User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1420 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Sep 2, 2014
    7
    The constant comparisons to the novel from which it came are destined to tear down this film--but that's just not fair, it's really quite remarkable. Jennifer Lawrence and her fellow cast members bring this extraordinary tale to life on-screen.
  2. Aug 24, 2014
    8
    Let's kick off this review by stating that I haven't read the book(s) this movie is based on. Hence it's all about the movie and not book-to-film translation (before I read the books, anyway).

    The idea behind the story is compelling, gruesome and quite horrible. To choose 24 children to fight each other to the death until only one remains, in order to choke 12 Districts under the
    Capitol's control is something I haven't seen done before.

    The Hunger Games, and the way they were presented, was thrilling. The comparison of two different worlds, from far-away Districts to the Capitol, and the way the Games are perceived between the two was brilliant. The preparation of the Tributes for the Games was almost more interesting than the final feat itself, although they balanced it quite nicely.

    Most of the Tributes never got all that much time on screen - perhaps to make their deaths seem less important. They had to die, so better not make the audience feel too much for them. The actor performances and characters were well balanced, although the scheming behind the theatrics could have been given more depth. Also, it felt like the creators of the game cheated every now and then, but that's live TV for you; they must make it appealing - in this case by finding ways to control the game.

    The visual look of the movie was stunning, between very different worlds, one corporeal and one quite futuristic, all the way to make-up and clothing which finalized the impact of how removed the Capitol truly is from the "real world". It was appalling, in a sense, and you wanted to shake each and every one of those pretentious, naïve, spoiled people. (This is the setting where you can find the social rifts and values of the modern world in a nutshell.)

    This film is definitely worth the watch - and I'm eagerly waiting for the sequels and what turns of events they will provide in the already established setting.
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  3. Aug 24, 2014
    5
    This film comes across as exploitative and cheap as the games it depicts. As an audience member, I felt shallow, exploitive and confused about whether I should be enjoying this.
    But it is aimed at a younger, less empathetic, and less clever audience.
    Perhaps the irony of watching the watchers is satisfying to some. Personally it left an incredibly bad taste in my mouth. I could go into
    the stupid plot-holes, the greyscale-esque blue-and-gold visual delivery, the ending which gives you no emotional reward but... at the end, unlike the running man and the truman show, this never feels anything but shallowly-emotional and forced. Expand
  4. Aug 15, 2014
    8
    The Hunger Games is a dystopian science fiction film that keeps its audience on the edge. It is a film that is based in Panem that was once known as North America. Panem is a capital that is rich and is surrounded by 12 districts that are poor. Panem controls each district and forces each of them to present one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 year-olds that will appear in a reality show. This show is not the average everyday reality television show; it is about life and death, literally. Each person is placed in a controlled environment and they are forced to kill one another until the last person is standing. That is until Katniss Everdean changes the game. Katniss is a sixteen year-old girl that is a strong, smart, courageous girl that uses her wit to play the game as well as change the outcome of it.

    The beginning of the film is a little drawn out and slow but as it progresses it develops into a film that is full of raw emotion, action and drama. The cinematography, editing and sound is extremely effective with capturing the audience. In the beginning of the film, District 12 appears to be cold and sad. This is because there is not much light and the clothes seems old fashion and lacks color. It is almost like it was made in the 1950’s. This gives the audience a sense of how poor and less worthy these people are portrayed. Whereas, Panem is filled with light, colorful and vibrant. This shows the audience that the town is made of money and that they are worthier than the districts.

    The arena where the tributes fight is a controlled environment. It is an environment that embodies the hunt. But they are hunting each other as opposed to animals. Some of the tributes are brutal and love the game and play it with pride. Katniss is different and does not kill for the game but kills for survival and shows that she cares which is why she is able to put a twist on it.

    This film is heart breaking and brutal, but it is a must see. Every aspect of this film grabs the audience. It is full of raw emotion, action and drama. I would rate it an 8 out of 10.
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  5. 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
    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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  6. Jul 28, 2014
    5
    Watching "The Hunger Games" was like watching again one of the many young-adult films, that have their protagonist struggle with something superior and manage to beat it. In an all-too-generic plot, Lawrence's Katniss is more than acceptable, even though she does not get the chance to display much more than a girl-turned-hero. One of the most interesting points is that the film does not feature a romance between its protagonists, and this makes it different from other films of the same genre. An unimportant aspect, yes, but one of the very few "originalities" the film has to demonstrate.

    A must-see, definitely, at least because you have to know the story in order to watch the much more interesting sequel(s).
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  7. Jul 27, 2014
    3
    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
  8. Jul 25, 2014
    10
    The Hunger Games es una película que te intriga y entretiene desde que empieza hasta que termina, con mucha acción y grandes actuaciones por parte de todos. Es totalmente una gran película de Ciencia-Ficción.
  9. Jul 19, 2014
    8
    Aunque posee varios movimientos de cámara y sus efectos visuales son bastante pobres, es una película interesante que te atrapa, una trama que debemos agradecer a Suzanne Collins, e interpretaciones respetables.
  10. Jun 11, 2014
    8
    The movie was so in deep in times it was actually very epic. The movie was similar to the book in the basics at least. The actual hunger games part of the movie was not only very epic but very thrilling and suspenseful. This movie got a lot of hate, mainly because people thought that it was too much of a 'movie' and not enough of a 'story', im not even to quite sure what that means but im guessing it means the movie wasn't telling enough story. Of course very unlike the book itself. I think the movie is better than the book, mainly because im not a big reader. But if I were to actually think about it and focus on every little part and listened to others, I would say the book is better than the movie.. Expand
  11. May 30, 2014
    10
    "The Hunger Games" marks a spectacular introduction to the franchise. With dramatic violence, incredible performances, and a intimate/epic story telling it is a film that you would watch over & over again.
  12. May 18, 2014
    6
    It's kinda nice and watchable. Background story is great. But it lacks depth. Some moments are really weird and not in a good way ... The costume design is awesome, very creative!
  13. May 10, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So much wasted potential. I really loved the good dystopian atmosphere of the movie beginning, but when it came to the games - it started becoming less good. The strange turn of events, unnecessarily lengthy cheesy and "dramatic" sequences. I didn't like the thing that there were fireballs thrown to the main character and those giant dogs in the end. Just kills all the immersion. The other thing I didn't like - the main hero is not just so good, she just always gets lucky, so that means any other lucky guy can be on her place, I mean you can't see why she is the one to win, there is always someone/something to help her. Otherwise the actors are good, I always like to see Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson on screen. Overall, I didn't enjoy the movie though I do not regret the wasted time. Expand
  14. Apr 20, 2014
    10
    i love the hunger games it shows us if we dont change our society now there will be a world war 3
  15. Apr 19, 2014
    6
    Not bad, but lacking in many aspects. While the scenery is stunning, character development seems rather insufficient and the pacing of the film is somewhat awkward. Furthermore, it is obvious that all the techniques employed during action sequences were intended to tone down the violence to a childish level (to maintain a PG-13 rating perhaps, which would certainly guarantee a better box office performance). The violence is an important aspect of the story, and such blatant toning-down is simply unacceptable. Expand
  16. Apr 15, 2014
    9
    The Hunger Games is one of the best movies that I have seen. It's about a girl called Katniss Everdeen, who has to go to the hunger games for the second time in her life. She has to fight for her life which can also affect on the whole worlds destiny.
    Everyone should totally watch Hunger Games. It is really popular and everyone has seen it. If you haven't seen it yet you should watch it
    right now! Expand
  17. Apr 12, 2014
    4
    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.
  18. Apr 12, 2014
    9
    Nice film. It makes a nice discourse based on the book's message with an awesome performance from Jennifer Lawrence and a direction and production that worth it.
  19. Apr 4, 2014
    0
    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
  20. Apr 1, 2014
    8
    The Hunger Games movie is an excellent adaption of the great book of the same name and I think that it should be accepted as it is. I think the movie did a grand job of following the original book even though it's definitely not as violent as the book. The characters were great and the acting is overall good from mostly everyone, Jennifer Lawrence did an excellent job playing Katniss. The camera was pretty shaky overall at times which I know was a common complaint but I must say that it was still overall pretty view able as a movie goes. The action was also great and I did like the suspense portrayed throughout this film. Overall, The Hunger Games film is a faithful adaption that may still have some issues from time to time but it still a great film. If you like the book, I'm sure you'll enjoy this film. Expand
  21. Mar 26, 2014
    10
    This is an easy 10 out of 10 film. Great acting, solid special effects, good performances and most of all believe ability. This film may have a suggestive topic about kids killing kids. But the performances and art form that has been created here for this movie will amaze and surprise you. The Hunger Games is one for kids I would say 10 and up, as long as they know that it's just a movie. Overall this film is fantastic. Expand
  22. Mar 19, 2014
    10
    Dat was awesome, thank you for making a movie out of the book. One thing doe you forgot to include Madge. Otherwise it was awesome. While most movies based on books are horrible, this was ok.
  23. Mar 12, 2014
    3
    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.
  24. Mar 8, 2014
    0
    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.
  25. Mar 3, 2014
    10
    Katniss everdeen is a beacon of courage. When I first read the novel I fell in love with this series. The movie was great and so was the sequel. Amazing!
  26. Feb 4, 2014
    8
    Not being the most original film, it catches this dystopian future decorated with some life mottoes. Panem, the jungle-world, creates a place,in a grotesque manner, for the contestants to show their skills in a way that every human being is reduced to it's basic survival feeling. I think all that matters it's the motivation. First two districts are led by fame and arrogance antithetical to last district that is led by love. The protagonist shows that even in this life-threatening scenario we can form an alliance based on true friendship and there is a hope that in the end people could regain their humanity. Expand
  27. Feb 1, 2014
    10
    Normally, when it comes to book, video game or cartoon characters being turned into movies, they usually have a mediocre or negative reception. Examples of this include Super Mario Bros (1993 film), Scooby Doo (2002 film) and the whole friggin Twilight movie series (seriously, why did they make more if the original sucked??)

    I haven't read the book, but The Hunger Games is a great film,
    and here is why. It starts out with Katniss searching for food for the family when there is an announcement that the 74th Hunger Games contestants are going to be picked out. At first, it was supposed to be Rosemary, Katniss' sister but Katniss goes instead because she cannot bear to see her sister die. A series of events happen after this like the training, the interviews, the actual fights itself were awesome as well. I loved this movie and despite the hate that it gets, it is still a great movie. Expand
  28. Jan 26, 2014
    8
    Mhm, I read the book and watched the movie about a year later. I really liked it, enjoyed it throughout it all. Jennifer Lawrence is pretty good, only thing that annoyed me was fighting scenes in the dark and the TOO shaky movement of the camera (at times, sometimes it actually fit in with the atmosphere).
    Recommended.
  29. Jan 22, 2014
    7
    This film is well written, acted and shot, however the beauty of it seems unnatural with its dark themes. I feel this film (along with the book series) is built more for a 'Harry Potter' audience and is to watered down for it's adult themes.
  30. Jan 22, 2014
    0
    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.
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Mar 26, 2012
    30
    The result is an evasive, baffling, unexciting production - anything but a classic.
  2. Reviewed by: Andy Klein
    Mar 23, 2012
    75
    Ross manages to keep the pacing remarkably swift, given that the games themselves don't start until halfway through the 144-minute running time.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 23, 2012
    80
    Katniss is gritty, she's flinty, she's intimidating -- and she doesn't have to compromise one iota of her femininity for it. And Ross' movie tells her story wonderfully.