Critic Reviews

68

Metascore

Based on 49 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
A muscular, honorable, unflinching translation of Collins' vision. It's brutal where it needs to be, particularly when children fight and bleed.
90
Boxoffice Magazine
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.
80
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.
80
The Guardian
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.
80
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".
80
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.
75
Slant Magazine
The Hunger Games is more notable for the holes it doesn't fall into than the great heights it reaches.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
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.
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.
60
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.

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