Parent reviews for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Common Sense says

Fans will approve of gripping, violent middle installment.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 207 reviews
Parent Written byEl Paso Counselor November 22, 2013

Better than the first!

It was such a fabulous movie! However, it was violent and disturbing, but then again, that is the point. A mature teenager would benefit if the right conversation is happening at home. An elementary kid has no business watching this film. Conversations about kindness, empathy, and moral values can easily happen regarding this movie. I felt this movie did not have as many disturbing killing scenes but the deaths that happened did tug at your heart. It was less ruthless than the first with more emotions involved.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Educator Written byflower2011 November 23, 2013

Better Than the First But More Language

This movie overall was more intense and suspenseful compared to the first movie. I have read the entire book series and "Catching Fire" is my favorite out of all three books. The language is worse than the first movie. I went in tonight to the theater thinking that there was not a lot of language basing this off Common Sense Media's review. There was one clear use of s***, another kinda cut off, the f-word was bleeped out, h-word, d-word, and TWO uses of son of b****. The b**** word wasn't even mentioned in CM's review so I was shocked when I heard it. Please be aware that it is in there. Then there is a girl who takes off her dress in the elevator and all you see is her back. Other than that, there is no nudity. I didn't see any private parts, or anything like that at all. There seems to be some more violence between the actual game and the rebellions, but nothing too horrific. This movie will keep you on your seats and there are a lot of things you won't see coming.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Parent of a 5, 10, and 11 year old Written byAmry69 January 13, 2014

Wonderful Film

I just saw this movie with my daughter (10). There are some political concepts that were over her head. My biggest fear was the violence. Reviews from this website allowed us to go and enjoy this well written, directed, and produced movie together. With respect to the violence, it is balanced with heaping doses of humanity and empathy. It has a profound impact on the characters when people are injured or killed. For me that is the big difference between this and other movies. We confront death (even when you're 10) but how it's registered is important. As a father of three daughters I find Katniss to be the only worthy fictional female role model I can think of. She has lots of humility, empathy, and humanity. She is also strong, courageous, intelligent, self-sacrificing, and resourceful. The violence is not more than one sees on prime time TV and the quick editing makes it palatable. One character is an alcoholic but this is presented as tragic more than glamorous. Overall thoroughly entertaining series of movies that we will enjoy as we grow.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Parent Written bylauralibby88 December 2, 2013

Catching Fire is Amped up Violence but Great Movie

As an adult I loved this film. It was a great follow-up to the first. I was hesitant bringing along an 11 year old with the parent's permission. That said, I know this kid and knew she loved the first and enjoyed this one too. However, I would say most children 12 and under shouldn't see it. It's like the first, but everything is amped up. The violence and sex are more prominent, as the contestants are all older. There are scenes that would have made me uncomfortable well in to my teens to watch. It's a great movie with a great message and a strong female role model. But there's no harm in waiting for the kids to start watching movies like this when there older.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written bymarierm November 23, 2013

Disturbing and entertaining story of oppression and rebellion

The first time I heard about the concept of The Hunger Games I was horrified at the basic concept, not understanding that the story was on my side. That point becomes much clearer in this second film of the trilogy. Whereas the first film leaves you feeling mostly hopeless, as it was meant to, Catching Fire, with all of its brutality and heartbreak, drags you through and then lifts you up, just enough to forshadow hope for what Mockingjay will bring. The most compelling thing about The Hunger Games are the themes which coexist in the real world today: the duality and contrast of violence against and oppression of the citizens versus the wealth and disgusting excess of the Capitol. As is in our country today, the media tries to distract the citizens from the reality of poverty and inequality of distribution of wealth with celebrity fashion and romantic fairy tales, and as in many nations ruled by dictatorships, uses random brutality against its own citizens to try to instill fear to keep them under control. Although the early violence in this film brings to mind the genocide and torture that happens in middle eastern countries, there is little blood, and for the most part it makes its point and moves on to the horror of the Games. However those earlier violent scenes are otherwise realistic and definitely not for young children. As our protagonist tours the districts, she sees signs that the capital is losing control, and even as they are using her to keep it, she is becoming an unwitting symbol of hope and rebellion for the citizens. Only when President Snow realizes he can't stop the tide does he decide to send her back into The Games, determined to kill her this time by any means necessary. But as the opening ceremony begins, it becomes apparent that the rebellion is also coming from within the Capitol. Jennifer Lawrence shines the most when she is channeling unimaginable anguish and rage, (or fending off Jack Nicholson) and when Katniss realizes she has to go back into the Games while suffering from PTSD, you look at her face and you feel what she feels. The teasers tell us many times that this episode is all about knowing who to trust, which is very much true, but not apparent until the final scenes. The new characters are charming and mysterious. The new Head Gamemaker is immediately introduced as a possible ally; Philip Seymour Hoffman's quiet and focused demeanor could go either way, as is the case with former games winner Finnick, with Sam Claflin's sly smile impossible good looks, and gregarious personality. Woody Harrelson's alcoholic Haymitch is toned down and much less pathetic this time around, and Jenna Malone's Johanna provides spunky dark humor. Despite these questions, with this second installment the most important thing really is to "Remember who the real enemy is". And it's done; I'm officially a 45 year old fangirl.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 5, 7, and 18+ year old Written byMaureen62667 December 1, 2013

Not for young children

This movie is awesome for adults. it may be suitable for mature 12 year olds and 13 and up children, especially if followed by meaningful conversations with a parent. The movie is grim, contains violence, and a theme involving oppression along with children forced to kill other children in order to survive. I was shocked to see children ages 2-10 at this movie with their parents. Please do not take you young children to this movie.
Parent Written byQuagmire Bling November 28, 2013

No, no, no!!

This movie is a nightmare for kids seeing it. Very disturbing to say the least. The whole idea gives me flashbacks of genocide and other war crime children need not be afraid of even as an adult I can't see the "message" or attraction. It's like Survivor mixed with America Idol but with a kill or be killed message. Also there is pointless killing etc Any romance is the least of a parents worries with this film.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Parent of a 9, 9, and 13 year old Written bytbs115 November 28, 2013

Great interpretation of the book

This movie was a fantastic interpretation of the book. I really had some great discussions with my children. You need to know your child before seeing this movie - it is violent, but really does not show the gore. I took my 9 year old because she has read the books and we have had many discussions about the violence and overall themes.
Educator and Parent Written byballet warrior 20 March 27, 2014

Good role models and thought provoking

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Parent of an infant, 7, 11, and 13 year old Written byTheMovieAdult January 22, 2014

Catching Fire Is Good, But For 16 & Up

I took my two older kids to see this. It was not for them at all! Violence, Stabbing, And Oh The Language, Oh The Language! And The Kissing, And The Scary Tributes, Especially The One With Pointed Teeth! And Scary Parts That Make You Jump. 16 & Up

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Parent Written byMommyEsq November 23, 2013

A bit violent but positive message.

I took my 9 year old son. He watched the first one at home with me after he read the book. He is an advanced reader and has read all of the Harry Potter books, which also get pretty dark IMO. While I think it is generally better for 11 and up, he was okay with the movie. I enjoyed it quite a bit, I also read all of the books

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Adult Written byTwinsThatReview November 21, 2014

Superb adaptation

The best hunger games film yet, suspenseful, beautiful, all in all epic!

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written bychristian2011 November 25, 2013

The astonishing sequel to the first. A must see for any Hunger Games fan.

Catching Fire has really remained correspondent to the first installment, where all the main characters from the first, especially Katniss and Peta, kept their genuine chemistry; and there were a few surprising twists and turns among the other characters. There's a few flashbacks from the 1st movie (SPOILER) where Katniss and Peta decided to deliberately commit double suicide with poisonous berries instead of a one-person victory - this one incident really compromised the way the battle system works and the main antagonists come up with highly elaborate schemes in efforts and methods to destroy them both physically and psychologically. The whole movie was very poignant and emotional - just like the 1st, and of course the acting, special effects, and settings were captivating and mesmerizing. I highly recommend it to anyone who has seen the 1st - added with a few exciting twists as well. In several occasions, the violence can be surprisingly graphic and shocking, some disturbing images, and infrequent strong language can be heard from some characters. Also, some scenes of sensuality and partial nudity is seen. Best for older teens. (15+)

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Parent of a 8, 10, 12, and 14 year old Written byCloneslad November 23, 2013

Catching Fire, cathes fire.

This is a terrific film. Brought my 10 year old and 12 year old boy and girl respectively. The fourteen year old didn't want to go and the eight year old is too young for it. Tense "creepy" edge of seat stuff. Excellent, A rarity, up there with the book. Donald Sutherland is superb.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Language
Educator Written bycd648111 April 21, 2014

Catching Fire: A Review

If you’re one a person that can find great joy in watching your favorite book turned into a box office thriller, look no further than Catching Fire. If you are a skeptical fan of the book series, you will not be disappointed by lack of authenticity in relation to the novel. This movie will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time whether you have read the book or not. This is a rare movie due to the fact that it greatly captures what I visualized when I read the book myself. It is a must see.

This title contains:

Positive messages
Adult Written byRichardO 1 December 29, 2014

What I would rate catching fire

I would personally rate this movie as pg 14 - 15. I think this because I watched it on vidangel ( a way to watch movies where you can cut out the swears and inn appropriate scenes) and I still thought it had violence and implied female nudity. I did not watch it without vidangel . It is not bad enough to be rated r but because of the violence sex and swear (which includes the f word once) I would rate it pg 14 - 15. It does also have some drinking .

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byabbacus December 3, 2013

Wow, Wow, Wow!!!!!!

Fantastic movie! Changing directors was an excellent choice. Beautiful cinematography. Less Hunger Games "shakey cam" style. The acting was impeccable. The pacing was great although it could have been a longer movie and still wouldn't have felt too long. It was literally exactly how I imagined it when reading. Definitely have to see it again. Two thumbs way up!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Parent Written byImjustsaying December 28, 2013

Better then the first, twist at end, not as violent as first.

Ok, better then the first but I still don't like Hunger Games. My family makes me go so I go. I love Jennifer Lawrence. This movie was better to me then the first one. Had a better plot IMO and not much gore/killing. Twist at the end so I do want to see what #3 Hunger Games will be. Good for age 10 and up. Younger will be bored....bring a iPhone so they can watch videos/netflix during the movie with ear plugs and a coat over their head (I do this with my youngest)

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking
Written byAnonymous August 27, 2014

This title contains:

Positive messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byophiesay November 24, 2013

Intense, dark and violent for young tweens.

If your child has been exposed to violent movies in the past (via older siblings), then this movie will be fine. However, this movie is very dark and very violent (some scenes show very cruel killings of innocent people). Even if the child has read this book, the movies visuals can be jarring. We went with 8 tweens (11-12) (all who have read the book) and half of the girls felt it was too violent for them and wanted to leave. Also, be warned that because this is a PG-13 rating, the previews can be very sexually "inappropriate" for young children (specifically, Endless Love trailer)

This title contains:

Violence & scariness

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