Title: The Hunger Games
Rated: PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images – all involving teens
Release date: 8/18/2012
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence , Willow Shields , Elizabeth Banks , Josh Hutcherson , Woody Harrelson , Stanley Tucci , Liam Hemsworth , Wes Bentley , Lenny Kravitz , Alexander Ludwig , Amandla Stenberg , Paula Malcomson , Leven Rambin , Jacqueline Emerson , Toby Jones , Isabelle Fuhrman
The world will be watching.
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister’s place and must rely upon her sharp instincts when she’s pitted against highly trained Tributes who have prepared their entire lives. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Mommy Bear's Parent Review of The Hunger Games
Fairly heavy, though curiously the film uses violence not to glorify it, but to criticize society's detached fascination with it, showing such callousness as detrimental to our humanity. In this way the brutality in The Hunger Games may serve as an antidote to the glorified violence found so often in film, television, and video games. Though this film movingly contrasts the worst aspects of humanity (bloodlust) with the best in us (compassion, altruism), parents should be aware that it portrays teens fighting to the death in gladiator-style combat. Though it is shot and edited to preserve a PG-13 rating (therefore leaving much to the imagination), what is shown is intense and somewhat bloody.
Minor for a film of this kind. There are a few dresses that are somewhat low-cut. A teenage boy is shown shirtless. A teenage girl takes a bath, though the audience only sees her shoulders and leg. A teenage boy and girl share a fairly passionate kiss and sleep in each others' arms, though both are fully dressed and no sexual activity is implied.
There are a handful of mild obscenities, but thankfully harsh language isn't really an issue for this film.
In the America of the future, a nation known as Panem, teens from the country's various districts fight to the death in a nationally-televised competition, battling the elements and each other for a chance at fame and fortune. Poverty-stricken and starving, 16-year old Katniss Everdeen selflessly offers herself as a gladiator to save her younger sister's life, finding her courage tested as she fights to feed her family and defy the totalitarian government.
Pros and Cons
Intelligent and moving, The Hunger Games serves as a powerful reminder that decency matters most in indecent times. The performances are terrific, the action is gripping, the story is original, and the film-making is strong. The screenplay does a fine job of not losing those viewers who've never read the books, though some additional background on the oppressive government and its motivations would have been welcome. The only flaw is that the action scenes are shot with a shaky camera and overly-edited, though this will be less distracting on the TV screen than in the theatre.
No matter how corrupt and cruel the world gets, it needn't change us or rob us of our compassion and kindness. Being willing to die to save another is the highest form of courage.Written by Jonathan Decker