The first reactions to The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes have been released on social media. The upcoming movie is a blockbuster prequel to the Hunger Games franchise, which starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a District 12 teenager living in a dystopian world who rose to become a symbol of rebellion. The new movie, set six decades earlier, will follow the future President Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) as he mentors District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a contestant in an earlier version of the inter-district fight to the death known as the Hunger Games.
The embargo has lifted, allowing critics and pop culture pundits to share their spoiler-free reactions to the new movie nearly two weeks ahead of the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes release date. While some have made critiques of various aspects including the pacing and run time, the cast is being widely praised with some viewers even suggesting the movie is in the running to be considered one of the best Hunger Games movies of them all. Check out select reactions below:
Tessa Smith said “the entire cast is phenomenal” and “Tom Blyth gives the performance of a lifetime.”
Smells Like Teen Angst called the movie “quite possibly the best adaptation we’ve had so far,” also praising the acting, music, and costumes.
THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES: Sorry that Francis Lawrence regretted splitting MOCKINGJAY in two, but he should've done same with prequel. Thrillingly vicious first 2/3 of film upended by rushed, unsteady final act. REVENGE OF THE SITH comparisons inescapable
— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) November 5, 2023
Barry Hertz, on the other hand, suggested that the movie should have been split into two, criticizing the “rushed, unsteady final act” that follows the “thrillingly vicious first [two-thirds.]”