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The Hunger Games Family Movie Review

movie review rating guide for parents and families

MPAA Rating

for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens

Science Fiction

Gary Ross

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Amandla Stenberg


Release Date/In Theaters

The Hunger Games Movie Summary

North America is in ruins, and Panem is the new world. Panem has 12 districts controlled by the evil Capital and every year tributes, a teen boy and girl from each district, are forced to complete in the televised Hunger Games. The winner is the last surviving tribute. The Games are punishment for a past uprising and a method to control the districts. Katniss becomes the tribute from District 12 and must battle and out smart "professional" tributes from other districts. She relies on her intelligence and the help of her drunken mentor, Haymitch a past winner to survive.

The Hunger Games Movie Review for Parents

-by Ginger

The Hunger Games is perhaps the most awaited movie in a decade or more and this family movie guide has the scoop. This futuristic sci-fi flick tells the story of a few selected teens who must fight for their lives in order to allow citizens of their district to have food. The world is divided into twelve districts and each district must choose a tribute through a lottery draw who will fight to the death for them on live television. Katniss Everdeen is the young heroine who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in The Hunger Games.

            The story behind the movie was written by Suzanne Collins, now a hero among teen novel fans. If your teen wants to see the movie, it is very likely that they have read the entire series of novels already, been introduced to the video games and listen to the songs on the radio. There is quite a bit of hype and promotion surrounding this movie. Are they violent? Absolutely. Are there disturbing images? Yes, in both the books and the movie. The violence and themes of the movie are disturbing for most adults too.

            The list of disturbing images is extensive. The entire premise of the movie is based on violence, gore, suspense, and violent death. The teens in this movie die horrible deaths. Yes, they curse and are very intense and emotional. Several adults in the movie drink champagne and one man is implied to be drunk. As far as sexuality is concerned, that is about the only mild thing about the movie. Two teens kiss passionately, hold hands and one is seen shirtless and with badly ripped pants.

            The Hunger Games is slightly reminiscent of another sci-fi classic, The Running Man, only this one involves teens. If your kids have read the series, be forewarned that the movie is toned down from the books. I was allowed the privilege of seeing a few favorite scenes in the books for myself, and let me tell you, this is not light bedtime reading by any definition of the term.

            The Hunger Games is violent, intense, and not for the weak at heart… and they promise to be the most popular theme of conversation next Monday morning. They did not cross the line into the R territory, but they are not a mild PG-13 either. Be forewarned that the Hunger Games may not be for everyone. Even some adults will find them to be very disturbing.

            From a movie perspective, The Hunger Games movie promises to deliver. This movie will have an impact on everyone. It has an intense soundtrack, intense drama, and intense emotions throughout. To call this an intense movie would be an understatement. Should you allow your teens to see it? The family movie review answer is simple. If they have already read the book, you have nothing to lose; they have been exposed to worse. If they have not read the book, then the decision is a little more complicated and you must decide for yourself with the information available. If you see the movie with your kids this weekend, post to the Parental Guide facebook page and let us know what you think.

Read more family movie reviews by Parental Guide.


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