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

south america Tarantino 24 frames Ovation APB blaxploitation foreign Valentine's Day SundanceTV talk show National Geographic TLC screen actors guild Winners Funimation golden globes 4/20 TCA 2017 Crackle cats animated critics VH1 streaming Superheroes singing competition asian-american Martial Arts rotten movies we love RT21 BBC One mockumentary Vudu best screenings Year in Review Premiere Dates Biopics Paramount stand-up comedy Writers Guild of America Spectrum Originals justice league a nightmare on elm street Mindy Kaling Infographic 007 Adult Swim E! Animation Certified Fresh PBS diversity Star Wars Masterpiece cooking Election Drama 2015 ratings Sundance thriller series PaleyFest zombie comics romantic comedy children's TV dogs Action Hulu tv talk GIFs unscripted Crunchyroll Netflix Christmas movies VICE Star Trek Quiz christmas movies FXX Paramount Network Disney Channel war biography LGBTQ Winter TV cops Photos Pop TV Lifetime dramedy Podcast Teen concert transformers Mary Poppins Returns historical drama Britbox CW Seed cartoon period drama Apple TV Plus Syfy Sundance Now canceled TV shows supernatural medical drama Sony Pictures natural history Amazon Prime Video child's play Red Carpet Cartoon Network Musicals 2017 NYCC crossover Pop Elton John binge reboot 21st Century Fox Spike A&E Western psycho Hallmark Christmas movies Disney Plus Sundance TV WarnerMedia NBC Food Network cancelled television Bravo Horror Tomatazos Amazon werewolf halloween sitcom 2018 Universal cars cinemax Heroines indiana jones Thanksgiving Turner ghosts American Society of Cinematographers award winner FOX BBC Binge Guide Classic Film directors chucky kids comic Tubi Hear Us Out RT History Summer BAFTA quibi Schedule TCM witnail dc Netflix 20th Century Fox Cannes Arrowverse Esquire indie Dark Horse Comics Film The CW Awards Tour comedies Marvel Studios adaptation Avengers dragons Travel Channel ITV Fox News television canceled Pet Sematary Sneak Peek President revenge travel breaking bad Grammys Cosplay Rom-Com hist Awards disaster strong female leads technology dark latino zombies Holiday Warner Bros. movies social media GoT elevated horror facebook CBS All Access 71st Emmy Awards HBO Max DirecTV sequel Fantasy discovery what to watch political drama Stephen King Toys die hard TBS adventure TruTV Mudbound FX on Hulu FX Tumblr Superheroe independent finale films dceu TV renewals DC Comics Set visit Box Office X-Men casting theme song book Shudder parents psychological thriller Opinion Epix Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reviews cancelled Comedy Central stoner Sci-Fi anthology documentaries slashers ABC Nat Geo sag awards ESPN Fall TV The Walking Dead Mary Tyler Moore See It Skip It Nominations TNT Columbia Pictures Women's History Month Endgame Lifetime Christmas movies aliens Calendar Video Games Comic Book San Diego Comic-Con Watching Series Apple movie Emmy Nominations spanish language Peacock batman El Rey 45 Marathons space Walt Disney Pictures cults teaser First Reviews Song of Ice and Fire Comics on TV Trophy Talk 2020 MTV E3 CMT Hallmark IFC Lucasfilm true crime spider-man The Purge Brie Larson Freeform USA Network YouTube Red TV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina franchise sports based on movie Marvel TCA Winter 2020 doctor who jamie lee curtis Reality Competition Kids & Family YA Musical Acorn TV Amazon Studios hispanic mutant politics blockbuster IFC Films Best and Worst HBO anime Black History Month vampires Pixar LGBT Rocky green book crime joker HBO Go Disney streaming service composers free movies Nickelodeon The Witch spinoff DGA cancelled TV series Captain marvel name the review universal monsters SDCC MCU AMC OneApp BET Christmas docudrama Reality USA Mystery Rocketman spy thriller Oscars Chernobyl game show nature ABC Family Trailer Marvel Television news Ellie Kemper TCA Mary poppins DC Universe twilight BBC America Lionsgate richard e. Grant First Look Rock serial killer OWN Disney+ Disney Plus video on demand Shondaland Black Mirror TIFF Baby Yoda Turner Classic Movies police drama versus Interview harry potter romance DC streaming service all-time Starz toy story YouTube Character Guide video SXSW Polls and Games Ghostbusters Family satire MSNBC VOD robots comiccon Amazon Prime Emmys BET Awards Showtime PlayStation TV Land Discovery Channel The Arrangement Television Academy Anna Paquin History science fiction criterion Super Bowl Music CNN game of thrones scary movies WGN crime thriller YouTube Premium Comedy Academy Awards Film Festival 2016 New York Comic Con documentary Extras Pride Month Countdown Logo Disney mission: impossible CBS renewed TV shows miniseries Country A24 Trivia cancelled TV shows festivals boxoffice GLAAD spain zero dark thirty 2019 Pirates Spring TV Holidays Apple TV+ crime drama Creative Arts Emmys