‘The Hunger Games’ Movie Reviews
The Telegraph * * * * * (count ‘em – 5 stars!)
The Hunger Games is an essential science fiction film for our times; perhaps the essential science fiction film of our times. Whatever your age, it demands to be devoured.
Empire * * * *
As thrilling and smart as it is terrifying. There have been a number of big-gun literary series brought to screen over the past decade. This slays them all.
Total Film * * * *
… the camera does mostly cling to Katniss, requiring a Herculean amount of heavy lifting from Lawrence. She bears the load. Stoical or heart-on-sleeve, afraid or defiant, the starlet hits the mark… Katniss as Collins intended.
Den of Geek * * * *
The Hunger Games wants us to question ourselves, and look at the consequences of our own lives – the points it makes may not be particularly original, but they feel revolutionary when they pop up in a movie this mainstream… You couldn’t ask for a braver teen movie than this.
HeyUGuys * * * *
Even the youngest actors, Willow Shields and Amandla Stenberg, who could easily have been the weak links given their relative inexperience are terrific. It’s become something of a cliché to drone on about how good Lawrence is, but here she carries the film spectacularly.
The Hollywood Reporter (careful contains spoilers)
At the center of things most of the time, Lawrence remains compelling all the way… she can convey a lot by doing little. An ideal screen actress.
Proficient, involving, ever faithful to its source and centered around Jennifer Lawrence’s impressive star turn… Yet in the face of near-certain commercial success, no one seems to have taken the artistic gambles that might have made this respectable adaptation a remarkable one.
Cine Vue * * * *
[The Hunger Games] deserves all the credit it gets for its confrontational subject matter, delicately-orchestrated fight sequences and sci-fi sensibilities. For the teen/young adult audiences, films don’t get much darker – or smarter – than this.
The Daily Mail * * * *
There’s much to admire here. The make-up, costumes and environment of the decadent ruling class are spectacular
The Guardian * * * *
The Hunger Games is that rarest of beasts: a Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty… Jennifer Lawrence gives a performance of stoic, solemn intensity as Katniss
IndieLondon * * * *
Gary Ross has created a gripping and emotionally absorbing film that retains the essence of the novels if not all of its harshest elements.
[Gary Ross has] produced an engaging, thoughtful, populist piece of entertainment that transcends gender, genre or source material. The rare blockbuster that’s as smart as it is spectacular, “The Hunger Games” offers a full meal and still makes you want to go back for more.
Directed by Gary Ross, the film works best in its matter-of-fact depiction of a nightmare society in which materialism and bloodlust have escalated – not to mention people’s thirst for reality-based entertainment.
Time Out * * *
The film’s strengths are many: from the opening scenes set in the beautifully realised Depression-style District 12 to some grittily realistic, often shockingly nasty fight sequences inside the Arena.
Box Office Magazine * * * * 1/2
As action, as allegory, as cinema, The Hunger Games is the best American science-fiction film since The Matrix, and if Ross and his crew stay with the series for the next two books, we may get that rarest of things: a blockbuster franchise that earns our money through craft, emotion and execution, not merely marketing and effects.
… supporting co-stars Woody Harrelson (Haymitch) Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinkett), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman) all fill their roles valiantly — especially Lenny Kravitz, who brings a real, soft-spoken compassion to Cinna.
The Times apparently has a favourable review entitled: “So Good I Can’t Wait To See The Hunger Games Again.” But since when did you have to pay to use The Times online? It’s the principal, I refuse to pay
Slash Film 8/10
Throughout, Lawrence maintains the same sweet and frightened center. One might think that nuanced performance would be intimidating for fellow actors. Yet Hutcherson, the second lead but still a minor character compared to Katniss, is the best he’s ever been: subtle, charming and sympathetic. The pair compliment each other nicely as friends, rivals and more.
Hit Fix A
…it is a thrilling, intelligent, deeply-felt movie that does not play by the typical rules of franchise building in modern Hollywood… there’s an indie sensibility at work in the film that makes it feel surprisingly fresh… “The Hunger Games” is likely to be a major hit, and in this case, it deserves to be.
Cinema Blend * * * *
With The Hunger Games, it’s a distinct pleasure to sing about all of the places the masterful translation went right… Ross’s decision to film The Hunger Games with docu-drama techniques rite an indie realism for this obvious sci-fi fable that brilliantly plays into the tensions and hostilities of the narrative.
The biggest surprise, and the clear stand-out of the cast, is Hutcherson as Peeta. The revelation of this astute but affectionate realist from a choked, terrified boy is handled to perfection, with Hutcherson coming across as the heart and soul of the film.
THE HUNGER GAMES is sure to please the many fans of the books yet it strives to be more than that. With a lesson in empathy, there is a sense that this kind of reality may be close at hand in our own civilization.
IGN * * * *
Overall though, The Hunger Games is a notable accomplishment, delivering on its source material and capturing the core elements that have helped the books stand out from other series aimed at the same demographic. Both fans of the books and those brand new to the story of Katniss Everdeen will find The Hunger Games compelling.
If you see more reviews let us know in the comments and we’ll keep you updated. So far, excellent reviews! Having seen the movie I know none of you will be disappointed and I can’t wait til next week to hear all your thoughts. Thanks to Michelle, Becki, SPM, Taylor, Elizabeth and Cherie!