Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Hunger Games is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Raid: Redemption and The Deep Blue Sea are also Certified Fresh.

by | March 22, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies brings only one new wide release: the hotly-anticipated adaptation of Susan Collins’ post-apocalyptic young adult novel The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. What do the critics have to say?

The Hunger Games


The Hunger Games is one of the most eagerly anticipated literary adaptations since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And critics say the movie delivers — director Gary Ross maintains the brisk, tense pace that made the books so tough to put down, and Jennifer Lawrence gives an intense, commanding performance in the lead role. In a dystopian North America, a tyrannical government stages an annual televised gladiatorial competition, in which young people are selected to fight to the death. When Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) and her old friend Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) enter the fray, they team up to survive, and their alliance poses a threat to the established order. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Hunger Games is muscular, exciting filmmaking, with an excelling cast and enough weighty ideas to please both newcomers and fans of the books. (Find out the Five Favotite Films of Hunger Games stars Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. And check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of cinema’s most memorable — and deadly — fake sports.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Raid: Redemption, an Indonesian action film about an elite police squad tasked with arresting a drug lord in an abandoned apartment building, is Certified Fresh at 88 percent.
  • The Deep Blue Sea, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston in a period drama about an upper class woman who abandons a loveless marriage for a younger man, is Certified Fresh at 85 percent.
  • All In: The Poker Movie, a documentary about the card game’s recent resurgence in popularity, is at 56 percent.
  • 4:44 Last Day on Earth, starring Willem Dafoe in a sci-fi drama about two people who find love just before the end of the world, is at 54 percent.
  • Brake, starring Stephen Dorff in a thriller about a man who finds himself held hostage in the trunk of a car, is at 47 percent.
  • Musical Chairs, a romantic drama about a unlikely pair of competitive ballroom dancers, is at 36 percent.
  • October Baby, a drama about a college student who goes on a road trip to meet her birth parents, is at 31 percent.
  • The Trouble with Bliss, starring Michael C. Hall in a dramedy about a thirtysomething slacker who finds his dull existence shaken by a pair of strange romantic possibilities, is at 20 percent.