'The Hunger Games' Critic Reviews

95%
MovieWeb:   31 reviews
84%
Rotten Tomatoes:   276 reviews
  • Julian Roman MovieWeb (Top Critic)
    90
    Pertinent to the times, the year's first blockbuster is a grand, beautiful film.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    84
    This Hunger Games is a muscular, honorable, unflinching translation of Collins' vision. It's brutal where it needs to be, particularly when children fight and bleed.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Manohla Dargis New York Times (Top Critic)
    60
    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.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    80
    The Hunger Games is a very enjoyable futurist adventure, presented with a compelling, beady-eyed intensity.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Xan Brooks Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    80
    The Hunger Games is that rarest of beasts: a Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Scott Bowles USA Today (Top Critic)
    75
    Like the select participants of its savage sport, The Hunger Games stands triumphant, if scarred and a bit wobbly from the contest.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ann Hornaday Washington Post (Top Critic)
    63
    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.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    75
    Like the book, "The Hunger Games'' doesn't end so much as open the door to the next installment; it's frustrating, but you'll probably feel you've gotten your money's worth.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Melissa Anderson Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Like the pacing of the novel, the film, even at almost two and a half hours, moves briskly, continuously drawing us in.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    100
    As tough-spirited as fans would hope for - and exciting and thought-provoking in a way few adventure dramas ever are.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    The first book of Suzanne Collins's prodigiously popular trilogy has been brought to the screen with a Jumbotron sensibility, a shaky camera to emphasize the action and a shakier grip on the subject's emotional core.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Roger Moore Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    63
    Gary Ross, who directed "Seabiscuit," manages to get this nag out of the starting gate and across the finish line with no major blunders, but without much in the way of inspiration, either.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    88
    Ross moves between action and human drama with nimble awareness of the weight of the issues coursing through the story of fascism, propaganda, and, yes, adolescence under the weight of the world.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Kathleen Murphy MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    50
    ADD auds won't mind that there's no time to get to know anybody, or watch a relationship unfold, or ride the dramatic rise and swell of a compelling narrative.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top 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.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • David Denby New Yorker (Top 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.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    The Hunger Games is an effective entertainment, and Jennifer Lawrence is strong and convincing in the central role.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    The games have begun, and so far they're pretty gripping.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ben Sachs Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    Director Gary Ross generally avoids the elaborate exterior shots and special effects that dominate high-concept blockbusters.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    63
    [It] 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.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    Viewers who like a side order of political allegory with their science fiction will find much to savor here. So will romantics, fans of feminist heroines and action enthusiasts. "The Hunger Games" is that rare creation, an event movie of real significance
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    67
    Efficient if not electric, "The Hunger Games" is still epic in intent.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    70
    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.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    63
    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.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Justin Chang Variety (Top Critic)
    What viewers are left with is a watchable enough picture that feels content to realize someone else's vision rather than claim it as its own.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
AVG. RATING 4.2 GREAT
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