‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ flew into theaters on Nov. 21. Does Jennifer Lawrence and Co. wow again in the third film? The reviews are here!
It’s the movie we’ve been waiting for all year. Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and more star in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the first part of the two film finale. Suzanne Collins’ third book is the most dramatic in the series, so did it translate from page to screen?
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ Reviews
If you were wanting an action-packed movie like the previous Hunger Games films, Mockingjay might catch you off guard. The movie revels in emotional turmoil as Katniss struggles to embrace her Mockingjay status and save everyone she loves.
The film is a definite must-see, especially if you want to see Jennifer truly move you with her strong portrayal of Katniss.
On the bright side, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part I comes out blazing. How could it not? Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, suited up again as the heroic Katniss Everdeen, is a firebrand for the ages. Returning director Francis Lawrence (no relation), working from a script by series newbies Peter Craig and Danny Strong, delivers the dazzle without sacrificing the smarts. The suspense is killer. Ditto the thrill of the hunt. The film uses the extra time to, of all things, develop characters and give this dystopian fable a human scale.
Director Frances Lawrence, along with some help from Collins, does an outstanding job turning the books into thrilling, bold and somewhat realistic fare. A considerable amount of credit also must go to casting director Debra Zane. At this point, it’s obvious Jennifer Lawrence was born to play Katniss Everdeen but adding the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch and Julianne Moore as President Coin was genius…This is the darkest and edgiest of the three “Hunger Games” movies, and the most satisfying – even though the cliffhanger non-ending doesn’t resolve anything.
Sticking closely to the plotting of novelist Suzanne Collins (who gets an adaptation credit here), director Francis Lawrence delivers on what dramatic beats half a novel affords him. You just wish there were more of them and that they provided a more complete, more satisfying story arc…Lawrence, who’s been nominated for three Oscars and won once (for “Silver Linings Playbook”), maintains her tight hold on the fierce character of Katniss, a rebel by instinct who insists, always, on being defiantly her own person.
Mockingjay is more compact than the first two installments, and its focus is, wisely, on the immediate challenges to its protagonist’s sanity, the moral dilemmas of building a consensus for war in the media, and the burden of being cast as that war’s MVP before the heavy killing even starts. Lawrence’s performance roils with stress and fear, as it did in the first two films, and director Francis Lawrence stays with her, up close, from start to finish, visually mirroring the script’s examination of Katniss’s cult of personality. She powers everything around her.
All three Hunger Games films have been satisfying films from start to finish. We may not have the actual Hunger Games in Mockingjay, but Katniss, Peeta and Gale are playing in whole other game that’s gripping and emotional.
HollywoodLifers, are you going to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1? If you already have, did you like it? Tell us your thoughts below!
— Avery Thompson