Movie Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

So, every blogger in the universe is probably reviewing (or has already reviewed) The Hunger Games movie. I’ll keep it short here.

I’ve only read the first book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, so my “bigger picture” of the narrative is fairly limited. I did enjoy the book (but found it a bit violent, just like her Gregor the Overlander books) and I enjoyed the movie, too. I took my 11 year old son with me to the packed theater on the Sunday afternoon matinee. He is an avid reader, but admitted that he could not get “into” the book, The Hunger Games.

“I am only one of four kids in our whole class who hasn’t read it,” he admitted.

The movie is pretty faithful to the book, as I recall it. It was not like The LIghtning Thief, where we walked out of the theater shaking our heads at the changes that had been made and wondering, why in the world would they do that? I think the casting in The Hunger Games was nicely done. I did feel an emotional connection with Katniss, and my son and I were both shattered to watch Rue die. We both jumped out of our seats when those genetic dogs jumped out of the dark, too, even though we knew it was coming. The two hours and 20 minutes did not seem like a lifetime in our seats. We were hooked right from the start.

The one thing I miss from the book was getting inside the head of Katniss, as she gets conflicted feelings about the two boys: the one she left behind and the one she needs to survive. I also missed her simmering anger at the Games itself, and how she refuses to be a pawn, even though — in the end — she is. For me, those elements of Katniss are what made the book special. Those inner dialogue and inner conflicts are hard to translate into the big screen, I know. But it gave a certain flatness to Katniss in the movie.

Overall, though, The Hunger Games movie is a hearty thumbs up — from one who has read the book (me) and one who hasn’t (my son). I wonder if seeing the movie might get him interested again …

Peace (in the games),


  1. My feelings pretty much mirrored yours. I always miss the richness of books when they become movies. It was too bad they had to cut a couple of the subplots.

  2. I agree with the blog post, I also agree with part of the statement at the bottom. Where it says that you give The Hunger Games a hearty thumbs up.
    The Hunger Games is a very good movie, to me.

  3. I pretty much agree with what you said about the movie. It was well done, but unfortunate that they had to cut out some of the details, but for the most part it was true to the book. One thing that was interesting was that there were some details though that they cut out that are important in the next book, so it will be interesting to see how they deal with that when the next movie comes out. I wonder if they will just skip those parts, or make things up.
    Check out my blog at Before The Hunger Games came out as a movie, I reviewed the book.

  4. I agree with you. Another thing that I didn’t like about the movie was that some of the special affects were not well done, and they didn’t really get into Gale’s character. Other than that, I enjoyed the movie, and liked how they showed the Gamemaker’s headquarters.

  5. I agree that the hunger games is a very good movie. My favorite part is when the dog pops out of the bush because it was startling but I knew it was going to happen, that’s what I like about movies.

  6. I watched the movie on Saturday, and I have the same thoughts as you. I think the casting was good and I wish You could hear what Katniss was thinking. Maybe they could’ve done a voice over like they do in some movies. I really like how it showed how they make the the actual Games. I don’t think they did a good job with Haymitch. The first day he seemed drunk, but then the next day he seemed sober, fresh, and ready to be their mentor. I also didn’t like how they showed Peeta giving her the bread. If I hadn’t read the book, I probably would’ve been confused. Same thing with her dad’s death. Over all, it was a good movie.

  7. Kevin, I just finished working on my blog for tomorrow on this very subject. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the book left me uneasy. What is the appeal? It’s interesting to me that your son did not get into it. My 11 year old girl students totally did. Is it a gender thing? I have more questions than answers about this phenomenon.

  8. My college junior daughter introduced me to the Hunger Games over the winter break, I spent 3 days of our Cancun vacation devouring the series. We discussed the option of introducing the book to my students, and decided that my eighth graders would be enthralled and we were right. I went to the midnight showing with my daughter who was home on spring break, and then took my students who completed their book blog to the film last Thursday before our break. The Friday morning debate between book and film was worth the cost of the 14 movie tickets. We agree with your assessment that Katniss was somewhat under developed, and the way they changed how she got the Mockingjay pin made us all crazy, but we loved the movie. I love the fact that 3 of my kids are buying book 2 because they don’t want to wait for my one hard copy to be passed from one to the next.

    • Our librarian was going to organize an out-of-school trip to the movie but she got unsettled by the violence, so she has left it up to families. I love how your rich discussion evolved from the movie experience, though.

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