The Hunger Games

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1724 Ratings

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User Reviews

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Jul 22, 2013
    7
    While I am no fan of "The Hunger Games" books nor did I really hear about them until the film came out and I took a whole year to actually get to watch the film, I must admit it is quite good. As a matter of fact, I am quite shocked at how good it is. In my head it was somewhat of a "Twilight" phenomenon, so I discarded it immediately. However, it was misguided. "The Hunger Games" has anWhile I am no fan of "The Hunger Games" books nor did I really hear about them until the film came out and I took a whole year to actually get to watch the film, I must admit it is quite good. As a matter of fact, I am quite shocked at how good it is. In my head it was somewhat of a "Twilight" phenomenon, so I discarded it immediately. However, it was misguided. "The Hunger Games" has an interesting premise, and a rather well thought out idea. The screenplay is well written and it achieves to keep one fully immersed into the film, and provides necessary thrills throughout the entirety of the film. I was so absorbed and intensely connecting with the characters, I got acid reflux from all the tension. Oh, no, I am not joking.

    Anyhow, the technicalities of the film need no discussion, really. A film with such a huge budget will make sure to clean up nicely and "The Hunger Games" is no different. The performances were, surprisingly, quite convincing and were not forced. Jennifer Lawrence is pitch-perfect as the leading lady, and all the supporting cast does a good job. I was especially stricken by the emotional connection with, and performance by the young Amandla Stenberg. It is sad we will not be seeing her in the second instalment of the series, but what can one do.

    Overall, it was a real pleasure to watch this film. Not only did it deliver unexpected thrills (at least unexpected to me), but it also managed to take the audience into that dystopian world of the future. How dystopic it really is is another question to be asked, especially in light of reality television and its ever-brutal entrance into the real lives of people. Quite often with dubious ethical, moral and taste breaches that leave one baffled.
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  4. Jul 2, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Rae Dolly lives in the Ozarks with an incapacitated mother and two younger siblings, a boy and a girl. Since mom is a cipher, and dad, gone missing, going on three weeks, Rae becomes the de facto head of the household; the surrogate parent, who at 17, has no time for games. It's hillbilly against hillbilly. Nobody claims to know the whereabouts of Rae's father, quote unquote. Also on her plate, Rae fights foreclosure on the family abode. The bail bondsman has come to collect. Her neighbors, former moonshiners-turned-crystal meth producers, don't know who the real enemy is. They kill their own kind; they'll even kill Rae, if she gets too close. In the interim, the army dreamer is the family's sole provider, the only one man enough to put food on the table. Hardly the squeamish type, Rae takes dead aim on a squirrel, but only because it's too late in the day for deer. That's where a certain girl of the future acquires her way with the bow and arrow. The gravitas, the grit; it's in the blood. Rae skins the critter, and with the boy's help. removes its innards. Flinching isn't permitted. But Rae has her limits, though. She cracks, finally, when it's time to saw off her daddy's hands. Somebody else wields the chainsaw, while Rae holds the body over water, in the lake where his killers dumped him. By proving that her father is dead, she gets to keep the house. The family stays intact. As a result, Rae cancels her military plans, and never leaves the Ozarks. As a result, future generations are doomed. Since the Missouri outback, the setting for Winter's Bone, could double as Panem's District 12, a coal mining outpost, and because the same actress occupies the cross-generational diegeses of the present and the future, it's not hard to imagine that somewhere down the line, somewhere in the family tree, a Dolly got together with an Everdeen, thereby making Rae an ancestor of Katniss', and correspondingly, the Debra Granik film, a Hunger Games prequel, hypothetically speaking. Viewed in a vacuum, the harsh post-apocalyptical conditions that afflicts District 12, the most impoverished of the Capitol's outlying districts, plays like a travesty, this gross disparity between the haves and have-nots. But by using Winter's Bone as an extrapolative tool, a bigger picture emerges, the narrative alters, where the Panemians are partly to blame for the state they're in. It's no wonder that the insurrection against the Capitol failed. The districts don't respect each other. Class warfare persists still among the tributes, despite the grisly outcome inherent in the yearly televised spectacle, whose death toll, by sheer numbers alone, should unite and align the districts against the Capitol. But that's just not the case. During the testing period, the academy-trained tributes from District 1 give off an aura of superiority over their competition, especially Peeta, whose poor archery skills, Katniss warns, makes him look weak, and an easy target for the alpha kids. It's only when the boy throws a metal ball into an arrow rack does he gain a measure of respect from his opponents. Already emasculated by his mother, who back home, lets Peeta know that she's rooting for Katniss, perhaps, leads to the ultimate betrayal, when he forms a coalition on the playing field with the District 1 tributes against his partner, which nearly results in death by arrow, as the girl's combatants fire at will towards the tree which tenuously harbors her. Earlier in the film, in a pre-game interview, Peeta announces his love for Katniss to the entire Panemic world, but he sure has a strange way of showing it. Worse than a supposed suitor, Rae is left alone to face the small community's wrath due to the traitorous actions of her father, the snitch who tells the authorities about the meth labs that dot the Ozark landscape. By turning informant, the father should have known that he was putting not just himself, but his daughter in harm's way, also. The local women nearly beat Rae to death. In a sense, like Katniss, who outscores Peeta 11-8 on the assessment tests, Rae gets punished for being better a man, which in her case, is having the nerve of doing something better than cooking crank like the old man. In both films, wars are waged amonst people of the same social class against each other. Knowing that Rae has mouths to feed, the people next door play a little hunger games of their own, waiting until dark to share their carcass, a newly slaughtered deer. Both the hillbillies and the disenfranchised youths fail to realize that they're on the same side. The Japanese are smarter. In Battle Royale, there are real alliances; they work together in earnest, without intrigue. They understand who the real enemy is. In another precursing film, The Running Man, we can gauge audience reaction throughout the bloody spectacle. No doubt, viewers across the Capitol want Katniss and Peeta to fight. Alas, they're unseen. Just like us. Expand
  5. Mar 23, 2012
    10
    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
    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.
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  6. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    Wonderful movie that moves along more quickly than one thinks. The acting is first rate and the movie has a nervous edge throughout. It is very thought provoking as any parent would not know what to do considering the future of our planet. Still feeling queasy.
  7. 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 toI 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
  8. Aug 18, 2012
    7
    Having not read the books, I sat down to watch this film with an element of caution - would the film be any good? Would I feel like I knew the story by the end? Rather than compare the film to the book, I'll just look at the story of the film. It doesn't seem to introduce the brutality or the importance of the Hunger Games itself. However, when the "Hunger Games" do start the immediacy andHaving not read the books, I sat down to watch this film with an element of caution - would the film be any good? Would I feel like I knew the story by the end? Rather than compare the film to the book, I'll just look at the story of the film. It doesn't seem to introduce the brutality or the importance of the Hunger Games itself. However, when the "Hunger Games" do start the immediacy and harshness of just how violent this film is shocks to the core. The pace of the film changes like a stab to the side. However, I didn't feel a connection with Lawrence's character and I didn't feel like I was willing her to win the competition either. It wasn't a bad performance from Lawrence, but not much empathy was allowed to be developed as the pace of the film quickened towards an abrupt end. Collapse
  9. Nov 20, 2013
    7
    Overall, I enjoyed the Hunger Games. It was interesting and didn’t mess up the story. However, the story itself is not really interesting but hopefully the second one will be better. While the Hunger Games is a great film adaptation of a book, it is by no means a great film.
  10. May 2, 2012
    8
    They did a pretty effective job of taking a book based entirely on internal dialogue and make it a 3d person movie. The movie also was judicious in what it left out or minimized. Unfortunately though, that led to a number of undeveloped characters (except Katniss of course). I really enjoyed the movie and can't wait to see what they do with the next one. This movie blew Twilight away,They did a pretty effective job of taking a book based entirely on internal dialogue and make it a 3d person movie. The movie also was judicious in what it left out or minimized. Unfortunately though, that led to a number of undeveloped characters (except Katniss of course). I really enjoyed the movie and can't wait to see what they do with the next one. This movie blew Twilight away, but I understand that the intended audience is slightly different. A very good dystopian science fiction film, albeit for the masses. Expand
  11. Apr 13, 2012
    5
    BORING! I'll say right off the bat that I didn't read any the "Books" (I am a 40-something female whose favorite genre is action sci-fi, i.e. Aliens, Terminator, Matrix, etc.) and was hoping for a good movie. Unfortunately, this movie was TOTALLY over-hyped and didn't deliver. If you like the kind of action that has lots of shots of the main character sleeping in a tree and her BIGBORING! I'll say right off the bat that I didn't read any the "Books" (I am a 40-something female whose favorite genre is action sci-fi, i.e. Aliens, Terminator, Matrix, etc.) and was hoping for a good movie. Unfortunately, this movie was TOTALLY over-hyped and didn't deliver. If you like the kind of action that has lots of shots of the main character sleeping in a tree and her BIG strategic moves involving a hornet's nest and some berries, you will think this is great entertainment. I would have given it less than 5 stars, but because of the costumes/hair/makeup in the middle section of the movie (which were very well done), I bumped it up a couple. I think it is only for people who read the "Books" since they can fill in mentally what the movie lacked (which was A LOT). Expand
  12. Mar 23, 2012
    8
    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.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.
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  13. Apr 18, 2012
    7
    I liked the film but I nearly got up and walked out as soon as the shaky camera work began. Its a lazy filmmakers attempt to gin up anxiety. I was a little surprised to see a cautionary tale on authoritarian government in this age of nanny stateism and political correctness. Perhaps the next generations rebelliousness will be to return us to constitutional government and liberty. MaybeI liked the film but I nearly got up and walked out as soon as the shaky camera work began. Its a lazy filmmakers attempt to gin up anxiety. I was a little surprised to see a cautionary tale on authoritarian government in this age of nanny stateism and political correctness. Perhaps the next generations rebelliousness will be to return us to constitutional government and liberty. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I can hope. Expand
  14. May 19, 2012
    9
    A really good film. The Hunger Games is probably one of the best films I have seen this year. The atmosphere is intense, the premise and story is emotional and thought provoking and the acting is top notch. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as Katniss and I consider her one of the best new actresses today and the rest of the cast is great too. The only complain that I have with the whole filmA really good film. The Hunger Games is probably one of the best films I have seen this year. The atmosphere is intense, the premise and story is emotional and thought provoking and the acting is top notch. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as Katniss and I consider her one of the best new actresses today and the rest of the cast is great too. The only complain that I have with the whole film is that the action scenes are riddled with shaky camera shots, which is very disorientating and it did get annoying at parts but it wasn't enough to ruin the film. I've read the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy and I have to say this is a very well made adaptation. It stayed with the main plot and kept the maturity and serious treatment of its demographic, which are mostly teenagers, that the book conveys. Expand
  15. 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 includesHere 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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  16. 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 thanIn 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
  17. May 23, 2012
    5
    I feel such a victim of advertising! Twighlight fans rejoice. Yet another superficial hollywood megaproduction polylogy. If the objective is to feel shocked by youngsters thrown into a survival of the fittest contest, then a much superior film is Battle Royale.
  18. Apr 8, 2012
    5
    I have never read the books but I can tell you the movie is so flawed that I could write a book about it. At first, it seems like they could not decide on whether they wanted to make a serious film or a campy film to show to people really stoned for midnight weekend films. The futuristic utopia image was a joke as the film projected a country that was half Star Trek and half the DarkI have never read the books but I can tell you the movie is so flawed that I could write a book about it. At first, it seems like they could not decide on whether they wanted to make a serious film or a campy film to show to people really stoned for midnight weekend films. The futuristic utopia image was a joke as the film projected a country that was half Star Trek and half the Dark Ages. I thought the sets looked cheap and Woody Harrellson looked liked Tom Petty. Once they got around to the games, the film really lost any sense of reality as the one focused on 4 or 5 of the participants and we never saw anything about the others. The film has zero character development, plot development, and the history behind the games was never really explained. Lawrence spent most of her time sleeping in a tree while my film going partner spent her time looking at her watch. Hunger Games is close to being a movie you would see on Mystery Science Fiction Theather. It made Avatar look a classic . You can see the sequels coming but I will not go. Expand
  19. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    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 LawrenceAn 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
  20. Mar 23, 2012
    7
    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, blockbusterHaving 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
  21. 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 hisJennifer 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
  22. 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 theCompletely 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
  23. 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 theIn 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
  24. 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.
  25. Apr 4, 2012
    0
    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,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
  26. Apr 7, 2012
    9
    Very close to the book, don't know what people are whining about. Only bad thing was shaky camera in first 15 minutes, then later in "distress" scenes. Totally unnecessary and annoying. Yes book is better, but what can you do in 2 hours and 13 min? Pretty much what they did. I do hope to see extended scenes of Peeta's injury and reaction by Katniss as they have to operate on him inVery close to the book, don't know what people are whining about. Only bad thing was shaky camera in first 15 minutes, then later in "distress" scenes. Totally unnecessary and annoying. Yes book is better, but what can you do in 2 hours and 13 min? Pretty much what they did. I do hope to see extended scenes of Peeta's injury and reaction by Katniss as they have to operate on him in the DVD. Other than that, everything was great. Expand
  27. 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"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
  28. Mar 23, 2012
    8
    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.
  29. Mar 24, 2012
    9
    The movie did the book justice---the acting was absolutely fantastic. The actress who portrays Katniss has a great sense at portraying raw emotions. I loved every minute of it, and I understand as a fan, that you do have to leave out little details, because it is a movie, not a 350+ page book. Great work!
  30. Sep 10, 2012
    5
    If you thought that the trailer was a bit lacking in action then I'm afraid to say the film's the same. It's all about the build up (admittedly good) to the games which comprise around 20-30 mins near the end of the film. It's all over way too quickly and you're sitting there with a very unsatisfied blood lust. Speaking of lust though, Jennifer Lawrence bags this film an extra point for meIf you thought that the trailer was a bit lacking in action then I'm afraid to say the film's the same. It's all about the build up (admittedly good) to the games which comprise around 20-30 mins near the end of the film. It's all over way too quickly and you're sitting there with a very unsatisfied blood lust. Speaking of lust though, Jennifer Lawrence bags this film an extra point for me seeing as she's plays the role brilliantly and oh yeah, she's fit as hell. Expand
  31. Apr 15, 2012
    7
    The movie does not do justice to the book, nor to the characters. The character of Katmis is well portrayed by a talented actress. However the move seems more interested in the environment and techie tricks than in the depth of the characters that were developed in the book. ,How well one likes this movie may depend upon whether they have read the book first (thereby liking the movie moreThe movie does not do justice to the book, nor to the characters. The character of Katmis is well portrayed by a talented actress. However the move seems more interested in the environment and techie tricks than in the depth of the characters that were developed in the book. ,How well one likes this movie may depend upon whether they have read the book first (thereby liking the movie more because they bring more to the movie than is in it), or having not not read the book , and being limited to what the movie actually portrays (which seems to be more Hollywood than Hunger Games). Unlike the excellent book, the movie seems to have chosen flash and style over substance. Expand
  32. Apr 24, 2012
    7
    I'd give The Hunger Games a passing grade. Its worth seeing if you had read the books, but it's probably a tad bit confusing for those who haven't. The acting was mediocre, the plot seemed rushed yet the audience is still engaged, and it gets the job done as a book adaptation. If you're a fan of the series it wouldn't be a bad idea to check it out, but don't go in expecting every detailI'd give The Hunger Games a passing grade. Its worth seeing if you had read the books, but it's probably a tad bit confusing for those who haven't. The acting was mediocre, the plot seemed rushed yet the audience is still engaged, and it gets the job done as a book adaptation. If you're a fan of the series it wouldn't be a bad idea to check it out, but don't go in expecting every detail to be there. Expand
  33. 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.
  34. Mar 23, 2012
    9
    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!
  35. 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!
  36. Sep 2, 2012
    8
    I think this movie is very good, but the book, gives much more detail then then the movie. Some people didn't like the movie because it didn't have enough action. I think it had enough action in it. The movie plot is good enough to keep you into the movie fro start to finish. The movie has a very good cast which could get this movie an oscar nom. This is not an oscar movie but the cast inI think this movie is very good, but the book, gives much more detail then then the movie. Some people didn't like the movie because it didn't have enough action. I think it had enough action in it. The movie plot is good enough to keep you into the movie fro start to finish. The movie has a very good cast which could get this movie an oscar nom. This is not an oscar movie but the cast in the movie could bump it up and get it a nom. If it does get a nom it will be a just barely. Good movie and great book. Expand
  37. Nov 25, 2012
    8
    An eccentric future. People wear wierd makeup and have blue hair. I'm listening. Children killing each other. I'm listening. A fully developed world that truly makes me believe that this place could exist 300 years from now. I'm sold. This movie creates a place in time, and I feel like I'm there. Check.
  38. 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
  39. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    Sad, thought-provoking, deep, emotional, and downright depressing these are the words I would use to describe The Hunger Games. I've never read the book, but this movie has made me want to. It's an absolutely emotional film. The characters are absolutely extremely well done. So much so in fact that I wanted to know more and more about them, including the minor and villain characters. If ISad, thought-provoking, deep, emotional, and downright depressing these are the words I would use to describe The Hunger Games. I've never read the book, but this movie has made me want to. It's an absolutely emotional film. The characters are absolutely extremely well done. So much so in fact that I wanted to know more and more about them, including the minor and villain characters. If I had one complaint it would be that some scenes aren't as detailed as they should be. A problem I believe they had because they couldn't fit all the details from the book into the movie. This is a movie I do recommend, just keep in mind it's a pretty brutal film. Expand
  40. Jan 30, 2013
    6
    The Hunger Games is a decent movie taken from a book... A book which in turn takes it's elements from films like Battle Royale and The Running Man. Talk about cyclical! The Hunger Games shines when viewed as a character piece (Jennifer Lawrence's performance is excellent) or as a slight meditation on social greed and the notion of celebrity. That said, the movie has it's faults. TheThe Hunger Games is a decent movie taken from a book... A book which in turn takes it's elements from films like Battle Royale and The Running Man. Talk about cyclical! The Hunger Games shines when viewed as a character piece (Jennifer Lawrence's performance is excellent) or as a slight meditation on social greed and the notion of celebrity. That said, the movie has it's faults. The primary one being the lack of stirring action sequences. The editing and pacing of these scenes when they do arrive are simply unexciting. One thing I will say though is that the violence is tastefully neutered. I have no desire to see young children graphically killed and was mercifully spared from doing so. Ultimately, The Hunger Games was an entertaining movie that I enjoyed. Not nearly as much as Battle Royale, however. Expand
  41. Mar 23, 2012
    6
    Though the concept is hardly an original one, "The Hunger Games," directed by Gary Ross ("Pleasantville," "Seabiscuit," and the upcoming "Catching Fire"), visually details the first installment of the widely acclaimed dystopian trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. Taking a page or two from earlier films of a similar variety, as in a much tamer account of Fukasaku's "Battle Royale" (2001)Though the concept is hardly an original one, "The Hunger Games," directed by Gary Ross ("Pleasantville," "Seabiscuit," and the upcoming "Catching Fire"), visually details the first installment of the widely acclaimed dystopian trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. Taking a page or two from earlier films of a similar variety, as in a much tamer account of Fukasaku's "Battle Royale" (2001) and delivering the same satirical overtones and vision of runaway celebrity culture and reality-tv obsession like Weir's "The Truman Show" (1998), the film shines in its tense tone and from a couple of its leads (Lawrence and Hutcherson), though is lessened by its invariably unstable, twitchy camerawork (using three angles at times) and over-editing swiftness --despite its intentions to make for intensified pathos and a neurotic dystopia--which fails to match the book's same sense of loss from death and the competition's ubiquitous ambiance of uncompromising gravity and carnage. Notwithstanding the camerawork, editing errors, and violence-saving restraint (let's not forget its rated PG-13), 'Games' is very much engrossing; the one-hundred and forty-four minute runtime never seems too tedious or soporific. Moreover, the film retains its grip on the viewer's attention much in part to its nimbly brisk pace and stunning cinematography. Lawrence is really what puts 'Games' on the same map as "Harry Potter" and further away from "Twilight;" she has a calming innocence that is both steady and assuring to the viewer, and blue eyes that are equally riveting. If viewers are familiar with her in "Winter's Bone," the same barefaced committment is brought to her character Katniss Everdeen, the bow-and-arrow-slinging heroine, who volunteers for her eleven-year old sister in the annual "Hunger Games." It is through Katniss that audiences become genuinely concerned with the competition's outcome; rooting for the heroine over even her District 12-adversarily-forced friend Peeta (Hutcherson). His character attires a strong, affecting visage that tears the viewer momentarily for whom to continue to cheer for; Katniss still wins over the crowd. But even more effective, is the film's transition from the book, which is told in first-person (Katniss as the focal point), to an omni-prescent scope. With this clever, and much safer, modification, the audience gets to see both the Hunger Games control room (the studio show stage) as well as the artifical, environmentally-staged battlefield. Furthermore, the continual change of pace from hunting (the action) and the scripted show (presentation) mimicks a "real-life" reality premise where audiences see both the physical confrontation and the manipulated, interviews, pre-game ceremonies and beauty-style pagentry, laden with flamboyant fashion and persistent directing coordinators. The control room, as in all of the film's setting, draws a strong, at times too close, semblance to "Fifth Element;" apparently Hollywood's only visual representative take on what the future world will be. Amalgamated from this "reality-show" are hosts and staff, some memorable, and some one would like to repress. Among the former, is madcap, blue-bouffant, male-Oprah-like Stanley Tucci, the horrificly bearded high-tech coordinator, Wes Bentley, and the long, wooly white, lion mane coiffure of Donald Sutherland as the usually distinguished and mellifluous, President Snow of the 'Games'; he is demonically brutal in his antagonistic role. As a whole, 'Hunger' is a film that is steered money first into a consuming demographic (13-19), and restrains itself knowingly from achieving brilliance by ensuring it stays the course. Though it starts as if it will last an eternity, and stand amongst cinematic grandeur, the film inexorably loses it steam and transmutes into the melodrammatic plodding in the woods that follows the "Twilight" series far too subserviently. In addition to the increasingly eggregious display of treacle adolescent-romance and fluff, the initial brilliant cinematography by Tom Stern is supplanted with noticeably cooler, more mundane tones. And, once the fighting itself begins, the teens on the battlefield are just not given the same degree of complexity and richness as the adults; they are seen as sheer psychopaths with no souls. Moreover, the need to add the laboriously dull and done-before love triangle only frames what will hopefully "tie-in" in the next installment, but the incipient longing for relationships does not put an effective cap on this origin account. Not endowing the same cultural study of class critique, as the superior "Battle Royale," 'Games' is obviously too Hollywood for its own good, eliminating some of the greater meanings the film desires to fulfill. The crux of the point: breaking box-office records is more important than making breaking one's highest expectations; settling for green is the greater compromise. Expand
  42. 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 veryWhile 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
  43. 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 theI 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
  44. 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,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
  45. May 20, 2012
    9
    I saw this film back on its first opening weekend and I had high expectations seeing how I have read and enjoyed the whole book series. For that, I absolutely enjoyed this movie and it is entertaining as all hell! The only problems are that some parts from the book were left out and you have to be patient to be satisfied with the actual Hunger Games tournament. Other than that, the acting,I saw this film back on its first opening weekend and I had high expectations seeing how I have read and enjoyed the whole book series. For that, I absolutely enjoyed this movie and it is entertaining as all hell! The only problems are that some parts from the book were left out and you have to be patient to be satisfied with the actual Hunger Games tournament. Other than that, the acting, the visuals, the story are all great! Expand
  46. 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.
  47. Mar 24, 2012
    1
    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.
  48. Apr 5, 2012
    1
    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 theThis 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
  49. 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 toOk 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
  50. Mar 26, 2012
    5
    I always wonder after seeing a movie where I have read the book beforehand, â
  51. Aug 14, 2012
    0
    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.
  52. Mar 23, 2012
    6
    Stunningly decent, yes that is how i think i will describe this it is strange almost like the concept is well done yet still not allowed to flourish. The over all scope of things is easily grasped and i can respect keeping it PG-13 for it's audience but it is just a little to lacking in detail, the book is deep, rich and complex while the movie lack the same stunning epic feel
  53. Jun 9, 2012
    2
    The entire plot is based on the illogical premise that the games will keep the masses cowered and docile. But forcing two citizens from each region into lethal combat for public display and entertainment is a sure way to stir the populace into revolt and to make martyrs out of the participants. The random selection of contestants makes the slaughter of children inevitable, which wouldThe entire plot is based on the illogical premise that the games will keep the masses cowered and docile. But forcing two citizens from each region into lethal combat for public display and entertainment is a sure way to stir the populace into revolt and to make martyrs out of the participants. The random selection of contestants makes the slaughter of children inevitable, which would further inflame the populace. But this is just the beginning of a whole string of illogical plot developments that overwhelmed my ability to suspend disbelief. The film's robotic acting and dialogue make the moronic plot even more unbearable. I suspect that the producers knew they could profit by showing attractive young
    actors running around in futuristic costumes trying to kill each other and not have to bother with meaningful content or story. Hunger games left me starving for an engaging story or characters.
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  54. 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 aJennifer 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
  55. May 11, 2012
    10
    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.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
  56. Apr 15, 2012
    10
    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.
  57. Apr 16, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I never read the book. Many people consider that a negative. I consider it a benefit. I am able to judge the world not based on my expectations for the book's movie, but on my expectations for a movie in general. I am able to expect the movie to leave me without questions that could be answered by the novel.

    Overall, it was a solid movie - it had a unique story, a different atmosphere, and was produced beautifully with a competent balance of action and story. What it lacked it was character development and the occasional simply bad scripting and acting job (especially in the minor roles of newscasters and politicians).

    The setting is different - everything is big. The trains are big. The cities are big. The arenas are big. It combines the vastness of Star War's sci-fi with the bleak political corruption of 1984 to make an atmosphere that I haven't seen excessively much. Unfortunately, this setting really isn't emphasized. You see a massive train - for a few seconds before it goes straight inside. You notice that the government is merciless and corrupt, but this isn't a theme that is really developed at all. I feel like the entire political and physical landscape of the world of the Hunger Games goes to waste.

    Still, the story is one of competition, sacrifice, and, most importantly, survival. The characters must go to great physical and moral lengths - even abandoning their own attitude towards the world - to survive in an arena where survival isn't based on strength of arm, but on public view. In a plot contrary to many modern movies, the characters must actually try to get on society's "good side" to achieve their goals.

    Some scenes - such as a particular one where several youths are murdered almost pointlessly by each other - are downright grotesque, but open the viewer's mind to the idea that perhaps not every story has to follow set social standards and express traditional themes. Some scenes are intense - from fist-fights for survival, to desperate struggles to survive the wrath of nature (or "nature" as expressed by the overlords of the central competition), even to one or two cliche explosions (this is, after all, a modern sci-fi action movie).

    Very few scenes, however, are emotionally moving. The makers of the film definitely knew how to cast and write a great death scene, for example, but failed completely in giving us any emotional attachment to the dying character. Throughout the story, I really only felt attachment to the central character - all of the side characters were either evil or fodder for the evil ones. To top it off, only a handful of characters were well acted and scripted. Newscasters are given borderline cheesy scripts to introduce crucial plot elements. Villains behave and voice-act like 7-year olds stomping out an anthill. You have trouble being intimidated by a group of teens who giggles while they destroy their opponents.

    The ending left a little wanting. The setting, as I said, is a 1984-esque politically corrupt world that is not developed in the slightest. At the end, the setting is the same. Neither side has gained any ground. All that has happened is a competition. And while I applaud a self-contained story, this disturbing lack of closure can't go overlooked.

    Overall, it was a solid film. I wish I could have given it a 7.5, because honestly it doesn't deserve an 8. No movie should be judged by the book it is based on, but no movie based on a book should rely on the book it is based on. Overall, the Hunger Games doesn't rely on the novel - it explains most things well - but it lacks the character development and, well, non-cheesy introduction of plot elements that it needs.
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  58. 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 HungerThe 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
  59. Apr 10, 2012
    8
    The Hunger Games is a good movie. Not fanboy amazing, not hater terrible. It's good. As it is in most movies, there are a lot of little details that were taken out, but the details weren't necessary to the story. That said, the movie is definitely better if you've read the book. Is the book the difference between a 3 and an 8? No. It's the difference between an 8 and a 6. The movie hasThe Hunger Games is a good movie. Not fanboy amazing, not hater terrible. It's good. As it is in most movies, there are a lot of little details that were taken out, but the details weren't necessary to the story. That said, the movie is definitely better if you've read the book. Is the book the difference between a 3 and an 8? No. It's the difference between an 8 and a 6. The movie has action, great acting, good looking actors and an actual plot. The movie stands well on it's own, but it is best enjoyed if you've read the book first. If you've read the book, you automatically fill in all the missing pieces, and that creates a wholesome, spectacular visual representation of the book. The movie shouldn't be criticized for leaving details out, the books should be criticized for having too much detail. That said, I definitely urge you to read the book and THEN go see the movie, but the movie is great on it's own, and worth seeing either way. (JENNIFER LAWRENCE!!! Expand
  60. Apr 16, 2012
    3
    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 andThis 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
  61. Apr 28, 2013
    2
    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!
  62. 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 strongI 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
  63. Jul 31, 2014
    6
    Based on the bestselling books for young adults the Hunger Games is a set in a world where, in order to keep the population under control, two children from each of the twelve districts are chosen to compete a two week trial in which only one can survive.

    I haven't read the books but throughout the movie I got the sense that certain elements have been left underdeveloped and toned down
    Based on the bestselling books for young adults the Hunger Games is a set in a world where, in order to keep the population under control, two children from each of the twelve districts are chosen to compete a two week trial in which only one can survive.

    I haven't read the books but throughout the movie I got the sense that certain elements have been left underdeveloped and toned down in order to maintain a reasonable running time and ensure a rating that would allow fans of the books to see it. In large part thanks to the central performance by, the always excellent, Jennifer Lawrence however The Hunger Games still makes for a relatively entertaining watch. It is well shot and moves along at a good pace with just enough tension to keep things from become too predictable.

    Not a classic but certainly worth a watch.
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  64. Apr 14, 2012
    10
    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.
  65. Mar 23, 2012
    5
    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.
  66. Mar 23, 2012
    10
    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.
  67. 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 especiallyDefinitely 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
  68. Jul 4, 2012
    7
    I'll make it clear from the start, I regrettably haven't read Suzanne Collins' book series this film (and its inevitable sequels) are based on. I'm still quite able to judge it in cinematic terms, and besides, I would rather not become one of those over-protective readers who take it as a personal insult whenever the slightest change is made to the story for the sake of on-screen narrativeI'll make it clear from the start, I regrettably haven't read Suzanne Collins' book series this film (and its inevitable sequels) are based on. I'm still quite able to judge it in cinematic terms, and besides, I would rather not become one of those over-protective readers who take it as a personal insult whenever the slightest change is made to the story for the sake of on-screen narrative flow. As all good sci-fi does, the film comments on an issue hugely relevant to contemporary society, in this case it's the rapidly increasing extremity and dominance of reality TV. The world of The Hunger Games is a dystopian future ruled by an oppressive, authoritarian government, where every district of Panem (formally North America) are annually forced to submit a teenage boy and girl to compete in a brutal blood sport for the dual purpose of keeping the formally rebellious lower-classes downtrodden, and to keep the rich citizens of the Capitol entertained as the ultimate form of twisted reality TV. The cast of the film are quite superb. Jennifer Lawrence is utterly captivating as the film's heroine Katniss Everdeen, District 12's female competitor, and Josh Hartnett continues to prove himself a fast-rising star as the District's male competitor Peeta Mellark, though both are acted off the screen by newcomer Amandla Stenberg playing an intelligent but younger-than-average games competitor, Rue. The veteran actors playing the adult characters all seem to be having a great deal of fun, from Woody Harrelson's cynical and alcoholic, but good-natured Hunger Games survivor Haymitch, the porcelain-doll-like games promoter Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), eccentric stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and especially Stanly Tucci's batty blue-haired TV host Caesar Flickerman. The only one who doesn't appear to be having a good time is Donald Sutherland, playing President Snow, though to be fair he's only a very minor character in this installment. and the filmmakers probably just wanted to get a big name in early to play a character who becomes (so I'm told) far more essential in the sequels. The games themselves are extremely well-realised - after the back-story to this particularly pessimistic vision of the future is established and the characters introduced, we are plunged into a something that is a cross between Battle Royale and Deliverance. When I first heard about the film and its teen-friendly certificate, I thought it would be limiting to the film tackling its exceptionally dark subject matter. Quite the contrary - a lower certification forces director Gary Ross and cinematographer Tom Stern to get creative. The action is thrilling, and what happens to the young competitors is in many ways more horrifying and visceral when it is slightly obscured by clever editing or if it happens just off-screen - your own imagination fills in the gaps and these fights don't lose any impact. I do however question why you're not allowed to show blood on weapons in a 12A certificated film, yet you can show a young boy's neck being broken and the two lead characters covered in blood at the film's finale. The story sucks you in and keeps you engaged throughout, though the run-time is a little gruelling, and the final act is pretty generic. The film cleverly addresses powerful and timeless themes of freedom and morality, coming of age and loss of innocence, and serves as a warning against technological dependence. While all these themes are all effectively discussed in the film, I still see potential to expand on them in the sequels, where these thematic seeds will really have the opportunity to bloom. I really was pleasantly surprised by The Hunger Games - I expected little more than a sub-par Battle Royale, but through a combination of stunning visuals, great performances, and mature discussion of complex thematic material, it stands on its own terms, and can be enjoyed by the teen audience it was marketed at and adults alike. I look forward to seeing the uncut version of the film, that is yet to be released in the UK, once it is released on DVD, and see just how much the film is changed. Whether the next instalment of the series has the same impact without the artistic talent and energy of director Gary Ross, who has now dropped out, remains to be seen... Expand
  69. 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, IThe 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
  70. Jul 3, 2012
    4
    I personally didn't read the books but after watching the movie there is probably a good reason why. this movie is.... Mediocre. The story is bland, the build up things with little payoff and the editing is how you say GOD AWFUL. Extreme shaky cam and extreme close ups really hurt this movies potential. I also utterly despise the setting. A post apocalyptic future where the rich controlI personally didn't read the books but after watching the movie there is probably a good reason why. this movie is.... Mediocre. The story is bland, the build up things with little payoff and the editing is how you say GOD AWFUL. Extreme shaky cam and extreme close ups really hurt this movies potential. I also utterly despise the setting. A post apocalyptic future where the rich control the poor. DONE TO DEATH! You really have to work hard when your movie is worse than New Moon and that's me being nice. AVOID THIS MOVIE!!! Expand
  71. Apr 8, 2012
    10
    I haven't read the book but it made perfect sense to me. As far as blockbusters go it was pretty darn good. It's a difficult thing to do a film like this well but they managed it, and in the process created something of a classic for our times.
  72. Apr 5, 2012
    10
    What an excellent film. Having read the books, i love the way Gary Ross brought the highly acclaimed book to the big screen. Yes it had its differences from the book, but wow he did an amazing job. The parts that were missing from the books were understandable because he had to appeal to the audience that didn't read the book and help them understand the development of the story and theWhat an excellent film. Having read the books, i love the way Gary Ross brought the highly acclaimed book to the big screen. Yes it had its differences from the book, but wow he did an amazing job. The parts that were missing from the books were understandable because he had to appeal to the audience that didn't read the book and help them understand the development of the story and the plot. The character development was the biggest flaw i saw in the film. It seemed very weak. I read the books yet i didn't feel anything for Gale and his relationship with Katniss in the movie, and the actor for Peeta was very weak, but you can't expect picture perfect acting from a newcomer like him. Same with Katniss and Rue's relationship, it wasn't built up nearly as much as it was in the book, yet the movie was already 2 and a half hours so its understandable. Overall though this film was just beautiful. The development to the games was perfect, the games themself were perfect and the way they brought the capitol and district 12 to life was perfect, exactly as i pictured it in the book. The action was very well done as well. This movie was almost perfect with just a few minor flaws. I'd give it a 9.5/10 but ill round it up to 10/10. Whether you have or have not read the books, you will love this movie for sure. Thank you Gary Ross (director) for bringing one of our favorite books to life in a beautiful way. Expand
  73. Mar 24, 2012
    6
    It's tough rating this movie, because there is a lot to like - but it seems so intent on being the first in a series that it just barely stands on its own two feet. Really, I'm afraid that people who haven't read the books aren't going to have the first clue about how good this story actually is and I wonder what this movie could have been if they'd allowed it to be it's own story asIt's tough rating this movie, because there is a lot to like - but it seems so intent on being the first in a series that it just barely stands on its own two feet. Really, I'm afraid that people who haven't read the books aren't going to have the first clue about how good this story actually is and I wonder what this movie could have been if they'd allowed it to be it's own story as opposed to just a set up for the profit monster they expect the second and third parts to be. Not to mention, for a story called "The Hunger Games" you'd figure food would be a larger part of the story (as in the book), but there is surprisingly little of anything related to poverty, hunger, or food that contribute so much to who Peeta and Katniss (not to mention district 11's Rue) are as characters.

    What's the like? Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, and seeing how the games are run.
    What's to hate? Really underdeveloped characters, poor pacing really hampers emotionally significant moments, and the camera work is at times amateurish.
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  74. Apr 14, 2012
    10
    The Hunger Games - 10/10 - The Hunger Games is inventive, inspirational and at times mind-blowing. It's not the greatest adaptation of the novel but this film stands alone. The shaky camera might be a little must but it's a brilliant way for this film that's about kids killing kids to bypass the MPAA and a R rating. Also a blockbuster of this nature made for under a hundred million and notThe Hunger Games - 10/10 - The Hunger Games is inventive, inspirational and at times mind-blowing. It's not the greatest adaptation of the novel but this film stands alone. The shaky camera might be a little must but it's a brilliant way for this film that's about kids killing kids to bypass the MPAA and a R rating. Also a blockbuster of this nature made for under a hundred million and not being a total disaster is a feat within itself. Hunger Games is a must watch blockbuster in a randomly placed March! Expand
  75. Mar 23, 2012
    10
    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.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 still...it 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
  76. Mar 23, 2012
    7
    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 criticsThe 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
  77. Mar 24, 2012
    6
    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.
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  78. Mar 23, 2012
    10
    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 onlyI 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
  79. 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 betterBefore 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
  80. Apr 11, 2012
    6
    The Hunger Games is, a decent movie, I could say. It starts with Katniss, you fanboys know her, right? Well she is a dull character that has no reason for the audience to want her to win. As that continues, the plot expands, and the plot is great. Should keep viewers interested in this clever, expanding plot; despite it's simularities to "Most Dangerous Game". Anyways, Peeta, is anotherThe Hunger Games is, a decent movie, I could say. It starts with Katniss, you fanboys know her, right? Well she is a dull character that has no reason for the audience to want her to win. As that continues, the plot expands, and the plot is great. Should keep viewers interested in this clever, expanding plot; despite it's simularities to "Most Dangerous Game". Anyways, Peeta, is another dull character. In fact, all the characters are. I can name a list of films that had begter characters. But then, I feel how the film was overall. In the end, it's an okay film, perhaps for the better than for the worse. I recommend this film, overall. Expand
  81. Apr 9, 2012
    4
    Its a bit **** just some girl crying for about 6 hours. I would say its a cross between Battle Royale and Twilight. It bigs these two people up like there these amazing people with awesome powers, and they hardly get used. The main guy in it supposed to have this amazing throw and he doesnt even throw anything throughout the film.
  82. 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
  83. 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,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
  84. Apr 15, 2012
    5
    success does not imply quality. while you can't argue the fact that The Hunger Games is a box office success, the film itself is quite a let down. as with many teen novels that are adapted to film, the film displays a fundamentally poorly thought out execution. The plot is under developed, almost implying knowledge that can only be know from reading the book, an example of which is thesuccess does not imply quality. while you can't argue the fact that The Hunger Games is a box office success, the film itself is quite a let down. as with many teen novels that are adapted to film, the film displays a fundamentally poorly thought out execution. The plot is under developed, almost implying knowledge that can only be know from reading the book, an example of which is the relationship of the primary character (Katniss) with her Mother. The characters are underdeveloped and the plot lacks appeal. If you don't enjoy picking apart films, then you should enjoy it regardless of what anyone has to say. Expand
  85. Apr 8, 2012
    7
    Movie, great. Actors, great. Plot, special effects, sounds, great, great, great.

    SUPER SHAKY CAMERA: I got a headache about half of the way through this movie and had to close my eyes so I didn't throw up. The camera ruined the whole movie for me, which is unfortunate because after reading the book, I was incredibly psyched.
  86. 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 toIt 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
  87. Apr 6, 2012
    5
    NOTE: IF YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK: MAKE THIS A 7/10. TL;DR THE MOVIE WOULD'VE BEEN POTENTIAL FOR BEST PICTURE BUT IT IS RUINED BY ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE PACING AND CHARACTER/WORLD DEVELOPMENT. The acting is superb (Especially Woody Harrelson as Haymitch) the visuals/audio stunning, and it follows rather well with the book. It paints an excellent image from the book. So why does it have a 5/10?NOTE: IF YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK: MAKE THIS A 7/10. TL;DR THE MOVIE WOULD'VE BEEN POTENTIAL FOR BEST PICTURE BUT IT IS RUINED BY ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE PACING AND CHARACTER/WORLD DEVELOPMENT. The acting is superb (Especially Woody Harrelson as Haymitch) the visuals/audio stunning, and it follows rather well with the book. It paints an excellent image from the book. So why does it have a 5/10? Two reasons: Pacing and Character/World Development. The pacing was absolute crap. So crap it brings the score down by 2 points. With the 2 1/2 hours of the film, some scenes were uselessly prolonged (ESPECIALLY THE BEGINNING. The book had a long beginning, but it used it to explain the story), and could've been used to develop and explain the story. Character/World Development? For those who haven't read the book, this movie will be very confusing. It doesn't explain the purpose of the Districts, who most of the people are, the reasons behind the actions done, and generally what's going on. Who was that old guy with the big white beard? President Snow. Who was that guy with the strange stubble beard? Seneca Crane, the Head Gamemaker. Who was that cat at the beginning? Buttercup, one of Prim's pets, who only tolerates Katniss. Why is it called the "Hunger" games? Because most of the districts are in poverty, and many people starve to death. The winner of the Hunger Games get out of that poverty, and the district gets some extra food. What happened to District 13? It was destroyed by the Capitol during the Dark Days of the rebellion (No, this isn't a spoiler. This is backstory known by all the characters), as a demonstration of the Capitol's power and because it's possible to live without graphite. If you just watched the film without reading the book, you wouldn't know any of that stuff. So much potential ruined. sigh Expand
  88. Apr 9, 2012
    0
    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),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
  89. Apr 28, 2012
    9
    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 .
  90. 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 playingFrom 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
  91. Apr 8, 2012
    5
    The movie is just as shallow as the book. There's little depth, zero character development, and the technology that The Capitol exudes is entirely unbelievable. 1. Shaking-camera approach was the wrong choice. The director was going for that voyeuristic, narrow-perspective, suspenseful feeling but it just ends up giving the viewer a headache. I found myself squinting at the screen forThe movie is just as shallow as the book. There's little depth, zero character development, and the technology that The Capitol exudes is entirely unbelievable. 1. Shaking-camera approach was the wrong choice. The director was going for that voyeuristic, narrow-perspective, suspenseful feeling but it just ends up giving the viewer a headache. I found myself squinting at the screen for the first half of the movie (shakiness seems to absolve once the tributes arrive in the arena), and I found myself rubbing my eyes more than paying attention.

    2. If The Capitol has the technology to spawn biological entities out of thin air (the dogs), then why would they need coal mining production, which was the entire purpose of District 12? The flamboyance of The Capitol suggests that technology has evolved far beyond coal burning. Nanotechnology, anti-gravity propulsion systems? Whew man, that's a big hole.

    3. Just to have a third item... all of those tributes sure are GOOD LOOKING for being so poor. And why weren't there any fat tributes? One last thing: If these Hunger Games have been going on for close to 75 years, wouldn't every district by now train their tributes?
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  92. 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.
  93. 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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  94. 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.
  95. Oct 2, 2012
    9
    After all the dreadful Twilight movies that have come our way, we finally get a teen-targeted movie worth watching! The movie's biggest strong point is Jennifer Lawrence's gripping portrayal of Katniss, she played the role just as one would picture her in the book. I also don't think they could've got a better Peeta if they tried, Josh Hucterson IS Peeta. The violence pushes the boundariesAfter all the dreadful Twilight movies that have come our way, we finally get a teen-targeted movie worth watching! The movie's biggest strong point is Jennifer Lawrence's gripping portrayal of Katniss, she played the role just as one would picture her in the book. I also don't think they could've got a better Peeta if they tried, Josh Hucterson IS Peeta. The violence pushes the boundaries for PG-13 films and it makes for some very powerful and tense moments. The Disctrict 12 scenes have a haunting conviction over them and the Capitol scenes display a perfect satire of our society. My only problems with the movie were that it needed a director more experienced with action films, the action and CGI were fairly poor, and the changes they made the climax stopped it from tugging my emotional strings like it did in the book. Apart from that it was brill and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the series take shape. Expand
  96. 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.
  97. Apr 21, 2012
    3
    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
  98. Aug 12, 2012
    8
    this films is good, but there is a problem the movie dont mentions her friendship with Rue, but out of this the film is very good and i cried a lot when Rue died
  99. Mar 24, 2012
    10
    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.
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 49
  2. Negative: 2 out of 49
  1. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Nov 20, 2015
    100
    It is a thrilling, intelligent, deeply-felt movie that does not play by the typical rules of franchise building in modern Hollywood.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Nov 20, 2015
    83
    Ultimately, Ross hasn’t just successfully mounted an adaptation of a hot literary property, or even launched a film series that earns the right to be a franchise. He’s produced an engaging, thoughtful, populist piece of entertainment that transcends gender, genre or source material.
  3. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Nov 20, 2015
    100
    Despite its well-worn ideas and themes, Gary Ross’s provocative, pulse-surgingly tense adaptation couldn’t feel fresher, or timelier.