Credit: Lionsgate © 2011 Lionsgate Entertainment (Photo via Kinopoisk) Photo: Katniss Watches the Reaping in The Hunger Games

It's pretty rare that a movie with massive hype like The Hunger Games can deliver on the buzz, but now that it's set to hit screens in less than a week, the flick is distinguishing itself from some of those other cult phenomena in one major way: While much-anticipated films like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Twilight have received mixed reviews from critics, The Hunger Games is garnering universal acclaim in its first round of critical reviews.

Let's see what the notoriously fickle film review community had to say!

London-based publication The Telegraph raved, "Gary Ross’s provocative, pulse-surgingly tense adaptation couldn’t feel fresher, or timelier," saying of Jennifer Lawrence, "You can't take your eyes off of her," and describing the production design as "dazzlingly odd and frequently inspired." Sounds good, right? The reviewer concludes: "The Hunger Games is an essential science fiction film for our times; perhaps the essential science fiction film of our times. Whatever your age, it demands to be devoured." High praise!

Time Out London also had good things to say, writing that "The film’s strengths are many: from the opening scenes set in the beautifully realised Depression-style District 12 to some grittily realistic, often shockingly nasty fight sequences inside the Arena." Though they noted that it's an "oddly muted film" a bit light on "cinematic sparkle," it's still "a gripping, impressively mounted action movie." Sounds good to us!

The Hollywood Reporter praised the "strong narrative structure, built-in forward movement and compelling central character," especially Jennifer Lawrence's acting which, they said, "anchors this futuristic and politicized elaboration of The Most Dangerous Game with impressive gravity and presence." 

And while Variety was less adulatory in their review, they still noted that it should please fans of the books, although they thought that the PG-13 rating may have stripped away some of the more compelling themes of violence: "Any real sense of risk has been carefully ironed out: The PG-13 rating that ensures the film's suitability for its target audience also blunts the impact of the teen-on-teen bloodshed, most of it rendered in quick, oblique glimpses."

We didn't really need more excuses to see it, but still, we're thrilled to have our early suspicions about the movie confirmed — sounds like a smash!

Source: E! Online, The Telegraph, Time Out London, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety

Credit: YouTube Photo: Must-Watch! Katniss Shows Off in Mind-Blowing New Hunger Games Clip (VIDEO)

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