The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Reviews

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October 22, 2016
October 16, 2016
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1", continues on the franchise from where "Catching Fire" left off. "Mockingjay Part 1" being Part 1 of a 2-part story it obviously not going to be the fastest paced film. This being said the story didn't feel like it dragged on and was still a fantastic entry to the franchise. Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived. She awakens from the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell deep inside the bunkered catacombs of District 13. Separated from some of her closest allies and fearing for their safety in the Capitol, Katniss finally agrees to be the Mockingjay, the symbolic leader of the rebellion. Still uncertain as to whom she can trust, Katniss must help 13 rise from the shadows, all the while knowing that President Snow has focused his hatred into a personal vendetta against her-and her loved ones. "Francis Lawrence", the director of this film, once again directs it very smoothly and differently in the fact that there are no games in this one. He takes advantage of the sets to make them as useful as possible and he takes a smart turn with this one. The acting from "Jennifer Lawrence" is once again amazing with a lot more emotional scenes put on her. Although "Josh Hutchersons" character doesn't have much screen time he defiantly redeemed himself from his previous attempt with Peeta Mellark in "Catching Fire". The last lead is "Liam Hemsworth" but his look on his character, Gale Hawthrone, makes him seem like a very boring and self centered character, although its not "Liam Hemsworths" fault that his character seem self centered he defiantly plays a role in it. "Sam Claflin" is back playing his character Finnick Odair but his character doesn't have much screen time, saying that "Sam Claflin" does make use of his time. Although the characters in this film are mostly the same as the last two films there are a couple more characters introduced. One of them include President Alma Coin who is the leader of District 13. They mostly leave her character in the dark to make her seem on Katniss' side. But Katniss doesn't really know who's side she's on. Another new stand out character of the film is Cressida, who is part of Katniss' camera team. The returning characters have massive character development through the film especially Katniss and Peeta. Another great part of this film is the score composed by James Newton Howard, although there aren't so many great songs in it the ones that are great, I mean are really really great. Obviously having less action in this film you would think it would need less special effects. Wrong. The film had a high budget of an estimated $125 Million. Most of this probably went into the set design of District 13, but if you think about it they can't build a whole civilization underground in three months. So what does this mean they have to use. Special Effects and my god you can't even tell if the characters are standing in front of a green screen. Another place they succeeded in in the special effects department are the action scenes. Including the District 8 bombing and the Hanging Tree Action sequence. The only issue I had with this film is a small pacing issue in the beginning. It didn't drag on but it did have a couple of filler scenes near the beginning, but if you took them out some of the movie wouldn't make sense so I guess they should've made those couple of scenes different from the book which it stayed true to. Overall "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" was a very good entry to the fantastic "The Hunger Games" Franchise with once again smooth directing and spectacular acting from most of the cast. It had great character's, a good score, amazing special effects but it did have small pacing issues near the beginning. I give 2014's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" a 9.5/10.
½ October 16, 2016
A real fall off from the the first two films. Too much talk and too many extraneous and overextended scenes. Jennifer Lawrence and Philip Seymour Hoffman (may he RIP) were the only two that stood out in this ok flick.
½ October 15, 2016
The odds are clearly not in Katniss Everdeen's (Jennifer Lawrence) favor: her sister was reaped for the Hunger Games, so she volunteered to keep her safe. She made the Capitol look stupid with the help of Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and while she tried to tend to the flame, she couldn't quell it, and so, the fire of rebellion caught and burned brightest. Now, the flame is settling, and seems poised to die down. After seeing Katniss hiding from District 13 officials in some random pipe room, continuing Jennifer Lawrence's fine and tasteful PTSD performances, we see her settling into her new role as the mockingjay when Commander Boggs (Mahershala Ali) escorts her to a meeting with Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), who try persuading her to be the mockingjay for them. What follows is a story of war and propaganda that was all there in the book, but is the focus of this movie that covers the first 45% (rough estimate) of the book, and while it works out mostly, there is a serious pacing issue (this series seems to just have so many of these), which may or may not have anything to do with the splitting of the book into two parts: it takes 50 minutes to truly start, though they still have some dark action in the form of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) commentating over public executions in two of the districts where rebels (or as he calls it to avoid legitimizing them "radicals") whose faces are covered (my guess to avoid humanizing them in the eyes of the undecided). We don't see Katniss in action until 50 minutes in, but then she goes back to being a person who's ruined. She gets her act together and does a propaganda shoot in District 12, then the rest of the movie happens, and if you read the book, I think my 45% estimate of how far in the story they get will inform you of that. What really hurts the pacing in my book is that a cliffhanger would have been more exciting than what they did. Something those who haven't read the books would appreciate to maintain interest, while letting us readers/audiobook listeners feel they made good effort to split it up. Otherwise, everything they put/did on screen was for a reason, to advance what little plot-from-the-book they used. Katniss' journey continues to entertain and her drive to protect those she loves and to do what she "never asked for." The picture and effects are great, and District 13 is perfectly established as militaristic and efficient, from the dull grey clothes everyone (even the president) wears to the dull scenery, especially when you compare it to the Capitol's lavish scenery, colorful outfits, and bright, colorful scenery. James Newton Howard once again brings a great soundtrack conveying the appropriate emotions, and it's used appropriately, whether the only sounds we hear at the beginning are ambience and dialogue, or the blaring soundtrack over big action (One scene towards the end really benefits from seemingly dead silence). We get some good comic relief in Katniss' first attempts at being the mockingjay on a soundstage, and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) brings the usual sarcasm and brutal honesty of his character to the meeting table to keep things interesting. The odds were clearly not in Lionsgate's favor to split Mockingjay into two movies, but it can still be saved by quality effects and a camera that only shakes when it's truly necessary. A fine film about war and propaganda dragged down by horrible pacing that makes us wish it took over an hour to get to the titular event.
The games are over. The war has begun. With the controversial, yet perpetual, choice to split every book into two movies (3 in one short case ;)) you would be led to believe Mockingjay Part 1 would suck compared to the past two Hunger Games movies. You're wrong. It's not as good as the first two, but this has its moments and stands on its own. We start with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) still recoiling from the events of the 75th Hunger Games. After seeing her cower in a corner, it takes a while for things to get started: After waking up from another nightmare, Katniss is escorted to command by Boggs (Mahershala Ali), where Plutarch Heavensbee (The late and great Philip Seymour Hoffman) introduce Katniss to President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), who asks Katniss to be the face of the rebellion. She refuses, and when she and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) are eating, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) appears on the Capitol's broadcast with Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) to discuss the recent games. After the dining hall condemns Peeta's "ceasefire" request to both sides, Katniss gets an idea from her sister Prim (Willow Shields) to negotiate immunity for Peeta and other rescued victors in exchange for being the mockingjay. Coin grudgingly accepts these terms in front of all of District 13 with the "void if you renege" clause. What follows is Katniss being shepherded from place to place by Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) director Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and various other crew members to make "propos" for the war effort. It takes a solid 40 minutes for things to really start moving. You can distinguish the plot though, and when we do get there, it is very compelling, whether you're a fan of old (Like me) or a newcomer (?). The new District 13 people are overly pragmatic, which makes them unrelatable to most people. They are shown to have a human side, which helps remind us of the human factor in all this, so they cancel out. The picture here is pretty much District 13 as I (and probably most of you) envisioned, with maybe a few differences here and there. There is a lot more CGI here in this Hunger Games (Hunger Wars?) than the first two, given the broader scope (The amount of millions that went into the first one was in the double digits), and a lot more hovercraft, but battered throughout are resistance to the Capitol and threads to be picked up in Part 2. James Newton Howard's soundtrack does everything a movie soundtrack should do, and between that and Katniss' song "Hanging Tree" it compels us and kills time until Part 2. It's not all doom-and-gloom: There are a few laughs, sprinkled throughout, but now, we must ask ourselves: Is all this story splitting really necessary? I'd like to call on both sides to return to the good old way: One solid movie adaptation of one solid book. This formula works with how they did it, but for how long?
The games are over. No holds barred. This is what we have waited for since the games began: For the Mockingjay to stretch her wings (or at least start to). This will feel slow (despite being the shortest installment of the series) to those who do not read the books, but for those who do, you will be rewarded with understanding the story and it will move faster. This film is not for newcomers, so be prepared or be confused! However, Francis Lawrence does everything he can to give newcomers a better idea of what's going on. The Mockingjay herself, Jennifer Lawrence, really brings Katniss to life: She seems genuinely panicked when Katniss has panic attacks, and she really shows how Katniss has changed since she volunteered to save her sister from the Hunger Games. Julianne Moore is exactly how Coin was intended to be in the books: Cold and stoic, but she makes this one kinder to Katniss than she ever was in the book. Elizabeth Banks surprisingly returns as District 12 escort Effie Trinket, this time, looking more human, but instead of knowing everything, is a total fish out of water. Haymitch has also changed this time, forced into sobriety. Drunk or sober, Woody Harrelson owns the role again. Philip Seymour Hoffman, God rest his soul, once again provides a brilliant Plutarch Heavensby. This is not a list of book-movie differences/similarities, so we now find ourselves with the visual aspect: It was great. Everything is there for a reason, and there is plenty of symbolism. For example, in the bombing of District 13, the lights flickering was both what would happen in real life, and symbolized how hectic the situation was. There is more, but those things = Spoilers. The effects were believable, and the action was spectacular! James Newton Howard swings by for a third round of scoring, incorporating old scores (No Panem anthem this time, #DownwithSnow) and making a few new ones. However, to make up for this, when there are important conversations, there is no sound except that dialogue to make you listen. And these spring up throughout, resulting in the aforementioned slow-pace. It does however highlight the importance, and does not reek of film maker laziness. It should also be noted Katniss' "The Hanging Tree," written in the book by Suzzane Collins herself, was incorporated fashionably. The dialogue was still near-similar to the book, and was done appropriately. Another note: Profanity free. So as Joanna Mason once said to the Capitol "(Explicit comment removed)" The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is the first-half of the film we've all been waiting for, but despite being half (less than actually) a book, you still feel it was its own story. The Mockingjay has expanded her wings, now we sit and wait a whole year for her to take flight! May the odds be ever in our favor to wait that long one more time!
October 15, 2016
The Quality Of Story-Telling Actually Steps Up A Notch Here, But Nothing We Haven't Seen Before (From The Likes Of LOTR or Star Wars) However, The Performance By Jennifer Certainly Steals The Show. The Other Actors Are Mono-Type Cliches, Other Than Stanley Tucci Whom I Think Has Been Fantastic In All Episodes So Far. There Are Remenants Of A Note Worthy Performance In Certain Scenes...But I Think It Is Dragged Out So Much (Time Wise) We Are Left Wanting The Pace To Really Pick Up...But It Doesn't. You Are Left Hanging...I Guess That'll See All The Tickets In The World For The Final Closing Saga. Well Done Lionsgate...Bravo.
October 10, 2016
As time goes on, it becomes clear that this series is today's Animal Farm, as in its a metaphorical prophecy warning us of the dangers of a 2 political party system, and how violent it could get. As a film, it presents good messages.
October 10, 2016
Aww sweet Jesus, the only reason I watched this is to get some forms of closure... I've watched this three times... third time I actually stayed awake.
½ October 7, 2016
A little whiny and it doesn't have the cool hunger games fighting like the first two.
October 5, 2016
Not as good as the other movies
½ October 5, 2016
Very well acted, extremely dramatic, and hopelessly sad. Mockingjay Part 1 is a very necessary much darker sequel that sets up a very exciting final conclusion.
½ October 3, 2016
ok to watch through once. wouldn't watch again
½ September 23, 2016
Hope the part 2 picks it up.
September 18, 2016
Now normally any Part 1 film of a double feature is never the best as it needs to build the story for the grand finale but I actually loved this film. It had a great build up for the long awaited final film.
½ September 16, 2016
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1(2014)
Starring:Jennifer Lawerence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Robert Knepper, Sam Claflin, Lily Rabe, Evan Ross, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, and Elizabeth Banks
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
The Biggest problem with the new Hunger Games film is right there in the title:Part 1 Mockingjay, the final installment in Suzane Collins dystopian trilogy wasn't conceived in two parts. That was a decsion made in Hollywood by a studio looking to double and milk every last dime out of its blockbuster franchise. The suits probably thought "Hey it worked out well for Twilight and Harry Potter, so why not us?" You can't blame them for wanting to keep the good times rolling. But it's a pretty cynical business plan, and it's led to a film that feels needlessly padded. Mockingjay Part 1 is like someone in my school doing a paper and there is a limit you need to get too and they just want too jack it up.
This is very disappointing because the previous chapter Catching fire, I thought exceeded the first film and helped the franchise, cause I did not like the first film it's a battle royal rip off. Catching Fire though gave the main character Katniss played excellently by Jennifer Lawerence into a brainy badass. Now she is become passive.
The film picks up after the incendiary conclusion of catching Fire's Quarter Quell, when Katniss was rescued and brought to the rebels, underground fortress in District 13. Here, the anti-capital leaders plot their next strike against president Snow(Donald Sutherland), hatching a plan to turn Katniss into fiery symbol of the resistance in a propaganda war as their secret weapon known as the mockingjay.
The film is interesting, the suffering this film has is that to me I felt bored while watching this latest entire in the hunger games series.
The performances are ultimately what kept me me invested and interested in what was going on, but the script feels like such a jumbled mess that I didn't care what was going on.
I suppose director Francis Lawerence and writers Peter Craig and Danny Strong deserve some credit for daring to sneak any political cheekiness into a movie that's as big and corporate as this. But overall their hands are tied too tightly.
While the series' second film had better character development, Mockingjay is mostly bound to the bleak and claustraphobic bowels of a bunker. It suffocates the film. And when the story does get interesting and you know something important is about to happen the movie ends. That's not a cliff-hanger that's a tease. I give The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 a two and a half out of five.
September 8, 2016
Annoyed they split this book into 2 films, but still an amazing watch. More action than the book too.
September 6, 2016
Esta historia nunca me convenció desde el inicio, no es de mi gusto realmente. Pero la lentitud, repetición de escenas y el exceso de atención en Jennifer Lawrence (que no me resulta ninguna maravilla como actriz), hacen que la película se vuelva imprecisa... para rematar con un final cortado terriblemente, que no concluye la historia de ninguno de los demás participantes. Dejan todo 'colgando'.
½ September 4, 2016
This is the first Hunger Games movie without any Hunger Games in it. was pretty boring. There was a lot of talking and a little action which only served to give Katniss an excuse to do more talking. At this point, I am only going to see Part 2 because I feel I need to see it through.
September 1, 2016
Worst in the series.
August 28, 2016
This movie can be summed up in one word: Boring. It had good special effects but it lacked character development and an interesting plot. I understand that they are saving most of the good parts of the story for mockingjay pt. 2 but this movie just seemed to trudge along bit by bit. The only action sequences is in about three short scenes and they definitely weren't enough to make the movie more exciting. I'm excited for the next movie because I have read the book but this one did a poor job of being its own movie instead of just a buildup.
August 26, 2016
Like most single chapters divided into two, 'Mockingjay - Part 1' felt a little slow at times and didn't quite have a normal movie structure yet still managed to have effective drama, an interesting look on propaganda ,and is nothing more than a very solid build up for its anticipated finale.
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