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The Hunger Games (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi  |  23 March 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 657,911 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 1,940 user | 662 critic | 49 from Metacritic.com

Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 34 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hob Vendor (as Sandra Lafferty)
Sandino Moya ...
Propaganda Film Tribute (as Sandino Moya-Smith)
Peeta's Mother


In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. Written by Suzanne Collins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The World Will Be Watching See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 March 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Artemis  »

Box Office


$78,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$152,535,747 (USA) (23 March 2012)


$407,999,255 (USA) (31 August 2012)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Donald Sutherland saw the script by accident and, when he read it, lobbied for the role of President Snow because the script reminded him of Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory (1957). He succeeded in getting the role after he wrote a letter of plea to Gary Ross explaining why he should be cast. See more »


After Katniss blows up the stockpile of goods, in all future shots of the same clearing there is no indication that an explosion took place or that the mines have been dug up. See more »


[first lines]
Seneca Crane: I think it's our tradition. It comes out of a particularly painful part of our history...
Caesar Flickerman: Yes.
Seneca Crane: ...but it's been the way we're able to heal.
See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.157 (2012) See more »


Safe & Sound
Written by Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams and T Bone Burnett
Performed by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars
Produced by T Bone Burnett
Courtesy of Big Machine Records, LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Battle Royale Lite
24 March 2012 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

Not comparing this to Battle Royale is impossible - the premise is too similar to be ignored. I'm extremely biased as well, considering Battle Royale is one of my all-time favorite films/books/graphic novels. So let's get this rant out of the way: The Hunger Games takes the concept of Battle Royale and waters it down to a product more accessible to a wider audience, specifically the younger crowd. My biggest problem with this is it loses the impact of Battle Royale - a frightening, beautiful, orgiastic display of shocking violence and social commentary. What makes it so twisted is that the contestants are all fellow students and friends, and we get to know many of the students, making their deaths more disturbing. In The Hunger Games, we follow two contestants and the rest are nameless, and with the exception of one young black girl, their deaths are meaningless (and mostly off-screen). The fact that the violence is so much more tame seems irresponsible - we don't see how horrific and terrifying it would be. The characters in The Hunger Games are black-and-white, good and evil with no grey areas, whereas the characters in Battle Royale feature heroes, antiheroes, complete monsters, and terrified teens. They're plunged into a situation and act like normal teens would, freaking out, committing suicide, going ax crazy, professing love, etc.

As a film, The Hunger Games is certainly not bad - it's a well-made, well-acted spectacle that is entertaining albeit predictable. It takes its time getting to the action, but when the contestants are finally released it's thrilling (there's also a particularly intense scene involving a wasp's nest). It's probably the best we can expect from what a predictable Hollywood remake of Battle Royale would look like - significantly toned down, with a gorgeous cast, and a soundtrack featuring Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, and a couple good indie bands (as opposed to Battle Royale's classical music). I also like that The Hunger Games focuses more on the media aspect of the game, which was mostly ignored in Battle Royale. It's much less melodramatic than Battle Royale as well. The bizarre costume designs are great too.

TL;DR - It all comes down to taste. If you prefer fantasy stories, don't like subtitles, and have no desire to see kids kill each other in over-the-top gory fashion, you'll like The Hunger Games. If you're a fan of horror, exploitation, or extreme Asian cinema, you'll like Battle Royale. I prefer the latter, but The Hunger Games could've been a lot worse.

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