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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 1505 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, TheEvery 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: 65 out of 469
  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?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. Expand
  2. Apr 23, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. However,each time i look upon a pair of dream red bottom shoes,i will canâ Expand
  3. Apr 19, 2012
    9
    I am no Hunger Games nerd. That is to say, I read the books, but I am not obsessed by them. I didn't even liked the second two that much. II am no Hunger Games nerd. That is to say, I read the books, but I am not obsessed by them. I didn't even liked the second two that much. I did, however, like the first book in the series. Quite a bit actually. So, it came as a surprise to me when I enjoyed the movie even more than the book. In case you have, somehow, missed reading the book(s), The Hunger Games is an annual event that occurs in a not-so-future-future time, when one girl and boy from each district (24 children in all) is randomly selected to battle to the death in a glamorous and ferocious televised event. Katniss volunteers as a tribute when her younger sister, Prim, is selected to be in the Hunger Games. Now Katniss must somehow survive the treacheries of the Hunger Games, and show the Capitol she is no pawn in their game. The Hunger Games is, as one would expect, extremely intense. Children heartlessly killing each other to survive. And it's goes beyond shooting from afar. Combat occurs within tripping distance. Slashing of knives, snapping of necks, all these duels between children between the ages of 12 and 18. But The Hunger Games is PG-13 (as opposed to R), so the violence is portrayed in a way, in which you don't see much of the actual killing. You just know what is implied. The camera is placed at strategic angles so that you may see some blood and the attack, but not the knife or the ax digging into the child's flesh. Actually, it's all very tame, considering the subject. I'm not the kind of person that can watch a lot of gore, so this was perfectly fine with me. Now that I've got all that boring stuff regarding the violence out of the way, I can start sharing my opinion on the film: As of now, The Hunger Games is the best movie I've seen this year. There were two points in the movie in which I ALMOST cried. I held back tears, for certain. And it wasn't easy. The Hunger Games is very emotional. The camera is very shaky. The movie often feels like a found-footage film. At first, the shaky camera irritated me. But within 10 minutes, I had become so connected with the movie, that I didn't even notice the camera. In the first half (before the actual games begin), there is a decent amount of humor. This is not a comedy, so don't expect to be in stitches, but there are some mild laughs. Almost all of these come from the Capitol's lightheartedness towards the Hunger Games. They laugh and joke about it. It is important to them, but they don't give a second thought about the 23 people who will die as a result. The casting is marvelous. Everyone does a wonderful job portraying their characters. Before seeing the movie, I was a bit skeptical at some of the actor choices, but all the doubt washed away as each character appeared on screen. Also, the makeup and costumes are incredible. They're so ridiculously silly looking (intentionally), and it just feels perfect. Truly well done. The score is equally wonderful. The music is powerful, and during the games, adds invaluable amounts of tension. Hats off to the composers. The action is tense. Your pulse will most certainly quicken. In addition to other competitors, there are tracker jackers (genetically engineered wasps), dog-like wolves, and fire. Lots of fire. There are plenty of plot twists that will certainly shock those who haven't read the book. This movie is emotional, tense, and overall, wonderful. I do have a few minor nitpicks, specifically regarding character interaction. Cinna doesn't get enough screen time. We just don't feel the relationship between him and Katniss like we did in the book. President Snow doesn't seem quite as menacing as he is in the book, though he's evil enough. Also, the romance portion of the film is disappointingly cheesy. Teenage girls in the audience certainly fell for it, but I often rolled my eyes. Also, the ending isn't a true ending. We get a hook for a sequel. It's not so much a cliffhanger, it's just a "To be continued." I didn't mind too much, and fans of the book won't either, but I suspect there will be some who will be irritated by this. The Hunger Games has a few flaws, but in the end, it's the best film of the year so far. Fantastic story, lots of emotion, good action, believable acting, superb score, amazing makeup and costumes, need I go on? Simply put, The Hunger Games is a must see. I was originally uninterested in the sequels, but this movie was so good, I may rethink skipping them. May the odds be ever in your favor, and happy Hunger Games! 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 undisclosedMany 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. Apr 21, 2012
    7
    The Hunger Games is a very good movie. Did it very well from the book. They didn't make it a lot like the book but still a great film. TheThe Hunger Games is a very good movie. Did it very well from the book. They didn't make it a lot like the book but still a great film. The Hunger Games 7.9/10 Expand
  6. Nov 22, 2014
    5
    Una película totalmente sobrevalorada, con unos personajes tan estúpidos como poco interesantes y una trama absurda. Aunque, si la tengo queUna película totalmente sobrevalorada, con unos personajes tan estúpidos como poco interesantes y una trama absurda. Aunque, si la tengo que comparar con las otras dos que la preceden, esta me parece mejor. Al menos tenía un poco el elemento sorpresa y el final fue algo mejor.
    Pero vamos, que como película no vale mucho...
    Expand
  7. Apr 14, 2013
    0
    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

See all 469 User Reviews

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