There's a lot of setup involved in building this franchise, but Ross keeps the plot economically unfurling. Once Katniss, Peeta and the other tributes enter the arena and the Games begin, he ramps up the action to a near-breakneck speed, but he still is unable to quite keep up with page-turning pace of Collins' cliffhanger-per-chapter novels.
Still, the director gets the most important part right: He never turns “The Hunger Games” into your standard slick action vehicle, the kind of movie that makes violence look kind of cool or at least exciting. Adopting a cinéma vérité shooting style, taking the PG-13 rating to the hilt and continually pushing his stellar cast to find the humanity in their characters, Ross brings to the screen an adaptation that is faithful not only to the letter but also the spirit of Collins' books.
Bonus features: While it doesn't offer the usual director's commentary — unfortunately, Ross won't be helming the sequel “Catching Fire” — the two-disc Blu-ray includes a comprehensive two-hour, eight-part making-of documentary, along with several behind-the-scenes featurettes, photo and poster galleries, trailers and a full version of the propaganda short film seen in the movie.
— Brandy McDonnell