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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1413 Ratings

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  1. Apr 3, 2012
    8
    The Hunger Games is not like Harry Potter or Twilight Saga, let's say we must trust the hype. It's thrilling and touching. Gary Ross put this movie-based-on-book more exciting with his hand. Thanks to solid acting from Lawrence.
  2. Apr 3, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The start of the film was very promising, setting up the film well. It showed the relationships between characters brilliantly for the short amount of time there was to do that in. The relationship between Catniss and her sister,Prim, was particularly well done, and you could at least see that there was some sort of history between Catniss and her mother. The only thing that could of been explained much better in the introduction was the absence of the father. The other thing that was done well was the history of the country Panem. Although many readers of the book might have felt disappointed with it, I felt that it showed us just enough so that we weren't clueless about it's history and it didn't drag on too much.

    After the start, the plot started to run around like a headless chicken. Haymitch, played by Woody Harrelson, drifted around cluelessly. Although he did make me laugh at points, his attitude towards the tributes changes so dramatically from careless to caring for no reason at all except from the fact that Catniss stabbed a butter knife between his fingers. This made it hard for me to think of him as a meaningful character for the rest of the film. Although Cinna wasn't badly played I struggled to find where his sudden "obssesion" (couldn't think of a better word) with Catniss comes from. And finally the relationship between Peeta and Catniss. I thought there would be a proper explanation from the director about there history because there were flashbacks throughout the film leading up to it but really all that it revealed is that once Peeta threw Catniss a bit of bread and now they are having a big love, hate relationship because of it. Couldn't they of just told us that at the start of the film and saved the big flashback thing for Catniss's dad dieing (which you only get a hint of once in Tracker Jacker scene. I think the training leading up to the games was the worst done bit of the film.

    However the bit of the film during the games wasn't much better. Although they made the best of what is probably the hardest bit to adapt of the film it still fell short on a number of things like character development but most of all the acting itself! Catniss and Peeta were both very good obviously. But the acting of some of Cato's gang like Glimmer is just appaling. Come on. This is a major Hollywood blockbuster. The scene when Catniss has climbed up a tree and they're chasing after her wanted to make me laugh, cry and puke at the same time. The way she squeals in delight and bagsies killing Catniss is laughable at how cheesy it is. It reminded me of a cackling witch in a crap local village pantomime. The other terribly acted scene is the on where a girl (can't remember who) is being stung by tracker jackers and is calling for help. It reminded me of the witch in the Wizard of Oz crying "I'm melting, MELTING!" It's cringable. The other terrible thing is the way that the love between Peeta and Catniss comes out of nowhere. It doesn't explain it like it does in the book that for Catniss it's a tactic to win and get sponsors but for Peeta it's real.

    But one thing that I do give The Hunger Games credit for is it's ability not to bore you. It could very easily be one of the most boring films of all time as although the book is very good it has parts where there is not so much action. The director managed to not cut these parts out put curve round them. Another thing I credit this film with is it's 50/50 chesiness. They've done it perfectly. While not making it to dark and unhollywoody they've also made it not too "Disney". The bit that really proved my point is the bit where there about to eat the berry (Yes it would of been better if they had eaten the berry but come on that's not going to happen) and instead of making it all dramatic and and making the gamemaker say in slow motion with crappy music, "Nooooooooo...wait. You win. We are the bad guys and we have lost", the gamemaker splutters as though really panicked and with no cheesy music, "Wait, wait, ur... both of you can win" which made the whole cinema laugh and really redeemed the film for me. All I can say about this film to sum it up is that it's better than Twilight, go and see it if you want and that I'm not eagerly awaiting the sequel at all.
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  3. Apr 3, 2012
    6
    I saw the movie before reading the book, my main desire to read the book was a lack of satisfaction with the movie and having read and seen both I think I understand why. The main problem with the movie adaptation is a lack of emotional connection to the characters, I found it difficult to care about the characters because there simply was not much depth to them. In the book Katniss shows a certain vulnerability, particularly before the games, that is simply not conveyed in the film. She's confused, she's distrustful of Peeta, etcetera. She's essentially both scared and conflicted but putting on a brave face, and in the film the only sense I got was "brave face" with no depth behind it. This is a problem because the audience cannot relate to her to the level that is necessary. I think the movie could have used more close ups of her face, and maybe just more pantomime sort of acting, show us how she feels through her face, let us see her thinking, see the glimmer of fear and the grabbing hold of resolve. Instead she's stone-faced the whole time, and she does things without the audience seeing in her face the reason for her doing those things. The best part of the movie is the 5 minutes or so leading up to, and directly following the start of the game. Because we see her scared, and the start of the games has a very non-graphic but visceral feel to it but everything that follows is just not that interesting. The actor cast as peeta was also a poor choice. Myself and my company simply did not care for him as a character. The movie also shows a lot of behind the scenes footage, showing Seam when the games are being broadcast, showing the gamemakers, etcetera. None of this really adds to the movie. Sometimes it explains what's going on, or is a substitute for Katniss's own thoughts in the novel but the scenes are just not that compelling. Watching people manipulate computers is never that compelling. And while they give reason for things happening, they don't explain the mechanism for things happening and in that regard they do a disservice because my suspension of disbelief was torn a few times. Overall the movie had a lot of potential, but we as the audience simply don't care because we aren't given characters that we can care about. If the movie focused more on Katniss, showed the great depth of her emotion and her inner conflict, we would see her as more of a person and would relate to her struggle a lot more. Expand
  4. Apr 3, 2012
    9
    Fantastic movie. Very friendly towards all audiences above 10. Action packed, emotional and entertaining. One of the only criticisms I can say is that there was some sloppy scenes and direction. Im sure the next one will be much more professional looking.
  5. Apr 2, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I read the books and was dying to see it the day it came out and I have to say, I was not disappointed. The CGI and acting were both a lot better than I thought they would be. The movie was not at all brought down a notch violence wise for kids. Many people who saw the movie actually think it should have been rated R. One of my favorite things with this movie is that it stayed almost exactly with the book. Many big blockbuster films based off of books are so drastically changed that it completely ruins the story for all of those who read the book originally. all in all, i would rate this a solid 9.5 out of 10. It doesn't deserve a 10 in my opinion because I feel like the beginning part when Katniss is in District 12 before the Reaping was way too short and you didn't really get to know Gale and how Katniss feels for him. Expand
  6. Apr 2, 2012
    4
    It's not a bad film.... It really isn't... Sure the beginning to me felt like a an average flick that you see on SciFi, just changing the channel when you're board and have nothing to watch. One thing I liked though was a really charismatic was Woody Harrelson playing the drunk. The only winner from district 12. The poor district. And the environment of the setting, 12 districts that separate the classes of rich and poor. How well the story could give to sympathize others and root for the underdog. The ever so awesome characters like Rue or how we could fall in love with Katniss's bad ass audition into the Hunger Games. Seems interesting, but not really realistic. Main characters look well groomed despite being poor, the plot had huge holes in order to create the story, a Twilight-esque romance, an one dimensional enemies, cliches here and there.

    You'd must be teenager in order to get you're mind blown for this bland-fest, otherwise it will leave you asking more questions or not fully satisfied. For those who would give this a perfect rating, would feel satisfied. But for serious film fans, it could leave you craving more better tasting grub.
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  7. Apr 2, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Extraordinary film! But, I did feel it left out to much. The book gave way more information (like always) but, I felt it was a little peculiar that they left out Madge's character. Katniss's bestfriend and the girl that gave her the pin. I didn't picture the cornucopia like the movie's version. But, that doesn't matter. It was a great film. Brought me to tears at least 3 times and it was full of great acting. Expand
  8. Apr 2, 2012
    8
    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!
  9. Apr 2, 2012
    3
    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.
  10. Apr 1, 2012
    6
    While the background story and universe of this movie are compelling enough, the actual plot of the movie left me with a few unanswered questions. Action scenes and special effects were decent at best, and the ending felt too easy and rushed. The characters are thin as cardboard and their motivations never become clear. I also feel the creators could have done more with the psychological consequences of mortal kid combat than the occasional random outburst into tears. In the end, it's not a bad movie, it's decent enough to recommend it to anyone, but don't expect a top notch action film. Expand
  11. Apr 1, 2012
    5
    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
  12. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    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.
  13. Apr 1, 2012
    3
    Honestly, this movie didn't reflect how good of a book this was. It didn't show much character for anyone, including Katniss. When you saw kids from other districts die, it was hard to feel bad because you knew nothing about their history (excluding Rue). Katniss and Peeta's relationship was very confusing if you hadn't read the books, and Haymitch's actor wasn't as sharp as he should have. Also, there were not very many cave scenes, Gale wasn't a very big part, and what about Flavius, Octavia, Venia, Portia? This was an utter let down to what was one of my favorite books. Expand
  14. Apr 1, 2012
    7
    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.
  15. Apr 1, 2012
    6
    Coming from the perspective of someone who hasn't read the books yet (although I really should get to doing that), The Hunger Games raises a lot of questions that end up unanswered by the end of the film. How did a dystopian society like Penam get founded and take hold in the first place? What world order would let a nation that forces children to fight and kill each other to exist? What were the justifications and causes of the war? Why are the citizens of Penam who live outside the districts so ostentatious? It would have been nice if this background history was clarified. Instead, the film treats you as if you already know why, which puts those who have read the books at a great advantage over those who haven't. The overall pacing of the film felt rushed and the transitions from scene to scene felt slightly abrupt. And then there is a complete lack of focus on practically all the characters except Katniss. I mean just look at Gale. For a character who I've read is supposed to be the third most important character after Katniss and Peeta, his role in this film was all but shafted to a few inconsequential chit-chats with Katniss and staring at the screen watching the games at various points in the film. This lack of development continues on to Haymitch, Effie, and Cinna, who are so underdeveloped that it leaves their characters ambiguous as to whether they are truly good or evil. Acting wise, Jennifer Lawrence clearly out-acts everyone else in the film. Her ability to convey a broad-spectrum of emotions is superb. Stanley Tucci is at the bottom of the acting list. I don't really know if he was having problems getting suited to his role, but his whole performance came off as forced and uncomfortable. Technically, the film was great at conveying psychological intensity, which is a major plus for an action film like this. Other pluses include great visual effects, great costume, set and makeup design, a great soundtrack made possible by the collaboration of various musicians, and most of all, not embellishing the violence of the kids killing each other (thank you). There is still room for development in the next two films, but overall, the movie is a whole heck of a lot better than most other action films (especially ones adapted from books). Expand
  16. Apr 1, 2012
    8
    Overrall great book to movie. It did a great job showing dramatizing the games and making the audience feel what a tribute would feel. I thought all of the actors(ress) were great picks for the movie, except Peeta. I pictured him to be tougher and stronger. My only complaint is the shaky camera (along with everyone else) covering up the violent action during the hunger games. I feel they cheaped out. They could have showed more. I mean look at Dark Knight. Spoiler: The only other complaint is the dogs at the end. I feel they could have kept it true to the book and added an even darker aspect to the games. But overrall a great book to movie adaptation. Expand
  17. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    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.
  18. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    When a movie can keep my husband (who works nights and usually dozes off during matinees) awake and inspire me to purchase and read the book (which at the time I had not) and leave us both wanting for more you know it's got to be good. This is the best movie I've seen in a long time. I'm about half way through the book now and can understand why some find the movie off putting...there is more character development in the book but as far as an onscreen adaptation goes I think they did an excellent job. You can't get everything in a book on screen in the just over a couple of hours. Kept me on the edge of my seat and had me bawling like a baby at parts...Can't believe Hollywood got one right for a change...seems like we've had a dry spell for a few years now...definitely worth the price of admission which these days is saying a lot. Expand
  19. Mar 31, 2012
    8
    The Hunger Games is a pretty good film but I think if it took more risks and didn't stick to a safe script it could have been excellent. Jennifer Lawrence put on a really good performance and the movie seem to shine around her. I am looking forward to the next chapter of The Hunger Games
  20. Mar 31, 2012
    2
    In The Hunger Games, it's the theatre-goers who lose their lunch. I only really watched the first third of this movie, the rest of it I had motion sickness so bad I could only really listen. I've never gotten sick from a movie before, and it is an experience I hope never to repeat.

    Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson gave very entertaining performances as always. Elizabeth Banks should
    have given this movie a pass as she is unrecognizable and adds nothing to the story.

    The subject matter is simply awful: a society that thinks it's entertaining to watch children murder each other. I won't be seeing the sequels.
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  21. Mar 31, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. i'm not saying this was a bad movie, but the cinematography was absolutely horrible and the story line was average. The acting all round was very good, especially Jennifer Lawrence who was amazing as Katniss. The story line never really gripped me at any point in the film, normally you should feel engaged from beginning to end, yet I never did. Finally the worst part of the film, the camera work, the shaky cam is completely over used, making me feel disorientated throughout the entire film. I could understand if they used it just for fights, i would be fine, but they use it in the most inappropriate of places, like a man eating a piece of bread. It's not the worst film i have ever seen, but it's not the best and it's easily forgettable. Expand
  22. Mar 31, 2012
    10
    Being a huge fan of the book ever since it came out in 2008, my expectations were extremely high for the film adaption, and I have to say I was not disappointed. Although I feel like some characters were very underdeveloped like Gale and Prim, they obviously can't include every little detail in the book, otherwise we would be in the theaters for hours and hours (which I would actually be OK with, but probably not with others.) Living up to such a sensational book is not an easy task, and I thought Gary Ross did a great job with this adaption. Hopefully with the next couple of movies, they focus more on the characters themselves and more of their background story. But it was definitely the best movie I've seen in a REALLY long time. Expand
  23. Mar 31, 2012
    7
    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.
  24. Mar 31, 2012
    5
    Having never read the book/s, I went in to this movie with high hopes. It failed on several different levels. Like Stephan Kings "The Long Walk" the ending was predictable, and a let down. I might someday flip through the book, and will hope the director failed miserably at translation. Until that time comes, this movie will remain a failure! Although it was slightly watchable, I kept expecting something. But after 2 hours 22 mins, I was left only with expectation... Expand
  25. Mar 31, 2012
    8
    i am intrigued by the concept of the book that seems to mock our Reality Show era, which even though not as extreme as life vs death, but more like we're enjoying watching people destroy other people. I guess Gary Ross did gave the book justice. Not all of my favorite scene are there, I also have to say that the book is much more brutal, but as a PG-13 movie, it's quite entertaining. The cast also great and fit perfectly for their character. Expand
  26. Mar 30, 2012
    4
    Ok seriously this movie is a drama. It reminded me of twilight. Mostly talking and almost no fight scenes. At least on TV when they advertise they make it look more like an action moive , WRONG! This movie tries to make you sad and that's it.
  27. Mar 30, 2012
    0
    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
  28. Mar 30, 2012
    1
    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
  29. Mar 30, 2012
    4
    Disappointed. I hope they do better in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I love the books, i love the actors. I just can't imagine someone else playing the roles of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Effie, Prim and Haymitch. But please, I beg whoever is concerned with this franchise. Do better with the next installment.
  30. Mar 30, 2012
    8
    Please note that I have not read the books, and had only heard a brief background of the concept before seeing the film. Fortunately, I found "The Hunger Games" to be fantastic and well worth the money. The story explains that there are 12 districts that provide resources to the Capitol, which house the elite of the world. The occupants of the districts live often in poverty and have to be extremely resourceful to survive. Some time ago, the districts banded together and attempted to overthrow the Capitol. This resistance was squashed and now every year, the Capitol requires one young female and one young male from each district to fight to the death in a last man standing scenario on television.

    I found the relationships to be shallow but they did their job. There were some concepts here and there that I thought were far fetched (holo-deck like killing machine hell hounds?) And the film is largely predictable, with weak attempts to cover up the obvious direction they were taking us. But is it entertaining? You bet. I was not disappointed and will read the books eventually.
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  31. Mar 30, 2012
    8
    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
  32. Mar 29, 2012
    4
    The Hunger Games books were a emotional amazing thrill ride. However, the movie was quite a disappointment. My favorite character in the books was Haymitch because of his character development. I was expecting him to fall off the stage at the beginning or something but nope. not there. Speaking of character development. There is a huge lacking in character development between the influential characters like Haymitch, Cinna, and especially Peeta. If I was part of the audience at the Capitol watching the "star-crossed lovers" I would NOT have been convinced they were in love. Anyway, besides from the overly-used shaky cam at the beginning the presentation of the scenes was good. The audio experience was not what I expected but it works.

    In summary:
    The Hunger Games was presented in a unexpected way that works to the feel of the setting(Panem); however, there is a extreme lack of character development especially between the "star-crossed lovers" which is essential to the story in books 1 and 2. With all the hype, the odds were not in this movie's favor.
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  33. Mar 29, 2012
    9
    Ok I always gave this movie crap as just another huge hit with the tweens but I saw it today and I liked it a lot. I know I totally gave in and call me Hot Topic but I'm a fan now. I do wish the movie gave more depth into some of the other characters more so you could really feel the different emotions for love and hate but I'm really looking forward to the next film and I may have to start reading ;) Expand
  34. Mar 29, 2012
    0
    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
  35. Mar 29, 2012
    5
    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
  36. Mar 29, 2012
    8
    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
  37. Mar 29, 2012
    7
    In this version of the future, TV has extended reality competition to the ultimate: kids between 13-18 are selected to fight to the death. Before the games begin, they visit the dramatically-modern capital city, where they're groomed for TV and prepped for the fight. Jennifer Lawrence soaks up most of the screen time as a serious, determined young woman who seems destined to dominate the pack. Once the match begins, her home-grown survival skills come to play. The action is sporadic with all the killings dispatched quickly and painlessly (for the PG-13 rating). The art direction is colorful and the drama unfolds with solid zeal. Fans of the books will probably appreciate the film more. I found it satisfying without being special. Expand
  38. Mar 29, 2012
    1
    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.
  39. Mar 28, 2012
    9
    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
  40. Mar 28, 2012
    10
    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
  41. Mar 28, 2012
    3
    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.
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  42. Mar 28, 2012
    8
    Although the adaptation from the book is good I hear, I haven't read any of them, but the movie successfully gave me the urge to read them. Mainly for the back-story and the reasons why things were done in the movie that weren't explained that well. And that was a flaw in the movie that I really disliked.. It needed to elaborate on the hand signal you see multiple times and maybe a little more about the other districts would have been nice. The other flaw is that I hear the book is much grittier than the movie in which case this movie should have been rated R to make a good movie adaptation even better. The movie was done well and I understand that they make more money because it is PG-13, but an R rating with more grit would have made this movie a 10 for me. Woody Harrelson definitely made this movie for me.. He was perfect for his character and I love the guy as an actor. I'm glad he can be a part of a highly successful movie for once. But all in all it was better than my expectations. Hyped movies are the ones I stay away from but this one deserves ALMOST all of the hype. Expand
  43. Mar 28, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was excited to, go see Hunger Games. But I knew, it was going have some setbacks. So (Of course) just like the book, it starts with Katniss Everdeen, comforting her sister, and hunting with her best friend. After she sells some, squirrel meat to support her family, she goes to the Reaping for the 74th Hunger Games. A competition that, takes two 12-18 year old kids from all 12 districts, and fight to the death.
    She volunteers to pay tribute, to protect her sister since she was one of, the children chosen to fight. So she's on her way to, the Capital to please the crowd, and survive the Hunger Games. Of course they have to, make some changes to the movie in order to make, it 90 minutes long. Changes like: Instead of the, District 1 Boy (I believe he is in District 1) waiting for Katniss to come, and rescue Rue. He comes in late, and throws the spear at Rue, when Katniss frees her.
    But some of these changes kind of, screws with the plot a bit. In the book, the District 12 Tributes have a deal with Haymitch to, actually helping them instead of getting drunk. That conversation is, nowhere in the movie (Or I missed it). That would be, a very important plot point for their survival. Same thing with, the Rue scene, in the book, the Career Tributes knew that Rue died because, the District 1 boy was ordered to kill her. In the movie, they had no way of knowing since, they did not know he was there.
    He just found them there, and took his chance. Another issue I have with the movie is that, it needed more character development. Bringing Rue back up again, when she died, I did not feel sad at all, (Maybe because I saw it coming) she only had about five lines in the movie. Another thing, the scenes are too short, and 99% of the movie has Katniss in it. Yes the entire book is in, Katniss's prospective but there are so many, more creative scenes you can do.
    Just a few scenes are, out of the arena to, explain things like Tracker Jackers. I have one more complaint, which is probably the worst part in the movie. Shaky cam, they try to be, clever by using shaky cam, to censor the violence so it can, get a pg-13 rating. But what they get is a, disorienting mess that will give anyone, who watches a headache. Bottom line, it's enjoyable, but it could be better.
    The actors are either, serious or awkward. The cinematography is a mess. But I don't, think it will stop you from watching this movie. Watch it or not, it's your choice but, the book has better story elements, in terms of characters, and small plot points. My rating for this movie would be a 6.5/10.
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  44. Mar 28, 2012
    10
    This movie does the book JUSTICE! An amazing recap of everything. The did however forget a few parts, but it doesn't subtract away from the accuracy/amazingness of the storyline. If you haven't read the book you might be quite lost 0_o
  45. Mar 28, 2012
    9
    It was much better than I ever expected. The pace was good and the story pulled you in. Certainly a star making performance for Jennifer Lawrence who carries the movie (as she must) without any missteps. She was great in Winter's Bone and now she will have the massive box office success to go with her great acting skills. With 2 more movies in the franchise, this was a great way to kick things off. Must see in the genre and the first really solid movie of 2012. Expand
  46. Mar 28, 2012
    8
    I thought this movie was pretty decent for being based on a movie and enjoyed seeing it. I would recommend absolutely seeing it in theaters if you read the books but wait for it to come out on dvd if you haven't read the books. I feel it did a overall good job and getting the theme of the book down and got the important events in the film. I do wish they could have explained some important things in the book because I was only able to understand them because I read the book but ended up having to explain some things to my family because they didn't read the book. Although I felt they left some key info out of the book I feel it was pretty faithful and helped show the type of world they lived in better than what I could do with my imagination. I felt this movie is better suited to someone who has read the books because it serves as pictures to better visualize the world better when you already know the story. Otherwise I feel this movie might be a little confusing. I would totally recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys Orwellian plots and think its ultimately a great ride. Expand
  47. Mar 28, 2012
    9
    I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It stays 90% true to the book and the action scenes have been dumbed down in order to reach the intended audience rating. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the breakaway from traditional survival game violence, suggesting the violence with enthusing it. I recommend it.
  48. Mar 27, 2012
    8
    Good movie. First 30 minutes were boring, since they explained the story which I already understood from the trailer. Next 2 hours more than add up for it.
  49. Mar 27, 2012
    8
    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.
  50. Mar 27, 2012
    9
    Firstly, I would recommend reading the book first, you will miss a lot of the implied parts if you don't. Secondly I will start with my nitpicks. The shaky cam is a little annoying (its nowhere near transformers level, don't worry). There are a few minor moments from the book I wish were kept. I actually wish the movie was longer to flesh out the story. I didn't like the end part with the Gamemaker. And I could do without all the extreme closeups.

    Great casting, great acting, great costumes. The characters are awesome. Even though I read the book and knew the plot, I was still on the edge of my seat rooting for Katniss. The movie is well paced, the acting is brilliant! I just can't say enough good about the movie. The reason its not a 10 is because of the cinematography, no other reason.
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  51. Mar 27, 2012
    7
    This is called to see a full movie, funny, sentimental and full of action! Stanley Tucci gave the best supporting actor, just great! the only thing that disappointed me a bit was his artistic direction, I feel I could have done better, so other well.
  52. Mar 27, 2012
    5
    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
  53. Mar 27, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I saw the movie opening day with my girlfriend and her family and we all really liked it.
    The extravagant clothes and styles were amazing and I can promise you that you'll be seeing costume design nominations at the academy awards for this movie .
    Jennifer Lawrence's acting is superb along with just about every single character I can think of from their alcoholic coach, to Rou, to the co-star Josh Hutcherson who will more than likely be nominated for his awesome performances.
    The movie also follows the book to tee. The only complaint was that Rou was black, but whatever, Overall this is a really great movie and everyone should see it, I'm not saying to join the bandwagon like twilight fans do cause who knows if the Hunger Games squeal Catching Fire will be any good seeing how it was defiantly the weakest book of the trilogy.
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  54. Mar 27, 2012
    6
    This movie is way overhyped/overrated. Don't expect too much from a movie based off of a teen book. The story is good(though sort of shallow - again, teen book), but the look/feel/direction of this movie is pretty terrible. Gary Ross, the Director, is just bad and it would be a shame if he directed the other 2 films. I see him directing them though because the film did so well. The movie is like if you took Mad Max, dusted and cleaned everyone/everything, made it PG, put in rainbows, and made them all teenagers. Shame, really. Also, am I the only one that thinks it looks like it was filmed with an iPhone? Expand
  55. Mar 27, 2012
    8
    Good solid film. Most of my issues with it have more to do with the way it was marketed. It looked as if they were trying to bill it as some sort of action film, when in fact it really isn't. If you are looking for the lead character to be some sort of badass, you will be sorely dissapointed. Instead, what you get is a pretty well considered scenerio for what would be more likely to happen to random teens placed in an unreasonably butal situation. If you view this violent drama for what it really is it, it doesn't disappoint. Expand
  56. Mar 27, 2012
    8
    "The Hunger Games" was one of my favorite books of recent years, and I thought the movie was very faithful to the book. Jennifer Lawrence in particular was perfect as Katniss. It is true, as some reviewers state, that the movie leaves a lot of the back story of Katniss and Peeta out, but there is enough in the flashbacks so viewers get the idea. At first I thought Josh Hutcherson was wrong for the Peeta role, but he won me over with his performance. Overall a very good adaptation of a very good book. Anytime you make a movie of a beloved book it can never live up to some people's expectations. I thought they did a great job. My only major criticism would be the ever moving motion of the camera. I really hate this stupid technique that directors are using these days. You can get motion sick at the movies and it's annoying. Expand
  57. Mar 26, 2012
    7
    While not being the most original movie ever made, The Hunger Games is a completely enjoyable time at the movie theater. The one thing I like most about this movie is the vehement extremest on both sides of the spectrum. This is not exactly a movie to get all riled up about and proclaim it the "worst" or "best" of all time, especially when you only see about 10 movies a year and have very little historical perspective on the grand scale of cinema. Everybody calm down. Expand
  58. Mar 26, 2012
    10
    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
  59. Mar 26, 2012
    8
    In the spirit of Last-Man-Standing contest, Hunger Games surprisingly succeeds in mixing teen love story with bloody combat. Usually movies with romantic trait tend to stroll back and forth boringly which leads to slumber inducing moments or late regret of purchasing the ticket, and usually survivor type movies tend to abuse gore in your face which leaves the tension specifically only to scare tactic, leaving you without a damn to give about the characters aside from how and when they will die. Hunger Games balances them both and creates a well paced movie with great storytelling and adequate visceral display to boot. It's an action movie that takes its time as the battle doesn't start halfway into the movie and fortunately doesn't repeat the old mistake, giving outrageous death in early minutes then leaves you hanging for the rest. The pace builds up nicely with large ambitious world to introduce, this pays off when the plot becomes more intense in the later half. In the world of Hunger Games, each year they will commemorate a festival in which 24 Tributes, young boys and girls from twelve districts, will take part in a battle royal until one victor remains standing. The lead Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are likeable as the representatives from District 12, one of the most rural there is. People like underdog, to quote one of the characters. Katniss is an older sister who volunteers herself after her sister was originally picked by a sort of eerie lottery called the Reaping. She is courageous, realistically appealing and very easy to root for. Peeta has more character development as he's not initially oozing with confident compared to Katniss, audience might be unsympathetic towards him but he matures during the story. Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) is quite whimsical as their secretly caring yet partially sober mentor. He has an awkward parental figure, much like in Zombieland. Effie (Elizabeth Banks) is a curios character, she views the life and problems with undermining perspective, perhaps a commentary of its dystopian world which has overly indulged itself to the point of apathy. Regardless of that, she is enigmatically appealing, although mostly for a bit irony. Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) is a delightful addition, he portrays a rather metrosexual image consultant which provides more mature support and shows more affection than the other two. Too bad he doesnâ Expand
  60. Mar 26, 2012
    3
    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
  61. Mar 26, 2012
    5
    Jennifer Lawrence is terrific, but by asking us to assume the position of the elites (rooting for some of the Tributes, by making them cartoonishly loathsome) the film ends up asking us to assume the roles it is ostensibly condemning. Josh Hutcherson is useless, as he fails to convey the terror inherent in knowing that he is about to die a brutal death, and Liam Hemsworth, for all his admirable dialect work, seems like an over-privileged Beverly HIlls kid, not a starving, oppressed, district paeon. Elizabeth Banks is fine in her first scene, and then her accent disappears. The film is never boring, but its message is questionable. Expand
  62. Mar 26, 2012
    6
    The Hunger Games? Well to me they were a mixture of an amazing storyline but had terrible execution. I think the romance was pushed to hard, and although there was phenomenal acting parts, a lot of it was a big slab of cheese. I would give anywhere from a 6.0 to an 8.0 I think there downfall was the execution and the seemingly forced romance. In other words, it reminded me of Captain America with Chris Evans. All in all, a little less than satisfactory. Expand
  63. Mar 26, 2012
    8
    I really liked this movie as both an adventure movie and a study of celebrity and how society is so obsessed with it and corruption in Government. Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant and holds the movie together so well as she is in more or less every scene. After her role in the brilliant Winters Bone and Xmen First Class she is definitely an actress on the rise and rise. I loved the cinematography with the "wasp sting" scene really standing out for me. The future setting is also very interesting in both the glitzy Capitol and rundown slum districts. My Girlfriend liked the love story element so it was a win win movie for me. Expand
  64. Mar 26, 2012
    8
    I've never read the books so i don't know if this movie is a great adaption but i really enjoyed the movie. The acting was good, story was quite compelling and the action was good throughout. Reminded me of Battle Royale which i also enjoyed.
  65. Mar 26, 2012
    5
    I always wonder after seeing a movie where I have read the book beforehand, â
  66. Mar 26, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. To those who realize that this movie is supposed to be part of a series of films, this movie won't be too surprising in many ways. The premise presents itself in a clear light, and almost everything about the movie, from the acting, to the costume design, to the writing, tries to paint everything as obvious as possible (We get it, the rich have no connection to the poor, the poor hate the rich, no human wants to embrace the concept of death/murder, and self-preservation is an impeccably strong mindset). Luckily, everything from the acting to the costume design to the writing is also well done. The pacing of the movie manages to move well, even through the slower parts of the film, and actually makes you interested in some characters (Even if the movie makes it apparent that some characters WILL die before the end, going as far to give some characters attributes, emotions, personal connections and an overall unique style, yet never giving them a name.)

    Do know this: the movie is good. I'll just say that now before I continue. I have a bit of a pessimistic view on things, and the next paragraph will be a bit of a downer.

    Maybe it's me, but having the movie focus so heavily on one character removes the tension of the entire movie ("Oh, only one entrant will survive? I wonder if it's gonna be the protagonist who gets 90% of the screen time..."). The movie then tries to create some tension by putting the protagonist in peril every two seconds, only to be saved by, usually not by her own skill, but the incredible stupidity of everyone else involved. The movie even goes so far as damn near showing that almost EVERY entrant is more skilled than her, yet every opportunity someone has to easily murder her, passes up the chance out of pity, fear, alternative opportunity, or quite simply no good reason. There's even a moment where she's stuck up a tree with a leg injury and nowhere to go, and the four well-equipped and skilled people hunting her decide to just go to sleep instead of the plethora of ideas that would have safely ended in her death (Like climbing an adjacent tree and shooting her with an arrow, or blowing up the tree, or burning the tree). it also seems like many entrants outside the main ones are simply there to demonstrate things to the protagonist. All of these things are well and fine if the actual hunger games were only a part of the story, but no, the movie pretty much ends right afterward. The main meat of the story was too obvious, and suffered too large a number of logical failures.
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  67. Mar 26, 2012
    9
    wow im in love with that girl. such an impressive personality, so real. what a great movie! the only downside is that some parts of the movie look nonsense, but other than that its amazing
  68. Mar 26, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have read the entire Hunger Games series and had been looking forward to the movie immensely. I was disappointed at how normal the movie was. Don't get me wrong, the movie was good. But it certainly did not do the book justice due to several flaws. Firstly, the character development was rather weak especially the relationship between Peeta and Katniss. I believe that more effort and time could have been spent to show Peeta's love towards Katniss and also, why Katniss had no choice but to love him back during the course of the game. In terms of summarization of the story, I thought the script writer did a good job at taking important parts from the story so that the audience who did not read the book could get a general idea at what the movie was about. However, too many small details were left out. I find it irritating that the hovercraft did not appear to pick up dead bodies especially in Rue's scene. Even more so, President Snow was not depicted constantly licking his mouth. This and many other lack small details ruined the expectation, fun and excitement for the fans of the series. Meanwhile, I find scenes where most of the conversation occurs mainly in monologue rather boring. The actors can and have acted well, but many scenes of slow and quiet talking bore me out instead of making me feel what the characters were feeling at that time. I cannot imagine how it would be like for non book readers. Perhaps, the worst part is that the entire movie did not pick up sufficient pace to get the audience to enjoy the action scenes around the second half of the movie. It gave a rather monotonous atmosphere throughout the movie save for some exciting scenes.

    This movie deserves a 6 for me. Perhaps it could have been better if it were split into two parts or if a narrative from Katniss' perspective was introduced to explain many parts of the movie. Either way, I hope the director will not produce a similarly paced second movie because that would be obscenely boring already.

    P.S Haymitch was an **** in this movie. He sounds retarded with the cowboy accent.
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  69. Mar 26, 2012
    8
    Definitely better than the book. Most of my gripes about the movie actually come from the source material: the plot holes, unexplained scenarios, certain shallow characters (Peeta) are all things that bothered me when reading the book. Granted, it's written for young adults, so there's a fair amount of simplicity and cliche to be expected, but the hype around this book made me especially critical. Another gripe I have is the names of the weird animals in the book... Tracker Jackers? Muttants? ...I think she could have done better than that... Overall, the book isn't poorly written, it's just adequate. Even while reading the book, I was thinking that it would make a really fun movie, and the movie would likely be better than the book if it had quality art direction, pacing, and acting. Luckily, it has all of those things. The art style, effects, and camera work are all surprisingly good. The pacing is much better than the book, and kept me interested throughout (the book, on the other hand, had some incredibly dull stretches, i.e. in the cave with Peeta for days...). When I read reviews that say this "didn't do the book justice", I wonder if the reviewer is 12 years old (which I probably shouldn't complain about since I'm talking about a young adult movie), or if they've just never read a good book. There is truly not much depth to be found in the novel - it's entertaining and quick, and if it gets kids reading, then great - but it's not really something that leaves you thinking. If you're an adult, and a friend tells you to read the book, do yourself a favor and grab Game of Thrones instead. This movie doesn't have much depth either, but that's ok, because it's basically an action blockbuster. I promise you, you're not missing much by skipping the book and watching this - and you're gaining hours of time. As for acting, Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic, as you'd expect. She was amazing in Winters Bone, and is great in this as well. Woody Harrelson is one of my favorite actors, and tends to steal the show in all his movies, even as a supporting character. Without those two, this movie would likely have been pretty forgettable. Other supporting characters were good too, but didn't stand out. As for the Twilight comparisons, I think they're inaccurate. They're both young adult books with a female lead and a love triangle. Other than that, I don't see how they're similar; Bella broods and cries, while Katniss shoots people with arrows blows things up. The Hunger Games is far better than the Twilight movies (which isn't saying much - in fact I've never been able to sit through one). I say this as a 20-something man though, so I understand I'm not the target audience for either. But enough about Twilight. All in all, I give The Hunger Games a generous 8 for fantastic acting, nice art direction, and pure entertainment value. Expand
  70. Mar 26, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. tl:dr If you like Twilight you'll probably like this, otherwise...meh. I haven't read the book so I don't know how well it has translated into film. Hopefully it hasn't done the book justice because it is not a great movie. The pacing is awful, with some parts mind numbingly boring, and then other scenes rushed and compressed. Camera work is terrible, shaky and nausea inducing. There are numerous immersion breaking plot holes. A movie doesn't have to have every little piece fit together perfectly, but when plot holes break your suspension of disbelief it is bad writing. For example wtf would the 'bad guys' have set up a booby trap so that the only way it can work involves destroying their own food supply...major facepalm. Also, I realise that these are meant to be kids, but for people locked into a life and death struggle they sure spend a lot of time crashing through the bush yelling at the tops of their voices, without making the slightest attempt at stealthiness, even the supposedly 'trained' ones from Districts 1 and 2. And how the hell did Rue's District buddy know what Catniss had done for Rue. Very little that the characters do makes any sense...there doesn't seem to be any motivation for much of it. I'm guessing that's one of the losses from the translation from the book? Finally, there is zero explanation of why this supposedly ultra advanced society (eg the almost magical healing ointments) keeps such a large portion of itself in virtual servitude. I'm not saying that it can't be that way, lots of today's real life societies are dystopian, but there should be some reason. Is it a religious thing, is there a critical shortage of resources or land. Who knows? It just seems that we're supposed to accept that all of the rich people are evil bastards who like to make children fight to the death. Seems legit... Expand
  71. Mar 25, 2012
    1
    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.
  72. Mar 25, 2012
    10
    I think they did the best job they could fitting a 400 page book into a 2 hour and 20 minute movie. Jennifer Lawrence gives a stellar performance. She is the perfect Katniss. I think viewers need to appreciate that the book and the movie are two different forms of media that were never intended to be carbon copies.
  73. Mar 25, 2012
    10
    A great book adaptation, that kept me all the movie on the edge of my seat. Its talented cast brought an excellent performance and its leading star, Jennifer Lawrence, did not disappoint at all.
  74. Mar 25, 2012
    9
    This movie stays true to the book and is executed well by the main actors. My only complaints are that the camera work was awful and parts of the story are hard to understand if you didn't read the book. Still, those things do not dampen my enthusiasm for this movie. It is a well written, well produced, and excellent film.
  75. Mar 25, 2012
    1
    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.
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  76. Mar 25, 2012
    9
    The Hunger Games movie didn't develop the characters enough to have any emotional attachment to them. This is because the movie doesnâ
  77. Mar 25, 2012
    6
    This was a very entertaining film, but having not read the books, I came in with no expectations and left with the feeling that I'd already seen this done almost EXACTLY in 'Battle Royale'. Jennifer Lawrence was brilliant as always. I adored her in 'The Poker House' and 'Winter's Bone' and she is easily one of our greatest acting commodities. It held my interest, so I give it a solid 6, but I thought the plot was a blatant ripoff. Sort of like 'Avatar' ripped off 'Ferngully'. Expand
  78. Mar 25, 2012
    9
    I thought this movie brought the book to life better than any Harry Potter ever did. There were some things taken out, edited, or added in from the book, and I found myself thinking "that's not right!" several times, but I understand that things have to be changed for a film audience to understand the movie and for it to not be 6 hours long. Considering, I thought it was pretty loyal to the book. The only thing I didn't like being cut down was Katniss's time with Rue. There were also a few things not explained thoroughly that my boyfriend, who has no read the books, was confused by. So, maybe a little much was cut out. I appreciated that there was an artistic vision apparent in the movie, evident in camera work, sound editing, costume design, etc, although I felt at times they didn't follow through sufficiently. For example, the movie starts out with very shaky camera work with lots of "too close" shots, which I liked because it gave it a very gritty real feel, but this was mostly dropped after the first 15 minutes or so. I suppose they thought it may have gotten annoying after a while, which is probably true. There was also some sound and film editing that indicated that we're seeing the movie through Katniss's eyes (as in the book), but then there were scenes added in that didn't exist in the book, like how it kept cutting back to Gale watching the games on TV and the commentators explaining things like the trackerjackers. Those scenes certainly aren't from Katniss's point of view. So, the artistic vision of the film seemed a little inconsistent. It just wasn't pushed quite far enough. It was like the director wanted to do something really artistic, but chickened out. That being said, I think it was a good movie. I enjoyed it as much as the book (although the cave scenes were extra cheesy with music added, and the 400+ person theatre audience was laughing hysterically...that wasn't really the idea...) and I'm glad I saw it. I saw it 2 days ago and am still thinking about it. I can only hope that with the next movie, the director really pushes it farther and creates a full artistic vision rather than getting caught up in simply recreating the book. Expand
  79. Mar 25, 2012
    4
    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.
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  80. DME
    Mar 25, 2012
    8
    The Hunger Games was a great movie that never left me bored or disappointed. The story makes sense without reading the book (which I can't say for most book-to-film adaptions). There was only one weak point in this film: Lousy camera work. There were far too many face closeups and a lot of camera jerking. But, it's still watchable. And I still recommend it.
  81. Mar 25, 2012
    7
    From the top to the end "The Hunger Games" is a total entertainment . The story is very nicely built up . It succeed to create the hunger for the game for the audience . I very much like the before gaming part coz it gave the story a better shape, which is very rare . The gaming part was good , actually a bit better then I thought it would be. Jennifer was the perfect choice for playing Katniss . She was really amazing . She did so much better then I though she would and her acting was top class . Josh on the other hand was the weakest of all the main characters , it wasn't his best role and sometimes it felt like he wasn't trying to act well . One of my fav characters of the novel is Haymitch. And Harrelson did absolutely a fine job screening the character . Elizabeth , Stanley ,Sutherland was also good in there roles . Wes Bentley on the other side had his breakthrough role . He was really awesome . As for the director Gary Ross , I didn't like his direction that much . Before gaming part was okay but he failed to create the suspense and thriller which was very much needed at some point . I've never doubted James Newton Howard's music and I still stand corrected . So overall , With a very promising cast and an amazing story makes The Hunger Games is one of the best young-adult thriller movie ever . Its enjoyable , its a total entertainment and it has two more sequel that im very much looking forward to .................. Expand
  82. Mar 25, 2012
    8
    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
  83. Mar 25, 2012
    9
    One of the best movies I have seen. Why? Okay first off, if you didn't read the book(like me) you still get the premise of the movie. The idea is quite frightening, kids killing other kids, but it is way more than that. Sure some people may think its cheesy, but the movies they like are cheesy to more people than less. The movie to me was about, Will Power, Courage, and Romance. Even though the movie is not R, don't think its a movie for kids under 13 or 14. Little kids may have nightmares, even though its not horror, just from the slight gore and scary ideas. I recommend you go see this, and like i'm going to do, read the book afterwords. Expand
  84. Mar 25, 2012
    0
    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
  85. Mar 25, 2012
    10
    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.
  86. Mar 25, 2012
    6
    Here is the problem. This is a movie about 24 children trying to murder each other, but it's made for kids (PG). This prevents the movie from showing any drama involved in the act of fighting someone to death, as being PG not much violence or any bad language can be shown. The special effects and character development are both terrible. I didn't care who lived or died, this includes the lead character.

    All this being said. The story is still good and the actors performances save this movie. The general concensus of people I saw this movie with was, "it was alright glad I saw it".
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  87. Mar 25, 2012
    10
    This movie was amazing. Some critics will tell you that it did not do the book justice, but I feel that no one would see a movie that could fit everything into it that we all wanted. The movie would be around 4 to 5 hours long if the relationships were developed as well as they could have been. The director did a fantastic job pushing everything together into a cohesive amazing film. If one reads the book BEFORE seeing the movie, they will be ultimately rewarded with a much deeper emotional bond to the characters, but that being said, READ THE BOOK! It's not that hard. The only thing that I would have wanted is Cato coming to Clove and giving his emotional breakdown. They tried to swap that with his monologue at the end, but it would have been much more emotional if Clove had Cato to hold her. I'm sure most things were cut solely to make the movie a reasonable time length, so take that into consideration when judging this film. In other words - read the book, even if you have already seen the movie, you will want to see it again and experience the full impact. Expand
  88. Mar 25, 2012
    7
    Many of the points brought up in previous reviews have really nailed the pros and cons of this movie. However, I feel a vastly undisclosed topic is this movies sub par realism: cheap sets and poor costumes leave the reader slightly disengaged; a huge aspect of this movie for me (as an avid reader of the books) was seeing it all come to life - and I just feel like it really didn't do that for me. Also, the lack of violence is problematic. While I understand that this movie had to appeal to a wide range of audiences, it really took away from the raw power and darkness of the books. This is a world where they pit children against each other in televised fights to the death; a little blood may have helped to get that point across. I'm also fairly disappointed in the subtle differences between this movie and the book - I understand you can't put everything in, but not giving us proper character development and back story leave the viewer either confused or merely annoyed at the shallowness of it all. Albeit, these issues are minor; the movie did a very good job of portraying the book accurately and telling the same story. Despite these setbacks, the movie was fairly good. There was a brilliant fight scene between Katniss and rival character Clove, and great work with Peeta and his camouflage. The movie had me on the edge of my seat, always waiting for more. Go see this movie, it's worth it. But it's a much better bargain if you've read the books. Friends of mine who didn't read them came up to my afterward puzzled, asking for explanation after explanation. Not understanding the book won't help you to understand what they cut, and how the characters are (or not) growing. It's a story so unique and action packed, it would have been good no matter who brought it to life - I suppose I just wish it were a little more above and beyond; more than a top-grossing movie, but a great movie as well. Expand
  89. Mar 25, 2012
    6
    I haven't read any of the books, but had heard good things about them and the film, so decided to take the plunge and watch it. I don't think it did a good job of setting up a back story for new comers, as all there really was, was the short film during the initial tribute selection and the occasional flashback, which didn't go into much detail.

    Once in the Capital, and the build up to
    and in the arena is where it got a lot more enjoyable. The action/ survival sequences were really well done, and made you feel more for the individual characters, but I couldn't help but want for more of a Battle Royale type 'only one survivor' story.

    Overall it was a fun film to watch and I'll probably end up watching the trilogy as they come out, and read the books at some point too.
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  90. Mar 25, 2012
    8
    HG is FAR better than it had to be, and not as good as it could have been. But, like the characters forced by the game to do things they otherwise wouldn't Ross and his team work within the PG-13 constraints to make a good action movie that still is about kids killing kids for sport. Lawrence is simply stunning in the lead role, and the orbiting characters are all top notch (Special kudos to Lenny Kravitz are in order). Sadly, the boys of HG are almost pointless, and Peeta is completely clueless to boot. In the end it is riveting and enjoyable too, but I cannot help but think what this could be in a world where an R rated HG could get made by Chris Nolan. That would be something that would satisfy a real hunger. Expand
  91. Mar 24, 2012
    9
    Jennifer Lawrence was the workhorse of this film and she carried the burden brilliantly. Smokin' hot, super smart -- just an all around great performance. Mix this in with a tight script and excellent direction and you've got a hit. Hunger Games clocks in at 144 minutes and you'll be happy for the whole of it. The weakest part of the movie is the opening, where I wish they had gone a little more Fellowship of the Rings-ish with an acted-out narrative rather than some blocks of text, but this is a minor gripe. Really, there's nothing to complain about of any substance here. This is the best movie I have seen in a long time. Expand
  92. Mar 24, 2012
    7
    I thought this film was good. The fact that I assumed the movie would be the next "Twilight" series made me very skeptical and worried that the film wouldn't be good, but now I stand corrected because this film wasn't bad. The premise was genius and the leads of the movie had an okay chemistry between each other the entire film. The one thing I must point out is the fact that they really only concentrated on the two leads and really no one else. The main lead: Jennifer Lawrence, who was in X-Men: First Class got her first really big lead role and played her part really well and kept the film going throughout. This for me is a film you can watch once and never again because it just wasn't a super great film. Expand
  93. Mar 24, 2012
    10
    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
  94. Mar 24, 2012
    10
    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!
  95. Mar 24, 2012
    7
    Didn't read the books before seeing the movie, I'm thinking of reading them after seeing it. The movie was a pretty decent work of fiction as itself but I felt like the movie left a lot of things unexplained that were probably explained in the books. I think films made from books should exist as separate entities telling the same story in a different medium.
  96. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    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!
  97. Mar 24, 2012
    7
    Before I saw this movie, I decided I wanted to walk into it with no knowledge of anyone's opinion. I didn't check Facebook, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, IMDB, or watch TV for a week. After my brother and I discussed our opinions of the movie, I checked out Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic and was somewhat surprised by the positive reaction to this film. To me, this film was a little better than okay. At the beginning of the film, It had some very effective dramatic scenes in it (especially the reaping). The cinematography was pretty decent, though I could have used a little less shaky cam. As the film went on, I was introduced to the film's vision of the capital, which was a little too over-the-top in my opinion. I understand it's supposed to be that way, but it does take away what makes the capital so ominous in the first place. As the games begin, we get our first action scene, which like every other action scene in this movie, was badly shot, poorly edited, was mostly bloodless, and extremely hard to follow (all because they needed their PG-13 rating). Imagine the fighting scenes in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but with a bunch of kids in a field killing each other rather than giant robots. While I was still enjoying the film alright, the action scenes really made the film not as good as it should have been. Also, it seemed that whenever something dramatic would happen in the games, it would cut back to a goofy newscaster. And while I see the satire the film was trying to pull, it really did take away from the tone of the film. The ending was better concluded than it was in the book, so I give the film some props for that. As for the performances, almost all of them were engaging and well done. Overall, the pros slightly outweighed the cons, but just barely. Expand
  98. Mar 24, 2012
    7
    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
  99. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    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.
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Metascore
67

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
    30
    The result is an evasive, baffling, unexciting production - anything but a classic.
  2. Reviewed by: Andy Klein
    Mar 23, 2012
    75
    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
    80
    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.