The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games ★★★★★

"The Hunger Games" is an altogether winning experience. Grounded in a compelling mythology of a dystopic future, the politics of fear, and the promise of revolution, the film's strongest element may be its story. Being adapted from a series of young adult novels, the film's themes are obvious, but complex and interesting enough for adult consumption.

Gary Ross's film alternates, aesthetically, between a plastic-looking, candy-colored future and the more naturalistic wilds of the film's districts and arenas. While his rarely still camera takes a bit of getting used to, the film's look is appropriate and, at times, rich. The cast is solid, and Jennifer Lawrence delivers a remarkable protagonist.

The film's punch is delivered in its almost-surprising fits of violence, emotional weight, and thematic poignance; and while "The Hunger Games" is only an introduction to a longer saga, the film excellently sets the stage for what may follow.

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