With the first film in the Hunger Games franchise hitting theaters this Friday, we felt it important to take a look at some of the incredible film reviews pouring in from all around the web! So far, with over fifty reviews tallied, Rotten Tomatoes is giving the film an astonishing 92% — a category coveted by film studios and fans alike, as it isn’t often achieved. For perspective, the final Harry Potter film also achieved a 90%+ score, and that adaptation went over incredibly well with the notoriously hardcore and hard-to-please Harry Potter fans.
Praise is coming from all walks of life, including some of the world’s most famous movie critics to passionate fans of the book series. We rounded up highlights from various published reviews of the film (thanks to Rotten Tomatoes) which offer a great glimpse at what both fans and non-fans can expect from the movie. Don’t worry — we’ve left out the spoilers:
The king of critics, Roger Ebert: “The Hunger Games is an effective entertainment, and Jennifer Lawrence is strong and convincing in the central role.”
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune: “The games have begun, and so far they’re pretty gripping.”
Removing any question about Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss, Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says: “Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar as a backwoods girl in the independent film “Winter’s Bone,” and she gives this character a similar feral quality. This is a movie about killing.”
Good news for fans looking forward to the next three films in the series from Jim Slotek of Jam! Movies: “The movie is undeniably a rich fantasy adventure, with plenty of narrative wiggle-room for the two books/movies to follow.”
It seems as though the adaptation won’t hold back in terms of brutality, says Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly: “This Hunger Games is a muscular, honorable, unflinching translation of Collins’ vision. It’s brutal where it needs to be, particularly when children fight and bleed.”
Richard Larson of Slant Magazine remarks on the perspective change from book to film: “Ross offers something in his film adaptation of the novel that Collins, writing with Katniss’s voice, never could: the experience of watching the Hunger Games, rather than being a contestant in them.”
Jeremy Baril of Hypable heaped praise on the adaptation, saying: “With a refreshing approach to pop cinema, director Gary Ross has created a harrowing and ultimately satisfying take on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, with wonderful performances and challenging themes and execution that overpower any issues to deliver a fine piece of cinema.”
We’re thrilled to see such positive reviews for one of the most anticipated book-to-film adaptations since Harry Potter. As mentioned above, book fans are a fickle group to please, and seeing early reviews with such resoundingly positively messages is a great sign for readers who have yet to see the film. However, perhaps more importantly, it appears as though the film will break through to that coveted audience: movie-goers who have yet to read the series. This could have an important and meaningful impact on the book series, propelling the books even further than they are today… and perhaps landing them near Harry Potter himself.
Time will tell! Lytherus will have its own review published on Friday, just in time for the film’s release. In the mean time, feast your eyes on the latest Hunger Games movie trailer: