Australian Council on Children and the Media

Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

movie image

Short takes

Not suitable under 13; parental guidance strongly recommended 13-15 (Violence; disturbing scenes and themes)

Age
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
  • a review of Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 November 2014.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence and disturbing scenes and themes
Children aged 13-15 Parental guidance strongly recommended due to violence and disturbing scenes and themes
Children aged 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes and violence
Length 123 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

After being rescued by rebel forces at the end of Catching Fire (the second instalment in the Hunger Games series of films), Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is distraught and traumatised. She now lives with the rebels in an underground stronghold beneath the ruins of District 13. Also living with the rebels are Katniss’s friends Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemswoth), Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and Effie Trinket (Elizabet Banks). Peeta Mellark ( Josh Hutcherson) and several other surviving Hunger Games participants are being held hostage by President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

We learn that as a result of Katniss’ defiance of the Capitol and President Snow, the workers of other districts have begun to band together and rebel against the Capitol. To inspire the districts to revolt, the president of the rebels President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) convinces Katniss to act as rallying point for the masses. Katniss is to become the “Mockingjay” -  a symbol to inspire rebellion.

With the intent of making propaganda videos, Katniss and her friends set off to visit several of the Districts destroyed by President Snow’s troops. During filming, Katniss and her film crew are attacked by bomber planes sent from the Capitol but Katniss, ever defiant, fights back.

Bent on destroying Katniss, President Snow sends out a force of bombers to destroy the rebels’ underground fortress, while the rebels simultaneously send a team into the heart of the Capitol to rescue Peeta and other hostages. Katniss now discovers the true horror of President Snow’s revenge against her.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Tyranny and oppression; rebellion; mass murder; propaganda and brainwashing; hostages

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains some intense sequences of realistic violence that are likely to disturb some viewers. These include public executions and war scenes with a high body count. There are also constant references to violence, including hanging, poisoning and torture. Examples include:

  • At a public execution several people kneel on a stage with their hands tied behind their backs and hoods over their heads. An armed guard standing behind each of the captives approaches, points a hand gun to their head and shoots them; we do not see the victims actually being shot, but do see their bodies and a quick glimpse of the actual act via a reflected image in the visor of the guards. 
  • An order is given to bomb and kill hundreds of wounded people in a hospital. Planes drop bombs on the hospital which explodes in flames. The planes chase and fire at a group of fleeing rebels. A large tower is blown up and crashes to the ground narrowly missing the group of rebels. Katniss fires an arrow at a bomber plane which explodes and crashes into a second plane, causing both to explode in flames. 
  • A large group of woodsmen is chased by armed guards through a forest and many of them are shot and killed. The ground beneath the guards explodes, killing them all. 
  • In a disturbing scene Peeta, looking very emaciated, is sitting on a hospital bed. When Katniss enters the room he immediately attacks her, throwing her against a glass cabinet and on to the floor and beginning to strangle her as she gasps desperately for air.  A man uses a metal tray to knock Peeta unconscious. A short time later we see Katniss lying in a hospital bed wearing a neck brace, and Peeta strapped to a bed screaming and fighting against his restraints.  We hear how Peeta has been tortured with shock treatment and beating and given hallucinogenic drugs to turn him into a killer.  

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight including the following:

  • Katniss is traumatised from competing in the Hunger Games. She screams as she wakes up from a nightmare and we see her hiding in a corner, rocking back and forth while muttering repeatedly.
  • When Katniss is taken to see the ruins of her District we see her walking through smoking piles of rubble. She steps on the remains of a human skull and, when she looks down, sees the ground completely littered with human skeletal remains. 
  • Katniss visits a make-shift hospital among bombed ruins. There are dead bodies wrapped in sheets lying in rows on the ground, and other dead bodies with burnt skin and bloodied faces and arms visible.  Dozens of wounded people lie on stretchers.  

 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Katniss is traumatised from competing in the Hunger Games. She screams as she wakes up from a nightmare and we see her hiding in a corner, rocking back and forth while muttering repeatedly.
  • When Katniss is taken to see the ruins of her District we see her walking through smoking piles of rubble. She steps on the remains of a human skull and, when she looks down, sees the ground completely littered with human skeletal remains. 
  • Katniss visits a make-shift hospital among bombed ruins. There are dead bodies wrapped in sheets lying in rows on the ground, and other dead bodies with burnt skin and bloodied faces and arms visible.  Dozens of wounded people lie on stretchers. 

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the violence and disturbing scenes described above

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the violence and disturbing scenes described above

Product placement

None of concern in the movie but associated merchandise is being marketed

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A young woman refers to losing a baby.
  • A young man says “President Snow used to sell me, or my body at least”

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Several references are made to a man being a recovering alcoholic.
  • A recovering alcoholic asks a young woman if she has any drugs.
  • We hear how a man was tortured by being given hallucinogenic venom.     

Coarse language

None of concern, apart from name-calling such as "criminals", "cave dwellers"," coward" and "snake"

In a nutshell

Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is a fantasy action adventure based on the Hunger Games series of books. This third instalment in the series is darker and more political than its predecessors, focussing on revolution and the overthrow of the Capitol rather than the violent reality games for which the books are named. There are therefore no scenes of  children killing children. However the film does contain some intense violence and disturbing images, with the heroine Katniss being shown as unhappy and traumatised. For this reason, our reviewer found the film unsuitable for under 13s, and strongly recommends parental guidance for the 13-15 age group.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • There is no victory without compromise.
  • Never give up; never give in.
  • The importance of symbols to inspire the mass movements

 Parents may also wish to talk about self-sacrifice and how many of the characters placed their love for others above their own needs and wants, even to the point of sacrificing their own lives. 

Movie Review Search

Title:

Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The

Alphabetical:

Age suitability:

Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.

Classifications:

classification img classification img classification img classification img

Date added:

About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age