Freeview film of the day: The Hunger Games

The super-successful Hunger Games franchise starts here, as Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen is chosen to embark on a fight to the death for the amusement of the wealthy


The Hunger Games  ★★★★


9.00-11.45pm E4

The quadrilogy of films based on the dystopian young adult novels by Suzanne Collins climaxed with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 back in 2015, a pretty decisive finale that retired the franchise on a $2.9 billion worldwide pension pot. Umpteen copycats, both literary and cinematic, have flourished or otherwise in its mighty wake. But should you wish to revisit the source, here’s the first Hunger Games, which introduced Jennifer Lawrence as hotshot archer Katniss Everdeen, forced to take part in the titular fight-to-the-death youth tournament in a totalitarian future. The social satire is unsubtle, with the rich – Stanley Tucci’s MC, Donald Sutherland’s president and Elizabeth Banks’s chaperone – irksome, coiffured dandies, and the deadly sport itself is a 12-certificate bloodless affair, but Gary Ross directs with cut and thrust, and Lawrence proved a true star in the making.


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