|The Hunger Games|
|Directed by||Gary Ross|
|Produced by|| Nina Jacobson|
|Written by|| Gary Ross|
|Music by|| Jennifer Lawrence|
|Studio|| Stephen Mirrione|
|Release date||March 23, 2012|
|Running time||142 minutes|
The Hunger Games takes place in a nation known as Panem after the destruction of North America by some unknown apocalyptic event. Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. District 12, where the book begins, is located in the coal mine region that was formerly known as Appalachia.
As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol in which a 13th district was destroyed, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by an annual lottery to participate in the Hunger Games, an event in which the participants (or "tributes") must fight in an outdoor arena controlled by the Capitol, until only one remains.
The story follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence), a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th annual Hunger Games in place of her younger sister, Primrose (Shields). Also selected from District 12 is Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson), a baker's son whom Katniss knows from school, who once gave her bread when her family was starving and got a whooping for it.
Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Capitol, located in the former Rocky Mountains, where their drunken mentor, Haymitch Abernathy (Harrelson), victor of the 50th Hunger Games, instructs them to watch and learn the talents of the other tributes. They are then publicly displayed to the Capitol audience in a televised session with interviewer Caesar Flickerman. During this time, Peeta reveals on-air his long-time unrequited love for Katniss. Katniss believes this to be a ploy to gain audience support for the Games, which can be crucial for survival, as audience members are encouraged to send gifts like food, medicine, and tools to favored tributes during the Games.
The Games begin with 13 of tributes killed in the first 8 hours, while Katniss relies on her well-practiced hunting and outdoor skills to survive. As the games continue, the tribute death toll increases. During this time, Katniss hears a girl get killed by the Career tributes, then kills the girl from District 1, Glimmer (Rambin), using tracker jackers, genetically altered wasps. A few days later, Katniss develops an alliance with Rue (Stenberg), a 12-year-old girl from the agricultural District 11 who reminds Katniss of her sister Prim. During this time, the Career tributes set up a booby trap at the Cornucopia, a giant metal horn. Rue distracts the Careers by setting up a smoke. Katniss then blows up the supplies. Shortly after, Rue is killed by the boy from District 1, Marvel (Quaid), by falling into his trap. Katniss then kills Marvel back. At Rue's request, Katniss sings to her, then spreads flowers over her body as a sign of respect as she passes away. All this is aired on TV, sparking a rebellion in District 11.
Supposedly due to Katniss and Peeta's beloved image in the minds of the audience as "star-crossed lovers", a rule change is announced midway through the Games, stating that two tributes from the same district can win the Hunger Games as a pair. Upon hearing this, Katniss searches for Peeta and eventually finds him, wounded by a sword, and camoflauged in the ground. As she nurses him back to health, she acts the part of a young girl falling in love to gain more favor with the audience and, consequently, gifts from her sponsors. A "feast" is also announced. Katniss runs to the Cornucopia, where she gets tortured by Clove (Fuhrman), the girl from District 2. However, Clove is then killed by Thresh, the boy from District 11, who saves her out of respect for what she did to Rue. Katniss returns to Peeta, and shortly afterwards, Foxface, the girl from District 5, and Thresh are killed. Wolf mutts then chase Katniss and Peeta to the Cornucopia, where they meet the last tribute to kill, Cato (Ludwig). A huge fight enuses with Katniss and Peeta both nearly getting eaten by the mutts, until Cato is pushed in to the mutts. Katniss shoots an arrow into his head, out of pity, and he dies.
When the couple are finally the last two tributes, the Gamemakers reverse the rule change in an attempt to force them into a dramatic finale, where one must kill the other to win. Katniss, knowing that the Gamemakers would rather have two victors than none, retrieves highly poisonous berries known as "nightlock" from her pouch and offers some to Peeta. Upon realizing that Katniss and Peeta intend to commit suicide, the Gamemakers announce that both will be the victors of the 74th Hunger Games.
Although she survives the ordeal in the arena and is treated to a hero's welcome in the Capitol, Katniss is warned by Haymitch that she has now become a political target after defying her society's authoritarian leaders so publicly. As Katniss and Peeta return to District 12, President Snow watches the victor's welcome they receive whilst pondering what to do about the joint victors and the rebellion they have started.
- Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
- Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
- Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
- Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
- Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy