Even when two people are just talking calmly, Ross jerks the camera around. Why? As the sense of danger increases, he has nothing to build toward.
-David DenbyFull Review
Gary Ross, who directed Seabiscuit, manages to get this nag out of the starting gate and across the finish line with no major blunders, but without much in the way of inspiration, either.
-Roger MooreFull Review
Ross manages to keep the pacing remarkably swift, given that the games themselves don't start until halfway through the 144-minute running time.
-Peter RainerFull Review
Like the select participants of its savage sport, The Hunger Games stands triumphant, if scarred and a bit wobbly from the contest.
-Scott BowlesFull Review
It features a functioning creative imagination and lots of honest-to-goodness acting by its star, Jennifer Lawrence, who brings her usual toughness and emotional transparency to the archer-heroine Katniss.
-Amy BiancolliFull Review
Watching The Hunger Games, I was struck both by how slickly Ross hit his marks and how many opportunities he was missing to take the film to the next level -- to make it more shocking, lyrical, crazy, daring.
-David EdelsteinFull Review
The Hunger Games' pacing is brisk, its stakes as high as stakes get, and its leading lady engaging enough that the odds - at the box office at least - will be ever in its favor.
-Bob MondelloFull Review
Measured against its downright subversive subtext, you have to come away impressed by the level of achievement.
-Laremy LegelFull Review
The first book of Suzanne Collins's prodigiously popular trilogy has been brought to the screen with a Jumbotron sensibility, a shaky camera to emphasize the action and a shakier grip on the subject's emotional core.
-Joe MorgensternFull Review
Well-paced, well-directed and extremely well acted entertainment.
-Richard RoeperFull Review
Director Gary Ross' adaptation, co-scripted by Collins herself, isn't quite as crackingly paced as the novel, but it will more than satisfy existing fans of the trilogy and likely create many new ones.
-Dana StevensFull Review
Viewers who like a side order of political allegory with their science fiction will find much to savor here. So will romantics, fans of feminist heroines and action enthusiasts. "The Hunger Games" is that rare creation, an event movie of real significance.
-Colin CovertFull Review
Director Gary Ross generally avoids the elaborate exterior shots and special effects that dominate high-concept blockbusters.
-Ben SachsFull Review
Again and again Katniss rescues herself with resourcefulness, guts and true aim, a combination that makes her insistently watchable, despite Mr. Ross's soft touch and Ms. Lawrence's bland performance.
-Manohla DargisFull Review
Ross moves between action and human drama with nimble awareness of the weight of the issues coursing through the story of fascism, propaganda, and, yes, adolescence under the weight of the world.
-Lisa KennedyFull Review
[It] smells very much like a movie with money on its mind - not altogether successfully balancing its loftier ideas with a sense of superficial whimsy and Vegas-meets-Wizard of Oz production design.
-Steven ReaFull Review
It carefully walks a difficult line: How do you tell an essentially violent story without glorifying that violence?
-Moira MacDonaldFull Review
Efficient if not electric, "The Hunger Games" is still epic in intent.
-Tom LongFull Review
If, as the ads suggest, the whole world will be watching this, viewers will likely be satisfied with what they see.
-Kenneth TuranFull Review
Like the book, "The Hunger Games'' doesn't end so much as open the door to the next installment; it's frustrating, but you'll probably feel you've gotten your money's worth.
-Ty BurrFull Review
Can The Hunger Games, in the movie version directed by Gary Ross, successfully navigate the crossing from page to screen? Our answer: Eh.
-Richard CorlissFull Review
If the series's legions of fans miss a detail here or a sub-plot there, they'll still recognize its bones and sinew, especially in Jennifer Lawrence's eagle-eyed heroine Katniss Everdeen.
-Ann HornadayFull Review
This futuristic tale of teenage violence is so not my kind of movie that I approached it grudgingly, so imagine my surprise when I ended up being totally exhilarated and enjoying it immensely.
-Rex ReedFull Review
The Hunger Games has epic spectacle, yearning romance, suspense that won't quit and a shining star in Jennifer Lawrence.
-Peter TraversFull Review
"The Hunger Games" may be derivative, but it is engrossing and at times exciting.
-Kyle SmithFull Review
"The Hunger Games" never really holds together or makes any sense, except as an elementary fairy tale about a young girl's coming of age and an incipient romantic triangle (which is the focus of the film, far more than the book).
-Andrew O'HehirFull Review
It's a promising pilot for a franchise with potential to be something more than mere entertainment.
-Rafer GuzmanFull Review
ADD auds won't mind that there's no time to get to know anybody, or watch a relationship unfold, or ride the dramatic rise and swell of a compelling narrative.
-Kathleen MurphyFull Review