I volunteer as tribute! Here is a definitive ranking of every Hunger Games movie

The odds are simply not in Mockingjay’s favour

If your TikTok feed is anything like mine right now, it’ll be full of absolutely anything and everything related to The Hunger Games. For some reason, it seems like we’ve all been thrown head-first back into a teenage dystopia phase, hungry for a love triangle and some angst. Thankfully the Hunger Games is one of the few YA fiction series that has stood the test of time and has the perfect balance of nostalgia and drama.

It’s just in time too, as a new Hunger Games film is due to be released later this year, which is the perfect reason to binge-watch all four movies. I’ve spent the entire weekend forcing my housemates to rewatch the entire series with me, ready to definitely rank the films from worst to best, once and for all.

4. Mockingjay – Part two

I was really not on board with the 2010s obsession with splitting every movie into two parts. Don’t get me wrong, Mockingjay Part 2 had some iconic moments, Gale’s war crimes and Coin’s deaths are hard-hitting moments. But splitting the last book completely threw the pacing off for the end of the franchise, and yet the ending still felt rushed. The entire last film was just a little bit anticlimactic, despite such important events taking place, and I’m still in denial over Finnick and Annie’s endings. It was also such Johanna’s role was cut from the Mockingjay films, especially when combined they’re nearly four and a half hours long. Overall, the odds simply were not in Mockingjay’s favour.

3. Mockingjay – Part one

It might be a little bit controversial to rank Part one above Part two, but I will defend this decision wholeheartedly. Part one has less action, but works so much better as its own film because it sets up a story rather than tying up loose ends. It delves into the complexities and realistic parts of the war, and seeing the uprisings in the different districts interweave with Katniss’ story makes Part one a movie I’m more enthusiastic about rewatching than Part two. President Snow is an absolute highlight too, there’s nothing I love more than a well-written villain, and Part 1 really capitalises on it. I’m not entirely sure how they managed to fill an entire two hours with a few uprisings and cringe propaganda films that look like movie trailers, but it really does work.

2. The Hunger Games

Where would we be without the OG Hunger Games movie? While it’s a decade old now, it’s just as iconic as it was in 2012. The first film felt a lot more raw than the other three, although that might just be down to some of the shaky camerawork and less frequent CGI. It really adds to the immersion, making you feel like you’re a sponsor watching one of the personal evaluations, or up in the trees with Katniss and Rue. Seneca Crane’s facial hair could easily be the next up-and-coming runway trend, but Nighlock berries can stay in the arena.

1. Catching Fire

Catching Fire is THAT girl. No other YA dystopia has ever, or will ever match Catching Fire. The Quarter Quell? Shocking. The Arena? Genius. Every single new main character is both complex and compelling. This film might be the peak of the love triangle, but both Peeta and Gale can be swept aside when Finnick is introduced into the equation. He’s the hottest man alive. Although “If it wasn’t for the baby” was a bigger shock than the forcefield exploding, Peeta had us all convinced too.

Catching Fire adds so much to the Hunger Games world, and the entire secret plot is so beautifully thought out. There’s tension, drama, and suspense at all the right points, and the chemistry between the cast is unbeatable. The only criticism I could possibly put forward for Catching Fire is that Cinna doesn’t get to escape to 13 with everybody else.

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