Tomatometer Watch: The Hunger Games

by | March 19, 2012 | Comments

The Hunger Games

84%

Questions on a Hunger Games fan’s mind ever since Hollywood announced the movie: Does Jennifer Lawrence capture the bottled emotion and intense physicality of Katniss Everdeen? Does director Gary Ross — known for engaging but decidedly undark films Pleasantville and Seabiscuit — render faithfully the sci-fi dystopia and capital decadence of Panem? Does Lionsgate have a blockbuster franchise on their hands? To all three questions, the odds are in our favor for this answer: YES.

After a salvo of positive tweets from writers after the Hunger Games premiere (@silaslesnick: “A new sci-fi classic”; @firstshowing: “Had a LOTR-epic feeling by the end”; @jenyamato: “Captured what I loved in the books”), the critic reviews coming in now shape a similar early consensus. Xan Brooks of the Guardian: “The Hunger Games is the rarest of beasts: A Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty.”

“Despite its well-worn ideas and themes, Gary Ross’s provocative, pulse-surgingly tense adaptation couldn’t feel fresher,” writes Robbie Collin (Daily Telegraph), “Or timelier.”

James Rocchi (Box Office Magazine) concludes his review with incredible praise, this line among it: “As action, as allegory, as cinema, The Hunger Games is the best American science-fiction film since The Matrix.”

As a book series, author Suzanne Collins was careful to write to all audiences without resorting to lowest common deominator tactics, a quality that appears to be upheld for the movie, judging by quotes from The Playlist’s Todd Gilchrist (“It appeals to genre fans regardless of gender”) and Total Film’s Matthew Leyland (“This is both credible science fiction and a teen tale that doesn’t patronise or pander to its audience”).

While all reviews are thus far fresh, there are reservations to consider. Justin Chang (Variety) calls The Hunger Games “a watchable enough picture that feels content to realize someone else’s vision rather than claim it as it own.” And from Time Out’s Tom Huddleston: “Overall, this is a solid take …It could have done with a little less narrative incident and a little more cinematic sparkle.”

If the numbers stand, this will be Jennifer Lawrence’s sixth straight fresh movie, with three of them having gone Certified Fresh (X-Men: First Class, Like Crazy, and Winter’s Bone). For Gary Ross it will be 3-for-3 fresh as director, with Pleasntville and Seabiscuit also having gone Certified Fresh.

The Hunger Games is out in theaters Friday, March 23.

Tag Cloud

Certified Fresh Nickelodeon Acorn TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Pirates E3 Character Guide Fox News Ellie Kemper Rocky Winners GLAAD diversity finale Freeform Polls and Games Action Calendar Premiere Dates OWN American Society of Cinematographers science fiction Marvel TCM Photos TIFF sitcom Schedule SundanceTV Sony Pictures unscripted Valentine's Day Kids & Family Country The Arrangement See It Skip It Lifetime National Geographic DC streaming service CBS dceu Sundance ESPN Food Network thriller Lucasfilm ABC Comedy 2017 Disney Channel CW Seed cats zombies Tumblr E! Oscars Countdown Box Office Fall TV Tomatazos PBS Nominations YouTube Red CBS All Access Toys BBC LGBTQ historical drama Pop composers Set visit Interview Summer Pixar MSNBC aliens Esquire WGN Musicals war Paramount Network singing competition Netflix Western 45 spy thriller FOX Superheroes 24 frames Superheroe Music TCA 2017 cooking crime drama APB Horror 2015 romance X-Men Super Bowl Podcast GIFs Winter TV serial killer Shondaland dramedy Rom-Com Warner Bros. Adult Swim Marathons Thanksgiving Comedy Central USA Network TV Land social media BBC America discovery Awards Fantasy cinemax crossover HBO Year in Review Crackle Christmas TBS Drama Syfy period drama dc CMT Musical political drama comiccon cults Extras DirecTV police drama TNT boxoffice 007 Sundance Now Starz Trivia Star Wars Cartoon Network Red Carpet Watching Series Nat Geo IFC Films Lionsgate vampires Infographic Mindy Kaling Martial Arts Grammys docudrama Masterpiece USA binge Mystery hist medical drama The CW zombie El Rey TCA ABC Family what to watch transformers Dark Horse Comics A&E Logo festivals Bravo cops Spike DC Comics Trailer robots Comic Book adventure Creative Arts Emmys technology Opinion biography SDCC Reality Competition Sneak Peek Video Games CNN RT History based on movie VH1 YA TV Spring TV Teen Sci-Fi travel Amazon NBC Britbox Biopics DC Universe ratings Ghostbusters Animation ITV politics SXSW golden globes 20th Century Fox BET Rock History Mary Tyler Moore Hulu Universal Emmys justice league IFC Writers Guild of America Best and Worst FX 2016 GoT harry potter supernatural AMC President First Look MTV Showtime VICE 21st Century Fox crime thriller Disney Paramount TLC psycho crime sports NYCC Election Cosplay TruTV PaleyFest FXX Star Trek Reality talk show Holidays