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The Hunger Games | 2012 | PG-13 | - 3.7.3

Movie version of Suzanne Collins' young-adult novel about a future world where a reality show pits teenage contestants against each other in a fight to the death: A young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her younger sister's place and represent her district, along with a young man (Josh Hutcherson), in the annual televised competition; to survive they will have to kill other young people who represent their districts. Also with Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Willow Shields, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland. Directed by Gary Ross. [2:22]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Several young women wear low-cut dresses that reveal bare shoulders, backs and cleavage and a few of the dresses are short and show bare legs. A young woman scrubs in a small tub of water (we see a bare foot, leg and arm). We see a young man wearing tight-fitting shorts in a video and his bare chest, abdomen and legs are shown. Young men and young women are shown being washed, plucked and waxed and we see bare legs and feet.
 A young man and a young woman kiss a couple of times. A young woman caresses a young man's face. A young man and a young woman hug. A young woman kisses a young man on the cheek. A man kisses a young woman on the cheek. A young man and a young woman sleep in each other's arms. A young woman sleeps while resting on a young man's arm.
 A man asks a young man if there is a special girl at home and the young man talks about having a crush on someone.
 A man and a young man smell each other and talk about what they smell like while on a stage in front of a crowd. A young woman says, "I'm never having kids" and a young man says he will. People refer to a young man and a young woman as being "star crossed lovers."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - 24 young men and young women (ranging from ages 12-18) stand on pedestals at the beginning of a competition and await a countdown, when the counter reaches 0 the young people run for a large collection of supplies and attack each other and 12 of them are killed: we see blades slashing and covered with blood, we see bodies lying motionless with blood stains and smears on their clothing and flesh, a young woman falls and a young man stands over her with a blade until another young woman throws a blade into his back, and a young boy is hacked with a large blade and we see blood spurt onto nearby objects (we do not see the boy).
 We see a video of a man beating another man to death using a brick (we see the beaten man lying motionless and we see the brick shiny with blood). A young man throws a spear that strikes a teen girl in the chest (we see blood on her chest), a young woman shoots the young man in the chest with an arrow (we see blood on his chest as he falls dead to the ground and we see him again later with the arrow sticking out of his chest) and we watch the teen girl die.
 A young man threatening to kill another young man by snapping his neck is shot in the hand with an arrow (we see his very bloody face from a previous fight) and he falls off a shelter and onto the ground where he is mauled by three animals (he screams and pleads for help) until he is shot with another arrow. A young man kills a teen boy by twisting his neck with his bare hands (we see the boy collapse to the ground).
 A large animal lunges on a young man and knocks him to the ground, and the animal is shot with an arrow and is disabled for a moment while the young man and a young woman run away; the animal chases and two more animals join it, the young man and the young woman reach a shelter, which they scale and perch on top, and the animals snap at the young man's legs and feet (they are unharmed). We hear animal sounds in a dark, thick forest, we hear a disturbance in the woods and a man screams (we understand that was attacked by the animal and killed).
 A young woman runs toward a table that holds supply bags, and she grabs one and tries to run away when another young woman throws a knife that slashes her forehead; the two young women fight and wrestle, and one holds the other on the ground with a blade across her throat until she is pulled off and slammed into a wall repeatedly (we see her flop to the ground dead).
 A young woman cuts a branch that holds a wasps' nest off a tree (we hear that the wasps' venom causes severe pain, hallucination and sometimes death), she is stung several times, the branch falls and the wasps swarm five people sleeping on the ground below; the people run and scream and we see one young woman covered with wasps and a short time later she is seen dead on the ground with large welts on her face and hand. A young woman falls out of a tree after having been stung by a wasps and she begins hallucinating (we see a woozy image of her surroundings and we hear someone yelling at her).
 A young woman lies dead on the ground with berry-stained lips and a handful of berries that we understand are poisonous. Two young people prepare to eat poisonous berries to commit suicide (they do not).
 Two young men fight: one swings a bladed weapon at the other, a young woman attacks the armed young man, and he strikes her and holds her head over the side of a shelter where three animals snap and jump trying to bite her; the other young man pulls him away and they continue to fight. Five young men and young women chase another young woman through thick woods, the young woman climbs a tree, a young man tries to climb up after her but falls to the ground (he is unharmed), a young woman shoots an arrow at the young woman in the tree, and then a young man shoots an arrow at her (she is not struck).
 A huge fire rages in a forest near where a young woman is hiding; she runs, the fire grows larger and closer, fireballs are shot toward her, a tree falls in her path, she slams into something and we see that she has a large leg wound (she winces in pain and we see a bloody gash on her leg); she continues to run until she falls into water.
 A young woman warms herself near a fire when she is surrounded by four others with weapons; we hear a scream and we hear the four attackers joking about "the look on her face" and that she pleaded, "please don't kill me" (we understand that the young woman was killed). A young woman finds a young teen girl trapped in a net and sets her free.
 A young woman shoots arrows into a large stockpile of supplies causing its booby-trapped perimeter to explode and destroy them; the young woman is thrown back from the blast and her ears ring for some time after.
 A young woman shoots an arrow into the apple in a roasted pig's mouth and it sails into a wall behind several men who are alarmed. A young woman slams a knife into a table, barely missing a man's hand. Two young men shove each other and argue over a knife and as they are separated one threatens the other. A young woman shoves a young man, pushes him against a wall while pressing her arm across his throat and yells at him before she is pulled away. A woman slaps her teenage son in the face and yells at him. A man kicks a young man in the chest and presses him back into a chair when he tries to take a glass of alcohol away from him. Two young women running through thick woods run into each other, they regain their footing and look at each other before running in opposite directions.
 A young woman arms herself with a bow and arrows and takes aim at a deer, and she shoots a bird (we see the bird fall from the sky). A young woman throws a knife into the back of a small lizard (we see the knife sticking out of the creature). A young woman cooks a small creature (we see it skewered on a stick and charred).
 A young woman follows bloody tracks and finds a young man with a large and bloody leg wound (we see the wound and he tells her it was caused by a sword). A young woman applies salve to a young man's leg wound (we see a very bloody gash). A young woman applies salve to her own leg wound (we see a very bloody gash). A young man applies salve to a young woman's head wound (we see a bloody slash). We see a bloody wound on a young woman's leg and she appears in pain. A young man trembles from a fever after having been wounded. During a check-in process, we see people's fingers being pricked and a drop of blood is smeared on a document. We see several young people being injected in the arms with a glowing tracking device (we see a large metal needle being pressed into their skin).
 We see a broadcast of "the fallen" indicating that the photos of the people shown have been killed and this is updated as each additional person is killed; we also hear a cannon shot each time another person dies. Many people in a district become incensed after the death of their representative and attack guards, destroy machinery and set property ablaze until they are sprayed with water by flying vessels.
 A young woman runs through a booby-trapped perimeter surrounding a large pile of food and supplies; she makes off with some supplies and runs to safety. A young woman runs toward a table that holds bags filled with supplies, grabs it and runs away. A large flying vessels moves slowly over a wooded area where a young woman and a young man are hiding. A young woman climbs through an opening in a fence marked "high voltage" and runs into a wooded area.
 We see young men and young women during training exercises and they are using swords, knives and arrows on practice dummies (we see the heads and limbs of dummies being lopped off in one sequence); a young man falls from rings that he is trying to traverse, he falls to the ground and holds his leg in pain.
 A young girl's name is called during a selection ceremony and a young woman shouts that she will volunteer instead; the young girl screams as she is carried back into a crowd of onlookers. A young girl is frightened as she approaches a check-in table and she trembles and cries. A young woman trembles in fear in a couple of scenes. We hear a young girl screaming and see her being held by a young woman (she had a nightmare). A young woman grieves over the death of a teen girl.
 A young woman collapses, blacks out and has a flashback to the death of her father in a mining accident; we see many men being lowered into a mine and then see a large explosion that presumably killed the young woman's father. We see a young man and a young woman riding in a chariot in a parade into a stadium and their costumes are in flames (they are not harmed). A young woman wearing a floor-length gown swirls around on a stage and the hem of her dress bursts into flames (she is not harmed).
 We see a video depicting a time of war and piles of human skulls are shown accompanied by people carrying guns and explosions. We see many people walking silently flanked by guards to a community event.
 A young man and a young woman talk about dying and killing other people in order to survive. A man tells a young woman, "it will be a blood bath" and "they will blow you sky high." People discuss the odds of survival during a competition and that death is more likely to be caused by exposure or dehydration. While talking about running away, a young woman says, "they'd catch us and cut out our tongues." A young woman says, "I'll still cook you" to a cat when it hisses at her. A young woman tells her mother, "You can't tune out like you did when Dad died." A young woman tells a young man, "Don't let them starve." A man tells a young man to "embrace the probability of your imminent death." A young man talks about a young woman killing squirrels and that "she hits them right in the eye every time." A young woman tells a young man "those guys are looking at you like you are a meal." A young woman says of wearing a flaming costume "I was just hoping that I wouldn't burn to death." A man says to another man, "Don't kill her." Two men discuss "underdogs." We read a description of a "Public Reaping": Each year two representatives from a community are chosen randomly to participate in a game where they will fight to the death.
 People are shown living in squalor in a coal mining community. A young woman scrubs filth off her feet and body to prepare for a community event. Young men and young women are shown lying on tables while people are washing them, plucking them and waxing them.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (punk, lover boy), 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - We see a young woman hallucinating after having been stung by wasps. A man drinks alcohol and appears drunk, a man drinks alcohol with a meal and appears to have been drinking a lot, people are shown drinking colorful beverages (presumably alcohol) in several celebration scenes, and a woman on a train says of a man that "he's probably in the bar car."


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Survival, starvation, children killing children, class, family, using people for entertainment purposes, privilege, friendship, love, courage, sacrifice, intimidation, generating hope, freedom, peace, treason, propaganda, celebrity, bravery, death of a parent, arrogance, success, failure, jealousy.

MESSAGE - Hope is stronger than fear.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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