Critics Consensus: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Delivery Man is good-hearted but uneven.

This week at the movies, we've got teenage warriors (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) and a prolific sperm donor (Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn and Cobie Smulders). What do the critics have to say?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

89%

Catching fire is right -- critics say the second installment of The Hunger Games is bigger and better than its predecessor in virtually every way, from the outstanding performances from its committed cast to its impeccable set design to a palpable sense of dread and urgency that imbues the material with more gravitas than your average blockbuster franchise. After winning the Hunger Games in part one, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) have become wildly popular figures for the nation's beleaguered underclass. Fearing that revolution is nigh, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) contrives a plan: the two young champions will have to compete against an all-star lineup of past Hunger Games victors. The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is energetic, thoughtful, and tense, and at its center is Lawrence, whose commanding performance solidifies her status as one of Hollywood's brightest young stars. (Watch our video interviews with the stars of Catching Fire; click through our gallery of movies based on young adult novels; and read this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Sutherland's best-reviewed movies.)

Delivery Man

38%

Vince Vaughn has made a career out of playing charming, mischievous bros, and critics say he's in fine form in Delivery Man. Unfortunately, they also note that the rest of the film is a bit uneven, as its wacky premise and sentimental execution result in an uneasy mix. Vaughn stars as a committed slacker whose life spins out of control when he discovers that as a result of decades-old sperm donations, he's the father of more than 500 children. Does our hero have what it takes to man up and be a father figure to his biological offspring? The pundits say Delivery Man is sweet and affable, but it's only occasionally as funny and heart-tugging as it's trying to be. (Check out our video interview with Vaughn here.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Comments

Typhon

Typhon Q

I wasn't very impressed with Hunger Games 1. Hopefully, Catching Fire will be better.

Nov 21 - 05:06 PM

Vincent

Jay Cutler

I read the script.....it didn't impress me. It was an okay script. Much better than the original, which sucked. I think you'll enjoy it more. Script was okay for me, though.

Nov 21 - 05:30 PM

Scott Love

Luke Simpson

Yeah guys I was not impressed either. Hoping this next installment can impress me but honestly I wasn't impressed by the trailer. It was okay but really not that impressive. It was okay, though.

Nov 21 - 10:32 PM

James Yee

James Yee

It is the nicest way to earn more and more money at home.$40h - $90h...how? part time or full time,I've been bringing in $82h? It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don't check it out.
WWW.FBI4.COM

Nov 24 - 10:59 AM

Dom Cobb

Dom Cobb

Like Avatar, everybody (myself included) loved The Hunger Games when it came out. This is something that I've noticed has been happening a lot lately. A movie comes out and is instantly praised by all. Then, The Backlash happened. Hipsters and cynics decided that because it was so widely loved, it must therefore be bad. And so they spread their negativity all over the internet, and the people started to wonder: was this movie really that good? These hipsters seem to be making perfect sense. I guess they are right. And so the much-loved film is suddenly turned on, and goes from being considered to be a great movie to being considered to be rubbish. And I'm the only one who stands by that movie until the end.

Nov 22 - 02:42 AM

Vincent

Jay Cutler

Quit making such assumption, idiot. I didn't know you knew everyone's opinion on a film.

Nov 22 - 03:13 AM

Bryan Dowling

Bryan Dowling

Well unlike Avatar, The Hunger Game isnt poorly written and isnt just visual effects as lets be honest and I am not jumping on the band wagon but Avatar's script is very mediocre but has great directing and visuals but The Hunger Games franchise has both maybe not better visuals than Avatar but it certainly is better written and anyway people saying it's crap probably haven't seen the film and think "oh it's Twilight crap" which isnt the case as The Hunger Games is nothing like Twilight as Twilight was a laughable horribly dialouged vampire love fest and while Hunger Games has a love triangle it isnt as forced or tedious or focused as Twilight was as the main story of Hunger Games is Katniss vs The Capitol not who she loves which Twilight was.

Nov 22 - 03:58 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Well in some cases, it's justified. Phantom Menace has a 57% rating on here,3% away from being Fresh. Nowadays, it's pretty much regarded a pure crap. A movie has to be able to last the long run.

Nov 22 - 10:03 AM

All-Knowing Panda

The Panda

I gave it a 6/10 when I first saw it and I was being lenient, it just degraded in opinion as it went on. You typically like a movie more right after you first see it and its actual quality is determined by how well it sticks, the hunger games didn't stick.

Nov 22 - 11:56 AM

Dave J

Dave J

To compare "Avatar" alongside "The Hunger Games" is not a very good analogy since Avatar broke grounds by also showing it on 3D(for I'm not quite sure it was the first to have done that), while "The Hunger Games" already had a fan base/ cult following way before the announcement of the very first movie was even released! And "50 Shades of Grey" is going to be next anticipated film to come out as droves of women are going to buy advanced tickets!

Nov 22 - 12:59 PM

King  S.

King Simba

He wasn't comparing whether or not they were based on a source material, he was simply stating that they had similar backlash after their huge success, though I don't think that's anything unique or new. For any big success there's bound to be a certain amount of backlash. For years, Titanic was one of the most hated films of all time (though it seems to have subsided in recent years thanks to Avatar knocking it off the top spot in biggest films at the box office and a growing sense of nostalgia towards the film), and I'm pretty sure Star Wars and Sound of Music had their share of detractors too. The only reason it seems more common nowadays is due to the internet.

Nov 22 - 03:13 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I dunno, for some reason I don't notice the backlash too much for it seems to always be a phase on here! One of the hardest things to determine is whether or not haters really mean what they say since part of the reason why some say such negative things is so that they can strike up an argument or a discussion! But just the same, it's already proven that whatever negative comments made by the few still cannot keep any film's success since most movie goers that do like them don't seem to comment on here anyway after seeing a movie since at the end a movie is only a movie, as well as other discussion sites- case in point some Adam Sandler movies are still performing well and can still demand a 20 million dollar paycheck- the backlash doesn't seem to affect him whatsoever!

Nov 22 - 04:10 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Yeah?the backlash.. Those poor films. Avatar the highest Grossing film of All time, and the Hunger Games One of the highest Grossing movies of that year and it's sequel all ready tracking at 160 million. Damn those hipsters running the success of this film! That you for being the one man TO STAND ALONE and make sure these movies are seen! Seriously I'm not sure I understand what your getting at? I'm not a hipster and I hate a lot of movies.

Nov 22 - 08:59 PM

Stewart H.

Stewart Hoffman

I get what you're saying. Popular movies like Avatar and The Hunger Games will always draw out the contrarian trolls. Especially here in the RT comments section.

Nov 24 - 09:53 AM

Lyle Bandoquillo

Lyle Bandoquillo

Having read the books, if you weren't impressed with the first, then you'll hate the third and last instalment. But the second (Catching Fire) is by far the best and the highlight of the trilogy, mainly due to the cool plot twists that feel organic to the whole storyline and the twisted new characters (Katniss' cat fight with Johanna, the axe-weilding tribute).

Nov 22 - 03:08 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I agree. Mockingjay was not a very good book.

Nov 22 - 08:28 AM

Dave J

Dave J

People usually do have the curious tendency how the movie versions are going to measure up to the books!

Nov 22 - 01:01 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

It was a struggle to get through Katniss Narrative in Catching fire, I thought Mocking Jay was great. It finally got interesting! Though I recognize a lot of people seem to agree with you Lyle and Typhon. What is it about Mocking Jay people hate so much?

Nov 22 - 09:01 PM

Jacob Holmes

Jacob Holmes

I'm really interested in what the box office results will be. Catching Fire is tracking for $160 million which is unheard of for November. Hopefully it doesn't hurt Frozen too much when it comes out on Wednesday

Nov 21 - 05:13 PM

Jaxx Raxor

Adam Jones

I wouldn't be surprised if Catching Fire beat Iron Man 3 for the best 3 day opening of 2013. The movie has a rabid fan base among teen girls and young women but also has some more broader appeal which will probably keep in the top 10 at least for the rest of this year. I have to say I'm a little surprised at the RT rating, I thought it would be around the low 80's like the first film. I do think it will ultimately drop below 90% but 87%-89% is still good for this type of film. Indeed this film series is probably the first one to feature a female protanginist yet be so commercially successful (Twilight films had big opening weekends but little sustainability over the long run).

Nov 21 - 08:29 PM

Andrew Brinkerhoff

Andrew Brinkerhoff

Very glad to see "Catching Fire" stayed in the 90% range; I think I'll see it this weekend. "Delivery Man" actually looks OK to me, but I can wait for Redbox.

Nov 21 - 05:24 PM

Brian Toohey

Brian Toohey

See the original, which only came out about a year ago-- Starbuck. It's great, and is supposed to be about 20x better than the lame Hollywood remake.

Nov 21 - 10:54 PM

Andrew Brinkerhoff

Andrew Brinkerhoff

I think I'll consider that suggestion...

Nov 21 - 11:07 PM

Kurtiss Keefner

Kurtiss Keefner

It's remade by the same director though...

Nov 22 - 07:25 AM

Vincent

Jay Cutler

I read the script.....it didn't impress me. It was an okay script. Much better than the original, which sucked. I think you'll enjoy it more. Script was okay for me, though.

Nov 21 - 05:30 PM

Scott Love

Luke Simpson

Yeah guys I was not impressed either. Hoping this next installment can impress me but honestly I wasn't impressed by the trailer. It was okay but really not that impressive. It was okay, though.

Nov 21 - 10:32 PM

James Yee

James Yee

It is the nicest way to earn more and more money at home.$40h - $90h...how? part time or full time,I've been bringing in $82h? It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don't check it out.
WWW.FBI4.COM

Nov 24 - 10:59 AM

Jaxx Raxor

Adam Jones

I wouldn't be surprised if Catching Fire beat Iron Man 3 for the best 3 day opening of 2013. The movie has a rabid fan base among teen girls and young women but also has some more broader appeal which will probably keep in the top 10 at least for the rest of this year. I have to say I'm a little surprised at the RT rating, I thought it would be around the low 80's like the first film. I do think it will ultimately drop below 90% but 87%-89% is still good for this type of film. Indeed this film series is probably the first one to feature a female protanginist yet be so commercially successful (Twilight films had big opening weekends but little sustainability over the long run).

Nov 21 - 08:29 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Hooray for successful Sequels!

Nov 21 - 08:48 PM

Jon Cox

Jon Cox

skipping the theater this weekend

I'm waiting to see 'Catching Fire' until my sister comes back home :)

Nov 21 - 09:10 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Hunger Games seems much like the recent Harry Potters when it comes to reviews. You see the high reviews, see the film and wonder what the fuss was all about. I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of them are bogus.

Nov 21 - 09:49 PM

Zack

Teddy Lupin

"Seems" being the operative word. If you haven't seen this second one, go see it. You won't be disappointed. It was beautiful.

Nov 21 - 10:04 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Thanks but I'll pass, you guys seem to be impressed by, well lets face it... less than impressive stuff these days. But, Hollywood will thank you I'm sure.

Nov 22 - 08:43 PM

Alan David

Alan David

You can't have an opinion on the film without seeing it. There is no if, and or but. Everything you say has no justification and don't even try to be like, "but but--". No, you can't talk at all. Don't even bother.

Nov 22 - 11:18 PM

MPreg-Lover

Fred Fredburger

Umm, but somehow you were finely impressed with films like Speed Racer and Man of Steel.

Nov 23 - 09:18 AM

Marcos S.

Marcos Santiago

Except films affect us all differently. You might have liked or hated a particular movie more than I did. Yet a lot of people go around thinking they know what is "good" and what is "bad" and everyone else that thinks differently is wrong (about an art medium!!)

Absolutely ridiculous. I'm sure there's a group of people out there somewhere that look at these degenerative comments and laugh.

Nov 23 - 11:13 AM

Dom Cobb

Dom Cobb

I loved the recent Harry Potter films. You're just too cynical to appreciate them. Go watch All Is Lost or some arthouse film instead if you want to complain.

Nov 22 - 02:44 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Actually I enjoyed the first four Harry Potter films, Prisoner of course was the best. Then came Yates and he basically sucked all the life from the films, as well as the rubbish plotline which went nowhere.

Nov 22 - 08:40 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I agree, Yates made Potter so boring. Those Final movies seem to have a sense of wanting to be epic but were more or less video game cut scenes held together by awkward moments mean while the heart and emotional impact of the books was left on the cutting room floor.

Nov 22 - 09:03 PM

Bud Kays

Bud Kays

I agree too. I rarely care to make comments on bad films I have seen, but what is shocking to me is how financially successful movies such as these are. I liked the first Hunger games but this one had nothing.

Dec 1 - 10:40 PM

Zack

Teddy Lupin

"Seems" being the operative word. If you haven't seen this second one, go see it. You won't be disappointed. It was beautiful.

Nov 21 - 10:04 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Thanks but I'll pass, you guys seem to be impressed by, well lets face it... less than impressive stuff these days. But, Hollywood will thank you I'm sure.

Nov 22 - 08:43 PM

Alan David

Alan David

You can't have an opinion on the film without seeing it. There is no if, and or but. Everything you say has no justification and don't even try to be like, "but but--". No, you can't talk at all. Don't even bother.

Nov 22 - 11:18 PM

MPreg-Lover

Fred Fredburger

Umm, but somehow you were finely impressed with films like Speed Racer and Man of Steel.

Nov 23 - 09:18 AM

Marcos S.

Marcos Santiago

Except films affect us all differently. You might have liked or hated a particular movie more than I did. Yet a lot of people go around thinking they know what is "good" and what is "bad" and everyone else that thinks differently is wrong (about an art medium!!)

Absolutely ridiculous. I'm sure there's a group of people out there somewhere that look at these degenerative comments and laugh.

Nov 23 - 11:13 AM

Scott Love

Luke Simpson

Yeah guys I was not impressed either. Hoping this next installment can impress me but honestly I wasn't impressed by the trailer. It was okay but really not that impressive. It was okay, though.

Nov 21 - 10:32 PM

Brian Toohey

Brian Toohey

See the original, which only came out about a year ago-- Starbuck. It's great, and is supposed to be about 20x better than the lame Hollywood remake.

Nov 21 - 10:54 PM

Andrew Brinkerhoff

Andrew Brinkerhoff

I think I'll consider that suggestion...

Nov 21 - 11:07 PM

Kurtiss Keefner

Kurtiss Keefner

It's remade by the same director though...

Nov 22 - 07:25 AM

Andrew Brinkerhoff

Andrew Brinkerhoff

I think I'll consider that suggestion...

Nov 21 - 11:07 PM

Vardan Partamyan

Vardan Partamyan

Did you see the premiere photos for Catching Fire? Where is the world going where the two most charismatic people present are Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz who is just randomly cast to intensify the female craving for the leads. I am saddened by the sub-par material that constitutes most of the modern cinema with the critical reception subject to so many influences that have nothing to do with the quality of the film. I think one of the reasons of this sub-par production is not the lack of (at least technical) talent but the fact that the studios are trying to make the most possible amount of money worldwide - thus blunting any edge that may or may not be understand by this or that age, country, religious etc etc etc group. The results we get can be found in the multiplexes near you.

Nov 22 - 12:11 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Yeah, because Hollywood was never about making the most possible amount of money from their films before.

Nov 22 - 12:23 AM

Dom Cobb

Dom Cobb

Stop being such a snob.

Nov 22 - 02:45 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Yeah, because Hollywood was never about making the most possible amount of money from their films before.

Nov 22 - 12:23 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Wow, I was not expecting Catching Fire to be rated this high. Although I preferred the second book to the first, it was almost too separate plots (the first being Katniss dealing with the aftermath of the games, and the second being the Quarter Quell event), but apparently the movie was able to handle the transition between them smoothly. Can't wait to see it and here's hoping they can continue this level of quality with Mockingjay.

Also can't wait for Frozen next week. For once it's early high rating isn't due to a bunch of barely positive reviews calling it enjoyable for kids, but many are comparing it to the Disney classics of the early 90s. After a disappointing summer, it's nice to see fall and winter bouncing back.

Nov 22 - 12:39 AM

Andrew Brinkerhoff

Andrew Brinkerhoff

As dumb as it sounds coming from a nearly-21-year-old man, "Frozen" is my most "anticipated" film of the holiday season; the reason for the quotes is that I'm less excited about it than I am really nervous about it. Disney Animation's been hyped up to be on their A-game again, but "Tangled" is still considered by many to be inferior to the likes of "Beauty and the Beast" and "Little Mermaid", and "Wreck-It Ralph" got some flack for not using all of its potential (and the myriad of food puns puts it in similarity to "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", which a few sources say is the superior film). Basically, nothing they've put out recently has hit the same highs as their 90s heyday or even been the best of their release year ("How to Train Your Dragon" arguably beat "Tangled", "Rango" arguably beat "Winnie the Pooh", "ParaNorman" and "Frankenweenie" arguably beat "Ralph"). And I hate to say it, but their latest just looks kind of bland and generic: the Snow Queen character, probably without intention, seems too similar to Jack Frost from "Rise of the Guardians", the designs for most of the other characters look recycled, the reindeer is a near-copy of Maximus from "Tangled", and it doesn't seem like it'll do anything different than the usual fairy-tale musical template they've been using for decades. The last trailer they released was admittedly pretty breathtaking, but it's hard for me not to be skeptical at h this point...

Nov 22 - 10:13 AM

Dom Cobb

Dom Cobb

Like Avatar, everybody (myself included) loved The Hunger Games when it came out. This is something that I've noticed has been happening a lot lately. A movie comes out and is instantly praised by all. Then, The Backlash happened. Hipsters and cynics decided that because it was so widely loved, it must therefore be bad. And so they spread their negativity all over the internet, and the people started to wonder: was this movie really that good? These hipsters seem to be making perfect sense. I guess they are right. And so the much-loved film is suddenly turned on, and goes from being considered to be a great movie to being considered to be rubbish. And I'm the only one who stands by that movie until the end.

Nov 22 - 02:42 AM

Vincent

Jay Cutler

Quit making such assumption, idiot. I didn't know you knew everyone's opinion on a film.

Nov 22 - 03:13 AM

Bryan Dowling

Bryan Dowling

Well unlike Avatar, The Hunger Game isnt poorly written and isnt just visual effects as lets be honest and I am not jumping on the band wagon but Avatar's script is very mediocre but has great directing and visuals but The Hunger Games franchise has both maybe not better visuals than Avatar but it certainly is better written and anyway people saying it's crap probably haven't seen the film and think "oh it's Twilight crap" which isnt the case as The Hunger Games is nothing like Twilight as Twilight was a laughable horribly dialouged vampire love fest and while Hunger Games has a love triangle it isnt as forced or tedious or focused as Twilight was as the main story of Hunger Games is Katniss vs The Capitol not who she loves which Twilight was.

Nov 22 - 03:58 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Well in some cases, it's justified. Phantom Menace has a 57% rating on here,3% away from being Fresh. Nowadays, it's pretty much regarded a pure crap. A movie has to be able to last the long run.

Nov 22 - 10:03 AM

All-Knowing Panda

The Panda

I gave it a 6/10 when I first saw it and I was being lenient, it just degraded in opinion as it went on. You typically like a movie more right after you first see it and its actual quality is determined by how well it sticks, the hunger games didn't stick.

Nov 22 - 11:56 AM

Dave J

Dave J

To compare "Avatar" alongside "The Hunger Games" is not a very good analogy since Avatar broke grounds by also showing it on 3D(for I'm not quite sure it was the first to have done that), while "The Hunger Games" already had a fan base/ cult following way before the announcement of the very first movie was even released! And "50 Shades of Grey" is going to be next anticipated film to come out as droves of women are going to buy advanced tickets!

Nov 22 - 12:59 PM

King  S.

King Simba

He wasn't comparing whether or not they were based on a source material, he was simply stating that they had similar backlash after their huge success, though I don't think that's anything unique or new. For any big success there's bound to be a certain amount of backlash. For years, Titanic was one of the most hated films of all time (though it seems to have subsided in recent years thanks to Avatar knocking it off the top spot in biggest films at the box office and a growing sense of nostalgia towards the film), and I'm pretty sure Star Wars and Sound of Music had their share of detractors too. The only reason it seems more common nowadays is due to the internet.

Nov 22 - 03:13 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I dunno, for some reason I don't notice the backlash too much for it seems to always be a phase on here! One of the hardest things to determine is whether or not haters really mean what they say since part of the reason why some say such negative things is so that they can strike up an argument or a discussion! But just the same, it's already proven that whatever negative comments made by the few still cannot keep any film's success since most movie goers that do like them don't seem to comment on here anyway after seeing a movie since at the end a movie is only a movie, as well as other discussion sites- case in point some Adam Sandler movies are still performing well and can still demand a 20 million dollar paycheck- the backlash doesn't seem to affect him whatsoever!

Nov 22 - 04:10 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Yeah?the backlash.. Those poor films. Avatar the highest Grossing film of All time, and the Hunger Games One of the highest Grossing movies of that year and it's sequel all ready tracking at 160 million. Damn those hipsters running the success of this film! That you for being the one man TO STAND ALONE and make sure these movies are seen! Seriously I'm not sure I understand what your getting at? I'm not a hipster and I hate a lot of movies.

Nov 22 - 08:59 PM

Stewart H.

Stewart Hoffman

I get what you're saying. Popular movies like Avatar and The Hunger Games will always draw out the contrarian trolls. Especially here in the RT comments section.

Nov 24 - 09:53 AM

Dom Cobb

Dom Cobb

I loved the recent Harry Potter films. You're just too cynical to appreciate them. Go watch All Is Lost or some arthouse film instead if you want to complain.

Nov 22 - 02:44 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Actually I enjoyed the first four Harry Potter films, Prisoner of course was the best. Then came Yates and he basically sucked all the life from the films, as well as the rubbish plotline which went nowhere.

Nov 22 - 08:40 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I agree, Yates made Potter so boring. Those Final movies seem to have a sense of wanting to be epic but were more or less video game cut scenes held together by awkward moments mean while the heart and emotional impact of the books was left on the cutting room floor.

Nov 22 - 09:03 PM

Bud Kays

Bud Kays

I agree too. I rarely care to make comments on bad films I have seen, but what is shocking to me is how financially successful movies such as these are. I liked the first Hunger games but this one had nothing.

Dec 1 - 10:40 PM

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