Plot: Following their victory after the 74th annual Hunger Games, the lives of Katniss Everdeen and Peter Mellark are threatened by President Snow after their act of defiance generates rebellion against the Capitol.
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers: Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin, Amanda Plummer and Jena Malone
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Running Time: 2 hours and 26 minutes
U.S. Release Date: November 22, 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
WE LIVE FILM GRADE AVERAGE: A
AMOUNT OF GRADES IN THE GRADE BOOK: 17
(Lowest grade given to the film: B, Highest grade given to the film: A+)
SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Thought it may be a bit too long for some, everyone seems to agree Catching Fire is superior to its predecessor thanks to the direction of Francis Lawrence, a masterful performance by Jennifer Lawrence, as well as improvements from every existing cast member. The story has taken a much darker and emotional tone with added suspense and intriguing new characters. And the film is better on a technical level as well. This installment has created much anticipation for the next chapter in the series, Mockingjay.
- Gabriel “Big Gabe” Alcantara
While being a fan of the first installment, this second film of the Hunger Games series is, no doubt, a better film on a technical level as well as an emotional one. This is the turning point of the series and it managed to take me on a thrilling ride while also allowing me to deeply care for the people involved in the story. I have no fitting words that properly complement the lovely Jennifer Lawrence. She is simply da bomb! As for the rest of the cast, bravo. Everyone upped their game. Great piece of entertainment!
- Rokaan Al-zeer
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a huge improvement over the first film. Francis Lawrence was a perfect replacement and improves over the shaky cam style of Gary Ross. All the actors gave great performances especially the new recruits like Sam Claflin and Jena Malone. It’s also very faithful to the book! All I can say is: I can’t wait for Mockingjay!
- Tony Estrada
The original was solid in my opinion but there was definitely something about the sequel that just makes it more special. The storyline is much more dark and more intense as well as ever stronger performances. The action sequences are intense and mind-gripping as well as the splendid cinematography with its bright and smooth scenery. You gotta love Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, she represents the character so damn well. The film also does a magnificent job connecting with our reality in terms of how the media can work and how corrupt some people can be. The film just takes you to a much more darker and more brutal journey than the original. It’s a well-written, well-directed, and very well-shot film. It creates many elements to get you invested in the story and that’s a credit to director Francis Lawrence as well as the cast. The film does run a little long and there were a few times where some of the actors even Jennifer Lawrence can overreact a bit but overall, it’s better than the original and it’s a sequel worth watching. The original is good but the sequel is outstanding to its fullest.
- Ryan Fecskovics
Easily one of the best sequels of all time. The script is such a great script. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Katniss continues to thrive and develop. The CGI is much better than the first film. Liam Hemsworth continues to disappoint as Gale but it is an improvement. Also, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone are amazing additions. This film keeps the fans happy and hungry for more.
- Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD)
Loved the 1st film and to my wonderful surprise, they made a better film!!! Congrats to the Cast and Crew of this awesome movie!!!
- Mark Krawczyk
Everything that I was hoping to get from The Hunger Games is finally delivered in Catching Fire. From the direction of the film to the cinematography, everything was improved upon. Loved how there are a lot more layers to the supporting characters and not just our main actors. I especially loved Elizabeth Banks’ Effie more in this one. It makes me look forward to Mocking Jay part 1 & 2. Definitely worth your time.
- Joey Hollywood
It learns from the many mistakes of the first movie and improves upon them. As most know I hated the first film, but within the first 30 minutes of this new one I grew very interested and enjoyed what the film had to offer
- Mike Holtz of We Watched A Movie
Takes what the first film did and replaces the sometimes corny atmosphere with dread and dispare. That’s a good thing. While parts of the film were slow and felt rehashed from the movie before it, this movie is still the better of the two. No shaky cam or “Twilight” feel here.
- John Maffeo (Maffman Jones)
An improvement in every possible way over the 2012 commencer with emotionally resonant characters and a plot narrative that engages from beginning to end. There is something about it that exudes something special and the concrete is starting to dry. This second installment may just be sealing its place as one of the biggest commercially and financially successful films of recent times!
- Zachary “The Film Wizard” Marsh
Now THIS is how you do a Hunger Games movie! For a 2 and a half hour movie, it never feels slow and is always riveting and exciting to watch. The acting is superb, the story is fantastic, and it stays true to the book just like how many book-to-film adaptations should in the first place. Not only is this the best sequel I’ve seen this year, but it may also be my favorite blockbuster of the year.
- Matt Marshall
Superior to its predecessor from start to finish, “Catching Fire” dives headfirst into an all-star battle royale that successfully raises the stakes and interest. With all the right ingredients minus a slight sense of deja-vu, “Catching Fire” is the powerhouse sequel fans have been waiting for.
- William Bond Nunn
Definitely a major improvement from the 1st film in so many ways. Acting, special effects, action, suspense, drama, all of the above, just greatly put together. I highly recommend everyone see this one, even if you weren’t a fan of the 1st film. Definitely one of my favorites of the year.
- Jake Peffer
Catching Fire is a nice step up from the first film. Everything that was good about the first one is improved upon here and it leaves you wanting more once it ends.
- Austin Putnam
A HUGE improvement over what I thought was an overrated first movie. Francis Lawrence does a much better job than Gary Ross did with the first film. Every actor does a fantastic job with their characters, the action was tense and suspenseful, the cinematography this time is actually good and there’s a fantastic cliffhanger in there. Only flaw is that the first hour is VERY slow. I actually did get kinda bored a few times. Other than that it’s a great sequel.
- Callum Slater
A solid instalment and vast improvement to the first one, the ideas and themes were developed to their full potential and it has a bleak but mesmerizing look to it and fantastic acting from a well rounded cast. It just feels like some crucial characters got underdeveloped and felt useless story wise until a plot twist came up and the first part of the actual games didn’t feel intense enough. But the ending is awesome.
- Brandt Sohn
A terrific sequel that improves upon an already great opening to what is sure to go down as one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. Catching Fire does everything a sequel should do by raising the stakes and pushing the story world forward. The political buildup is fascinating and the games are brutally intense. The cast is wonderful and really breathe life into their characters. One of my favorite movies of the year. A must see.
- Bryan Sudfield
I didn’t except to love this movie, I thought I was just going to like it. But, I loved nearly every second about it. Francis Lawrence’s direction is incredible, and it’s great that doesn’t do shaky cam like Gary Ross did in the first Hunger Games. My babe Jennifer Lawrence does an excellent job once again as Katniss. Josh Hutcherson is great in this film as well, matured very well since the first one. Everyone does a great job in this movie. I loved the script, the visuals, art direction, cinematography, and costumes in this movie. My only issue was that it could had been a little shorter. Can’t wait for Mockingjay – Part 1 next November!