Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Is Short On Action but Well Acted

Plus, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is atmospheric and original, and The Missing's first season is Certified Fresh.

by | November 20, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got just one wide release: the hotly-anticipated The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. What do the critics have to say?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

69%

Sure, it makes business sense to stretch the Hunger Games series as far as it can go — but does it make artistic sense? Critics say the answer is a tentative yes; while The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is decidedly short on action, its exceptional cast and intriguing ideas still make for compelling viewing. War is brewing throughout the land, and the skill and compassion that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has displayed in the Hunger Games has made her a folk hero for the rebellion. But while Katniss is uncomfortable in her new role as a symbol, she teams with a band of rebels in order to ensure her family’s safety and rescue her old partner Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from the Capital. The pundits say The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 provides a deeper look into the trials and tribulations of District 13, even if it sometimes feels like an extended cliffhanger for the final chapter. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Lawrence’s best-reviewed films, as well as our video interviews with the stars.)

New on TV:

The pundits say The Missing (Certified Fresh at 96 percent) turns a common premise into a standout thriller, thanks to heartfelt, affecting performances.

Critics say State of Affairs (22 percent) benefits from Alfre Woodard’s talent, but this overly serious show is dragged down by Katherine Heigl’s unsympathetic character and a surfeit of unintentional laughs.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The King and the Mockingbird, a long-gestating animated fable about a despotic ruler in love with a shepherdess, is at 100 percent.

  • The Mule, starring Hugo Weaving in a black comedy about a suspected drug mule who struggles to keep from turning over his stash to the authorities, is at 94 percent.

  • Bad Hair, a drama about a nine-year-old Venezuelan boy whose mother objects to his attempts to straighten his curly locks, is at 93 percent.

  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, an atmospheric horror film about a skateboarding vampire and her tentative love affair with a blue-collar boy, is at 91 percent.

  • Happy Valley, a documentary about the Penn State community and its response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, is at 84 percent.

  • Pulp: a Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets, a rock doc about the Britpop legends’ 2012 farewell show, is at 82 percent.

  • Little Hope Was Arson, a documentary about a spate of church burnings in rural Texas, is at 80 percent.

  • Late Phases, a horror movie about a werewolf that terrorizes a retirement community, is at 63 percent.

  • The Sleepwalker, a thriller about a simmering family resentments that come to light when a young woman is contacted by her estranged sister, is at 57 percent.

  • V/H/S: Viral, the third in the series of found-footage horror anthology films, is at 46 percent.

  • Extraterrestrial, a horror film about a group of teenagers on vacation at a secluded cabin when they come face-to-face with an alien invasion, is at 38 percent.

  • Reach Me, starring Kyra Sedgwick and Sylvester Stallone in a drama about a mysterious author who inspires a cult following, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

Rocky Amazon Prime Video mcc Cartoon Network Horror Endgame rom-coms Masterpiece canceled TV shows Star Trek 73rd Emmy Awards San Diego Comic-Con Marvel broadcast transformers genre comic books President golden globe awards First Reviews BBC One cancelled TV series Nominations New York Comic Con criterion psycho VOD See It Skip It BET romantic comedy movie harry potter Dark Horse Comics Ghostbusters scary movies Acorn TV ViacomCBS chucky posters obituary Amazon HBO E3 elevated horror cartoon Netflix disaster Paramount South by Southwest Film Festival spy thriller adaptation YouTube Red dreamworks RT21 YA teaser DC streaming service Infographic DGA The Witch Biopics NYCC spanish TNT Mudbound MTV Winners mockumentary Academy Awards Mary Tyler Moore Legendary documentaries feel good scene in color film series Premiere Dates zombies Spectrum Originals Country Universal Pictures streaming name the review new star wars movies spinoff james bond basketball BET Awards screen actors guild unscripted LGBT Universal blaxploitation Awards book adaptation marvel comics TLC versus Tokyo Olympics Nickelodeon docuseries sopranos Walt Disney Pictures Quiz 2019 Comic-Con@Home 2021 Lionsgate festival TBS Thanksgiving die hard TCA Animation hollywood American Society of Cinematographers Paramount Pictures SXSW 2022 ITV prank news talk show spanish language FOX french australia anime 4/20 dexter child's play Mystery NBC 2016 heist movie Video Games Prime Video binge Discovery Channel HBO Go Ovation X-Men Marathons finale cars hist remakes sequel Tubi Apple The Arrangement El Rey crime japan Television Academy movies Pixar CNN docudrama spider-verse free movies werewolf Star Wars Celebration 2017 nature streamig IFC Films reviews Schedule Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt The CW Super Bowl jamie lee curtis toy story black comedy Martial Arts robots worst movies VH1 scene in color rt labs critics edition Pride Month Music canceled Brie Larson Sundance Now PaleyFest critics women halloween sports MGM Emmy Nominations Columbia Pictures latino Marvel Studios ESPN USA Network Year in Review hidden camera psychological thriller technology Showtime adenture Arrowverse Western 2021 comic fast and furious Fox Searchlight football richard e. Grant Black Mirror doctor who Tarantino 79th Golden Globes Awards Baby Yoda Classic Film Nat Geo trailers Pacific Islander green book Epix Mindy Kaling comic book movie Toys History thriller dc LGBTQ Pop Image Comics television Superheroe nfl 007 Best Picture halloween tv christmas movies First Look blockbusters Disney+ Disney Plus A&E black Adult Swim cops kaiju new york Extras game show Hollywood Foreign Press Association Travel Channel Amazon Prime Opinion adventure USA AMC Plus Best and Worst BBC OneApp Calendar cancelled anthology sag awards CMT Drama Crunchyroll king kong romance Spike Valentine's Day casting Rock cooking Syfy best Shudder HFPA Amazon Studios series MCU historical drama satire Spring TV vs. live action Wes Anderson king arthur Apple TV+ ABC Focus Features Netflix Christmas movies singing competition Sci-Fi TCA Winter 2020 The Walking Dead action-comedy debate YouTube Premium legend fresh Peacock witnail cancelled TV shows ABC Signature Hallmark Christmas movies Fall TV scary obi wan Trailer stand-up comedy VICE scorecard IFC Stephen King Reality medical drama Box Office Broadway cults Cosplay Song of Ice and Fire Paramount Plus GoT toronto SXSW Pirates target scene in color discovery zero dark thirty vampires universal monsters boxoffice TCA 2017 kong Ellie Kemper 93rd Oscars Lifetime Fantasy Pet Sematary Disney streaming service CBS All Access superman period drama 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards DC Universe game of thrones Christmas Tomatazos Chilling Adventures of Sabrina royal family Television Critics Association Kids & Family worst based on movie Oscar mission: impossible sequels emmy awards biopic Film 2018 renewed TV shows telelvision Funimation nbcuniversal 99% Comedy Central interviews all-time Musicals spider-man BAFTA sitcom Turner Classic Movies high school Comics on TV dark Hallmark cinemax wonder woman Lucasfilm golden globes FX Vudu TV One Best Director Red Carpet Marvel Television theme song comiccon venice PBS Anna Paquin slashers book TCA Awards 24 frames dragons lord of the rings Comedy HBO Max ID batman children's TV video on demand rt labs Teen Sony TV Land Superheroes Warner Bros. TCM Best Actor rotten indiana jones new zealand joker Awards Tour concert award winner serial killer Best Actress 20th Century Fox Action know your critic aapi Holiday Disney Plus Comic Book deadpool E! true crime composers YouTube target TIFF Tags: Comedy italian social media Food Network Logo TruTV GIFs Summer Apple TV Plus laika Black History Month natural history summer TV twilight A24 Set visit diversity Indigenous 1990s screenings The Purge Instagram Live The Walt Disney Company hispanic rotten movies we love Podcast Election Hulu 72 Emmy Awards Hear Us Out Creative Arts Emmys crime thriller godzilla Mary Poppins Returns indie war quibi Writers Guild of America Esquire biography TV Sundance what to watch parents crime drama hispanic heritage month Disney MSNBC leaderboard Sundance TV Bravo Crackle independent Mary poppins ABC Family Britbox WGN 21st Century Fox Fargo strong female leads WarnerMedia 2015 directors Trophy Talk asian-american Lifetime Christmas movies NBA dogs TV movies popular Fox News international Rocketman Shondaland Geeked Week mutant Rom-Com reboot monster movies science fiction 90s kids Neflix live event Winter TV pirates of the caribbean Chernobyl boxing gangster Trivia art house National Geographic comic book movies documentary rt archives suspense APB Alien blockbuster razzies SundanceTV Paramount Network olympics Watching Series Women's History Month Character Guide stop motion FXX foreign superhero Holidays SDCC a nightmare on elm street Tumblr facebook 71st Emmy Awards police drama travel Turner justice league space ghosts Elton John summer preview IMDb TV CBS dramedy Film Festival marvel cinematic universe GLAAD Avengers Emmys cats Photos Star Wars Reality Competition dceu slasher zombie stoner franchise supernatural The Academy trophy Sneak Peek japanese RT History comedies Oscars TV renewals animated classics PlayStation Binge Guide AMC Freeform Polls and Games ratings political drama video scene in color series young adult revenge DC Comics Certified Fresh festivals streaming movies politics miniseries cancelled television south america FX on Hulu critic resources tv talk BBC America 2020 CW Seed Heroines 94th Oscars Native comics summer TV preview archives Pop TV Grammys saw Captain marvel Exclusive Video Starz Interview jurassic park DirecTV Disney Channel crossover spain films Cannes Countdown Musical aliens breaking bad Family 45 mob OWN Sony Pictures