Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Is Short On Action but Well Acted

Plus, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is atmospheric and original, and The Missing's first season is Certified Fresh.

by | November 20, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got just one wide release: the hotly-anticipated The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. What do the critics have to say?


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

69%

Sure, it makes business sense to stretch the Hunger Games series as far as it can go — but does it make artistic sense? Critics say the answer is a tentative yes; while The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is decidedly short on action, its exceptional cast and intriguing ideas still make for compelling viewing. War is brewing throughout the land, and the skill and compassion that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has displayed in the Hunger Games has made her a folk hero for the rebellion. But while Katniss is uncomfortable in her new role as a symbol, she teams with a band of rebels in order to ensure her family’s safety and rescue her old partner Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from the Capital. The pundits say The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 provides a deeper look into the trials and tribulations of District 13, even if it sometimes feels like an extended cliffhanger for the final chapter. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Lawrence’s best-reviewed films, as well as our video interviews with the stars.)

New on TV:


The pundits say The Missing (Certified Fresh at 96 percent) turns a common premise into a standout thriller, thanks to heartfelt, affecting performances.


Critics say State of Affairs (22 percent) benefits from Alfre Woodard’s talent, but this overly serious show is dragged down by Katherine Heigl’s unsympathetic character and a surfeit of unintentional laughs.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The King and the Mockingbird, a long-gestating animated fable about a despotic ruler in love with a shepherdess, is at 100 percent.
  • The Mule, starring Hugo Weaving in a black comedy about a suspected drug mule who struggles to keep from turning over his stash to the authorities, is at 94 percent.
  • Bad Hair, a drama about a nine-year-old Venezuelan boy whose mother objects to his attempts to straighten his curly locks, is at 93 percent.
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, an atmospheric horror film about a skateboarding vampire and her tentative love affair with a blue-collar boy, is at 91 percent.
  • Happy Valley, a documentary about the Penn State community and its response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, is at 84 percent.
  • Pulp: a Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets, a rock doc about the Britpop legends’ 2012 farewell show, is at 82 percent.
  • Little Hope Was Arson, a documentary about a spate of church burnings in rural Texas, is at 80 percent.
  • Late Phases, a horror movie about a werewolf that terrorizes a retirement community, is at 63 percent.
  • The Sleepwalker, a thriller about a simmering family resentments that come to light when a young woman is contacted by her estranged sister, is at 57 percent.
  • V/H/S: Viral, the third in the series of found-footage horror anthology films, is at 46 percent.
  • Extraterrestrial, a horror film about a group of teenagers on vacation at a secluded cabin when they come face-to-face with an alien invasion, is at 38 percent.
  • Reach Me, starring Kyra Sedgwick and Sylvester Stallone in a drama about a mysterious author who inspires a cult following, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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