sound of "far away" that most people are familiar with when they are nervous. There was flashes of light and sudden swoops to indicate pain and dizziness. These little additions made the film more believable. You felt like you were there. Overall, the movie met my expectations, though, honestly, they should have just made it rated R and served into the violence like it should have been. This story isn't about violence for violence's sake, its about corruption and moral latitude. You have to see the horror to understand. It is definitely worth seeing, in fact, I saw it twice.
  20. Mar 23, 2012
    The Hunger Games was really better than what I'd expect. Awesome fast-paced action entertainment laced with moral dilemmas and a satire on the entertainment industry of our generation all wrapped up in a compelling story with a strong emotional core. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen is convincing and is pitch-perfect as a strong independent protagonist with an air of vulnerability. And unlike a certain Ms Swan, she doesn't need a guy to sweep her off her feet. The ensemble cast is perfectly casted, from Woody Harrelson to Stanley Tucci. Don't worry about whether this'll turn out like Twilight because it's not. There's no sappy love story here. When the games begin, her only concern is to stay alive and even when she does show affection it's all part of the game.

    Can't speak for the readers who'd want every single detail from the book done right but keep in mind that the screenplay was co-written by Suzanne Collins. If The Hunger Games is just a little taste or preview for what's to come in the cinemas this year than it'll be a good 2012. It's definitely worth the money to watch and will watch it again in another preferred format.
  21. Apr 4, 2012
    Severely over rated. Acting was horrible, the heart of the book was not there, emotional aspects were not emotional because they were rushed and forced, and full of really bad acting. They emphasized the people fighting against the government part of the story, but they gave us a sappy ending that had nothing to do with the people or the oppressive government. This film simply had no soul, despite having more than enough inspiration from the book they some how destroyed it for the typical short attention span of American viewers. And for people saying the lead actress did a good job of acting, just ask your self how many facial expressions she actually used. She did them well, but she only had like 4. Just like that actress in the twilight series, once you watch another movie from the series you will see how incredible low her range is. The same 4 expressions over and over again will get pretty boring. Expand
  22. Mar 24, 2012
    I was quite disappointed by the Hunger games. There is nothing wrong with using such a heavily recycled idea, but the entire purpose of the idea of an inescapable death-match scenario is to have incredibly gripping psychological drama that leaves the viewer/reader (in the case of the better form of battle royale) anguished at the tragedy of the event. This did not occur in the slightest, and there are a few reasons why. The acting was bland, the main contenders felt more like human masks than the deep and complex beings that they need to be to make this idea actually work. Their individual deaths or suffering left absolutely no impact on the viewer. Linked to this is the fact that the actual character development was sorely lacking. The pacing of the movie was problematic, the idea seemed interesting at first but it wasn't until around 1hr 30mins that the goal it was building towards actually happened. On a different note, the action itself (an important component of the idea) was limited and confusing, with so much fancy camera work going on it was hard to tell what was actually happening. In saying that though the futuristic element, was a refreshing take and the cinematography re its futuristic nature was very impressive. For me the highlight of the film was Stanley Tucci, he was as fantastic as ever. Expand
  23. Mar 24, 2012
    Not since the Harry Potter franchise has a book been brought to life as a movie as well as this. Just as I imagined. I can't wait for the rest of the franchise to come to the big screen!
  24. Mar 24, 2012
    If you are a teenage girl, you will love this movie. Everyone else over 25 you might as well wait for the 3rd installment to see if they make it better. The main actress is great but the plot is so thin and predictabile. I can't believe I was taken in by all the hype. A big disappointment.
  25. Apr 9, 2012
    I expected a ripoff of Battle Royale to at least be almost slightly 1% as interesting as Battle Royale, but instead I got into the theater and watched this boring piece of crap garbage for two hours. What a waste of time. People who liked this movie are either stupid or lying. Transformers 2 was a better movie because, in spite of horrible writing (which The Hunger Games is 100% full of), there was still a lot of action (which The Hunger Games has 0% of). With a bad plot and bad dialogue and bad everything story-wise and then two hours of boring non-action on top of that, what is even the point of this movie? Do not watch this. Obviously you will anyway and you will pretend you liked it because everyone told you to. Expand
  26. Mar 25, 2012
    One of the worst movies I have ever seen.. The only reason I watched it was because we got to the movie theater late and it was the only thing playing.. Out-dated special effects, a story that left a lot to be desired and a weak ending.. Don't waste your money on this garbage
  27. Mar 23, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The movie was OKAY at best. The cinematography was so terrible that I was having motion sickness. Some of the scenes made me flat out go: â Expand
  28. Mar 28, 2012
    As a stand alone movie it's fine, as a copy of the book it's terrible- as a loosely based off the book video it's... decent at best. Take the wonderful story from the book, shred it down to the barest parts and turn it into a copy of Twilight- you now have 'The hunger games' "movie"

    There's nothing, no survival in the woods, no horrible mental wrestling of survival vs. humanity no
    insight, the barest of character development, a incredibly shortened timeline and complete disregard for the book's story about half way through the movie.

    I'm glad to see The Hunger Games put into a visual medium, I'm dissapointed to see it so gutted, I consider this a failure for the first movie.
  29. Apr 1, 2012
    They missed a few few key points of the book, but otherwise did O.K. in adapting it. Other than that, The Hunger Games was well acted (especially by Jennifer Lawrence) and just helps create the atmosphere of The Hunger Games universe well.
  30. Mar 23, 2012
    It was just as I had imagined. There were details left out for time purposes, maybe they will be more detailed oriented in the next two movies. Fast paced, amazing adventure. Capitol was amazing.
  31. Mar 23, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Unfortunately, this movie didn't cut it for me. The characters were bland and two-dimensional, the cinematography left something to be desired, and the plot moved by so quickly that nothing was given adequate time. Like Katniss's relationships with Peeta and Gale. Or her time spent with Rue. Quite honestly, I needed these relationships to be formed and dwelt upon at length in the film in order to give the Games the meaning that they needed. Unless the characters (and the viewer) have something to lose, a movie can never achieve true emotional involvement and suspense. All in all, this was an unfortunate disappointment. Expand
  32. Mar 29, 2012
    The movie was not as expected.Too Long Too Boring Too Predictable.The character or Peeta is not clear as for the feeling of Gale and Katniss.It's far too long and much inferior to the ferocious Japanese Battle Royale.The books were aimed at young women, I think the filmmakers have been terrified at making anything too violent.
  33. Mar 23, 2012
    I can't believe it was that good! I came out of the theater generally surprised and a little guilt-stricken for not having read any of the books. That was a choice, mind you. I will read the first book this week. I'm reading them in sequential order, after I see the film based on that specific book. Anyway... It was an amazing film! The acting was impressive, all-around...including Peta. Peeta? Pita? P.E.T.A.? Yeah. That kid. He's usually is such bad movies that I have always disliked him. I don't have a gripe with any of the cast, to be honest with you. My only real problem with the film would be the camera work. It was fairly shaky at parts, especially in the first ten minutes or so. I understand using that technique for the action shots, due to budget restrictions. It's a bit odd to use them for other parts. Then again, they were trying to give District 12 (Where the main protagonists are from) a gritty/poor feeling. Without spoiling any major plot points, I'll tell you that I LOVE that feeling of heartache I got from this film, specifically toward the end. Everything else can be summed up fairly simply. The music was phenomenal; both the score and the soundtrack. James Newton Howard is a genius, as always. It's not as memorable as some of his other "hits", but definitely added a lot to the film, like a score should. The script was brilliant, the pacing was perfect, and it seems like Gary Ross knows what he's doing. I cannot WAIT for the next two movies! Expand
  34. Mar 26, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The movie is a very hasty and premature summary of the book. It lags a lot of the memorable highlights of the book, and adding to it, is the stupid re-writing of the scene where Katniss gets the Mockinjay-pendant. The acting was very sleazy too, and amateurish. As a movie on it's own, it was shot beautifully. But as a interpretation of the book, it just doesn't cut it. Expand
  35. Apr 2, 2012
    Thiis is a fab film, the performances are great, Stanley Tucci in particular is excellent (but when is he not?) Jennifre Lawrence showed again that she is going to be the actress to watch from now on, it's just really good, very un-hollywood, no cheesy background music when its not called for like a lot of films, visually brilliant without being over the top. Go and see it!
  36. Mar 23, 2012
    Dear reviewers and review readers,
    I come bearing great news about a tale that will exhilarate your body and soul. It's name is The Hunger Games. Though I did not read the trilogy, I felt that this movie topped many other movies that I have seen in the past few years and maybe more if I thought deep enough. I am sure that I missed some information but if you understand movies like a mature
    professional, then it is very easy to catch onto. Don't be one of those people who obsess over making movies seem very terrible because they don't want to be hipsters. If you can withstand two and a half hours of every emotion that you can see in a movie, then you will absolutely love the Hunger Games. Expand
  37. Mar 30, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The story: brutal story about teens killing each other. This was not the problem I had with the movie. The problem I had with the movie was the cinematography, or lack of it. I could not stand the very poor camera work. The director was constantly zooming in, panning up, zooming out, it became annoying. The "fight" scenes were a blur. You could not tell who was fighting what. They even had to resort to a cannon sounding to make sense of who died and who lived. Then there is the whole problem with the arena itself. The way the movie ended involved a Deus Ex Machina that ruined the entire premise. I will not go into detail beyond saying that if the cities had this technology available to them, why are they resorting to killing kids to keep the peace. I would avoid this movie, the plot is predictable, and the cinemtography is terrible. While I sat watching the film, I wondered how the director, or maybe its the author, would handle "good" kids killing "bad" kids, and it ended up turning out how I thought it would. As far as racist viewers worried about casting, I do not know why people complain about that crap. The issue I had is that the author, or director, chose the black community to be the ones rioting. That seems very racist to me, but I guess people are somehow comforted over that. Expand
  38. Mar 23, 2012
    In no way was it a masterpiece, but the Hunger Games proved itself an excitingly intense movie, led by the powerful performances from Lawrence and Hutcherson. The action was at best decent, sticking true to the book, yet not nearly as epic it could be, and the cinematography was obviously purposeful, yet at times disorienting. My biggest disappointment was soundtrack. At times I felt the movie stumbled along, lacking the addicting fast pace of the book, and I feel like that may be due to the ho-hum soundtrack. There was no driving force, no beat to the film to carry the film forward, and because of that, the film suffered. Overall, I enjoyed the movie and found it worth the twelve dollars. However, I would not see it again. Expand
  39. Mar 24, 2012
    Fantastic adaptation of the book. Jennifer Lawrence is again wonderful and the film made me laugh and cry. Dont worry about the 12A rating it is all implied and in most cases shows the deaths anyway. DIRECTORS cut will be FAB! a*****************
  40. Mar 23, 2012
    Hunger Games is THE must-see-movie of the year! Everything fits together perfectly - the cast, their acting, the
    Especially Jennifer Lawrence's acting is reason enough to watch, but there is so much more.
    Believe me - this movie won't disappoint anyone who loves the books. Everyone in the cinema praised this amazing masterpiece and you will be the next:)
  41. Mar 24, 2012
    Just as great as I expected. It was perfectly paced, the acting was incredible, and it actually stays (mostly) true to the book. There were some details from the book that were left out of the movie, but they would've been really hard to explain and the movie would've been way too long. But just like the book, the movie offers lots of action; emotion; tear-jerking moments; and well-developed, likable characters. I give this movie a fully enthusiastic 10/10. It definitely does the book justice and I highly recommend it. Expand
  42. Apr 1, 2012
    Hands down the best movie in recent memory. Everything about it was exquisite. A wickedly horrid but interesting story told magnificently. Compelling on every level. The tone and aura of the film were perfection.
  43. Apr 10, 2012
    i was so looking forward to watching this movie. I seen all of the amazing reviews and i hoped for the best... but i was so wrong... the book was soo much better the movie its scary.... i really dont know how people think the movie was so good.... i sat there wathing and thinking, wheres the part where haymitch fell of the stage... or where haymitch sent katniss the sleeping medicine so she could go to the cornucopia... and the red head avox girl and thats just a few parts they were missing... the book has soo much detail... in the book... you get to read how katniss is feeling about everything and how the events that just happened... decide her next decision.... im not a personal lover of romance in films... but in the book the "romance" between katniss and petta makes the plot soo much better... but in the film its all broken up and i cant make sence of what has happened.... i hate the fact that the directors have made this into a movie for kids... the book is for adults...there is a lot of viloence and scenes that are for older viewers but the DIRECTOR wants everyone to love this movie... but in my opinion he got it soo wrong... i just hope they dont make the same mistakes if they are ALLOWED to make the second book... which is also a great read
    i recommened to everyone who thinks that this movie is the best thing since slice bread... to read the book and you will instantly see the flaws and how bad the the movie truely is
  44. Aug 7, 2012
    Based on the book by Suzanne Collins, the hunger games movie is a good tribute that will probably leave fans delighted. Though not as exciting as the book, it is still worth seeing.
  45. Mar 24, 2012
    An absolute thrill of a film. I didn't read any of the books, and that could help with my perception of the movie. But taken as a film (and that's how a movie should be judged, ultimately), The Hunger Games is a great experience that follows a young heroine in a society which thrives off of the murder of young, underpriveledged children as a form of entertainment. Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) delivers a wonderful performance, while supporting cast members such as Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Donald Sutherland bring this movie to life. The execution of the movie's direction and post-production give it the feel that Riddley Scott's "Gladiator" and Kurt Wimer's "Equilibrium" had a silver screen child, and named it "The Hunger Games". While not as gorey or adult-themed as the previous films, it still finds all the right places to be violent without forcing audiences to endure grissley violence (which certainly could have ensued). If you're looking for a great package in one film, The Hunger Games might be your ticket. But then again, there's probably a small group of people who won't find it as entertaining. Most of those people have already decided not to partake in this adventure. Here's to looking forward to the potential of a strong trilogy in the making! Expand
  46. Apr 21, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A lot of hype for a very lazy Hollywood movie. It falls especially flat once the Hunger Games begin. It seems that the director and all the actors didn't take the premise very seriously: that these are young children being forced to fight to the death with only one victor allowed. At times it felt more like revenge of the nerds where the dumb jocks band together to pick on the weaker kids. The stronger, Aryan-looking kids, go around seeking out Katniss with a joyous, kind of partying attitude. Have these teenagers somehow forgotten that only one person can survive? That at any moment the people they are next to have every reason to murder them in order to save themselves? One of them has no problems taking a nap while the others wait for Katniss to come down off the tree. And they laugh and flirt and play like school just got let out. And time after time the kids let others escape, sometimes for no reason at all. One large Black teen kills a young girl, as she is fighting with Katniss, then looks at Katniss and says something to the effect of "I'll let you go this time", for no reason. Has he forgotten that one way or another he will have to kill her to survive? Why wait to kill her too? Especially in the midst of bloodlust after killing someone else? This is his own life which is at stake, but you'd never guess from how he behaves. They just didn't take the premise seriously enough for me to take it seriously as an audience member. For a movie with this kind of budget and marketing machine, there is no excuse for such laziness. This made me want to watch Blade Runner, a Sci-Fi movie in which the director took care of the details. Expand
  47. Aug 16, 2012
    Lets mix "the running man" with the tv show "Survivor" target the audience for "teenagers" but lets make it as violent as possible. Thats the end result for this movie. The movie is not orginal, boring, NOT real, the characters act as if they were on a tv show and their lives werent not in danger. They formed "Alliances" when the whole idea was the strongest person survives? give me a break! AVOID this movie at all costs! Expand
  48. Mar 23, 2012
    I saw this movie at midnight like the many others around the country and left the theater feeling pretty good. The movie presents itself as a great compliment to the first book of the trilogy. The movie used a good mix of fast paced action, emotions, moral dilemmas, and satire and the camera work was mildly creative giving the film a more edgy feel. Though the shaky camera style doesn't sit well with others I felt it suited the atmosphere of the movie very well. The camera work deviates from mainstream films and gives us a different perspective.

    The movie does a good job following the book with minimal deviations. The deviations that did occur did seem to hamper the movie. It was some of the finer details the film passed by that hurt it.

    Unfortunately, because of the limits of length, the movie did not flesh out the characters as well as hoped nor was the back story laid out very well. I fear that those seeing the movie without reading the books will not appreciate everything the movie has to offer or understand it. I will say that one of the best aspects of this movie was the attention to detail in costumes, character design, and settings. The movie is great and is definitely a tribute to those who read the books first.
  49. Mar 31, 2012
    The movie was overall fairly good but when you read the books, you always heard what she was thinking and in the movie you could just see the look on her face but never understand what she was thinking off. The movie left out a lot of important details and was definitely not as good as the book, but it was still good and I'll probably buy the DVD version when it comes out.
  50. Mar 23, 2012
    The Hunger Games is a fantastic movie, and the reason? The cast, the books, the story, all is amazing in the Hunger Games. The best is Jennifer Lawrence at Katniss Everdeen. I love The Hunger Games, is an amzing movie.
  51. Mar 23, 2012
    The movie was very entertaining. I didn't know anything about the books, and so going in as a complete noob I found the movie easily understood. A great book-movie tie in. Loved in, not a dull moment. A lot of great moments!
  52. Mar 23, 2012
    I'm not really sure if i should compared the movie to the book. Because usually the movie is NEVER as good as the books are. What i really loved about the books was the "Katniss-Perspective" which the movie didn't have a ruined it quite a bit. A lot of the books are about Katniss thoughts about everything and everyone around here. And the movie didn't give away that feeling at all.

    like another person wrote about the movie that i fully agree with: "The cinematography was so terrible."

    The movie also skipped a lot of the book too. And i understand that it's quite hard to fit in everything.
    That's why i think it would better if it was made into a TV Show like Game of Thrones instead of a movie.
  53. Mar 24, 2012
    The film is beautifully imagined and shot and is in keeping with the essence of the book. In one sense fans of the literary franchise will be pleased that the overall story has be preserved and allowed to adapt organically during the conversion. But as is often found in literary to cinematic adaptations, timing and relationships to characters (and between characters on screen) may have a different impact than would be the case in the process of reading. The sentimental and nostalgic moments do certainly tug at ones heartstrings but rather differently than is the case with the novel. The film is a stand-alone piece and so to say that it fails in some way in light of the literary genre would be both untrue and unfair. What could be said is that the deep impact the story is created to embed in the mind may take longer than if one weaved the world themselves as we do when we read. This film is probably one of the better examples of the difference between the film and literary genres in terms of impact on imagination. In all, it's well shot, well scripted and certainly well acted. I have a feeling that this franchise, more-so than other popular young-adult phenomena will be more about the complete story rather than individual pieces. For superfans of the book it might take two viewings, as for all else it should by all rights make for entertaining viewing. Expand
  54. Feb 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "It all makes sense if you read the book". Well, I guess it's time to put a warning label on the DVD cover about that, because this movie makes no sense. At all. I really hope the books are better thought and better written than this movie, that can be described only as garbage on garbage on garbage that the viewer is forced to swallow. Plot holes, unanswered questions, non-sense, "The Hunger Games" has them all. During the movie you'll find yourself simply asking two kind of questions: "Are they really that stupid?" and "What the hell?". Some examples? Here we go, but I doubt I'll have enough typing space. --The participants make teams. Yes, you read that correctly: they make TEAMS. For like an hour you're told only one of them can survive but, yeah, they make teams. You could understand that behaviour from the kind-hearted Katniss, but, wait, it gets better: the BAD GUYS make teams. And they sleep together. Of course, no one of them thinks about slaughtering all of his teammates during the night to win the games, because, yes, they are that stupid. --You managed to get all the food supplies? It would be a good idea to surround them with two dozens land mines, just in case the good girl wants to blow them and starve you to death. Yes, they are that stupid. --The good girl climbs a tree while chased by a bunch of bad guys? No problem, since no one of that uber-skilled teen assassins is able to climb a tree aswell. Again, it gets better: she kills one by throwing an hive full of killer bees on them while they're sleeping (somehow the bees can tell the good guys from the bad ones). --At one point she's about to be killed, but the bad guy is kind enough to wait, go close and confess all of his murders, so the not-so-good-but-not-that-bad girl can get revenge. Oh, it gets even better: she kills only the bad guy and spares Katniss, since she somehow forgot (again) only one of them can win.--On the "What the hell?" category: when short on participants, they "summon" two giant rabid dogs through a computer. No explanation whatsoever, they just click a couple of times, make a 3D drawing we go, giant dogs. Also, these dogs are like 6 feet high, but can't jump over a 4 1/2 feet high roof, otherwise the good girl would've died. --The baker-guy manages to disguise himself as a rock. And he's damn good at it, but...wait. What tools did he use? And when? No explanation. --The end would have been a great comedy moment if I hadn't payed real money to see it. It goes like this: "We changed the rules of the game, you both win. No, wait, it was a joke, the rules stay the same, one of you have to die. Wait... What? Are you killing yourselves? For real? Nononono! Wait! Wait! We change the rules, ok, we change the rules. You both win, long life to the Hunger Games!". I mean, are you serious? Are you f***ing serious? These games go on for like a century and no one, never ever thought you can simply cheat by threatening to kill yourselves as the last survivors? Again: are they really *that stupid*? And these overpowered, totalitarian organizers never ever thought about this *little flaw*? They have to be tricked by a couple of teenagers to realize their idiocy? --These are just some of the pearls you'll find in this movie, let alone the poor acting of everyone, including Woody Harrelson that was probably *really* drunk during all the shoots. If "The Hunger Games" was a movie from Mel Brooks, it would've been a round 10 in comedy. Don't waste your money on this rubbish. Expand
  55. Mar 23, 2012
    Having read the book, I can say that this movie was a relatively loyal adaptation, andI was reasonably surprised byit.Itis true that not everything fromthe bookis captured here. But to expectthe filmmakers to translate every single page fromthe book ontothe screen would be unfair (it's not possible). With that being said, judged onit's own terms (asintelligent, blockbuster entertainment),the film succeeds.It's fast-paced, suspenseful, emotional, and brutal whereit needs to be. Jennifer Lawrence gives a great performance as Katniss Everdeen (if any ofthe other rumored casting choices were chosen for Katniss,they would have paledin comparison to Lawrence's work here). Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz also give standout performances.The production designis great (futuristicinthe capitol, primalinthe arena), andthe actionis well-choreographed.The 2 hour and 20 minute running time flew by, and bythe endI was already anticipatingthe next two films. Expand
  56. Mar 23, 2012
    I'm rounding up from 7.5. It about matched my expectations (which were pretty high after reading some of the reviews). And for someone who didn't read the books it left minimal questions and kept things smooth and rather exciting.
  57. Aug 14, 2012
    Dumbest and senseless movie ever! Some people, dressed like a gay freak show, taking some lowlifes's children for a gladiator's fights to make them (lowlifes) calm?! Only a tiny example of stupidity.
  58. May 11, 2012
    I think the goal was to translate the Hunger Games series into films that would still get it a PG-13 rating so that it's primary audience could actually go see the movies. It could have been much darker and more violent, but I think it was faithful to the book - and a thoughtful treatment of the various dystopian themes. There's so much more to the books than the violence of the games. Had the movie focused only on that it would have shortchanged the story. Instead, this film reaches for higher-hanging fruit. Jennifer Lawrence is a terrific actress who brought depth to the role of Katniss, but I thought Amandla Stenberg's portrayal of Rue was wonderful. I look forward to the next installment! Expand
  59. Apr 28, 2013
    Shameful ripoff of "Battle Royale," and much lower in quality. It's Battle Royale for "the Twilight crowd." The acting was stale, the action was bland, and there wasn't any reason given to me to really care about anything going on. The author of the books claims to have never heard of Battle Royale, and that's a laugh!
  60. Mar 24, 2012
    I submitted a review but not a rating, so my 2 and a half star review has a rating of 10. I'd actually rate this a 6.5. The movie disappointed me by lacking the urgency of the book, being too shallow (not that the book was really deep), failing to convey Katniss' and other characters' inner selves, and not carrying sufficient weight for the subject matter. I don't want more actual gore, but they failed to convey the disturbing, horrific nature of the Games. I've been more disturbed at TV dramas. The audience in my theater barely reacted, and walked out as soon as the credits started as if they were no more affected than the people in the Capitol. Basically, what was good about the book was missing. Maybe I'd have thought it was better if I hadn't known what was coming, but if a movie has to rely just on suspense for its value, it's pretty shallow. And if I hadn't read the book, I would have misread many character motivations, which were largely glossed over and simplified. I would have misconstrued the climax for sure. This seemed like a sure-fire book-to-film transfer, but the book is so much better. Jennifer Lawrence is the best thing about the movie; I just wish her role has been written better. Expand
  61. Mar 24, 2012
    I love this movie!
    The part when the tributes ran at the beginning to get the weapons etc. was pretty brutal. I loved Katniss :D
    I would reccomend this movie to anyone, I loved it.
  62. Nov 21, 2013
    A cliché, predictable, boring, eventless and poorly presented movie. It borrows age-old tricks from video games and does them poorly. Absolutely nothing to see here.
  63. Mar 27, 2012
    The Hunger Games is off to a much better start than the Twilight films. The action was exciting, the story was engaging, and all the actors know what they are doing.
  64. Aug 24, 2012
    So my previous review was about why this movie was bad as a film, like poor/very bad(characterization, setting or general surreal atmosphere was just not serious/believable at all and this was put forth with no explanation, costumes of people especially soldiers, storyline and I want to say game play but this isn't a video game; I guess the closest thing would be the way the story worked itself out was pathetic).
    However this was based on the idea that this was a genuine story, which it is not. This book and film are both completely based on Battle Royal and this film brings absolutely nothing new to this type of storyline. Also, Battle Royal actually had gore while simultaneously making a good film in every way this movie failed it succeeded. If Battle Royal was in English, I bet he could sue on copy right in this day and age but that's another story....
  65. Mar 29, 2012
    The Hunger Games is highly successful at delivering a substantial emotional investment. The premise of a Most Dangerous Game alternate society has been done before, but the story has a far greater humanity and depth than the genre has ever delivered. It has the neon of the The Running Man, and some similar B-movie characteristics. However, the lack of slickness and advanced technology filmmaking allows for some young actors to do some very good work. It's an emotionally engaging movie. Jennifer Lawrence is a real movie star. She is a very good actress and has electricity on screen. The action sequences and final act aren't spectacular, but these are characters I want to follow for their next adventure. Expand
  66. May 30, 2012
    Have I missed something, or is 'Hunger Games' in essence the same film as 'Battle Royale'.

    The Battle Royale. metacritic summary says 'Summary: Battle Royale is a violent epic about an innocent group of Junior High students forced by the government to hunt and kill their classmates for sport.'. And for 'Hunger Games' summary 'the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its
    twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete'.

    Is it a remake, or just a rip off?
  67. Mar 25, 2012
    First of all, you people comparing the movie to the book is stupid! The movie isn't suppose to be just like the book, that's how almost all of the movies are, they leave out some detail and change it up a bit to the director's desire. If you read the book, be prepared for that.

    Also, the movie is very clear on some aspects to someone who didn't read the book. This movie was very stunning
    and impressive; some part of you would want to go on the adventure of the hunger games but you know you'd die for a fact, ahaha! But some flaws are that the details move to fast, and some questions go unanswered. Otherwise, this movie was well put together. Expand
  68. Mar 24, 2012
    Being a huge fan of the book, I had high expectations for such a big-budget adaptation. Collins did an excellent job adapting her novel to a different media, and with exception of a few changes, held true to the original source material. The few changes that were made in foresight will enhance future film adaptations by removing confusing details or adding new plot devices that, while exceptional in the original novel, do not translate as well to the film.

    The characters, with a few exceptions, were superbly acted and well developed. I applaud the director for limiting the amount of romance in the film (which becomes almost sickeningly annoying in the sequel novels), which allowed for good character development but did not leave me feeling like I was watching characters from twilight in a different movie.

    Plot wise the film follows the novel fairly consistently; a few plot holes exist which take away slightly from the overall feel. Otherwise, it is an excellent movie and an enjoyable experience.
  69. Mar 25, 2012
    First of, I would give this movie a 9.5 out of 10. Had to round. 2nd this is a great film. Book pretty good, movie great. Acting good, visuals good, and score is good. You need to see this film. This is a great start to a hopefully successful series.
  70. Apr 1, 2012
    It was excellent. I've read the books and I enjoyed the movie. No 10 rating for some of the acting and the changes to the script but none the less I enjoyed it.
  71. Apr 1, 2012
    Sure, blurring the violence with shaky-cam helps to obtain the PG13 but I can't go along with the blatant choice to make a purported $78M production look like amateur hour by using handheld cameras throughout. I don't care if it was an "artistic" choice or not. This is a science fiction movie and no one is fooled that it is a documentary or an attempt at realism a la Blair Witch Project. A simple conversation between two people in a room involves snap pans, quick cuts, even a few focus deficient zooms. I would say it looks like the kids from Super 8 made it but JJ Abrams knew that even seventies kids were smart enough to use a tripod. Expand
  72. Apr 21, 2012
    The Hunger Games is a very good movie. Did it very well from the book. They didn't make it a lot like the book but still a great film. The Hunger Games 7.9/10
  73. Apr 10, 2012
    I'm wondering: how original is the premise? An post-apocalyptic world where live televised fights-to-the-death keep the populous' blood lust satisfied? Eh. Series 7: The Contenders did it way before, but not with Hunger Games' budget. Plus there's Running Man, the Road Warrior, and earlier, 1984. If the world ever becomes a world like the Hunger Games, I'd protest in the streets and risk dying in a Tiananmen square movement. Orwell wrote a better satire on society's need for bloodlust and authoritarianism, because he details a lot of what happened in the world before it got fragmented into superstates. There's no such luck with Suzanne Collins. I don't think Suzanne Collins or the film-makers have enough imagination or storytelling skills to give us the big picture of Panem or the characters should have. They're just waving their fingers at us tsk-tsking us for watching too much reality TV, that one day will lead to televised murder. Does Collins give her characters enough depth that they rebel against an insane society that has degraded to televised murder? Why do they go along with it? Like I said, I'd stand my ground and risk my life for freedom and autonomy before I'd let what happened in Pan Em happen to us. Expand
  74. May 8, 2012
    Hot garbage. Thought this movie was gonna be the PG-13 version of "Battle Royale". Instead it's just another dumb twilight esc movie. No thanks Hollywood, you can keep your tweenie movies to yourself.
  75. Aug 9, 2012
    A refreshingly grim and realistic premise for an American film meant for teens. Disney it ain't and that's a strength. The weakness? Way, way too much fidelity to the source material. The first hour and a half is ponderous and keeps repeating plot and character points that may have been useful in the novel, but really drag the movie down at least when it pertains to the villainous characters. They are portrayed without an ounce of balance or empathy! As an artistic choice, it's fine, but then someone should have taken some liberties with the script to assure that we weren't treated to endless scenes of Tucci and company being wretched and evil. It got old very quickly. Casting was mostly well done. Rue worked for me and I believe was a true artistic choice especially in Katniss' final acts for her. Lawrence was much, much better in this role than in anything she has done before. It's the first time I've seen her reveal herself in her acting. She worked for me and the nuances of the premise made me feel like I was not watching something put out there to make the kids "feel empowered" which is 90% of teen film. To be commended. Expand
  76. Mar 19, 2013
    Not worth it. Please, I read the book for school and decided to check out the movie. My God that was terrible almost as terrible as Avatar. I fell asleep 3 times. The book was filled with action but this movie wasn't. Acting was good that's why I gave it a three. If you want to be entertained you would have a better chance watching the book cover then this. The book cover was more interesting then the movie. Avoid movies like this and you will be happy. You want my advice, watch Spring Breakers. Expand
  77. May 21, 2013
    The Hunger Games, based on a novel of the same title by Suzanne Collins, fails to deliver as much suspense as the novel does and even though it tries to deliver some action it delivers no action. The Hunger Games is also extremely complicated for those who have not read the book. There are countless things that the viewer won't know if they haven't read the book. The scenes also went by way to fast in my opinion. For a movie that is two hours and twenty-two minutes (about two hours and ten minutes with out the ending credits), this movie should have been made way better. The special effects, though, were extraordinary. Expand
  78. Jun 12, 2013
    Very little character development, weak storyline. This movie did have the potential to be great, but with weak character development, mediocre action scenes, and what felt like a weak storyline it was utterly dissappointing. If more time was spent on getting the viewers to know and identify with the characters it might have been a great movie.
  79. Nov 29, 2013
    A solid start to a promising franchise, The Hunger Games thrills with good action sequences and a brilliant performance by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.
  80. Mar 26, 2012
    Completely faithful to the book, 'The Hunger Games' is thought provoking, action packed, and features a particular spotlight performance from Jennifer Lawrence. Certainly the film is intense and violent, but not bloody not gory, making the controversial killings easier for audiences to digest. Even so I would not recommend this film to audiences younger than 13, but as a credit to the film-makers, it will appeal to all age groups above this. Expand
  81. Apr 15, 2012
    Best Movie I've Ever See. If you've read the book you will absolutely love this movie.
    Jennifer Lawrence is a sexy beast and the movie is just sooooooooo good you have to see this movie i swear.
  82. Mar 28, 2012
    The only reason I'm not giving this movie a 10 (even though I was totally planning on voting a 10) is because I watched the movie before I read the book. Overall, The Hunger Games is a unique and refreshing film. However, towards the last few minutes of the movie I started experiencing confusion between Katniss and Peeta's relationship. Keep in mind I did not know there was a Hunger Games book series at all before stepping into the theater. It was obvious towards the last few minutes a cliffhanger was coming and left me hoping for a sequel. I had many unanswered questions though about the characters relationships with each other and a few even on the technical aspects of the Games. The questions were not answered in the book Catching Fire. They were answered in the book Hunger Games. Because of my unanswered questions being answered within the book the movie was written about and the lack of details that I considered to be important in the book that were not shown in the movie I cannot give a 10. Expand
  83. Mar 30, 2012
    I did NOT read the books. With that being said, I liked this film! The performances are all great and the story, as you can imagine, is strong. It drags here and there but nothing that sucks the life out of what's going on on-screen. Harrelson does a fine job and he provides a likeable character here. Of course, the gorgeous pitch-perfect Lawrence is stunning as ever. There is some strong potential here and I believe with time and a couple sequels that are equally as good, this will be another franchise powerhouse. Expand
  84. Apr 14, 2012
    I wish i could have given this movie an eleven! This movie not only showed the brutality of humans, but the inhumane treatment of "slave-like" districts. This movie was amazing, short and simple.
  85. Mar 23, 2012
    The hunger games' largest problem is that it chooses to emphacize on it's dramatic material between the lovebirds over it's thematic material. Does the film do the book justice? kind of I guess. Will all the teen girls that go see this film be happy they sure will. This does not meen i did not enjoy it, it just meens it could have been a lot better by taking a few more risks as the critics like to say. Expand
  86. Mar 24, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Overall, it felt like those late afternoon teen shows (Spellbinder etc). They're okay, but not really meaty enough for the seriousness of the idea, and a little too bland. I was reminded a lot of "Tomorrow When the War Began". I also haven't read the books.

    The cons:
    TERRIBLE cinematography, like really bad. Shaky, handheld camera only works if a) it's done very sparingly and b) the camera focuses on the same thing (allowing the eye to compensate). Luckily it seemed to disappear about 15mins into the film. Oddly, the shakiest camera work was when nothing much was happening, rather than using it for dramatic effect.

    Shallow story. The characters didn't really seem to feel the emotion of what was happening to them. Jennifer Lawrence, despite being somewhat of a cutie, has very limited facial expressions. The other guy was no better. There's no examination of what's coming up (ie: a kill-or-be-killed death match). Sure, the story presents this as happening for the last 73 years, but surely there was some space for the leads to at least object to the idea.
    It's also worth pointing out that during the arena scenes, there was a *complete* lack of tension. There is an initial bloodbath, where half the "tributes" die, and then nothing. None of the other teen killer/victims get any significant screentime, which means that there's no care when they die. Without any emotional connection, it's just empty. The author claims to have come up with the idea while "channel-surfing the TV where she saw people competing for some prize and then saw footage of the Iraq war. She describes how the two combined in an unsettling way". Unfortunately, all that the author has done is create a story where we watch brutality for enjoyment. Maybe the rest of the series will discover some form of theme that contradicts this idea, but at the moment its a continuation of what it thinks it's parodying.

    Overall, it's okay, and I assume the excitement is because the books were better. It's very bland, shallow, and leaves me wanting more. Not more violence and blood, but more depth and feeling. I'll have forgotten most of it in a day or so.
  87. Feb 19, 2013
    The Hunger Games is a half-decent albeit illogical science-fiction action movie. The plot revolves around 24 teenagers being forced into taking part in a fight to the death. The movie is 2 hours and 21 minutes long and yet they still manage to not properly introduce all of the contestants to us which makes their inevitable deaths meaningless and although this detracts from the serious atmosphere they're trying to create, it does make for an entertaining action movie. The story seems puzzled together from several other movies/books and put together as a mostly coherent and entertaining whole despite some logical fallacies. The writers must be highly conformist creatures for them to believe people would sit idly by when you force their children to fight to the death year after year. The Hunger Games has a happy ending but it leaves much to be desired. Like his holiness Snake Plissken said "The more things change, the more they stay the same" and I couldn't find think of a more fitting vote to describe the ending of this movie. However, f you manage to look beyond these flaws, you'll have quite an entertaining film if you watch it in two or three parts. The beautiful Jennifer Lawrence, as usual, manages to put on a show and if it wasn't for her, this movie probably wouldn't be rated as high as it currently is. Expand
  88. Apr 28, 2012
    It's not flawless , but it manages to keep the viewer engrossed from start to finish thanks to some very thrilling action and a superb emotional emphasis that will stay with you for a very long time to come .
  89. Apr 4, 2014
    Seriously, **** this film. It is awful. I'm not going into detail because it would take hours for me to go over everything that makes this thing unwatchable. Suffice to say it's just a senseless story driven by insufferably irritating characters and a string of convenient plot devices that sporadically fade in and out of relevance. If you want a film about a brutal death match, watch battle royale. If you want a film about ridiculous angst ridden teenage romance, watch twilight. If you want a film that tries to include a death match and a convoluted teenage romance and fails at both, watch the hunger games. Expand
  90. Nov 26, 2012
    Admittedly, I was already tired to begin with when I started watching this movie (which resulted in me falling asleep halfway and missing around 60% of the awful movie). Either way, I don't understand the hype about this movie. It wasn't good at all, it was terrible. Terrible actors, terrible everything. I don't recommend this for anyone to watch. The only reason I'm rating it 3, is to be fair. But seriously though, it was awful. Expand
  91. Apr 9, 2012
    The Hunger Games is an unforgettable film experience. It features an incredible performance from Jennifer Lawrence and amazing supporting performances from everyone. Gary Ross's direction may be criticized but he really manages to bring you into the story. You feel for the character, you feel pure emotion. The film manages to scare you, manages to make you cry. It never drags and should be recognized as one of the best films of 2012. I give this movie 98%. Expand
  92. Feb 22, 2013
    The Hunger Games was everything I expected, but not more than that. I am a huge fan of the series, having read all the books months ago, but I've avoided the movie until all the hype died down, so that I could give an honest opinion, and here it is. The film was terrific, one of the best adaptation of a book I've read. Jennifer Lawrence was absolutely perfect as Katniss and if she doesn't get a ton of awards for the role, there is no justice in Hollywood. That's the good news, however the movie was far from perfect. Friends who went with me and had never read the books, found it to be slow, and didn't understand certain things. At times, I could see their point. Several major things were rushed or just left out of the film. This led to some confusion, and then there's Peeta. I love Josh Hutcherson and thought he was terrific, but the portrayal of Peeta wasn't accurate. He was nowhere near as likeable as he is in the books and he comes off looking like kind of a The end of the games was also problematic, as they changed a key point that I thought was pivotal going into Catching Fire. It will be interesting to see what they do to fix that before the next film. Overall I loved the movie and thought it was awesome, but if you didn't read the books, you might be a little confused by parts of it and see it as slow. Parts of the film that dragged on were explained through thoughts in Katniss's head during the book. Without knowing what was going on at those points, I could see how some audience members may have been bored with it. The movie and especially the books live up to all the hype and are well worth your time, The Hunger Games is something you are not going to want to miss. Expand
  93. Apr 2, 2012
    It's like watching an episode of Buffy. Just corny, predictable and constant wtfs. I just found myself in awe of how often I was laughing and wondering why they didn't opt to use realism over Twilightish teenism.
  94. Mar 25, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Well I have read the book and I suppose that makes me the target audience. I was so bored towards the middle, I started picking on the scenes that seemed to me heavy handed and just sloppy. SPOILER: the wasps scene was VERY heavy handed in my opinion, as well as the land mines. Every time the presenters appeared on the screen, they only explained the stuff that the audience didn't know from the book. It could've been done in a more subtle way in the beginning of the movie. Why not show the boy laying down land mines during the training? If you want to use the presenters the make them appear frequently to mask the sloppy explanations.. I don't know.. Also baffling is the scene just before the start of the Games when the kids are on their starting positions. It's a horrible and at the same time mesmerising moment but the close-up camera and lack of musical score suck out the feeling from the scene. There's actually NO sound at all when the action begins. And yes I know it's supposed to be a tragic and a brutal situation, but this is exactly why the sound is so important.

    It's just my opinion but I wouldn't make this movie in such a realistic way, without a musical score (or at least any memorable musical theme), all based on close ups and grit. I didn't feel any emotional attachment to anything and anyone (we're supposed to root for the oppressed districts, remember?) But so little time is spent on developing that story line, and so much time wasted on the filler scenes before and during the actual games that the movie appears overly long and at the same time, nothing major is happening. District 11 is rebelling after the little girl, Rue dies, but her death is so muted, and so devoid of emotion that I personally felt little, and not just because I knew she was going to die.This is where a good musical score can underline the emotions in a character who is strong willed on the outside but very confused on the inside. By the way it's the 74th Games ( means it's been 74 years since the beginning of the regime) and NOW everyone is rebelling? Why nobody took a minute to explain why the situation is so tense nowadays?

    I could go on saying how Jennifer Lawrence and the rest of the kids don't look even remotely like they are 17. I could say that there are scenes that I liked with Haymitch and the lady from the Capitol stealing the scenes they're in and Cinna's presence being so muted it's almost a disgrace to an important character of the book. And here lies the problem. The book is about Catniss and not just kids killing each other and the horror that it represents. It's about emotions, her emotions, emotions of the people who surround her. The movie is about actions, and horror and realism. Cinna was important to Catniss because of how he inspired and awed her, in the movie there's nothing to it. Instead we have the void. No music, barely any emotion. The color palette is somehow muted, and the contrast between the capitol and the districts is conveyed only through the ridiculous makeup. Scenes that are supposed to be big and awesome look "meh" (that goes for the parade, capitol reveal, arena reveal, final denouement).

    I can't say it was a bad movie, but it's a deeply flawed one. It's just not the movie I'd want to watch again. And that's below expectations.
  95. Mar 24, 2012
    Oh sinnerman where u gone run to? where u gone run 2? Its She-Robinhood of Sherwood Forest. Read it. Breakthrough film introduce younger audiences hunger for blood and gore instead of family friendly Disney. Made Twilight look like a cartoon but its a bit cold and dry. Direction+Art is SUPERB! Not borrowed. Original!
  96. Apr 5, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Angels: I have not read the book. Also, I am an old dude who likes all kinds of movies-including movies with well constructed scenes of realistic violence...So, I went to this movie with high expectations. Unfortunately, for me, and I should have realized this from the ratings, the violence was sanitized so as to be suitable for high schoolers, with a low tolerance for violence. It is a great story, and the young actors did a fine job. Katniss was appealing, and believable as a 'tough enough" heroine (though not an ass-kicking one.) However, I found that the pace of the movie flagged in places, and there was an implausibility factor at a detail level. (I know it is basically implausible to imagine a society sacrificing children, but I got over that hurdle easily enough.) What I did not understand is why there were not any(?) desperate nihilistic young characters. (I grew up in a big city, and I came across quite a few. And judging from the crime in rural areas there are quite a few there too.) But why did the young tributes cooperate so meekly with the murderous theatre. I know some of the kids I grew up with would have tried to kill/assault their tormentors at the capitol. Does this happen in the next book/movie? Anyway, the movie was entertaining enough. And to put this movie in perspective, my son, who is college age, and sophisticated about movies, really enjoyed this one.
    Glow brightly Angels.
  97. Jun 14, 2012
    I enjoyed The Hunger Games a lot, but there are definitely some problems with the movie that prevented it from being truly amazing in my opinion. For starters the movie has some very interesting themes and ideas (like using terror to subdue the masses, etc...) but sadly they're very underused, which is understandable as you don't have as much time in a film. But if the movie is going to lose in depth I expected it to make up in pacing and action, and unfortunately the pacing was very slow at times and I found myself very bored in the middle of the movie because of the heavy exposition that wasn't very well done, so it was a lose-lose situation. The next problem I had were the action sequences, it's simple you couldn't see a damn thing. Now, this has some upsides, for example the violence wasn't shown in a epic fashion and at the same time they would spend a great amount of time showing you the consequences of it, which makes it very real and poignant, but the big downside like I said is that you can't see a damn thing and have no idea what just happened. Overall though I enjoyed the characters and performances a lot, the actors did a great job I think. So yeah all in all The Hunger Games is the perfect example of a good movie that has the potential to be amazing with its sequels, if they manage to fix the small issues, and turn it into a great trilogy, which I'm hopeful they will. Expand
  98. Mar 28, 2012
    I really want to address the people that say it wasn't like the book: First they can't put everything into a 2 hour movie, also I believed that it was the best Book to film adaptation I have ever seen. Its not like most movies that were hollywooded, but this film didn't do that. I highly recommend this film, even if you didn't read the books
  99. Apr 30, 2012
    To me, the Hunger Games was like watching something in the future. I know that it leaves out lots of parts, but if they took it right from the book, It would probably be rated R.
  100. Jan 22, 2014
    This film is just a copy of Battle Royale, it's plagiarism. There's nothing new here, there's nothing stunning or amazing it's just a film to take your money and is a big hollywood fail.

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: David Denby
    Mar 26, 2012
    The result is an evasive, baffling, unexciting production - anything but a classic.
  2. Reviewed by: Andy Klein
    Mar 23, 2012
    Ross manages to keep the pacing remarkably swift, given that the games themselves don't start until halfway through the 144-minute running time.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 23, 2012
    Katniss is gritty, she's flinty, she's intimidating -- and she doesn't have to compromise one iota of her femininity for it. And Ross' movie tells her story wonderfully.