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Average User Score: 7.0Mar 24, 2012I submitted a review but not a rating, so my 2 and a half star review has a rating of 10. I'd actually rate this a 6.5. The movie disappointedI submitted a review but not a rating, so my 2 and a half star review has a rating of 10. I'd actually rate this a 6.5. The movie disappointed me by lacking the urgency of the book, being too shallow (not that the book was really deep), failing to convey Katniss' and other characters' inner selves, and not carrying sufficient weight for the subject matter. I don't want more actual gore, but they failed to convey the disturbing, horrific nature of the Games. I've been more disturbed at TV dramas. The audience in my theater barely reacted, and walked out as soon as the credits started as if they were no more affected than the people in the Capitol. Basically, what was good about the book was missing. Maybe I'd have thought it was better if I hadn't known what was coming, but if a movie has to rely just on suspense for its value, it's pretty shallow. And if I hadn't read the book, I would have misread many character motivations, which were largely glossed over and simplified. I would have misconstrued the climax for sure. This seemed like a sure-fire book-to-film transfer, but the book is so much better. Jennifer Lawrence is the best thing about the movie; I just wish her role has been written better.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Feb 19, 2012For too much of the running time, this plays like an episode of a TV drama. But it heats up in the last 20 minutes, thanks to the actingFor too much of the running time, this plays like an episode of a TV drama. But it heats up in the last 20 minutes, thanks to the acting especially by Gosling, Giamatti, and Hoffman.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Jan 10, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I thought this was a very well made film. Fastest 2 and a half hours I've ever spent at the movies. Funny, the book is too slow, and the film may be a little too fast. I understand why, because the paperback of the book runs at 600+ pages. But I think I would have been a bit lost if I hadn't read the book beforehand. The narrative suffered a little in my opinion. I wish the whole libel case subplot could have been even more condensed than it was, so as to leave more time to develop the central mystery. I felt that section of the story lost some impact, especially the final revelation of what happened to Harriet. (Then again, it fell rather flat in the book as well.)
The leads were excellent, especially Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. Very convincing. Because of having to fit everything into feature length, most of the secondary characters were not too well developed. This really hurt in terms of suspense at the movie's climax. There was only one character with enough screen time to be the culprit (if you hadn't already guessed him just from the camera shots of his house in its dominant, isolated position). One problem I had was that the dialogue was sometimes very hard to pick up. Either the actors were mumbling or the background sound was too high.
Especially given the unwieldiness of the source material, it's a very good film. I haven't seen the Swedish original yet. Oh, someone was angry that they gave Blomqvist a daughter. That was done by the author, and her film role is pretty much what her role was in the novel.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Dec 27, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is beautiful to look at, has a good cast among the adults, and has some nice moments with the train station setting. But the plotting and pacing kills it. For one thing, the two plots seem to be forced together in a non-credible way. That may be the fault of the source material, but a good director ought not to reproduce strained plotting out of some sense of faithfulness to the text. It was just too abrupt for me the way Hugo is all about the automaton and then suddenly he's all about movies. Too much coincidence, not well integrated. Then, there are two places where the movie basically stops for a lecture about film history. Nothing against the topic, but voice-over to explain it is a poor dramatic technique in a non-documentary film. Finally, the secret behind Papa Georges' reaction to Hugo's notebook and to seeing his old drawings didn't have sufficient dramatic heft. "He went bankrupt because tastes changed" is sad, OK, but hardly the tragedy presaged by all the preceding build-up. He didn't change with the times so his studio failed. This happens all over in every industry. I was left with a big feeling of "Is that all there is?" He seemed pitiful (and self-pitying) rather than tragic. I realize we are meant to view the melting of his films as an awful warning about preserving the classic films we know and love, but the point was laid on with too heavy a hand. Besides all this, the screenplay was uneven, sometimes awkward, there were too many extraneous bits such as the bookseller and the wicked uncle, and the pace was very slow. All these factors kept me from becoming fully involved. I can't imagine a child having the patience to try to follow this. In short, for a movie about the magic of movies, there just wasn't enough magic.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Jul 16, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I loved the movie, which I saw in 3D on an IMAX screen. Very exhilarating. Don't be put off because it isn't exactly like the book. For everything they left out, there's something they left in that actually works better onscreen. For example, the epic battle at Hogwarts by night is so much more exciting in the movie. I was moved at the point where the professors use their wands to cast a protective veil over Hogwarts, and the light show when Voldemort's army attacked it was spectacular. I actually think the cuts were very judicious, and made for a cleaner narrative. Seriously, how would Dumbledore/Grindelwald's backstory have added anything? Better to keep the movies lean than to pad them out to boredom with slavish faithfulness to the text. The only disappointment was the staging of the final confrontation - I wish it had taken place in the Great Hall, under everyone's eyes, as in the book.
Highly recommended.… Expand