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The Hunger Games (2012)

tomatometer

84

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 275
Fresh: 232 | Rotten: 43

Thrilling and superbly acted, The Hunger Games captures the dramatic violence, raw emotion, and ambitious scope of its source novel.

78

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 10

Thrilling and superbly acted, The Hunger Games captures the dramatic violence, raw emotion, and ambitious scope of its source novel.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 883,093

My Rating

Movie Info

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire

Aug 18, 2012

$408.0M

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All Critics (275) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (232) | Rotten (43) | DVD (4)

The film shows precious little hunger and no sense of game.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even when two people are just talking calmly, Ross jerks the camera around. Why? As the sense of danger increases, he has nothing to build toward.

March 26, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (180)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ross manages to keep the pacing remarkably swift, given that the games themselves don't start until halfway through the 144-minute running time.

March 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comments (11)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like the select participants of its savage sport, The Hunger Games stands triumphant, if scarred and a bit wobbly from the contest.

March 22, 2012 Full Review Source: USA Today | Comments (8)
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It features a functioning creative imagination and lots of honest-to-goodness acting by its star, Jennifer Lawrence, who brings her usual toughness and emotional transparency to the archer-heroine Katniss.

March 22, 2012 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comments (6)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Watching The Hunger Games, I was struck both by how slickly Ross hit his marks and how many opportunities he was missing to take the film to the next level -- to make it more shocking, lyrical, crazy, daring.

March 22, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Magazine | Comments (88)
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though not at all innovative or original, is at least a worthwhile action fantasy.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Director Gary Ross does a great job in bringing the thrilling novel to life in this uncompromising drama.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: John Hanlon Reviews
John Hanlon Reviews

The movie is oddly blithe about its central premise. How can this movie set up this monstrous society and this brutal game of genocide and expect us to not only cheer for someone to "win," but also hope she finds someone to kiss in the end?

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

Lawrence makes Katniss a heroine every bit as strong, fearless and compelling as the patron saint of badass females, Lisbeth Salander.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

The filmmakers' devotion to Collins' page-turner will please the book's fans and anyone who likes action, sci-fi, social commentary or a female protagonist with smarts, compassion and survival skills.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

An exhilarating debut from the bestselling series about teenagers engaged in a deadly bloodsport.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Given the recent failure of so many big-budget films, the odds weren't in The Hunger Games favor, either. Thankfully, Hollywood got this one right.

January 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Toledo Blade
Toledo Blade

The supporting cast is excellent (most notably Stanley Tucci as flamboyant television host Caesar Flickerman, and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss and Peeta's troubled mentor).

January 7, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Some plot threads are underserved but The Hunger Games is a fascinating and disturbing character drama that successfully captures the core themes of the book.

September 27, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

Sure this entry is a ripoff of "Battle Royale," but it's still an entertaining ride with great casting that will more than likely please fans of the book and those who've never even heard of it.

September 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

Despite a few minor problems, The Hunger Games proves to be a promising start to what will no doubt become the next beloved Hollywood mega-series.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

While the 12A rating renders any serious violence a tad impotent, there is much more going on here than the fawning and frowning of its soppy vampire peer.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk | Comment (1)
TheShiznit.co.uk

A retread of a tale that's The Running Man meets Lord of the Flies with a dash of Twilight for tween-adoring measure.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: NECN | Comments (4)

I never thought I'd describe a film by Pleasantville and Seabiscuit director Gary Ross as 'whackadoodle,' but if the shoe fits.

August 22, 2012 Full Review Source: CraveOnline
CraveOnline

The Hunger Games may be a flawed beast, to be sure, but there's plenty of subtext to glean from the narrative, and a slew of wonderfully rich characters worth investing in.

August 20, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

While a great ride of a movie, it is also one wrapped around an oddly disquieting message.

July 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies
Knight at the Movies

The first genuine can't miss film of the year that you'll want to go back to the theater to see over and over again.

May 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files | Comments (2)
Lyles' Movie Files

Katniss embodies all that's better than her Hunger Games opponents, being aptly appalled at what she sees while also learning to manipulate her audience.

PopMatters

The Hunger Games stomps the Twilight saga flat, and though I found those films somewhat amusing, this one is the real deal...

April 30, 2012 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Comments (5)
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for The Hunger Games

Watched on: January 10, 2014

I wasn't least interested in going for it, but I'm glad that I did. I thought it would be just a version of Battle Royale, but there was much more entertainment in store than my expectations. The movie starts with a girl fearing to be chosen as a participant in The Hunger Games, and her nightmare turns real. But she has a brave elder sister willing to volunteer and save her sister from the probable negative consequences. Then begins the promotion of the game and the training, et al. It wasn't anything extraordinary, but the chemistry forming between Katniss and Peeta draws attention and keeps it going. Finally, I didn't find the game much exciting except for the very ending.
January 28, 2014
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

I'm proud to pronounce "The Hunger Games" another captivating addition to the sparse genre of female-led action movies that are GOOD (thanks for nothing, Barb Wire, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Elektra and Colombiana). Brought my little cousin to see this since she had read the books and deserved a reward after the hours of coding I put her through :) Jennifer Lawrence made what could have been a cheesy setting for a movie (the same stilted feel and class hatred as "In Time", for those of you who had the misfortune to watch that movie) feel believable, because she stayed strong and in-character for every minute of this. What a BAMF. I could watch her for hours. Ignoring the physical impossibilities (like a lightweight person remaining standing after taking a spear to the chest??), I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this.
December 7, 2013
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

I definitely went in with too high of expectations. The first act is nigh perfect in setting up dystopian Appalachia: the shaky handicam shots of miners going to work, raggedly clad children, and weary villagers preparing for the Reaping. Even dull-as-a-box-of-rocks-in-"The-Last-Song" Liam Hemsworth infuses Gale with levity as well as wistful longing for love and escape. I especially love the reaction shots of the mother after she says something kind to Katniss, but Katniss just deflects the kindness onto Prim - showing the strained relationship between mother and eldest daughter.

The film spends so much time with the exposition that the next two acts are rushed and ill-developed, specifically Peeta's history and motivations. The bread-in-the-rain flashback is shown quite a few times, but it's always the same. They could have elongated the memory to bolster its significance - shown the severity of Katniss' starvation, shown Peeta's intention of burning the bread so that he could gift it to Katniss, shown how that act of kindness saved her and her family's life.

Peeta's bravery, loyalty, and true love for Katniss (versus her complicated but necessary duplicity) don't come through at all. They could have shown Peeta actually fighting off Cato after the tracker jacker attack so that unfamiliar audiences wouldn't just think he's a milquetoast pretty boy. Instead of just the perfunctory filler about drunken Haymitch and a steely-eyed Katniss refusing to acknowledge her natural ally/enemy during their first official meeting, they could have shown Peeta trying to befriend Katniss, proving that everything he does in the Games - from playing to the Capitol crowd to teaming up with the Careers to his last defense of camouflage - is to ensure her survival. Also, as Katniss contemplates double suicide, Peeta in the book tries desperately to stop her by professing his love for her.

The costumes are glorious, and the settings are lush. All the actors are spot-on (although the actors who play Cato, Marvel, and Peeta all look too similar). Stanley Tucci is adorable and lively as the host. Amandla Stenberg's one perfect tear is perfect. J.Law covers all the bases from stalwart fierceness to pained vulnerability.
December 6, 2013
aliceinpunderland

Super Reviewer

"The Hunger Games" does everything right that the "Twilight Saga" did wrong. It invests you in the characters, makes you feel emotion for every tribute who is on the "good" side, and creates an atmosphere unlike anything you have ever seen. As Katniss's younger sister Primrose is chosen as tribute to compete in the 74th annual Hunger Games, she will not have it. She volunteers herself to compete. The Hunger Games are a battle to the death. 12 districts across the world compete. It is a televised event that happens out of pure chance. Many of the contenders have been trained, while Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is forced to rely on her hunting knowledge and coaching instructions. As she meets Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), her feelings for the game change, when she finds out that he is in love with her. 24 contestants are forced into battle, only one comes out alive. In this borderline PG-13 flick, the gore is as high as it needs to be, the acting is brilliant by the entire cast, especially Jennifer Lawrence, who pulls off a powerhouse portrayal of Katniss. Emotion runs on high throughout this film and I was on the edge of my seat the entire way through. This is one of the best films of 2012 so far; Of course, there were a few minor faults. The shaky camera felt a little off when you try to focus on the action, the chemistry between Katniss and Gale was a bit rushed, and the conclusion of the film leaves you with so many questions. I have no idea how I am possibly going to wait two years for "Catching Fire," but I know I will be watching "The Hunger Games" multiple times. It is everything a book adaptation should be. "The Hunger Games" is triumphant!
November 21, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Katniss Everdeen: How will they change you?
    2. Peeta Mellark: I don't know. Turn me into something I'm not. I just don't want to be another piece in their game, you know?
    – Submitted by Johanna T (5 months ago)
    1. Gale Hawthorne: Oh yeah, I forgot something.
    2. Katniss Everdeen: Oh my God! Is this real?
    3. Gale Hawthorne: Better be. It cost me a squirrel.
    – Submitted by Criselle M (13 months ago)
    1. Katniss Everdeen: How many times is your name in today?
    2. Gale Hawthorne: Forty-two. I guess the odds aren't exactly in my favour.
    – Submitted by Criselle M (13 months ago)
    1. Clove: [To Katniss] *Clove has pinned Katniss to ground and has knife to her neck* "Where's lover boy? Oh, I see. You're gonna help him, right? Well, that's sweet. You know, its to bad you couldn't help your little friend. That little girl. What was her name again? Rue? Well, we killed her and now we're gonna kill you." *Picks up smaller knife and is about to stab her in chest*
    2. Thresh: *Appears behind Clove, picks her up by neck and pins her to Cornucopia* D'you kill her?
    3. Clove: No!
    4. Thresh: I heard you.
    5. Clove: CATO!
    6. Thresh: You said her name. YOU SAID HER NAME! *smashes head on Cornucopia twice then drops her body. A canon is then heard. Turns to Katniss* Just this time twelve. For Rue.
    – Submitted by Jenny L (15 months ago)
    1. Katniss Everdeen: You can't tune out again.
    2. Katniss' Mother: I won't.
    3. Katniss Everdeen: No. You can't. Not like when Dad died. I won't be there for her anymore, you're all she has. And no matter what you feel, you're going to be there for her, do you understand?
    – Submitted by Sarah K (15 months ago)
    1. Peeta Mellark: They have to have their victor.
    2. Katniss Everdeen: No. They don't. Why should they?
    – Submitted by Evan T (16 months ago)
View all quotes (243)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Tribute von Panem - The Hunger Games (DE)
  • The Hunger Games (UK)
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