Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Delivery Man is good-hearted but uneven.

by | November 21, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got teenage warriors (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) and a prolific sperm donor (Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn and Cobie Smulders). What do the critics have to say?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


Catching fire is right — critics say the second installment of The Hunger Games is bigger and better than its predecessor in virtually every way, from the outstanding performances from its committed cast to its impeccable set design to a palpable sense of dread and urgency that imbues the material with more gravitas than your average blockbuster franchise. After winning the Hunger Games in part one, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) have become wildly popular figures for the nation’s beleaguered underclass. Fearing that revolution is nigh, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) contrives a plan: the two young champions will have to compete against an all-star lineup of past Hunger Games victors. The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is energetic, thoughtful, and tense, and at its center is Lawrence, whose commanding performance solidifies her status as one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars. (Watch our video interviews with the stars of Catching Fire; click through our gallery of movies based on young adult novels; and read this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Sutherland’s best-reviewed movies.)

Delivery Man


Vince Vaughn has made a career out of playing charming, mischievous bros, and critics say he’s in fine form in Delivery Man. Unfortunately, they also note that the rest of the film is a bit uneven, as its wacky premise and sentimental execution result in an uneasy mix. Vaughn stars as a committed slacker whose life spins out of control when he discovers that as a result of decades-old sperm donations, he’s the father of more than 500 children. Does our hero have what it takes to man up and be a father figure to his biological offspring? The pundits say Delivery Man is sweet and affable, but it’s only occasionally as funny and heart-tugging as it’s trying to be. (Check out our video interview with Vaughn here.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

composers diversity war Martial Arts Comedy Central Adult Swim Winners 24 frames MSNBC talk show Rock Reality Competition VH1 Comedy TCA Premiere Dates Country politics Emmys TIFF science fiction Ellie Kemper Food Network Year in Review Masterpiece Schedule TNT Horror USA biography Music Esquire Awards A&E DC Universe Logo serial killer Bravo transformers discovery TBS Podcast based on movie 45 Extras SDCC Warner Bros. harry potter political drama Cosplay GIFs Certified Fresh NYCC E3 TV Land travel Super Bowl supernatural CMT cats HBO Writers Guild of America thriller Tomatazos social media Video Games Universal Valentine's Day BET Hulu Photos Marvel Lionsgate Nickelodeon technology Superheroes TCM PaleyFest Teen Pirates Starz ABC TV Netflix Mystery cinemax SundanceTV AMC Musical Fox News Syfy CBS dramedy Spring TV X-Men Lifetime Disney Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trivia Fall TV aliens Fantasy IFC Trailer YA Biopics Pop Action Comic Book singing competition Oscars Red Carpet Tumblr police drama vampires Watching Series period drama PBS ITV Toys boxoffice TruTV The CW Ghostbusters Paramount Calendar APB ABC Family TCA 2017 FX Musicals 2016 007 Rocky GLAAD psycho CBS All Access Nat Geo sports Nominations Animation MTV TLC WGN VICE E! Freeform Grammys Holidays cooking 2015 adventure docudrama History Kids & Family Cartoon Network crime Box Office Star Trek Sundance comiccon OWN FOX American Society of Cinematographers Winter TV BBC America El Rey Countdown 2017 Amazon Disney Channel Mindy Kaling Interview Election Sneak Peek GoT Sci-Fi zombie FXX sitcom Drama Set visit President Reality crime drama CNN Opinion Star Wars Summer Dark Horse Comics Character Guide Infographic historical drama Mary Tyler Moore RT History cops DirecTV Crackle BBC The Arrangement Thanksgiving ESPN Showtime crime thriller Marathons Polls and Games NBC First Look Rom-Com DC Comics Best and Worst LGBTQ