Hunger Games: Movie Review Roundup
Movie reviews for the Hunger Games movie, debuting on Friday, March 23rd.
What is the Hunger Games about?
Based on the best-selling young-adult novel by author Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games tells the dark tale of a 16-year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who is selected to compete in a vicious televised tournament in which 24 teenagers from a post-apocalyptic society fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses.
In the future, North America is no more. In its place has risen Panem, a divided nation split into 12 districts. Every year, each district selects a teen of each gender (called "Tributes") to test their worth in a competition known as the Hunger Games, which are broadcast across the nation as entertainment, and to reinforce the government's total power.
When her younger sister is selected as District 12's latest "Tribute," Katniss volunteers to take her place, and trains under hard-drinking former Hunger Games champion Haymitch Abernathy to sharpen her killer instincts. Now in order to survive the game and emerge the victor, this young combatant must put all of her skills to the ultimate test.
Hunger Games Movie Reviews
Christy Lemire of the Associated Press praises the film for maintaining its suspense even for those who already know full well how this story goes: “‘The Hunger Games’ runs nearly two and a half hours in length but is the rare film that never drags and doesn't overstay its welcome. It could keep running as long as Katniss does, and we'd want to be right there every heart-pounding step of the way.”
Justin Change of The Variety says, "Proficient, involving, ever faithful to its source and centered around Jennifer Lawrence's impressive star turn, this much-anticipated, nearly 2 and a-half hour event picture should satiate fans, entertain the uninitiated and take an early lead among the year's top-grossing films. 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."
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter adds "The arrow hits an outer circle of the target in The Hunger Games, an amply faithful adaptation of Suzanne Collins' monster young-adult best-seller that could have used a higher blood count in more ways than one. 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."
Olly Richards of Empire Magazine sums up the quality of this adaptation thusly: “When a series has sold millions of copies, as Suzanne Collins’ trilogy has, the default position is to produce something that will look just as readers imagined, to show what we were all thinking, rather than offer something nobody had considered. ‘The Hunger Games’ as a novel has been dissected, expanded and retooled into something intelligent, immersive and powerfully current.”
Roger Ebert, of the Sun Times says "The Hunger Games is an effective entertainment, and Jennifer Lawrence is strong and convincing in the central role."
Oh, we can't leave out the ONE naysayer of the Hunger Games films:
The bad review comes from Cole Smithey, whose Web site boldly dubs him “the smartest film critic in the world.”
“Slack pacing, poorly developed subplots, shabby camerawork and miscasting dog the movie,” he writes, later adding, “If not for Jennifer Lawrence’s ever-commanding performance, there would be no redeeming value for a movie that goes on two-and-a-half hours too long.”