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

68%

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

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