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

89%

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

40%

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

Polls and Games Marathons romance thriller Elton John MTV based on movie Warner Bros. Winter TV true crime Box Office Logo Adult Swim Stephen King cooking LGBTQ Character Guide Starz Martial Arts Schedule Amazon Prime Cartoon Network TLC Esquire serial killer Podcast spinoff Fantasy comic Marvel toy story AMC GoT Fox News Trivia zombies DC Universe 2015 New York Comic Con miniseries political drama ratings disaster TV Land Premiere Dates teaser award winner Fall TV natural history Certified Fresh medical drama game show Paramount Rocky SDCC blaxploitation Horror USA Video Games Kids & Family YA boxoffice TIFF green book X-Men Hulu TruTV transformers Pirates Sony Pictures Rom-Com Shudder Reality Competition Star Trek Vudu E! Mary Tyler Moore Disney Channel Ellie Kemper Cannes USA Network Anna Paquin Freeform police drama docudrama finale GLAAD animated CNN dc biography Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt adventure Oscars Heroines Masterpiece TV El Rey Rock Crackle Western Pride Month TBS CMT Animation Watching Series HBO Ghostbusters Amazon Dark Horse Comics crime 45 richard e. Grant Disney 2019 OWN hist nature PaleyFest Superheroe Apple Lionsgate ABC Family space war mockumentary Bravo cops doctor who Awards Tour IFC Films Valentine's Day anime Star Wars zombie BBC PBS science fiction NBC APB zero dark thirty Nominations Trophy Talk Interview spy thriller Walt Disney Pictures Infographic Britbox politics ITV Teen Mary poppins BBC America cinemax casting MCU Spectrum Originals Country elevated horror President Superheroes vampires 24 frames Biopics Ovation Song of Ice and Fire justice league Christmas composers adaptation 2016 Comics on TV BET IFC psycho supernatural ESPN streaming strong female leads talk show See It Skip It Mary Poppins Returns FX harry potter Music DC Comics Musicals diversity Food Network dragons Nat Geo social media Shondaland Women's History Month FXX Brie Larson Super Bowl Chernobyl First Look jamie lee curtis The Witch RT History Mudbound Summer travel Quiz Mindy Kaling DC streaming service period drama Best and Worst Countdown TNT FOX NYCC Comedy Central YouTube Premium Pixar VH1 Showtime Photos Trailer Mystery crime thriller E3 Musical Toys television WGN American Society of Cinematographers Universal Extras SundanceTV GIFs Grammys discovery Black Mirror Epix theme song Rocketman Syfy DGA dceu Tomatazos historical drama crossover Election Captain marvel San Diego Comic-Con A&E facebook Acorn TV CBS All Access anthology spider-man TCA 2017 2017 2018 cats Spike what to watch RT21 mutant Creative Arts Emmys Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Winners DirecTV Nickelodeon Opinion unscripted Comic Book TCA YouTube Red Columbia Pictures psychological thriller The CW Cosplay 20th Century Fox Netflix Action Year in Review Lifetime sitcom golden globes Comedy Thanksgiving Holidays sports Emmys Sundance Now LGBT Calendar Writers Guild of America Lucasfilm Pet Sematary singing competition Film Festival 21st Century Fox festivals Pop comiccon Sci-Fi crime drama National Geographic sequel Tarantino ABC Spring TV Paramount Network VICE TCM CW Seed 007 witnail History aliens cults The Arrangement binge SXSW MSNBC Tumblr dramedy robots Red Carpet Awards Drama Reality Set visit Sundance CBS technology Sneak Peek