I will start by saying I have NOT read the books, so I went into the theatre without that background knowledge.
I feel like while the premise had great potential, the film itself didn't live up to it. There was some character development, but not enough to make me care about any character other than the two main characters. There were hints of this and hints of that, but then the writer never went back and fleshed those hints out (ie. how did Katniss learn how to hunt etc, Donald Sutherland's and Woody Harrelson's characters).
I also didn't like the part where the rules of the game changed. I realize this may be part of the books, but to start changing the game at mid-point made me wonder how this world has kept any cohesion up to that point? Specifically, if you start changing the rules to one of (if not THE) most important elelment of keeping order and peace, then cohesion is lost and you have anarchy and chaos. What this the first time they changed the rules???
Also a strong suggestion NOT to take anyone under the age of 15 or 16 years.........even then, you will need to make a judgement call as there was violence towards elementary-aged children.
I was entertained, but left with a lot of questions and the feeling like there could've been more. (Luckily, I went to the cheap theatre!)