First off this review is based solely on the movie; I've never read the book, so I can't say what was changed or what was left out.
Set in the future, The Hunger Games is a television show that pits 24 children, one male and one female from each of the 12 districts, age 12-18, against each other in a fight to the death.
After having her sister selected to participate in the games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, Mystique of X-Men: First Class) volunteers to take her place in the latest game.
This is one of the better movies we've seen in awhile. The story was great, and very powerful. Going in you have to remember that this is a story about kids fighting for their lives and their district, this is not a movie for the weak of heart. However from what we can gather from many is that the books are much more graphic, but they usually are.
The acting was spot on for each character. Each actor / actress had their roles down, and they worked smoothly off of each other, no underlying difficulties that you often see when actors / actresses aren't used to working in the specific genre or style.
Even though the story was a serious and powerful one, there was a fair amount of humor throughout the entire film. The best part is it didn't feel forced either, it was placed smoothly into the dialog and not just something that comes out of the blue or is nonsensical.
The only problem with the movie is that it had a shaky camera in places that were unnecessary. Now we understand the shaky camera while the kids are running through the woods and all that, but there is no need whatsoever for it to be shaking while Katniss is sitting at home just talking with her sister. It was almost nauseating.
The Hunger Games is directed by Gary Ross, rated PG-13, and has a run time of 142 minutes.
We give it 4 out of 5 stars.