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Hunger Games, The (12A)

Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.

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The critical consensus

The Hunger Games is an essential science fiction film for our times; perhaps the essential science fiction film of our times. Whatever your age, it demands to be devoured.

*****Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 16/03/2012

As thrilling and smart as it is terrifying. There have been a number of big-gun literary series brought to screen over the past decade. This slays them all.

****(*)Olly Richards, Empire Online, 16/03/2012

The Hunger Games is that rarest of beasts: a Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty.

****(*)Xan Brooks, The Guardian, 16/03/2012

A faithful adap, a grown-up teen movie and flaming good entertainment. The big test for the franchise lies ahead with the uneven second and third books. But on this showing, the odds are in its favour.

****(*)Matthew Leyland, Total Film, 16/03/2012

Fatally emasculated by the need to appease young fans. The premise alone carries it so far, but cinematically speaking, it’s a non-event.

**(*)(*)(*)Matt Bochenski, Little White Lies, 20/03/2012

Deft direction and the superior cast mean that The Hunger Games largely transcends its teen-fiction origins to prove itself more than a money spinner. The odds are certainly in its favour.

****(*)Emma Simmonds, The List, 21/03/2012

Sharp, engrossing, thrill-a-minute.

****(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 22/03/2012

The whole thing is like TV’s Big Brother projected into the future by a demented Classics student: so terrible it might, with antiquity, become a camp masterpiece.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 22/03/2012

As a comment on the public’s appetite for reality TV the story has nothing significant to say while there are precious few insights into human behaviour thanks to the underwritten characters, especially Katniss’ fellow contestants. Lord Of The Flies it ‘aint.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 22/03/2012

The Hunger Games is a very enjoyable futurist adventure, presented with a compelling, beady-eyed intensity.

****(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 22/03/2012

As it meanders towards its inevitable sequel set-up, The Hunger Games leaves you wanting more – just not in the way that it should.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 22/03/2012

The Hunger Games is playing variations on the Twilight formula of a lovers' triangle-with-violence, plus a lot of daft art design. And the irony of its finger-wagging remains.

**(*)(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 23/03/2012

Surprisingly good, gory fun.

David Edwards, Daily Record, 23/03/2012

First blockbuster of 2012.

****(*)Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 22/03/2012

It's far too long and much inferior to the ferocious Japanese Battle Royale. Younger audiences may well be intrigued, but I'd be surprised if it proves as popular as the Twilight series, which is more openly necrophilic in a romantic "swoon to death" way.

Philip French, The Observer, 25/03/2012

It's The Running Man for Justin Bieber fans.

The Independent, 25/03/2012

The film just leaves non-readers wondering why a fleeting character is given her own anthem. The film’s 12A certificate also means the kills are quick, disorientating and allusive, so the end result is, in every sense, bloodless.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 25/03/2012

Features about Hunger Games, The (12A)

The Hunger Games: The new teen franchise with Twilight in its sights

Adam Sherwin, The Independent, 04/02/2012

Is The Hunger Games the new Twilight?

David Gritten, The Telegraph, 10/02/2012

Jennifer Lawrence: 'The Hunger Games could happen'

Nisha Lilia Diu, The Telegraph, 04/03/2012

The Hunger Games: A mums' and dads' guide

Genevieve Roberts, Kate Youde, The Independent, 11/03/2012

The Hunger Games takes seven-second cut to get 12A rating

Ben Child, The Guardian, 14/03/2012

The Hunger Games: will Hollywood's teen film break box office records?

Anita Singh, The Telegraph, 14/03/2012

The Hunger Games and the teenage craze for dystopian fiction.

Amanda Craig, The Telegraph, 14/03/2012

The Hunger Games violence is 'justified' says star.

The Telegraph, 16/03/2012

The Hunger Games: Jennifer Lawrence on Katniss, a "futuristic Joan of Arc"

Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian, 17/03/2012

Suzanne Collins: the queen of teen fiction for tomboys

Geraldine Brennan, The Guardian, 18/03/2012

The Hunger Games: in pictures

The Telegraph, 22/03/2012

The Hunger Games: Who is author Suzanne Collins?

The Telegraph, 23/03/2012

The Hunger Games: violence children should see

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 29/03/2012

Hunger Games town up for sale

Ben Child, The Guardian, 05/04/2012

Hunger Games, The (12A)

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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