All member reviews for The Hunger Games

Common Sense Media says

Intense adaptation is violent, thought-provoking for teens.

Users say

(out of 993 reviews)
age 12+
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Parent Written byhardtruth March 23, 2012

Now That's Entertaining!???

I just left a midnight showing where hundreds of teens packed into multiple theaters to watch the movie version of the now popular book they were assigned to read in junior high English. The anticipation was tangible as they waited to see how faithful the book was going to be to the movie, and if Katniss and Peeta were all they had imagined them to be. What they saw was hard core dehumanization. The fact that we find teens killing each other in big-screen gladiatorial combat entertaining marks a new societal low. This is more than a movie, it is a desensitizing and trivializing of life and death as a form of twisted broadcast amusement. Best summarized from a line in the film, "just think of them as the other animals you hunt". Our kids deserve better role models and higher quality food for thought.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byDecaturmom123 March 23, 2012

Appalling... maybe. Important... yes.

I don't really understand why some think that his movie glorifies teens killing teens. I think quite the opposite is true. Is there violence?... yes. Is it a movie that is just too scary for young children?... yes. Are the themes too complex for most young children?.... yes. That being said, this movie does anything but glorify teens killing teens. Indeed, the heroes of the movie actually risk their own lives to save others that they should be trying to kill. I'd recommend that anyone who is appalled by this movie read all three Hunger Games books so you can see the bigger picture and fully understand the larger themes. It may change your mind. The Hunger Games books provide an important commentary on just how far our obsession with reality TV can go and just how far a government with too much power can go. Reality TV today showcases and even glorifies bad decisions and suffering. It's about time that someone showed teens how dehumanizing Reality TV could be..... taken to it's extreme. A movie or book series that can get that message across to adolescents without being preachy (preaching never works with teens) gets an A in my book.
Teen, 16 years old Written byRustyGirl March 22, 2012

Not quite as violent as the book

Incredibly, The Hunger Games movies has stayed extremely close to the book, with only a few minor changes, and several larger ones that, while it didn't quite happen that way in the book, it's about as close as they could get without making a 5-hour movie. The violence is toned down somewhat. Most of the deaths were slightly off-camera, though in many cases you can still see the blood fly. Deaths that were somewhat gruesome in the books are still the nastiest, but you don't see too much of what's going on, or what happened. One scene involving a certain type of bug/muttation may scare kids. A death on the first night that could have been somewhat disturbing for younger kids was avoided in the movie (Careers show up, cuts back to Katniss' face, a scream is heard. You find out what happens second-hand from Glimmer as the Career Pack run past). Gamemakers talk about killing off Tributes, even joking about it. The end of the Games is nowhere near as gruesome as the book, and is shorter. There are several "shock" moments that had my friend, also sixteen, jump a good three inches. After the first one, she looked at the projector rather than the screen because we knew an even bigger "shock" moment was coming up. Haymitch, the District 12 mentor, starts off the movie very drunk. As the movie goes on, he sobers up and starts doing everything he can to actually help Peeta and Katniss. For sexual content, there's hardly anything worth noting - just a couple of kisses between Katniss and Peeta. Overall, the movie was really good. The use of a hand-held camera in many places gave you the feeling of actually being there. I actually got lost watching it, which doesn't happen often. In the end, it depends on your kid. If they were okay reading the books, they they'll likely be all right watching the movie - though be wary, seeing it play out on screen could make it seem more "real."
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byEat your veggies March 24, 2012

Be a conscientious consumer and embrace the powerful female protagonist

Do folks remember Lord of the Flies? It was required reading in Middle School for decades. Similarly, Hunger Games walks a delicate line between glorifying violence and demonstrating how vile those who embrace it are. Its themes include the developmental history of violent behavior, the potential risk to individuals and society of glorifying violence, the power of alliances and community to create change, the power of a love story and underdog to attract attention, the challenges of disparities between the haves and the have-nots, and more! Thoughtful parents and children have the opportunity to explore and discuss why we are both attracted to and repulsed by these themes. Don't burn books or movies. Be a conscientious consumer! Having read and discussed the books, my ten-year-old daughter and I saw this movie. Some images were haunting, but we were prepared. She and I particularly enjoyed the powerful female protagonist. How often do we get to see that?!
Teen, 15 years old Written byspacechick22 March 23, 2012

Dear Over Concerned Parents, I BEG YOU TO READ THIS!

Dear Over concerned parents, I would just like to share my opinion here, to those parents complaining about how violent, bloody, etc. this movie is and how it is somehow promoting teen violence, you have either not read to books, are taking the movie at face value, or underestimating the teenage audience. If you have read the books than you would know that Suzanne Collins is doing anything BUT promoting violence, her books serve as a warning against totalitarian government and out of control obsession with reality TV. Secondly, please try not to take this movie at face value, if you do you will only see the bloody killing and not the message AGAINST killing that it is trying to get across. Finally, please do underestimate us teenagers. Most of us understand the message that this movie and the book series was try to put across, ANTI VIOLENCE and FREEDOM! In order to get this point across, Ms.Collins chose to depict the worst kind of violence and totalitarian government in order to warn people AWAY from it, which I, and many others, believe is the most effective way. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, know your facts before you judge, never take anything at face value, and have some faith in our society and your future generation. I'm sure you've thought there must be more to this movie and these books than kids killing kids, and there is and most of us see it, and that is what makes the Hunger Games so incredible and it's message AGAINST violence so vital. Thank You for Reading, I hope that some of you can take a second look, and maybe rethink a bit. If not, I tried my best.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byqwerty8me556 March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games

First of all, this is an utterly fantastic movie. The acting is superb, the effects were great, and over all, it was a great adaption. Many people are worried that it's too violent for tweens. I've scrolled through the reviews on this site, and they're crazy. "15+. NOT for kids!" That's a bit ridiculous. What I noticed while seeing it on opening night is that you never really see any weapons enter the body of another person. (Except for once.) You just hear a scream, and a body fall. Let's see. . . about 50% of the deaths were off screen, and the deaths you do see aren't horribly violent. (*SPOILERS FOR BOOK*) (*SPOILERS FOR BOOK*) Everyone is worried about Cato getting ripped to shreds, but actually, I hardly saw anything. It was dark and the camera was shaky and you didn't really see Cato at all. Iffy violent scenes in order of most violent to least: 1. Tracker Jackers 2. Rue 3. Cato 4. Cornucopia Other than this, it's just some injuries and such. (*END SPOILERS*) It's not overly violent, but it really depends if you (or your tween) can stomach some stuff that might make you jump in your seat. Now that this violence is cleared up, you really need to get going. You're going to miss your showing. Go. Watch. Be amazed. Have some laughs. Have fun.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written bymovienerd78 March 22, 2012

Violent, but impowering ages 12+

While the book adaptation is violent the camera turns away often. Teens are forced kill other teens, however that is not the main focus of the film and deaths happen briefly or offscreen. Haymitch is drunk most of the time. In an overpowered America the Capitol has control. Katniss is a good role model and everyone in the arena (well almost everyone) knows it's wrong to kill each other yet is forced. I took my 15 year old daughter and 12 year old son to this movie and they both loved it, my son didn't mind the violence and knew that it is wrong to kill each other. Everybody needs to relax as this is what America could become and it's not too violent. The Hunger Games gives something to think about and a positive message to preteens and teens. For mature 11 year olds and all 12 year olds and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byRita102 March 22, 2012

Appalled

I'm appalled that this movie is being allowed to be shown. With all the youth killings and bullying, this is not a good movie at all. My God what is this world coming to! kids hunting and killing kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written bytwp6045 March 21, 2012

Kids Killing Kids by Force is Horrific...No Matter What the Spin!

Don't overlook the primary theme of the books and this movie...it's KIDS KILLING KIDS!! I'm saddened by all the desentization surrounding this horrific theme, cloaked by all the "self-sacrifice" and "positive role model" talk. There are literally 1000s of books/movies with positive messages that don't use such a barbaric premise. This isn't a battle of good vs. evil, where at least violence is understandable. And this isn't a "survivor-type" reality show, where adults with free will compete for a prize. This is KIDS FORCED to KILL other KIDS!!! If it seems like I'm being redundant, then I've made my point. I hope more concerned parents speak out against this despicable plot. We should NEVER condon even a fictional story where such frightening behavior by adults is portrayed, and I hope my kids are never exposed to anything like this.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old March 20, 2012

The Hunger Games Rules!!

Wonderful Book AND Movie!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheWhiteKnight March 20, 2012

While intense and violent, teenagers will most likely handle it.....

The movie is well done, and has positive messages through the story along with characters that are better role models than the stereotype character today. The main issue is it is pretty violent for a PG-13 film. It can be intense and actually pretty cringe-worthy at parts (and this is coming from someone who rate Drive as a pause for 14 y/o teen). While the violence seems to cause some stressful moments, only really sensitive teens or children under 12 would have a hard time handling the movie's content. Try and discuss with your kids about the film, not a sit down and "have a chat" with your kid, but a conversation about the film's themes and role model characters.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written bymwright0622 March 23, 2012

Awesome movie!!

I just got back home from watching this movie with my 15 year old daughter. It was Awesome! I wouldn't recommend it for very young kids-but teens and older will love it! It followed the book pretty closely. There are a few people writing reviews that are LYING! What sexual content? A couple of kisses and that's it. And no Gore at all!! If you've read the books it was much worse! It was in great detail- but in the movie, you would see a little blood splatter every now and then and it showed a couple of wounds- the book was gory- the movie was not. You can't go to a movie about 'Fighting to the death' and not expect at least some violence. However- if you've read the books- you know that most of the people weren't happy with the way things were.They hated watching kids fight kids. Most of the kids hated it too- that's what makes the books so inspiring and what makes Katniss a good role model. She stands up for what she believes in and wants to make a change in the world- for the better. I highly recommend it! For those that say it's just about 'kids wanting to kill other kids'- then you haven't read the books and you don't have a clue what you're talking about. My daughter is only 15, but she said that one of the biggest things she got out of reading the books and watching the movie is- 'One person can make a difference- if they just stand up for what they believe is right'.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 6 and 11 year old Written byTerjy March 27, 2012

Parents beware - why to expose your children to this material?

This movie is utterly inappropriate for any elementary or middle school aged children. While it is becoming customary to expose our youth to desensitizing material, there is no common sense to it. Watching children killing each other is bad for anyone's psychological development regardless of how interesting the underlying story is. It is a sick scenario and requires maturity that the elementary school children and tweens who are so interested in this story (book and movie) lack. Great, but intense, movie for older teens and adults. Parents need to take a stand. Just say no.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byelizabeth2771 March 24, 2012

Violent but with a moral purpose

I think those who believe the purpose of this movie is to glamorize child on child violence have either not seen the movie or completely missed the point or are incapable of understanding the point. It reminds me of the hysterical crowd who were convinced Harry Potter was all about turning kids to dark magic and Satanism. Yes, the movie has violence and the violence is perpetrated by teenagers on teenagers but it is more a commentary on a society that has become numb to humanity and has dehumanized anyone not just like themselves. The teenagers are being forced into an untenable situation by an evil totalitarian government bent on perpetual punishment of those who dared to rise against them. The residents of the Capitol are spoiled to the point of depravity and no longer view those in the outlying districts as human with the rights or feelings of humans. It is an indictment of the reality TV mentality that has caused people to stop seeing the people on TV as people and has enabled us to see them and their pain as objects of ridicule and hilarity. Katniss enters the arena, in her sister's stead, with Peeta, the boy from her district, and they begin the change of the world by playing the game by their own rules. They play with all the integrity they can muster and eventually make a stand against the intentions of the game and of the evil government, putting themselves in danger, and sparking a rebellion. So, for those who think the only point of the bloodshed was for the sake of watching children hack away at each other I would say you weren't paying attention or you deliberately didn't ever intend to pay attention. You had your minds made up before you ever saw it. I wouldn't take a small child, someone under 10 years old, unless they have read the books and you have talked about them a lot. If the child hasn't already read the books I would think they should probably be 13 years old and then you need to be prepared to talk about ethics, political systems and the moral/ethical error in treating people like objects. The violence is fast and shaky so not much time is spent lingering on the details. If you would allow your child to see Lord of the Rings I don't think there should be much of a problem in that regard.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written bycommoffsense March 23, 2012

Awfull!!!!!!!!!!

I was really expecting them to be fabulous, considering all the good things I'd heard about them (a majority of those good things said by the people from here, actually), but I didn't find that I loved or hated them. I wouldn't, say, rush out and see it. It was way overrated. Not only that, it was super innapropraite. I wasnt expecting a book-series that was intended for pre teens and teens to be this bad in the movies. Violence, gore, body parts hanging limb from limb, arrows grusomely going through the eye of one teen, a toe nail being...well torn off. I brought my 13 year old and we had to leave it was so gruesome and gore filled. Not only that but its sending a message to our kids that its okay to kill people. I am sure none of you will beleve me and will still see this with your kids who will wind up being disturbed for life. Please dont see this!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written bymommy in charge March 30, 2012

Just a mean mom, I guess.

I think the central idea, children killing children for the gratuitous pleasure of others, is getting lost in the whole debate over whether to let your kid see it or not. This is going on now. We turn our head and think it's someone's problem but certainly not mine. The only difference is we don't watch it for sport, but it's on the evening news, every night. Is that a reason to let you kid see this movie??? Stop trying to justify it by saying she is a strong female who takes care of her family and is independent and is a strong role model. We are desensitizing our children and younger and younger ages now. Why must children see this kind of image to be entertained. Honestly folks, who is the parent???? This is not a movie or a book for less than 14. Lord of the Flies? It was in high school in the 80's and if you read it in middle school, that just proves my point. Can't we just let them be kids. BTW, the author gave an interview where she stated she wrote the books for a 15 and up audience. I stick with the author and tell my kid no, no matter how many tears, whines and other parents have let their kids do it. I have no problem being mean mom. Someday, she'll thank me for it.
Written byAnonymous March 21, 2012

Underlying violence, doesn't matter though

It is a great film, and fine for most kids. all of the super violent stuff has been edited out of the film, leaving only the more mild scenes. but there is a very violent underlying film, most people should be fine with that. the common sense media review is awful though, is "oh my god" and one kiss really a reason to boost the suggested rating? anyway, this film is fine for kids
Parent of a 6, 7, and 10 year old Written bysapientia March 25, 2012

Do what's right, even though others pressure you not to.

Imagine yourself seated next to your 10, 11, or even 12 year old while you watch 12-18 year olds beating each other to death, stabbing each other with blood spurting, and shooting each other at point blank range (does it really matter that it's arrows and not guns?). Close your eyes and really imagine. If any of this makes you uncomfortable, then you know deep down the answer to whether or not a preteen should see this movie. Yes, there is a good overall message, but it will be missed by even the brightest child because their young minds will be trying to cope with seeing such violence. Consider this: until adolescence, your child's brain is going through a process of "synaptic pruning." This pruning starts near the time of birth and is completed by the end of puberty. Pruning is influenced by environmental factors and is widely thought to represent learning. This neural immaturity is what accounts for the relative ease with which children learn. Input they receive makes a psychic imprint on their minds. Now ask yourself, "Do I want to imprint my child's mind with violence?" Ironically enough, this happens to be the "good message" of the film - doing what's right even though others pressure you not to. So do what's right and tell your kids, "not never, just not now."
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byJust an Opinion March 22, 2012

It's a Sick World

There is so much killing in real life. If you're into violence, just watch the news to be informed and to learn about these daily issues. (reality television, totalitarian government, and screen violence) It's a sick world that finds such plots, as this book offers, entertaining. Even sicker that they would allow their children to see it.
Kid, 12 years old March 24, 2012

I totally disagree with every comment I've seen so far...

Everyone's saying that it's way too violent and gruesome and it's sick because it's kids killing kids. First of all-READ THE BOOKS. There is so much more going on than the violence. That's the whole point, kids killing kids. It's sick and the people in Panem are trying to stop it and Katniss starts the rebellion. If you watch the movie: We are rooting for Katniss because Katniss disagrees with the Hunger Games. Everyone should. No one WANTS to watch kids die. You people should really think because this movie gives you a whole new perspective on how awful our world could get. This is an amazing movie and I totally disagree with all of you people who think there is too much violence. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!
What other families should know
Great messages

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