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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1445 Ratings

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  1. Oct 7, 2014
    I don't understand what got this movie so hyped and successful...I haven't read the books and yet I can't help but think this has totally been done before. Maybe you remember the 1980s film The Running Man? Arnold...anyone? When you make a movie with a plot that has already been done, you better have some extra fire power to back it up. Of which this movie had little to none. The characters had very little and/or significant development. I didn't feel bad when they died, enough said. Wasn't that the girl from the movie Orphan? That movie was sick! (the good kind of sick) You monsters diminished her talent! And Jennifer Lawrence, just didn't have the edge I feel like a girl in her situation would need, sure she can shoot, but what good is that when there's no fire? Where's the animal kill or be killed instinct? No believable feeling. And there's no one else better than her to eventually be the one who takes down the bad guys? Her performance makes that tough to believe. Terrible. And there's more of the series to come. Wow. I don't think they can salvage this. But how cute, they're going to try. Expand
  2. Jul 27, 2014
    stupid book adaption...again. copying divergent (the best movie of all time). woo hoo, crossbow wielding katniss everdeen is copying terrel dickson from that one vampire show. katniss is a douche bag. she doesnt help her family get food and steals the spotlight for her soon to be famous sister prinrows. heck, her sister told her she had dreams about getting picked, dont interfere woman. president snowball is so white. the hunger games is a bland book about a protagonist named cato who SPOILER ALERT dies at the end. you couldve killed rue. thanks a lot jennifer lawrence. Expand
  3. Apr 12, 2014
    I give this rating 4/10 because i watched it to many times they make dumb choices in the movie .
    Grade for hunger games B
    Grade for catching fire D.
  4. Apr 4, 2014
    Seriously, **** this film. It is awful. I'm not going into detail because it would take hours for me to go over everything that makes this thing unwatchable. Suffice to say it's just a senseless story driven by insufferably irritating characters and a string of convenient plot devices that sporadically fade in and out of relevance. If you want a film about a brutal death match, watch battle royale. If you want a film about ridiculous angst ridden teenage romance, watch twilight. If you want a film that tries to include a death match and a convoluted teenage romance and fails at both, watch the hunger games. Expand
  5. Mar 12, 2014
    honestly for the longest time after I saw this on netflix, I thought it was a slower, duller american remake of "battle royale", without any of the fun black humor. now that I know that's apparently not true, I now think of this movie as just slow, dull and without any sense of humor.
  6. Mar 8, 2014
    This was an unwatchable, tedious, ass-numbing, bore of a movie; not worthy of even “made for TV” status. The acting was stilted and wooden; Jennifer Lawrence is creepy looking and unattractive. Honestly the whole thing was a mess from start to finish. Save your money and opt out of the remaining movies now; doubtful they will get any better.
  7. Jan 22, 2014
    This film is just a copy of Battle Royale, it's plagiarism. There's nothing new here, there's nothing stunning or amazing it's just a film to take your money and is a big hollywood fail.
  8. Dec 21, 2013
    I have found the movie has bad acting, the animations are not realistic and the plot was very bad. The scenes looked very 'bright and happy', so did the soldiers uniforms, also, is it just me or does everyone have clothes always look good as new and the characters have minimal amounts of dirt on them too?

    In the movie story things that are extremely unlikely happened then something else
    extremely unlikely happened to make it follow the book.

    All that said, I am definitely not going to watch the sequels.
  9. Dec 11, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Hunger Games was written by American novelist, Suzanne Collins and was published and released in autumn 2008. The breathtaking book is about a girl in a poor District with The Hunger Games in the capitol once a year to fight until death. When her sister is taken out to do this challenge, what will Katniss do to save her sister?
    Gary Ross, 56, an American director, writer and author who wrote and directed this appalling version of an amazing book. He took the feeling out of the words Collins wrote and should be ashamed of himself.
    It was released in the UK in March 2012 and the total box office amount was £457,295,652. Many people, including myself, were clearly disappointed as we wanted to get the feeling we got with Collins’ books but instead I sat through a poor version with terrible acting.
    A man coming out of the cinema said “They couldn’t act. Stone faced, that’s what they were”. If I were Suzanne Collins I would feel utterly embarrassed to say that was based on a book I wrote.
    Jennifer Lawrence, 22, is a beautiful and talented actress but i felt her part was extremely flat but, of course, i put the blame on Gary Ross as he was responsible.
    The script was forced, terrible and completely horrendous! It made me cringe! Some of the memorable lines from the movie were taken from the book but having them being read aloud instead of reading them in your head ruined the experience. As well as the terrible script, there were also technical difficulties like when the camera would jerk and everyone in the screening room would feel suspense but Ross was building up to nothing. I am not an expert in special effects but to me, it looked like a student in primary school doing it for the first time and hoping for the best! It was an attempt to be serious but they failed miserably.
    With a budget of £51.6m, they should’ve hired a decent camera-man as to not make the whole film look like a school play!
    Overall, I give this despicable mess of a movie 0.5 of a star because they based it on an excellent book and I recommend you reading the book!
  10. Dec 11, 2013
    The Hunger Games can be summed up like this: the good is heavily outweighed by the bad. Only fans of the books should view it to see if they can get an ounce of satisfaction from the film adaptation. For everyone else, don't waste your time.
  11. Dec 1, 2013
    this movie was okay at most it was boring for really long and the hype was over a book and book fans will give it a good review that it will not deserve dont let your loyalism make people think a whack movie is good so they go buy it or something
  12. Nov 29, 2013
    Just an okay at best movie. The main thing I had a problem with this movie is that you don't have any emotional investment in the characters. Even at moments where you are clearly supposed to feel sad or happy, you jut don't. The characters just aren't all that dimensional. Also, there is too much use of shaky camera and its hard to tell what is going on. I think the filmmaker decided to do this so that you don't see all the violence which would make this movie rated R, because hey if the movies PG-13 its going to make a lot more money. Hunger Games isn't that great of a movie but there are some enjoyable elements to it. Expand
  13. Nov 21, 2013
    A cliché, predictable, boring, eventless and poorly presented movie. It borrows age-old tricks from video games and does them poorly. Absolutely nothing to see here.
  14. Nov 19, 2013
    Poor movie. It should have been more than one part per book. There was no character development at all and bad casting. There were numerous mistakes in the movie aswell as taking one idea from the book and basing the entire population of the capitol on it. Not only that, but it's being completely marketed for the 8-12 crowd, with action figures and card games. The cast was horrible. The 17 year old gale was played by 22 year old Liam Hemsworth, and 16 year old Katniss by 22 year old Jennifer Lawrence. You know a high hyped movie was bad when it's already on netflix. Hopefully they don't screw up Catching fire, and the casting looks not that bad. Expand
  15. Oct 23, 2013
    Flat characterisation and story development with juvenile depictions of the brutal subject it was approaching. Such was this, that the costume and set design were very much bloated. The romance is too focused and seems less keen on exploring the themes of creating a society based on the treatment of competition between young people by killing each other. First and foremost, you didn't have to see the film to know how it ended. A feeling that that was how it was going to end was illustrated under the unconvincing panic of its main protagonists who would miraculously appear in the sequel. Seeing as how I had never read the books, I felt as if was some kind of condescending response to those who genuinely wanted to see the film but had never read the books. Expand
  16. Oct 9, 2013
    I really do not get all of the appeal behind The Hunger Games. This is similar to The Twilight Saga, not that both franchises are the exact same, but they're both highly overrated franchises that are geared mostly towards teenagers. The only difference is that The Hunger Games tries to appeal to all demographics, but just ends up being REALLY obnoxious--- once you see the poster for this movie 1000 times. The one with Katniss on it. This is one of the most ANNOYING movie posters, if not THE most annoying movie poster I have ever seen. It's everywhere, even when the second movie is about to be released. Sorry, but The Hunger Games will not be as memorable as Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. It's just another adult-novel-turned-to-movie-aimed-for-teenagers. Expand
  17. Oct 6, 2013
    I really bored in this movie action scenes were boring but acting was good i cant deny that especially jennifer lawrence did an awesome job for me if you planning to enter the franchise just read the books
  18. Sep 18, 2013
    The hungry games are bad and i think its bad becos there was no hungrany and there was none games so i dont get way it was calld hte hugnry games and all off the charenters wasnt hungry adn they dint want to kill echother because they aer winmps so thay shud kill thamsalfs with a 360noscope
  19. Jul 16, 2013
    First off, I neither liked this film nor the books. The entire concept was taken directly from Battle Royale and has just interjected elements from The Lord of The Flies. There are several ways that the character of Katniss is just a bland, sociopathic male-stand-in who does everything wrong and seems to get out alive. Peeta is creepy. No question. How he tries to make Katniss act like she's in love with him for the better of the viewers and how he admitted to nearly stalking her in both the film and book. Gale and Prim are useless characters who, if they were removed, the story would still be the same. Haymich isn't alcoholic at all, he's an occasional drunk, and I'm ready to stand up to that point with anyone who wants to protest. I don't want this review to run long with everything that's wrong with this, because there aren't enough characters here to rightly explain. But what I hate the most is the sheer fact that such a large bandwagon has been made for this film/book. There are other alternatives out there that do it so much better than this. Just because millions of people like something doesn't make it as good as everyone praises it to be. Expand
  20. Jul 5, 2013
    I'll start off by making the point that I'm acutely aware that I'm not the target audience of this picture, but would also add that this shouldn't prevent any appreciation I might have when it's done right. Sadly, The Hunger Games struggles on too many occasions for this to be a consideration. I will say that my own biases may also play a part, as general irritation with certain aspects of the movie may relate to me specifically.

    Disclaimers aside, the early stages of the film were reasonable. It was much grittier than I was expecting in introducing the hardships of life in the district. However, it didn't take long for the first source of annoyance to rear its teen heartthrob of a head...

    I'm far more familiar with Liam Hemsworth's brother Chris than I am with him, and on this evidence, Liam should be taking more than a few pointers from his older brother. Why he chose to earnestly squint his way through the mercifully brief screen time he is afforded is beyond me, and quite honestly, it drove me nuts. It smacks of pandering to the tweenie audience (as do the ridiculously transparent character names) and it really aggravated me. Saving grace then that he was not, as I was expecting, the male counterpart to Lawrence's Katniss. I found Josh Hutcherson infinitely less infuriating and was able to move on with my life without putting a hole in my TV.

    On a mildly positive note, the scenes of children being herded to the 'reaping', the name given to the event at which the contestants are chosen, was suitably dark in tone. There is a decent sense of foreboding about the whole thing and I was fairly engaged for a few minutes, the tearful goodbyes and desperation adding to the spectre of things to come. It was reminiscent of a few wartime movies, but the fact that it was even in there was pleasing. Unfortunately, this is not where the beg, borrow and steal mentality ended.

    I'm not so sure that there is anything completely original left in the popular view of a science fiction future, but when it becomes so distracting that you can't stop pointing out aspects derived from other films, there's a problem. I won't bore anyone with a complete list here, suffice it to say that I noticed everything from Gattaca to Demolition Man and many others in between being misappropriated in the set design and it really got to me. On top of this, The Fifth Element provides more or less the entirety of the cues for the costumes of the population of the city. I was relieved once the action moved to the event itself and this is where the film was at its strongest.

    A good proportion of the action sequences are executed quite well and undeniably raise the film as a whole. The soundtrack is all a bit 'by the numbers', but bearable and apt at the very least. There's a lot of contrived plot silliness that takes place during the games sequences, but at least this section didn't exhaust me like much of the rest of the film did.

    Ultimately, it's not much worse than average, but there was far too much about this that had me gritting my teeth in despair to get anything out of the experience.
  21. Jul 3, 2013
    Read the book last year; saw the movie tonight. Completely disappointed with the overall adaptation. There was virtually no backstory, the characters felt very empty, and plenty of crucial plot points were glossed over.

    Why was Katniss so protective of Rue and emotional upon her death? Why did the riots start in District 12 so suddenly? Where was Katniss's gradual realization that
    cozying up to Peeta would lead to more sponsored parachutes? Where was the scene of the girl in the forest being captured (who eventually turned into an Avox)? Why were Katniss and Peeta acting so normal when they were presented with so much delicious food on the train (assuming they were on the brink of starvation back in District 12)? Where were the scenes where Panem's citizens were hinging on every move between Peeta/Katniss? Who the heck was Gale and what does he even have to do with this movie? All of these questions and MORE were left unanswered, and if it wasn't for me having read the book, I would have been sorely confused by the movie's shallow delivery.

    The only reason this movie deserves a 3 from me (instead of a 0), is because Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress. But not even she could save this lame duck of an adaptation.
  22. Jun 12, 2013
    Very little character development, weak storyline. This movie did have the potential to be great, but with weak character development, mediocre action scenes, and what felt like a weak storyline it was utterly dissappointing. If more time was spent on getting the viewers to know and identify with the characters it might have been a great movie.
  23. Apr 28, 2013
    Shameful ripoff of "Battle Royale," and much lower in quality. It's Battle Royale for "the Twilight crowd." The acting was stale, the action was bland, and there wasn't any reason given to me to really care about anything going on. The author of the books claims to have never heard of Battle Royale, and that's a laugh!
  24. Apr 15, 2013
    The Hunger Games tells a story that is either told too fast or too stretched. The actors do either a great job or a horrible one (like the actor playing Peeta who always looks like he shat his pants). It could have been good, but it's dragged down by flaws that could have easily been prevented.
  25. Apr 14, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's hard for me to understand why so many people thought this movie was well done. I read the first book (mainly because my girlfriend really wanted me to, especially before the movie) and I have to say I'm really glad I did. Although, even if I didn't read the book, the movie is horrible regardless. My favorite character Haymitch never did any of the things that I liked him for in the book. I never cared for Rue as I did in the book, quite frankly I did not care when she died in the movie. When the familiars (the name escapes me) came on screen of the dead tributes, they were awkward dog creatures that did not resemble their former selves. Thresh never did anything. The casting was off as certain characters did not look like how they were portrayed in the book (I know it cannot be perfect but you can make it close). The chariot scene with the fire dress was uninspired. Cinna had no emotion and seemed to really not care for Katniss. The shotty camera work that just shook every time an action scene happened. The fact that Pita didn't lose a leg. This movie is just wrong. It's just bad. Aside from completely ruining the book, the movie alone just is not good. Nothing about it was entertaining especially since I've read the book and know that everything was done so horribly wrong. My girlfriend who is a huge fan of the series (collects everything she can) also hated the movie. We were both sitting in the theater, dumbstruck as people clapped and cheered for a movie that destroyed what the books created. In retrospect I'm sure more than half the people in the movie hadn't read the books but the fact that the author stood behind this, I'll be sure to skip out on anything she does again. Not to mention the fact that I saw Battle Royale which came out before the Hunger Games books and movie and watching that you realize how much is ripped off. Right down to where they have two winners. I'm rambling now but geez, looking up at 831 positive reviews, really? Gah! Expand
  26. Mar 19, 2013
    Not worth it. Please, I read the book for school and decided to check out the movie. My God that was terrible almost as terrible as Avatar. I fell asleep 3 times. The book was filled with action but this movie wasn't. Acting was good that's why I gave it a three. If you want to be entertained you would have a better chance watching the book cover then this. The book cover was more interesting then the movie. Avoid movies like this and you will be happy. You want my advice, watch Spring Breakers. Expand
  27. Feb 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "It all makes sense if you read the book". Well, I guess it's time to put a warning label on the DVD cover about that, because this movie makes no sense. At all. I really hope the books are better thought and better written than this movie, that can be described only as garbage on garbage on garbage that the viewer is forced to swallow. Plot holes, unanswered questions, non-sense, "The Hunger Games" has them all. During the movie you'll find yourself simply asking two kind of questions: "Are they really that stupid?" and "What the hell?". Some examples? Here we go, but I doubt I'll have enough typing space. --The participants make teams. Yes, you read that correctly: they make TEAMS. For like an hour you're told only one of them can survive but, yeah, they make teams. You could understand that behaviour from the kind-hearted Katniss, but, wait, it gets better: the BAD GUYS make teams. And they sleep together. Of course, no one of them thinks about slaughtering all of his teammates during the night to win the games, because, yes, they are that stupid. --You managed to get all the food supplies? It would be a good idea to surround them with two dozens land mines, just in case the good girl wants to blow them and starve you to death. Yes, they are that stupid. --The good girl climbs a tree while chased by a bunch of bad guys? No problem, since no one of that uber-skilled teen assassins is able to climb a tree aswell. Again, it gets better: she kills one by throwing an hive full of killer bees on them while they're sleeping (somehow the bees can tell the good guys from the bad ones). --At one point she's about to be killed, but the bad guy is kind enough to wait, go close and confess all of his murders, so the not-so-good-but-not-that-bad girl can get revenge. Oh, it gets even better: she kills only the bad guy and spares Katniss, since she somehow forgot (again) only one of them can win.--On the "What the hell?" category: when short on participants, they "summon" two giant rabid dogs through a computer. No explanation whatsoever, they just click a couple of times, make a 3D drawing we go, giant dogs. Also, these dogs are like 6 feet high, but can't jump over a 4 1/2 feet high roof, otherwise the good girl would've died. --The baker-guy manages to disguise himself as a rock. And he's damn good at it, but...wait. What tools did he use? And when? No explanation. --The end would have been a great comedy moment if I hadn't payed real money to see it. It goes like this: "We changed the rules of the game, you both win. No, wait, it was a joke, the rules stay the same, one of you have to die. Wait... What? Are you killing yourselves? For real? Nononono! Wait! Wait! We change the rules, ok, we change the rules. You both win, long life to the Hunger Games!". I mean, are you serious? Are you f***ing serious? These games go on for like a century and no one, never ever thought you can simply cheat by threatening to kill yourselves as the last survivors? Again: are they really *that stupid*? And these overpowered, totalitarian organizers never ever thought about this *little flaw*? They have to be tricked by a couple of teenagers to realize their idiocy? --These are just some of the pearls you'll find in this movie, let alone the poor acting of everyone, including Woody Harrelson that was probably *really* drunk during all the shoots. If "The Hunger Games" was a movie from Mel Brooks, it would've been a round 10 in comedy. Don't waste your money on this rubbish. Expand
  28. Nov 26, 2012
    Admittedly, I was already tired to begin with when I started watching this movie (which resulted in me falling asleep halfway and missing around 60% of the awful movie). Either way, I don't understand the hype about this movie. It wasn't good at all, it was terrible. Terrible actors, terrible everything. I don't recommend this for anyone to watch. The only reason I'm rating it 3, is to be fair. But seriously though, it was awful. Expand
  29. Nov 5, 2012
    Feels kind of like a giant game of paintball. The setting is convoluted and the characters go undeveloped. I want to call it a missed opportunity, but I couldn't tell you what I think that opportunity is.
  30. Sep 1, 2012
    So this is it? This movie is very disappointing as it brings zero excitement. The authors vision of the world is really naive. I expected the main character to "crush the system" in some interesting way, while she just bowed down to it. There is nothing thrilling in action scenes, neither nothing touching in the plot. My final reaction was a big question mark when I saw the "heroes" smiling to the cameras and just returning home. I can only think of recommending this movie to young kids but there's this overall violence that makes it questionable. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Mar 26, 2012
    The result is an evasive, baffling, unexciting production - anything but a classic.
  2. Reviewed by: Andy Klein
    Mar 23, 2012
    Ross manages to keep the pacing remarkably swift, given that the games themselves don't start until halfway through the 144-minute running time.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 23, 2012
    Katniss is gritty, she's flinty, she's intimidating -- and she doesn't have to compromise one iota of her femininity for it. And Ross' movie tells her story wonderfully.