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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 1443 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: 65 out of 462
  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. Expand
  2. May 10, 2012
    10
    What a film this was. Every second, something was going on, the structure of how this film was made is incredible. I was gripping my chair in the cinema as you never know what was going to be flung at you at any second. The traps were especially good, like the tracker jackers and those wild beast things near the end of the movie ( including one jump scene that sent my popcorn flying!!!). 10 OUT A 10!! Expand
  3. Apr 20, 2012
    9
    I'm writing this review as a person who has yet to read the books yet. Watching the movie without any knowledge of what you are going into is o.k, (The story is simple enough to follow), but when i watched it, i had know idea who was doing what and who's killing who. I only barely remembered 2 or 3 of the characters because of the lack character development. The movie itself is fast paced and if you've read the books, would probably leave you amazed. The story is solid, acting is solid and pretty everything is well done. I only wished that the character's could be more fleshed out in the movie. I would recommend this movie to pretty much anyone because its probably one of the best movies to be released this year. Collapse
  4. Mar 26, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. To those who realize that this movie is supposed to be part of a series of films, this movie won't be too surprising in many ways. The premise presents itself in a clear light, and almost everything about the movie, from the acting, to the costume design, to the writing, tries to paint everything as obvious as possible (We get it, the rich have no connection to the poor, the poor hate the rich, no human wants to embrace the concept of death/murder, and self-preservation is an impeccably strong mindset). Luckily, everything from the acting to the costume design to the writing is also well done. The pacing of the movie manages to move well, even through the slower parts of the film, and actually makes you interested in some characters (Even if the movie makes it apparent that some characters WILL die before the end, going as far to give some characters attributes, emotions, personal connections and an overall unique style, yet never giving them a name.)

    Do know this: the movie is good. I'll just say that now before I continue. I have a bit of a pessimistic view on things, and the next paragraph will be a bit of a downer.

    Maybe it's me, but having the movie focus so heavily on one character removes the tension of the entire movie ("Oh, only one entrant will survive? I wonder if it's gonna be the protagonist who gets 90% of the screen time..."). The movie then tries to create some tension by putting the protagonist in peril every two seconds, only to be saved by, usually not by her own skill, but the incredible stupidity of everyone else involved. The movie even goes so far as damn near showing that almost EVERY entrant is more skilled than her, yet every opportunity someone has to easily murder her, passes up the chance out of pity, fear, alternative opportunity, or quite simply no good reason. There's even a moment where she's stuck up a tree with a leg injury and nowhere to go, and the four well-equipped and skilled people hunting her decide to just go to sleep instead of the plethora of ideas that would have safely ended in her death (Like climbing an adjacent tree and shooting her with an arrow, or blowing up the tree, or burning the tree). it also seems like many entrants outside the main ones are simply there to demonstrate things to the protagonist. All of these things are well and fine if the actual hunger games were only a part of the story, but no, the movie pretty much ends right afterward. The main meat of the story was too obvious, and suffered too large a number of logical failures.
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  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. Apr 1, 2012
    5
    Sure, blurring the violence with shaky-cam helps to obtain the PG13 but I can't go along with the blatant choice to make a purported $78M production look like amateur hour by using handheld cameras throughout. I don't care if it was an "artistic" choice or not. This is a science fiction movie and no one is fooled that it is a documentary or an attempt at realism a la Blair Witch Project. A simple conversation between two people in a room involves snap pans, quick cuts, even a few focus deficient zooms. I would say it looks like the kids from Super 8 made it but JJ Abrams knew that even seventies kids were smart enough to use a tripod. 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 462 User Reviews

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