A resourceful teen (Jennifer Lawrence) takes her younger sister's place in a brutal contest in which youths from each of 12 districts fight to the death on live television.
" 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. "
" If, as the ads suggest, the whole world will be watching this, viewers will likely be satisfied with what they see. "
" 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. "
" [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. "
" Well-paced, well-directed and extremely well acted entertainment. "
" It's a streamlined fable with enough zing to keep the franchise flying until the next round. "
" 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. "
" Ross manages to keep the pacing remarkably swift, given that the games themselves don't start until halfway through the 144-minute running time. "
" 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. "
" It carefully walks a difficult line: How do you tell an essentially violent story without glorifying that violence? "
" 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. "
" Director Gary Ross generally avoids the elaborate exterior shots and special effects that dominate high-concept blockbusters. "
" 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. "
" Like the select participants of its savage sport, The Hunger Games stands triumphant, if scarred and a bit wobbly from the contest. "
" The film shows precious little hunger and no sense of game. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Efficient if not electric, "The Hunger Games" is still epic in intent. "
" 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. "
" Measured against its downright subversive subtext, you have to come away impressed by the level of achievement. "
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