The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 follows Katniss Everdeen who becomes a reluctant hero and symbol of hope for the nation of Panem. Directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong, it is the first of two cinematic parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, and the third of four installments in The Hunger Games film series. Part 1 is at the top of Fandango’s list of most-anticipated films for 2014 and so far has received mostly positive reviews for its character-driven plot, solid performances, and political themes.
Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, finds herself in District 13 after she literally shatters the Games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage. The 17-year-old from District 12 and victor of the 74th Hunger Games becomes a reluctant hero and symbol of hope for the nation after escaping the third Quarter Quell in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Josh Hutcherson returns as Peeta Mellark, joint victor of the 74th Hunger Games, captured at the end of Catching Fire and tortured. Liam Hemsworth returns as Gale Hawthorne, Katniss’ best friend from District 12 and now a soldier in District 13, one of a few hundred survivors after the bombings of his district. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy is no longer trusted by Katniss after he breaks his promise of saving Peeta. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket is now a Capitol-born rebel in District 13.
New to this film are Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin, president of District 13 and the leader of the rebellion; Natalie Dormer as Cressida, resident video director from the Capitol who flees to District 13 to join the rebellion in hopes of ending President Snow’s control; Robert Knepper as Antonius, President Snow’s minister; Stef Dawson as Annie Cresta, Finnick’s girlfriend from District 4 captured by the Capitol; Evan Ross as Messalla, assistant to Cressida; Gwendoline Christie as Commander Lyme, leader of the rebellion in District 2; Patina Miller as Commander Paylor, leader of the rebellion in District 8; Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Coin’s right hand man; Wes Chatham as Castor, and Elden Henson as his brother Pollux.
Familiar faces abound. Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, trident-wielding victor of the 65th Hunger Games, escapes from the third Quarter Quell alongside Katniss and other tributes and seeks refuge in District 13. Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, District 7 victor, was captured by the Capitol at the end of Catching Fire along with Peeta. Stanley Tucci, Willow Shields, Jeffrey Wright, Meta Golding, Paula Malcomson all reprise their roles as Caesar Flickerman, Primrose Everdeen, Beetee Latier, Enobaria, and Mrs. Everdeen respectively. The film runs two hours, five minutes and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material.