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The Hunger Games Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Will Stab for Food. Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

Satisfies the biggest appetite. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    67

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    As she did in her breakthrough film Winter's Bone, Jennifer Lawrence anchors this futuristic and politicized elaboration of The Most Dangerous Game with impressive gravity and presence, while director Gary Ross gets enough of what matters in the book up on the screen to satisfy its legions of fans worldwide.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    The action is brisk, the acting is solid, and barring an unlikely failure at the box office, a franchise is born. Let the games begin.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A muscular, honorable, unflinching translation of Collins' vision. It's brutal where it needs to be, particularly when children fight and bleed.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Hunger Games reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Intense adaptation is violent, thought-provoking for teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although the bestselling Hunger Games books are enormously popular with tweens, there's a clear distinction between reading about violence and seeing it portrayed on screen. Developmentally, the 10- to 12-year-olds who've read the book may find the movie's visceral, sometimes bloody teen-on-teen violence upsetting -- especially the brutal scene that opens the Games, in which several teens are slaughtered by their fellow contestants. Even young teens need to be mature enough to deal with the 20+ deaths in The Hunger Games; characters are viciously dispatched with various weapons -- including spears, arrows, and swords -- as well as by having their necks broken, their skulls cracked, and their bodies ravaged by carnivorous and poisonous creatures. Despite the violence (which is, overall, less graphic than the novel's descriptions but is still very intense), the movie explores thought-provoking themes about reality television, totalitarian government, and screen violence as entertainment. And Katniss, the main character, is a strong heroine who's resourceful, selfless, and a true survivor. Her mentor, Haymitch, is initially depicted as a cynical drunk, but he ultimately proves to be a valuable ally.

  • Families can talk about how the Hunger Games' "last man standing" premise (minus the actual killing, of course) compares to current reality shows. Which shows pit people against each other? Why is it so much fun to watch the alliances and the voting off and the cattiness of these programs? How far do you think shows like this could go?
  • Use the movie's depiction of Panem -- particularly the relationship between the Capitol and the 12 districts -- to discuss how much kids understand about totalitarian governments and dictatorships. What does President Snow mean when he says he doesn't root for "underdogs"? Or that too much hope is a dangerous thing?
  • 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?
  • Why are there more bleak portrayals of the distant future than optimistic ones? What are some other books and movies that feature a post-apocalyptic or post-war future?
  • How does the movie compare to the book? What are the main differences? Is it different to see violence rather than to read about it? 

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Thought-provoking, complex messages. Teamwork and loyalty are valued, but deception and artifice are also rewarded. The will to survive, the fragile relationship between a dictatorial government and its oppressed people, rebellion as a preferred option to obedience, and the distinction between image and reality are all addressed. There are many discussion-worthy themes in the movie, and they touch on everything from the micro/personal to the macro/political. 

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Katniss is a strong, resourceful, capable young warrior who looks after those she loves. Her entire journey is based on a selfless decision to take her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games. Despite the horrific circumstances that she and Peeta are forced into, they find a way to stay true to themselves and protect each other (and, in Katniss' case, Rue). Peeta encourages Katniss to not let the Capitol make her a pawn in their game. Gale, Katniss' unconditional friend, promises to provide for her family in her absence. Haymitch is a flawed but ultimately committed mentor to Katniss and Peeta; Cinna offers Katniss sympathy and support.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: As in the book, The Hunger Games' central "pageant" is a televised battle to the death: 24 children between the ages of 12 and 18 (12 girls, 12 boys) are selected to participate in a bloody reality show-style contest in which there's only one victor. There's a pervasive sense of peril and tension, and once the Games start, there's an immediate bloodbath, with vicious weapon use, a fair amount of blood, and several dead bodies -- though the quick editing means that the most gruesome bits aren't lingered on. The young combatants proceed to die from spears, arrows, knives, deadly insect bites, attack by genetically modified dog-like creatures, and poisonous berries (some deaths occur off camera). A couple of the tributes also have their necks snapped or heads bashed. The Gamemakers purposely devise situations to try and kill off characters, including a scary fire with fireball projectiles; another scene has a large explosion. Katniss is badly burned; Peeta has a nasty knife injury. Earlier in the movie, there are scenes of characters practicing with weapons and demonstrating their deadly skills, as well as gory snippets of footage from earlier Games. Scenes of a riot and subsequent retaliation by government forces.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Peeta reveals that he's had a crush on Katniss since they were kids, and the two kiss a couple of times, one time pretty passionately.

  • language false1

    Language: Very infrequent use of words like "damn," "hell," and "oh my God" (as an exclamation).

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: No product placements in the film, but the viral marketing and merchandise tie-ins for the movie (and books) include a line of themed nail polish, as well as apparel, jewelry, games, and more.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Haymitch is often drunk; he has a drink in his hand for the first half of the movie -- though as he gains focus/motivation, he drinks less. Several dinner and party scenes show adults and teenagers drinking various brightly colored beverages/cocktails.

Fan Reviews provided by

5

:D by jennikari29
i loved it you should get it and it is even better in the book loved it.!!!!!!

5

by darlenehdz41

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