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The Hunger Games

23hunger-thumbstandard In a dystopian future ruled by a totalitarian regime, resourceful Katniss and her partner, Peeta, represent their district in the lethal Hunger Games, a televised survival competition in which teenage contestants fight each other to the death.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 4.2
NYT Review
Jennifer Lawrence stars as a teenage survivalist in a recycled American frontier myth in “The Hunger Games," a film adaptation of the Suzanne Collins novel. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 85%
Critics' score: 85   Audience score: 85   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

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

David Denby, New Yorker

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

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

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

Scott Bowles, USA Today

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

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle

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

David Edelstein, New York Magazine

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. full review

Measured against its downright subversive subtext, you have to come away impressed by the level of achievement. full review

Laremy Legel, Film.com

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

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

Well-paced, well-directed and extremely well acted entertainment. full review

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com

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. full review

Dana Stevens, Slate

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

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Director Gary Ross generally avoids the elaborate exterior shots and special effects that dominate high-concept blockbusters. full review

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

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

Manohla Dargis, New York Times

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

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

[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

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

It carefully walks a difficult line: How do you tell an essentially violent story without glorifying that violence? full review

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

Efficient if not electric, "The Hunger Games" is still epic in intent. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

If, as the ads suggest, the whole world will be watching this, viewers will likely be satisfied with what they see. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

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

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

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

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
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