Hunger Games Trailer Review Roundup

| November 16, 2011 | 16 Comments More

The Hunger Games Movie Title

We’ve all shared our opinions on how awesome we thought the full Hunger Games trailer was.  The general consensus among fans is that it was everything we had hoped for and perhaps even more.  What about other news outlets, movie reviewers, and bloggers?  What does the rest of the world think of the trailer – perhaps their very first good look at The Hunger Games world?  We’ve got a roundup of those reactions right here.

“I felt the trailer lost a little impact because of its very linear narrative. I’m a fan of flashy, disjointed trailers, not ones that basically tell a complete story (though I understand the need because a lot of people won’t know the story). I watched the lead-up, just wanting to get to the Games, and then we got there and the trailer ended. What?!”

CBS News
“One of the best things about the trailer is also one of the few things that make us nervous – the clip ends just as the tributes are dropped into the arena and the games begin (talk about a cliffhanger). As much as this trailer revealed, we’ve yet to see how the biggest and most brutal part of the book will be portrayed on-screen – the part where the 24 young tributes are forced to fight to the death.”

“Surely even the most determined haters felt their pulse quicken in that final countdown, before 24 children of Panem set off to fight to the death in front of television cameras. 3. 2. 1! I can’t think of a more brilliant way to end the trailer to director Gary Ross’ movie than watching a terrified Katniss and Peeta, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, racing for their backpacks and the protection of the woods.”

LA Times
“Director Gary Ross seems to have gone all out in capturing the Capitol’s opulence with the garish Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks, cheerfully determining the fates of these impoverished kids.”

“From Jennifer Lawrence’s steely gaze to the look of the Capitol to the perfect hair of Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci, as Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman respectively, the first trailer for ‘The Hunger Games’ looks exactly like fans of the book would want it to look. This is ‘Twilight’ Week and everything, but: damnnnnnnn. Is it March 23, 2012 yet?”

“Lionsgate, you teases. We loved everything they served up in the clip, but now we cannot wait to see what goes down in the arena (ya know, the mostexciting part of the movie), which is exactly what the studio big wigs wanted.”

Cinema Blend
“Not only did it give us our first look at some of the key characters in the film, like Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, but it looked fantastic to boot.
A huge part of the trailer’s success had nothing to do with the movie itself, but plain old marketing. Nearly every scene in the trailer comes from the first third of the book, leading up to the dramatic moment when Katniss and the other tributes leap off their platforms into the arena where they’ll fight to their deaths.”

The Guardian
“The Hunger Games has been billed as the new Twilight, a horrific prospect to those already looking forward to the end of the tween-favourite saga. And yet the first full trailer for this Gary Ross-directed movie hints at something a lot less irritating.”

The Escapist
“The trailer looks pretty impressive, especially the bits where the decadent future society of Panem is featured. The trailer is also entirely a prologue, with no actual footage of the Hunger Games themselves. That said, the scenario certainly looks like it’s being set up nicely.”

“…there’s still no hint of the violence and brutality of the books.  I can understand why they would leave that out of the trailer, but I’m absolutely baffled as to why there’s almost no footage from the actual Hunger Games. ”

The Wall Street Journal
“…I wonder if some of the boys in the film (Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson) seem a bit too mature and studly for their roles. The horror of the book in part came because the Hunger Games forced kids to battle to the death. It feels a little different when the participants look like superheroes.”

“…but I continue to believe that Lawrence’s age — she neither is a teenager nor looks like one — makes this a different story; a story about young adults rather than young teenagers, which I think lessens the brutality of a story that is meant to be brutal. She’s a marvelous actress, but she doesn’t look 16 to me in the slightest, and she certainly doesn’t look like someone who could plausibly battle to the death against 12-year-olds.”

NY Mag
” The full Hunger Games trailer, everyone! It’s here, and it’s intense.
The trailer doesn’t spend much time on the love triangle, so no read on how the Gale-Peeta-Katniss chemistry is working out, but really, when Katniss gets launched into the arena, do you even care?! This looks genuinely awesome.”

What Culture!
“My biggest concern has always been that the studio would water down the content of the film to appease a PG-13 audience. The themes are dark and violent. Children die. Brutally. To veil these moments behind the curtain of a flawed ratings system would serve as a huge disservice to the novel this film is based on.
…turning a blind eye to these moments would drain the emotional impact that they are rightfully deserved on screen. While everything we see in this first trailer suggests they are on the right path, we are still left to wonder which direction the film will ultimately take. It makes one wonder if this was done deliberately to delay the inevitable disappointment of watered down Hollywood fare, or to offer up a well plotted marketing campaign that builds to a crescendo of awesomeness that culminates with a tremendously satisfying film.”

Seattle pi
“The trailer ends right as the Games begin, so who knows how the film will handle the violence that goes on in the book, but all in all it’s promising. It’s much better than the teaser trailer Lionsgate released during the MTV Movie Awards earlier this year. ”

“…I’m not sure that the trailer is user-friendly for a viewer who hasn’t read the books. You could make the very fair argument that the trailer doesn’t clearly outline what the Games are, why they exist, or the rules of the competition (other than Katniss’ brief mention that there can only be one winner). If you don’t know what “Hunger Games” is about going into the trailer, I’m not sure that you’re going to walk away any clearer on the subject.”

The Faster Times
“The Hunger Games has been criticized as being curiously similar to a novel published in 1999 called Battle Royale, and the trailer reminded someone of the 1987 movie The Running Man, but I think we need to go further back. After watching the trailer, I immediately thought of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” which, despite the differences, feels like a precursor to many of these kind of books and films wherein a society … chooses a individuals at random and kills them in a ritual human sacrifice.
Overall, I think the trailer does what it’s supposed to do: it gets you excited to see the movie and fulfills your need to vicariously be heroic and battle other adolescent teenagers in the woods to the death. Yet in this kind of trailer, there is a constant tension between wanting more back story regarding the purpose and history of the games and needing to strip all of that away – leaving the back story to our imaginations – in order to jumpstart an audience’s collective adrenal glands…”

Verum Serum
“I haven’t read the Hunger Games books, but the movie sure looks a lot like Battle Royale.”

Embracing Insanity
“This erased all those doubts. I had never cried during a movie trailer before. Poignant, brilliant, detailed, chilling, exhilarating… Usually commercials don’t fit any of those, but this HG trailer was incredible.”

Flick Filosopher
“I am seriously geeking out over this movie, and this trailer only fuels that. I got chills when Katniss shouts out that she volunteers, but even chillier chills when she gives her salute of defiance and the crowd salutes back.”

LA Times
“It shows the game itself to have the artificial gleam of “Dancing with the Stars,” the youthful competition of “American Idol,” the frenetic start of “The Amazing Race” and to be as lethal as “The Running Man.” ”

“Based on the trailer for the first movie, it looks pretty fun: part stark dreariness, part neon-glow futurism, part action adventure, and part Jennifer Lawrence winning our hearts killing things just like she did in Winter’s Bone. I sort of wanted to be able to ignore this as more pop fluff but it actually looks like something I would really be into. Damn you, Hunger Games, why do you make me believe the hype.”

“Some of the effects here are still pretty thin-looking, but there are months yet before the film will be released, so we could see another layer of polish applied there. But the core footage looks reasonably convincing, and Jennifer Lawrence is talented enough to sell the movie all on her own. The trailer gets the story setup across quite well, and that moment where the games actually begin is great.”

Movie Moron
“The trailer definitely has a Twilight-vibe to it, by that I mean a humourless, melodramatic teenage-ness all round.
With a reported budget of $100m, the near-bloodless Battle Royale by way of The Running Man starts March 23, 2012 in the US. Two more movies will follow.”

“The film looks to be a bit of a genre stew. Visually the film owes something to the the first Twilight film’s leafy naturalism and it also looks to have a smidge of thecinémavéritécinematography that’s become so popular with science fiction films in the last decade. There’s also the thematic similarity of The Hunger Games to the tale of Theseus (check out Lawrence’s sweet bow and arrow work) and some Greco-Roman fan fiction going on with the organization of the Games society. It’ll also be interesting to see if the film draws anything from The Running Man and Battle Royale as they are the gold standard for media exploitation of humans hunting humans movies.”

So, now that you’ve seen what others are saying about the trailer, and the movie in general, what do you agree with? Who do you think is completely off the mark?

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Comments (16)

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  1. Jack says:

    Nothing from Schmoes Know?

  2. Kayla says:

    Ummmm…what The Wall Street Journal says about Peeta looking like a superhero instead of looking innocent and frightened…WHAT? He looks plenty scared to me! I mean, it’s IMPOSSIBLE not to see the pain and sadness in his face! Did they miss the entire reaping scene???

  3. Kelcie says:

    I am really, really, REALLY sick of Battle Royale comparisons. Who cares?? Twilight is similar to 354387351 novels out there, but that doesn’t stop anyone from seeing it. There are no completely original novels. None. So let it go, people.

  4. Hamilton says:

    @Jack – No, doesn’t look like they did a review of it. If anyone runs across some good reviews that I missed, feel free to link to them!

    @Kelcie – Everyone thinks they are so original with the “Hey, this American remake of Battle Royale doesn’t look that great,” comments. You’re right, it is getting old. I don’t think many people who have read both books think the two are actually that similar other than the initial premise…

  5. HG2985 says:

    Moviefone: we can only hope it steals Twilight’s thunder… all of it.
    Movie Moron: you’re obviously a moron.
    The Guardian: Thank you for acknowledging those of us who what Twilight to go away and never be compared to Hunger Games.
    NY Mag: Well said!

    I agree with @kelcie and @kayla too!

  6. Love of Peeta says:

    All I can say is stop comparing it to freakin twilight and battle royale

  7. Jack says:

    They sure did Hamilton, it is how I know about Hunger Games in first place:

  8. Jacqui (MyHungerGames admin) says:

    The Schmoes did send me a link to their youtube review (and thanks guys for that), but right at that time we were busy writing up our own review.

    Thanks for including the link though Jack.We love the “Schmoes” and maybe we’ll share the Schmoe Love real soon

  9. Hunger GAmes Crazy says:


    I AM SO HAPPY!! So many people will see this that arn’t fans!

    I watched The perfect getaway and some sences I was like, is this the Hunger Games? Is there any of that in the reviews? ♥♥♥

  10. Eds says:

    i loved the books and for me, the main selling point was the game itself. Most of the emotions in the book stems from wat happened/ happens in the games.. Now if the movie won’t have any of it given its PG13 rating. i wonder how they gonna pull it off :(

  11. Becki says:

    I didn’t really like the trailer. I think that I was just expecting… More. I am a fan of Twilight and will be going to see Breaking Dawn in just a few hours now. My original intention had been to see the trailer on the movie, giving myself the benefit of seeing the trailer for the first time on the big screen. Before doing so, I wanted to re-read the first book. I read it aloud to my sister, and we were both really enthused when we sat down to watch the trailer.

    I’m not sure what I was expecting. More action shots? The Arena is where everything happens and we didn’t get to see it. The trailer ended too abruptly without enough information for fans or people who are new to the series alike. It fell flat, in my opinion. And I was pumped to watch it too. Maybe I was just too geared up?

    For what it’s worth, there is no comparison of The Hunger Games and Twilight. Those who are making it are absolutely out of their minds. THG blows TTS out of the water. There’s no contest there. But that doesn’t mean I hate Twilight either 😉

  12. steve says:


    Found this on YT: – he said, “just enjoy the movie experience.” *thumbs up! =)

  13. RebeccaB. says:

    The Hunger Games is not like Harry Potter. The Hunger Games is not like Twilight. The Hunger Games is not like Battle Royale!

    People, really!? There are no “original” stories anymore! If you can think of it, stupid or not, it’s more than likely been written about before! There are more “survival death games” out there than just Battle Royale, not everything with the same basic concept is a Battle Royale or Harry Potter or Twilight knockoff. There are tons of books like that.

    Like that movie The Condemned, The Maze Runner, The Running Man (mentioned), even books like Unwind and The Giver — either a dystopia or a death game. Death Race, even. Are *all* those Battle Royale knockoffs, too? Probably according to the BR fankids.

  14. Becki says:

    Watched Breaking Dawn tonight. No Hunger Games Trailer. What the heck?!

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