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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 1371 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: 63 out of 447
  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. 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 18, 2012
    9
    This is one of the best teen movie this year! I do not know why this movie just got a 6.7 rating? This movie can make the heart beat of the people who saw it! Amazing film! Expand
  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. Dec 8, 2013
    5
    The movie has it's moments but then it becomes hard to imagine the world where 23 kids are killed every year on a live tv show just for entertainment of the others. Expand
  7. 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

See all 447 User Reviews

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