How the Hunger Games Movies Compare to the Books (Spoilers!)


The Hunger Games series is undeniably popular. The incredible books later developed into hit movies gained widespread popularity. However, the movies often receive criticism for multiple reasons, as most book-to-movie adaptations do. Yet, I still think that the Hunger Games movies are incredible, and pretty much tied with the books in how good they are. Below, I list some criticisms and counters, but please know that all of the Hunger Games movies are rated PG-13, and are meant for older viewers.


1. Detail

Many people say that the Hunger Games movies do not have as much detail as the books. This is true, as most times, a movie cannot include many of the small, intimate moments in the book. However, I think that the movies did a great job of putting in little details that we typically only see in the books. One great example of this is the “Real or Not Real” game that Katniss plays with Peeta. All in all, the movies perfectly capture the big picture and almost perfectly capture the small ones.

2. Action

Critics often complain that the books do a better job of describing the action than the movie, however, I do not believe this. I think that the action in the movie is incredible and perfectly choreographed. It is also just perfect in the amount of violence, of course being violent (it’s the Hunger Games!) but not enough to make you uncomfortable. All in all, I think that the movies are tied with the books in the amount and type of action.

3. Viewer Involvement / Emotion

I’m not going to deny it, I almost cried during Mockingjay (please don’t judge me). The emotion that both the books and movies are able to convey is incredible. Still, I believe that the movies did a better job of pulling you into the world of Panem and making you a part of the story. Seeing (SPOILERS AHEAD!) Finnick, Cinna, and Prim die was heart-wrenching and was something that the books simply were unable to convey (they were still incredibly sad). Also, during the movies, I felt like I was with Katniss and Peeta in the arena. I felt their sadness when one of their friends died, and I felt their happiness when they won (partially due to Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and others’ performances). All in all, during the movies, I felt closely connected to the characters and their experiences than the books.

Altogether, the Hunger Games movies are tied with the books in almost every aspect and even excel in some places. Still, I would recommend you read the books first to better understand the movies, but be sure to watch the movies.