Iffy for 13+
Fans will approve of gripping & violent middle installment.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second installment in the Hunger Games trilogy. Although the book series is extremely popular with tweens and even younger elementary-school readers, the movie may be too dark and violent for even mature tween readers. The violence includes deaths by stabbing, shooting, animal attacks, and poison, as well as torture, threats, and explosions. The language includes "s--t," and one bleeped out use of "f--k" and other expletives. There's more romance in Catching Fire as Katniss struggles with her feelings for both Peeta and Gale. Alcohol is present in a few scenes (Katniss takes a drink), and there are references to painkiller addicts. Katniss is a flawed but excellent role model for teen girls, and the movie offers many discussion points about politics, war, feminism, and materialism.
- Families can talk about the political messages in Catching Fire. Why are Katniss and Peeta so horrified when they go on the tour of the Districts? How is President Snow a totalitarian ruler? What does the movie say about political systems where a tiny few have all the wealth?
- How does Katniss compare to other female protagonists in young adult books and movies? What are her views on love, marriage, and kids, and how are they tied to the unimaginably dire circumstances she endures?
- Is it different to see violence rather than to read about it? Do you think the book and the movie are appropriate for different age-groups?
The good stuff
Messages: The movie, like the book, contains many thought-provoking messages and themes about totalitarian government, the importance of symbols to causes and movements, the will to survive versus the courage to sacrifice yourself, the lives of the few versus the greater good for all, and more. Depending on the age of your kid, you can discuss everything from the gluttony of privilege to the seeds of revolution to the need for people to stand up for others.
Role models: Katniss continues to be brave, selfless, and resourceful; she wants to save Peeta even if it costs her life. Peeta in turn wants to do the same for Katniss; he's kind and giving. Gale is a loving friend who wants to help Katniss recognize her potential as a symbol for the revolution. Haymitch is an alcoholic but looks out for Katniss and Peeta; Cinna offers Katniss sympathy and support. Other allies sacrifice themselves to help Katniss and Peeta.
What to watch for
Violence: Like the original, Catching Fire contains violence in the Games and out of it, though quick edits avoid the most brutal moments. The Games consist of previous Victors, so the youngest contestants are 17-year-old Katniss and Peeta. Government "Peacekeepers" viciously torture Gale, strike Katniss, and kill civilians throughout the Districts (some deaths occur just off camera). A black market is ransacked and Katniss' loved ones are threatened. During the Games, the contestants are stabbed, poisoned, drowned and killed in various ways. Katniss, Finnick, and Peeta are covered in boils after being exposed to a poisonous fog. There are a few moments like when the monkey muttations attack that will make audiences jump in their seats. There are also several scenes of people in the Districts rioting.
Sex: More kisses all around for Katniss, who kisses both Gale and Peeta a few times each -- one scene with Peeta is particularly passionate. As in the book, Johanna Mason strips naked (only her shoulders and others' reactions are visible) in front of Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta after flirting with Peeta and asking "What's it like to have everyone in the Capitol want to sleep with you?"
Language: More language than the original, including "s--t," and bleeped out use of Johanna's "f--k" filled tirade on the Caesar Flickerman show.
Consumerism: No brands featured in the movie, but the film has merchandise tie-ins including apparel, accessories, nail polish, games, and figurines.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Haymitch is known for drinking excessively and is often shown drinking or with a drink in his hand. Katniss takes a swig after bad news. People drink at Capitol parties, and one Capitol partier offers Peeta a drink that will make him vomit so he can keep eating. The District 6 Tributes are called "The Morphlings," because of their addiction to the narcotic painkiller.
Fan Reviews provided by
Even better than the first movie!!! by mavram
Wow! I absolutely loved this movie! It was over 2 hrs long and felt way shorter... I did not want it to stop. This is a MUST SEE!!!!
The movie, once again, does justice to the books. Jennifer Lawrence continues to amaze me as to how perfect she is as Katniss.... this casting continues to be absolutely flawless! The casting for this movie is phenomenal with great chemistry.
All I can say is one of top 3 best movies of 2013, hands down!
hunger games by maclancy
I am almost 63 but because I like science fiction I am interested in this film and the concept. I have not read the books. This is my second in the series as I saw the first one and now part two. I want to say first off, don't go opening day unless you like tons of noise and crowds and young people getting up and running around in a movie. Also please people don't bring your children to movies. There were several selfish parents with small kids and there are some very very scary moments not to mention this is a movie about young people killing each other. (why isn't there some kind of rule to protect children from idiot adult parents?)
The characters are becoming more defined and the sets and costumes were really incredible. The acting was top notch and the directing also very good. I don't think even I could predict the end which made it even better. Jennifer Lawrence clearly steels the show and she has proven herself once again a woman who can play any role and do a great job at it.
Wow by tinman1569
Finished this movie about an hour ago and I still can't stop thinking about it! BEST movie I've seen all year. I was into this movie for every second of it. Only bad part was it had to end and now I have to wait 2-3 years to see the finale!!
Outstanding... by mikewagnerhomes
Love the books and they have done a great job with Catching Fire. Although visually stunning, the real treat is Jennifer Laurence's portrayal of Katniss. A mufti-faceted performance ranging from raw emotion to necessary manipulation, you really fall for Katniss. Jennifer Lawrence is really becoming the powerhouse actress of her generation. I almost can't believe I wrote that but it is true! I think the odds will forever be in her favor!
Catching Fire is Awesome! by divarisa451
The actors in this movie really elevate this movie. It was twice as good as Hunger Games & stayed true to the book without resorting to the literal dialogue. I will definitely be seeing this again and I can't wait for the release of Mockingjay.
Great Movie book adaption by TLC_28
I went to the premier of Catching Fire along with some friends that had read the books, most of us hadn't read the books. The movie was really good, it kept moving, there weren't really any times where it felt like the movie was going too slow or I felt I didn't understand something. Those in my group that read the books felt the movie followed the books pretty closely and were not disappointed. I would definitely see this movie again and plan on buying it when it comes out. 2 in my group already had tickets to opening night and are excited to see it again.
Almost fell asleep! by tnagy43
The first half was very boring. Way too much of review and setting of the plot. The second was up to Par with first movie but the ending was too abrupt. I doubt that I would return to a theater to see episode 3. Will wait for Netflix to air it.
True to the book by planbproperties
The movie was true to the story ine of the book. Jenifer Lawrence was awesome as Katness Everdeen and took the character to new levels. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark made the relationship between Petta and Katness believable.and more complicated. Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne needs a biggger role and screen time. On a personal note regarding Liam's private life with Miley Cyrus: good job Liam throwing out the trash! Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy was awesome in this role, but of course is's always awesome playing off beat roles.
Hunger Games Catching Fire is a must see!
Great Movie by dwgeiger
I enjoyed the movie very much. The ONLY complaint I have of the movie is the arrows never seem to run out...but that's a minor detail. Go see this movie, you won't regret it!
Best Movie Ever by martialarts-chick
So many feels... such little time. Go see the movie! It is not a disappointment and it is almost exactly like the book. Best movie based off a book I have ever seen. The whole cast is just phenomenal in this movie!