The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 ★★★

This is easily the best-produced adaptation we can expect about a whiny teenager stuck in a bunker. Seriously. It's a solid film all-around, especially if you consider the story is rather dull in this installment.

Jennifer Lawrence is a bit of an enigma here. She's never been a thoroughly consistent actress, and delivers what I think might be her weakest effort onscreen yet. That's not a good thing, and the jury's still out on whether or not she's worthy of the acclaim she's received in the past (okay, Winter's Bone was fantastic). But when she's on here, she's really on, almost enough to make you forget how bad she is at pretending to do banal things like wake up or be confused.

Some tense moments and some great portrayals from the supporting cast breathe life into what could have been a limp noodle of a film. Production, effects and sound design are all fantastic. But is it enough of a hook to keep me interested for The Hunger Games 3.5? Maybe.

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