Jennifer Lawrence stars in Gary Ross's Bafta Award-winning action-thriller adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel.
The dystopian nation of Panem has emerged from the post-apocalyptic remains of the USA. It's a land governed mercilessly from its wealthy central metropolis, the Capitol: following a series of quashed revolts, it demands an annual tribute from each of its 12 outlying regions of a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18. The youngsters, in a warped method of simultaneously controlling and entertaining Panem's populace, are sentenced to hunt each other in televised lethal combat in an area of enclosed woodland; the last person alive is the winner.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) is part of the latest contest, having voluntarily taken the place of her younger sister. In addition to her compassion, her resourcefulness, steely determination and collaborative instinct could tip the balance in her favour. But the fight to the death is complicated (for protagonists, viewers and organisers alike) when fellow competitor Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) professes his love for her.
However, the film, which touches on themes of wealth inequality, the power of TV and exposure to violence, belongs to Lawrence, whose portrayal of a strong, believable central female character is devoid of the usual sexist fripperies and has drawn widespread critical acclaim. Also starring Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks. While the violence within the movie is largely implied, some younger viewers could still find the tenor of the film disturbing.