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Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1418 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
    Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. (Lionsgate)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 20, 2012
    100
    As tough-spirited as fans would hope for - and exciting and thought-provoking in a way few adventure dramas ever are.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 20, 2012
    85
    There's action here, too, and a great deal of vitality that feels true both to the spirit of Collins' book and to the idea of movie entertainment as it exists.
  3. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Mar 16, 2012
    80
    What's remarkable is the lack of cheese. Tacky effects, corny dialogue and creaky performances are all shown the door. We repeat: not the new "Twilight".
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 20, 2012
    75
    An effective entertainment, and Jennifer Lawrence is strong and convincing in the central role. But the film leapfrogs obvious questions in its path, and avoids the opportunities sci-fi provides for social criticism.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 20, 2012
    70
    Lawrence is a tremendous talent, and she is what makes The Hunger Games ultimately worth spending time with. She doesn't elevate the film to the heights to which one might have wanted, but she takes it a lot higher than it would have otherwise risen.
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Mar 21, 2012
    63
    If the series's legions of fans miss a detail here or a sub-plot there, they'll still recognize its bones and sinew, especially in Jennifer Lawrence's eagle-eyed heroine Katniss Everdeen.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 22, 2012
    30
    In The Hunger Games it's both a feast of cheesy spectacle and a famine of genuine feeling, except for the powerful - and touchingly vulnerable - presence of Jennifer Lawrence.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 64 out of 457
  1. 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. Collapse
  2. Apr 30, 2012
    10
    To me, the Hunger Games was like watching something in the future. I know that it leaves out lots of parts, but if they took it right from the book, It would probably be rated R. Expand
  3. Apr 12, 2012
    9
    I will keep it short and sweet. I had no expectations going into this movie and I really liked it. I enjoyed the build-up and politics up to the actual games. Woody Harrelson with his usual comic relief. Definitely entertaining. Worth seeing in the theatre for sure!! Expand
  4. Mar 25, 2012
    7
    Many of the points brought up in previous reviews have really nailed the pros and cons of this movie. However, I feel a vastly undisclosed topic is this movies sub par realism: cheap sets and poor costumes leave the reader slightly disengaged; a huge aspect of this movie for me (as an avid reader of the books) was seeing it all come to life - and I just feel like it really didn't do that for me. Also, the lack of violence is problematic. While I understand that this movie had to appeal to a wide range of audiences, it really took away from the raw power and darkness of the books. This is a world where they pit children against each other in televised fights to the death; a little blood may have helped to get that point across. I'm also fairly disappointed in the subtle differences between this movie and the book - I understand you can't put everything in, but not giving us proper character development and back story leave the viewer either confused or merely annoyed at the shallowness of it all. Albeit, these issues are minor; the movie did a very good job of portraying the book accurately and telling the same story. Despite these setbacks, the movie was fairly good. There was a brilliant fight scene between Katniss and rival character Clove, and great work with Peeta and his camouflage. The movie had me on the edge of my seat, always waiting for more. Go see this movie, it's worth it. But it's a much better bargain if you've read the books. Friends of mine who didn't read them came up to my afterward puzzled, asking for explanation after explanation. Not understanding the book won't help you to understand what they cut, and how the characters are (or not) growing. It's a story so unique and action packed, it would have been good no matter who brought it to life - I suppose I just wish it were a little more above and beyond; more than a top-grossing movie, but a great movie as well. Expand
  5. Aug 7, 2012
    7
    Based on the book by Suzanne Collins, the hunger games movie is a good tribute that will probably leave fans delighted. Though not as exciting as the book, it is still worth seeing. Expand
  6. 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.
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  7. Aug 24, 2012
    0
    So my previous review was about why this movie was bad as a film, like poor/very bad(characterization, setting or general surreal atmosphere was just not serious/believable at all and this was put forth with no explanation, costumes of people especially soldiers, storyline and I want to say game play but this isn't a video game; I guess the closest thing would be the way the story worked itself out was pathetic).
    However this was based on the idea that this was a genuine story, which it is not. This book and film are both completely based on Battle Royal and this film brings absolutely nothing new to this type of storyline. Also, Battle Royal actually had gore while simultaneously making a good film in every way this movie failed it succeeded. If Battle Royal was in English, I bet he could sue on copy right in this day and age but that's another story....
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See all 457 User Reviews

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