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The Hunger Games

Sci-Fi . Drama . Fantasy . Adventure . Science Fiction

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part 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 lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. The world will be watching.

Actors: Toby Jones , Wes Bentley , Donald Sutherland , Willow Shields , Stanley Tucci , Lenny Kravitz , Elizabeth Banks , Woody Harrelson , Liam Hemsworth , Josh Hutcherson , Jennifer Lawrence
Directors: Gary Ross
Country: USA
Release: 2012-03-23
More Info:
  • Joe Neumaier

    As tough-spirited as fans would hope for - and exciting and thought-provoking in a way few adventure dramas ever are.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A muscular, honorable, unflinching translation of Collins' vision. It's brutal where it needs to be, particularly when children fight and bleed.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    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.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    My advice is to keep your eyes on Lawrence, who turns the movie into a victory by presenting a heroine propelled by principle instead of hooking up with the cutest boy.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    A film that transforms a popular work of teen fiction not just by faithfully exploring its themes but, more important, by proving those themes have a very grown-up resonance.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    There's action here, too, and a great deal of vitality that feels true both to the spirit of Collins' book and to the idea of movie entertainment as it exists.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Leaner than "Harry Potter's" adventures, meaner than the "Twilight" saga, The Hunger Games lives up to its source if not entirely the hype.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Katniss is gritty, she's flinty, she's intimidating -- and she doesn't have to compromise one iota of her femininity for it. And Ross' movie tells her story wonderfully.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Making a successful Hunger Games movie out of Suzanne Collins' novel required casting the best possible performer as Katniss, and in Jennifer Lawrence director Gary Ross and company have hit the bull's-eye, so to speak.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    If the movie had a lead actress more delicate or malleable than the strong-cheeked Lawrence-a Natalie Portman, say-it would tip over into sexy-girl-killer celebration; the same goes for Harrelson's salty mentor, who is never too supportive or paternal. Both performers lean into the economies of survival, certain of the savagery that lies ahead, and come up with sharp work.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Matthew Leyland

    What's remarkable is the lack of cheese. Tacky effects, corny dialogue and creaky performances are all shown the door. We repeat: not the new "Twilight".

    Total Film Full Review
  • Xan Brooks

    The Hunger Games is that rarest of beasts: a Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty. Ably filleted from the Suzanne Collins bestseller, it's a compelling, lightly satirical tale.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Olly Richards

    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.

    Empire Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    The Hunger Games is first and foremost an adventure/survival story, and director Ross keeps things moving with nary a moment of downtime. There's precious little fat on the script; it's a lean, mean antifascist machine, and Lawrence is at once winsome and spectacularly engaging as Katniss (so much so that all her male costars pale into near-blandness in comparison).

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    The Hunger Games' pacing is brisk, its stakes as high as stakes get, and its leading lady engaging enough that the odds - at the box office at least - will be ever in its favor.

    NPR Full Review
  • Andy Klein

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

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Scott Bowles

    The action is brisk, the acting is solid, and barring an unlikely failure at the box office, a franchise is born. Let the games begin.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    This is better than any of the "Twilights." It features a functioning creative imagination and lots of honest-to-goodness acting by its star, Jennifer Lawrence.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    You can imagine a better adaptation of The Hunger Games, but you can much more easily imagine a far worse one, and all in all that's not a bad outcome.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    When the goal is simply to be as faithful as possible to the material - as if a movie were a marriage, and a rights contract the vow - the best result is a skillful abridgment, one that hits all the important marks without losing anything egregious. And as abridgments go, they don't get much more skillful than this one.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    What The Hunger Games does have is a game cast, a large budget well spent, Collins on board as co-writer, and Lawrence as Katniss.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The Hunger Games represents the best first book adaptation of any of the three series. It surpasses Christopher Columbus' "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone" by a whisker and Catherine Hardwicke's "Twilight" by considerably more than that.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    An effective entertainment, and Jennifer Lawrence is strong and convincing in the central role. But the film leapfrogs obvious questions in its path, and avoids the opportunities sci-fi provides for social criticism.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The games have begun, and so far they're pretty gripping.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • R. Kurt Osenlund

    The Hunger Games is more notable for the holes it doesn't fall into than the great heights it reaches.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Director Gary Ross' adaptation, co-scripted by Collins herself, isn't quite as crackingly paced as the novel, but it will more than satisfy existing fans of the trilogy and likely create many new ones.

    Slate Full Review
  • Melissa Anderson

    Like the pacing of the novel, the film, even at almost two and a half hours, moves briskly, continuously drawing us in.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Lawrence is a tremendous talent, and she is what makes The Hunger Games ultimately worth spending time with. She doesn't elevate the film to the heights to which one might have wanted, but she takes it a lot higher than it would have otherwise risen.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    The Hunger Games is dressed as a dark satire of soulless entertainment, but like Katniss' adversaries in the PG-13 hunting scenes, it doesn't have a distinctive identity or go-for-the-throat.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    It also smells very much like a movie with money on its mind - not altogether successfully balancing its loftier ideas with a sense of superficial whimsy and Vegas-meets-Wizard of Oz production design.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Where Collins' book paid careful attention to detail, Ross pays far too little. Characters never become exhausted or desperate or gaunt; they don't even get chapped lips or broken nails.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    If the series's legions of fans miss a detail here or a sub-plot there, they'll still recognize its bones and sinew, especially in Jennifer Lawrence's eagle-eyed heroine Katniss Everdeen.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    This futuristic tale of teenage violence is so not my kind of movie that I approached it grudgingly, so imagine my surprise when I ended up being totally exhilarated and enjoying it immensely.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    The Hunger Games may be derivative, but it is engrossing and at times exciting. Implicitly, it argues that "The Truman Show" might have been improved by Ed Harris lobbing fireballs at Jim Carrey, and it's now clear what "American Idol" was missing all those years: a crossbow for Simon Cowell.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Again and again Katniss rescues herself with resourcefulness, guts and true aim, a combination that makes her insistently watchable, despite Mr. Ross's soft touch and Ms. Lawrence's bland performance.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ben Sachs

    Director Gary Ross (Pleasantville) generally avoids the elaborate exterior shots and special effects that dominate high-concept blockbusters.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    A watchable enough picture that feels content to realize someone else's vision rather than claim it as its own. Any real sense of risk has been carefully ironed out: The PG-13 rating that ensures the film's suitability for its target audience also blunts the impact of the teen-on-teen bloodshed.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    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.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    Can The Hunger Games, in the movie version directed by Gary Ross, successfully navigate the crossing from page to screen? Our answer: Eh.

    Time Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The Hunger Games takes no risks.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    The Hunger Games has some cool moments here and there, and is never entirely dreadful. Lawrence is both radiant and triumphant. They haven't screwed it up badly enough to kill it, although they've tried. Full Review
  • David Denby

    The result is an evasive, baffling, unexciting production - anything but a classic.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    In The Hunger Games it's both a feast of cheesy spectacle and a famine of genuine feeling, except for the powerful - and touchingly vulnerable - presence of Jennifer Lawrence.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    It is a thrilling, intelligent, deeply-felt movie that does not play by the typical rules of franchise building in modern Hollywood.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    Despite its well-worn ideas and themes, Gary Ross’s provocative, pulse-surgingly tense adaptation couldn’t feel fresher, or timelier.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Todd Gilchrist

    Ultimately, Ross hasn’t just successfully mounted an adaptation of a hot literary property, or even launched a film series that earns the right to be a franchise. He’s produced an engaging, thoughtful, populist piece of entertainment that transcends gender, genre or source material.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Daniel Green

    The Hunger Games looks poised to usher in a brand new hit franchise and deserves all the credit it gets for its confrontational subject matter, delicately-orchestrated fight sequences and sci-fi sensibilities. For teen audiences, films don't get much darker - or smarter - than this.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    This is a solid take on the material, but it could have done with a little less narrative incident and a little more cinematic sparkle.

    Time Out London Full Review
Add Soundtrack
  • 1. Deep in the Meadow (Lullaby) Performer: Jennifer Lawrence and Willow Shields Stream Music Online
  • 7. Three Movements for Orchestra Mvt. 1 Performer: Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra and Chorus Sine Nomine Stream Music Online