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Weekend Preview: 'The Hunger Games' Is A Must-See

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood March 23, 2012 at 1:12PM

Box office records and hearts -- and maybe some gender barriers -- will be broken this weekend by "The Hunger Games" and the franchise's star, Jennifer Lawrence. (The film already scored $19.7 million from midnight shows.) We don't usually recommend a box office giant as must-see viewing, but this is an exception.
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Hunger Games, Katniss tv screen

Box office records and hearts -- and maybe some gender barriers -- will be broken this weekend by "The Hunger Games" and the franchise's star, Jennifer Lawrence. (The film already scored $19.7 million from midnight shows.) We don't usually recommend a box office giant as must-see viewing, but this is an exception. Don't be fooled into thinking that "The Hunger Games" is a "women's film" -- a term that desperately needs to be put to rest. It's great, conscious entertainment for all.

You may want to make it a double-feature weekend, since well-reviewed "The Deep Blue Sea" and "The Raid: Redemption" are also great indie options for lovers of historical romance or action, respectively. Abel Ferrara's "4:44: Last Day on Earth" is more divisive, offering yet another take on the end of the world.

Details, trailers and reviews below.

The Deep Blue Sea, Weisz

"The Hunger Games" Lionsgate, US | Dir: Gary Ross; Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Toby Jones | Early Reviews Love Lawrence | Stars Talk its Culture-Shifting Power | Back when it all began... | How The Filmmakers Delivered a Home Run | 89% Fresh.

"The Raid: Redemption" SPC, US/INDONESIA | Dir: Gareth Evans; Cast: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian | 88% Fresh | Village Voice says: "Lean, fast-moving, and filled with game-changing fight sequences that have a brutally beautiful (or beautifully brutal) quality, Gareth Evans's Indonesian martial-arts film The Raid: Redemption lives up to its viral hype." | Indiewire says Action Fans Must See it Before the Remake.

"The Deep Blue Sea" Music Box Films, US/UK | Dir: Terence Davies; Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston | TOH! interviews Weisz and Hiddleston | 89% Fresh | Village Voice says: "Plumbing disquieting depth, Deep Blue Sea investigates the insoluble dilemma of romantic love: the expectation, contrary to experience, that we can or will find every quality that we want in a single person."

"4:44 Last Day on Earth" US/SWIS/FR | Dir: Abel Ferrara; Cast: Willem Dafoe, Natasha Lyonne, Paz de la Huerta, Shanyn Leigh | 44% Rotten | EW says: "Ferrara's thin idea for a movie — life goes on, even when it's about to stop — would have been a lot better had he given his characters more to do." | ThePlaylist intervews Ferrara.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Reviews, Reviews, Critics, Franchises, Trailers, Video


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