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The Hunger Games (2012)


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 276
Fresh: 232
Rotten: 44

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

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 37
Rotten: 10

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


Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 892,158


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 … More

PG-13 (for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Suzanne Collins , Gary Ross , Billy Ray
In Theaters:
Aug 18, 2012
Box Office:
Lionsgate - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Hunger Games

All Critics (276) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (232) | Rotten (44) | DVD (4)

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

Full Review… | June 17, 2013
The New Republic
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… | March 26, 2012
New Yorker
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 23, 2012
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 22, 2012
USA Today
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 22, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
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… | March 22, 2012
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Has all the technical ingredients of a great (and even important) film, but sideswipes them in order to leave the audience feeling like that they have been abandoned in the wilderness of extreme cruelty.

Full Review… | September 11, 2014

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

Full Review… | November 25, 2013
Cinema Crazed

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

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
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?

Full Review… | June 23, 2013

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

Full Review… | May 26, 2013
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.

Full Review… | May 17, 2013
Sacramento Bee

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

Full Review… | March 4, 2013
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.

Full Review… | January 7, 2013
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).

Full Review… | January 7, 2013
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.

Full Review… | September 27, 2012

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.

Full Review… | September 16, 2012

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.

Full Review… | September 15, 2012
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.

Full Review… | September 13, 2012

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

Full Review… | August 30, 2012

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

Full Review… | August 22, 2012

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.

Full Review… | August 20, 2012

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

Full Review… | July 15, 2012
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.

Full Review… | May 22, 2012
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.

Full Review… | May 2, 2012

Audience Reviews for The Hunger Games

The first in this series deserves a lot of credit for setting up its world in a way that allowed 'Catching Fire' to build upon it so well, but that movie really shows this up for what it is: a solid dystopian sci-fi flick with an outstanding central performance from Jennifer Lawrence, but also medicore action scenes and two-dimensional supporting characters.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

The Hunger Games captures the political and social undertones of Suzanne Collins' brilliant novel while refusing to exploit the idea of kids being trapped in an arena to fight to the death. It is a great science fiction picture because of its pacing, ensemble cast, and portrayal of a nation that governs its people through fear and fascism.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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.

familiar stranger

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.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

The Hunger Games Quotes

Katniss Everdeen:
How will they change you?
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 (11 months ago)
Gale Hawthorne:
Oh yeah, I forgot something.
Katniss Everdeen:
Oh my God! Is this real?
Gale Hawthorne:
Better be. It cost me a squirrel.
– Submitted by Criselle M (19 months ago)
Katniss Everdeen:
How many times is your name in today?
Gale Hawthorne:
Forty-two. I guess the odds aren't exactly in my favour.
– Submitted by Criselle M (19 months ago)
[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*
*Appears behind Clove, picks her up by neck and pins her to Cornucopia* D'you kill her?
I heard you.
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 (21 months ago)
Katniss Everdeen:
You can't tune out again.
Katniss' Mother:
I won't.
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 (22 months ago)
Peeta Mellark:
They have to have their victor.
Katniss Everdeen:
No. They don't. Why should they?
– Submitted by Evan T (22 months ago)

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