The first reviews are starting to come in for the hugely anticipated film, "The Hunger Games," which opens this weekend. The plot stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, who must compete in a government-sponsored reality TV show that forces children to fight each other to the death: The last one standing is the winner.
The movie is based on the bestselling books by Suzanne Collins, and the film version is expected to be "Twilight" big, with an already established fan base of young readers. So what do critics have to say about the dystopic adventure?
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Early reviews look good. Christy Lemire writes for the Associated Press that the script "adheres closely to Collins's novel," and although it trancates some sublots, Lemire still gives it high marks: "The makers of 'The Hunger Games' have managed the difficult feat of crafting a film that feels both epic and intimate at once."
Ryan Fleming from Digital Trends assures fans that while the movie isn't a "perfect film, it is a faithful one." And adds, "The story honors the book and makes very few sacrifices, and those made are perfectly understandable and legitimate and take nothing away from the narrative."
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Drew McWeeney, writing for the blog HitFix calls "The Hunger Games" "thrilling, intelligent, deeply felt blockbuster filmmaking." And gushes over Jennifer Lawrence portrayal, writing: "Here's a pop culture phenomenon centered around a female character who I can fully endorse."
Over at the New York Daily News, reviewer Joe Neumaier awards the film five out of five stars, and calls the Gary Ross-directed movie based on the teen novel "light years ahead of 'Twilight'." He explains, "It's better and scarier than its source book, and aims an angry eye at our bloodthirsty, watch-anything-and-cheer culture."
Todd McCarthy for the Hollywood Reporter agrees that this could be the next teen phenom, writing, "This Lionsgate release is being positioned as the hottest property for the teen audience since 'Twilight,' and there's no reason to believe that box office results won't land roughly in that vaunted vicinity." He adds, "Jennifer Lawrence is stellar in this faithful, good-enough film version of the massive bestseller."
See this clip from 'The Hunger Games':