The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (movie review)

No Hunger Games in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1? No problem!

From movie to movie, I never know what to expect from this series. The first one caught me completely off guard – the premise sounded ridiculous, so I expected it to be terrible, but I enjoyed it. Catching Fire really surprised me – they found a way to do the same thing in a new and more interesting way. Mockingjay – Part 1 is a complete departure from the formula of the first two movies: there’s no reaping, no prep time, no Hunger Games. The movie is all about politics, strategy… I wouldn’t call it a psychological thriller, but the movie is very much about Katniss Everdeen’s (that’s Jennifer Lawrence’s character, in case you’re from outer space) psyche. Her PTSD from the previous movie is back with a vengeance, including the nightmares.

A lot of what’s good about Mockingjay – Part 1 is carried by the quality performance of the actors (awesome cast: aforementioned Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci…), the editing and the directing. There’s a lot of exposition as this movie is so different than the others, but I thought the pace was fine and when you have such gorgeous instruments as this cast, it’s not a problem.

Still, many critics didn’t care for this flick. It’s at 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, so many critics did like the movie, but there’s a loud dissenting voice I don’t agree with in any shape or form. Christie Lemire, who’s one of my favorites, dropped this blurb:

“It’s an elaborate game of hurry-up-and-wait. And it’s the most shameless example yet of splitting the final book in a hugely popular series into two film adaptations.”

Between Lemire’s blurb and several others, I feel as though the movie has been rejected out of hand just because it’s a novel that was split into two movies. I also must take issue with the idea that “it’s the most shameless example yet of splitting the final book in a hugely popular series into two film adaptations.” Anyone who saw the last two Twilight movies will tell you that statement is an egregious lie.
At this point in the series, there’s no point jumping in, but if you liked the first two, I recommend checking out The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. I’m giving it an 8 out of 10 – it’s nothing worthy of intense study, but it’s solid entertainment bolstered by quality performances..

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on December 1, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: