Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today




Movies for Grownups


Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together


Virgo - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between August 23 & September 22

Contests & Sweeps

Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/15. No purchase necessary. Enter for Official Rules.


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Most Popular


Movie Review: The Hunger Games

The sci-fi novel-turned-film thrills teens — and grownups, too

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games-AARP Movie Review

In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her younger sister's place in a fight to the death live television show. — Photo Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Director: Gary Ross
Rated: PG-13 Running Time: 142 minutes
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Have you seen The Hunger Games? Comment on the article or take your opinion to our Movies for Grownups message boards. What did you think? Agree with our review?

En español | If you haven’t read The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’s first installment of her best-selling trilogy, you’ll still enjoy this movie. And while the target audience for the books and film is the teenage Twilight crowd, there’s plenty of material here for grownups, including observations — intentional or not — from Collins and director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) on violence, warfare, modern-day entertainment and society’s increasing class divides.

The Hunger Games is set in a futuristic North America that has survived wars and near-apocalypse. We’re left with a nation, called Panem, governed by a dictatorial Capitol, nestled in the area of the Colorado Rockies, where wealth — no, gluttony — abounds. The rest of the land is divided into 12 districts that serve the needs of the Capitol; the people of the districts remain suppressed and intimidated by the Capitol largely because of the Hunger Games, a punishment for the people’s rebellion 74 years earlier. Each year, on Reaping Day, a teenage boy and girl are selected, either by lottery or volunteer, from each district and entered into a nationally televised fight with one another until only one survivor (literally) remains. A twisted reality show, yes, and the residents of the Capitol love it!

Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from District 12 (a coal mining area) who volunteers to enter the games in place of her beloved younger sister, who is selected by lottery. The extremely talented Jennifer Lawrence (of Winter’s Bone) was perfectly cast for this role, and she carries the film. Her fellow fighter (and love interest) from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson (of The Kids Are All Right). The chemistry between Lawrence and Hutcherson is weak, probably to be ignited in the expected next of two more episodes, and Hutcherson has that adolescent appeal teens may love, but we won’t. Still, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, the heavy-drinking one-time Hunger Games victor and mentor to Katniss, offers a fascinating portrayal, as does Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, the Geraldo Rivera-style TV interviewer for the games telecast, and Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow, the cold-hearted despot of Panem.

Next: The Hunger Games is in Imax as well. »


Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Your Scoop on Cinema

Movies for Grownups is focused on films with distinct relevance to a 50-plus audience. In reviews, previews and interviews, we look for actors and themes that speak to the experiences of older moviegoers. Find more about us on:


100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

By Bill Newcott
January 2015

A treasure trove of delightfully offbeat recommendations for discerning moviegoers, from the beginnings of film right up the present.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save 15-30% on tickets to live Cirque du Soleil shows.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points