Hunger Games: On Target, but No Bullseye

But audiences are devouring movie version of hit novel
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2012 8:19 AM CDT
Star of "The Hunger Games," Jennifer Lawrence attends a book signing at Barnes & Noble in New York, Tuesday, March 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
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(Newser) – Audiences are starving for the movie adaptation of Hunger Games, giving the film an enthusiastic 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But what do critics think of the story of Katniss Everdeen and the deadly, post-apocalyptic battle royale? They mostly like it, just not as much as the plebs—top critics at Rotten Tomatoes rate Hunger Games 81% fresh.

  • It's "light years ahead of Twilight," raves Joe Neumaier at the New York Daily News, calling the film "exciting and thought-provoking in a way few adventure dramas ever are. It’s also a far more serious movie than the marketing, and mainstream mania, have led us to believe."

  • "Katniss is a new female warrior, and she keeps you watching even while you’re hoping for something better the next time around," writes a less glowing Manohla Dargis at the New York Times, who notes that the novels' fans may be sad to find some of the book's cynicism missing.
  • "A feast of cheesy spectacle and a famine of genuine feeling," grouses Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal, though even Morgenstern has high praise for actress Jennifer Lawrence, calling her "the perfect choice for the role."
  • "We have a winner," writes Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. "The screen Hunger Games radiates a hot, jumpy energy that's irresistible. It has epic spectacle, yearning romance, suspense that won't quit and a shining star in Jennifer Lawrence, who gives us a female warrior worth cheering."
Of course, Dana Stevens of Slate puts it quite simply: "Just go see it."

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