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Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The (12A)

Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The (12A)

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

The critical consensus

Whatever the flaws, many from the books, this second grittier, more confident round of Hunger Games thrills us into submission.

****(*)Ian Nathan, Empire Online, 11/11/2013

It is heartening to find a teen-oriented movie franchise as gritty as The Hunger Games. Even so, Catching Fire remains contradictory, caught in some nether world between nightmarish political allegory and adolescent escapism.

***(*)(*)Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 12/11/2013

It’s a meaty set-up, and while the film takes its time exploring the characters, its themes and action sequences are more forcefully realised than they were first time round, suggesting that this series may soon be the one against which all other franchises will be judged.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 12/11/2013

Proving once again why Jennifer Lawrence deserves her Oscar, Catching Fire delivers on all the promise of Part 1 with a gutsier, tougher, better round of Games. The odds are forever in Mockingjay’s favour…

****(*)Paul Bradshaw, Total Film, 12/11/2013

You can feel the franchise dynamic chugging beneath, with the result that Catching Fire is not quite a full course, more of an amuse bouche, making its mammoth audience hungry for future, meatier instalments.

***(*)(*)Paul MacInnes, The Guardian, 12/11/2013

Jennifer Lawrence's stubborn streak sparks Catching Fire into life

Ben Child, The Guardian, 14/11/2013

Consistently exciting and superbly performed, with a credible screenplay.

****(*)Emma Simmonds, The List, 15/11/2013

What’s disappointing is that the film doesn’t so much end, as cut off at a cliffhanger. Professionally, I’d condemn this as terribly clumsy filmmaking – but really, I just want to see the Games continue.

****(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 17/11/2013

It’s difficult to see evidence of the $140m budget in what is essentially a retread of the first film, with equally dull set-pieces and boring pseudo-characters orbiting Lawrence’s taciturn and tough Katniss.

**(*)(*)(*)Chris Fyvie, The Skinny, 21/11/2013

Who needs superpowers when you have this much talent? Expect box office dynamite.

****(*)Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 20/11/2013

What's surprising is how tasty the franchise still is.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 21/11/2013

Teenage girls, who will see this in droves, will be completely enraptured. Others might be amused and intrigued but secretly long instead for those cheap, fast, satirical movies about horrifically corporate-controlled futures and violent sports such as Rollerball, Battle Royale and Death Race 2000.

***(*)(*)Antonia Quirke, Financial Times, 21/11/2013

Whether shooting arrows or intervening to stop a friend from being horsewhipped, [Lawrence] plays Katniss with such ferocious conviction that we never question for a moment how far-fetched the premise here actually is.

***(*)(*)The Independent, 21/11/2013

I’s good enough to fulfill the promise of the title. With Catching Fire the Hunger Games saga really catches fire.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 23/11/2013

Despite the strong premise, the dramatically unwieldy structure means nothing ignites.

Sophie Monks Kaufman, Little White Lies, 21/11/2013

Like Katniss, Lawrence has become bigger than the Games themselves, something that makes her very powerful, very dangerous and rather inspirational. That in itself is a victory worth cheering.

****(*)Mark Kermode, The Observer, 24/11/2013

Features about Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The (12A)

Francis Lawrence on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 18/11/2013

Why The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen is a role model for our times

Suzanne Moore, The Guardian, 27/11/2013

Why the Hunger Games proles have it better than they know

nicholas Barber, The Guardian, 29/11/2013

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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