25 Films To Watch If You Liked The Hunger Games Series


  • Movies like
    The Hunger Games
    , such as
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    , feature rebellious heroes fighting against powerful empires.
  • The Hunt
    is a satirical horror film that mirrors
    The Hunger Games
    ‘ themes of social divide and political commentary.
  • Ready Player One
    , like
    The Hunger Games
    , explores a dystopian future where young heroes must engage in high-stakes games to escape poverty and find purpose.



Movies like The Hunger Games cross a variety of genres, and aren’t limited to just sci-fi and fantasy films aimed at young adults — though all of them channel the same core themes of rebellion and defiance as Katniss Everdeen’s story. The Hunger Games franchise follows Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) as she steps up to represent District 12 in the annual Hunger Games, then brings down Snow and the entire corrupt establishment across the three sequels to the 2012 original. Like the Suzanne Collins novels they’re based on, the Hunger Games movies were praised for mixing a solid coming-of-age tale with an intriguing sci-fi fantasy universe.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part Two ended Katniss’s story in 2015. Though the 2023 prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arrived to breathe new life into the franchise, there still haven’t been new Hunger Games movies released at the same frequency as the originals between 2012 and 2015. How long it will be until the next one is also unknown. Fortunately, there are many movies like The Hunger Games for viewers who want a similar experience.

image small The Hunger Gamesimage small The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


Release Year

Rotten Tomatoes Score

The Hunger Games



The Hunger Games: Catching Fire



The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Part 1



The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2



The Hunger Games: The Ballad og Songbirds & Snakes



The entire Hunger Games franchise is available to stream on Max.

8 Movies Franchises That Were Supposed To Replace The Hunger Games

Movie franchises including Divergent, The Maze Runner, and Mortal Engines had hopes of being the next Hunger Games but didn’t live up to the hype.

25 The Matrix (1999)

Keanu Reeves Becomes The Unexpected Savior

The Matrix Poster

The Matrix

Director Lilly Wachowski , Lana Wachowski Release Date March 30, 1999 Cast Keanu Reeves , Laurence Fishburne , Carrie-Anne Moss , Hugo Weaving , Gloria Foster , Joe Pantoliano Runtime 136 minutes

While the final two Hunger Games movies are often seen as a mixed two-parter ending to the story, there are some interesting aspects, especially with Katniss becoming the face of the rebellion. Katniss is a fighter and a survivor, but she has never been comfortable with being the beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for others which mirrors the journey Neo takes in The Matrix.

The Matrix is a groundbreaking sci-fi movie that is another story about a rebellion against oppressors, in this case, machines who enslave humanity by putting them in a simulated world they think is reality. Keanu Reeves stars as Neo, a mild-mannered hacker who is exposed to the truth, and like Katniss, is told he is “the one” who will bring them victory. Neo and Katniss both show heroism and help their respective causes, but their paths as saviors are complex.

24 Prey (2022)

A Comanche Warrior Fights An Alien Invader


Director Dan Trachtenberg Release Date August 5, 2022 Cast Dane DiLiegro , Michelle Thrush , Julian Black Antelope , Stormee Kipp , Amber Midthunder , Dakota Beavers Runtime 1h 40m

Katniss Everdeen joined the ranks of some of the greatest female action movie heroes of all time and Naru in Prey is another worthy member of that club. Prey is the latest movie in the Predator franchise but it takes a new approach by focusing on the first time the Predator alien visited Earth to hunt for sport. Naru is a young Comanche warrior who finds herself facing off with the deadly visitor.

Naru is a little more eager to prove herself a warrior than Katniss is, but she is also a strong protagonist who wants to protect her family above all else. Amber Midthunder gives a commanding performance in the lead role while the movie itself is a terrific reinvention of the franchise and one that was desperately needed to move the series forward.

23 Winter’s Bone (2010)

Jennifer Lawrence Fights For Her Family In A Mountain Community


Winter’s Bone is likely the movie that earned Jennifer Lawrence the role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and it is not hard to see why the filmmakers chose her. The dark and grounded crime movie stars Lawrence as a teen who is the primary caregiver for her young siblings out in their isolated mountain home. When their father goes missing, they risk losing their house which sends Lawrence on a mission to locate him.

From the early moments of Lawrence hunting for squirrels to feed her family, the similarities between Winter’s Bone‘s Ree and The Hunger Games’ Katniss are clear. She is another strong protagonist who wants as little trouble as possible but is willing to go to great lengths to protect her loved ones. Lawrence earned her first Oscar nomination for her stirring performance.

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While there are many things The Hunger Games movies got right about Katniss, there are certain traits they left out, which alter the overall plot.

22 The Running Man (1987)

Arnold Schwarzenegger Fights For His Life On A Game Show

The Running Man

Director Paul Michael Glaser Release Date November 13, 1987 Cast Maria Conchita Alonso , Yaphet Kotto , Jesse Ventura , Arnold Schwarzenegger , Richard Dawson Runtime 101 minutes

The concept of a fight to the death being broadcast on television for entertainment value is a chilling and impactful one which has been seen in several other movies. Perhaps the most famous outside of The Hunger Games is the sci-fi action movie The Running Man. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a wrongfully convicted soldier who is forced to participate in a reality game show where he is chased by deadly advesaries through the show’s elaborate maze.

The Hunger Games take on violence for entertainment features similar satire with The Running Man‘s villain feeling similar to Stanley Tucci’s Hunger Games character of Caesar Flickerman. With it being an 80s action movie with Schwarzenegger as the lead, it is a little silly at times but always good fun. With Edgar Wright and Geln Powell teaming for The Running Man remake, it could be a somewhat more grounded take.

21 Equilibrium (2002)

Christian Bale Becomes A Fighter Against An Oppressive Ruler


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has the most exciting depiction of the games in the franchise, but some of the most interesting developments happen before that. With Katniss and Peeta winning the games, they are viewed as enemies of the Capitol and Katniss tries to do everything to appear like a cooperative member of their oppressive society. This is also reflected in the character of Preston in Equilibrium.

As he attempts to pass himself off as one of the emotionless members of the population, he joins a rebellion’s attempts to overcome the oppressors

Christian Bale stars as Preston in the sci-fi action movie which is set in a society in which the government has outlawed emotion. Preston is an officer meant to enforce this law but soon finds himself overcome with the emotions he is meant to suppress. As he attempts to pass himself off as one of the emotionless members of the population, he joins a rebellion’s attempts to overcome the oppressors.

20 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Jyn Erso Is A Katniss-Like Hero In The Morally Complex Star Wars Movie

Rogue One A Star Wars Story Movie Poster

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Director Gareth Edwards Release Date December 13, 2016 Cast Felicity Jones , Diego Luna , Ben Mendelsohn , Donnie Yen , Mads Mikkelsen , Alan Tudyk , Jiang Wen , Forest Whitaker Runtime 134 Minutes

Most of the Star Wars franchise bears some resemblance to The Hunger Games, as these movies tend to feature a band of heroes fighting a rebellion against a more powerful tyrannical empire. However, the movie that best exemplifies these aspects is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. As the first Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One tells the story of a band of rebels who steal the Death Star plans, allowing for the climactic battle in A New Hope.

Like Katniss, Rogue One protagonist Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is a reluctant hero at first but finds her purpose through rebellion. Meanwhile, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) shows the morally grey areas of the Star Wars rebellion, which is a theme shared in The Hunger Games. However, their sacrifice to simply ensure that the rebellion can live on another day makes for one of the most thrilling Star Wars stories to date.

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19 The Hunt (2020)

The Hunger Games Themes Of Social Divide Are Mirrored In This Satirical Horror

The Hunt Movie Poster

The Hunt

Director Craig Zobel Release Date March 13, 2020 Cast Hilary Swank , Ike Barinholtz , Emma Roberts , Amy Madigan , Betty Gilpin , Justin Hartley , Glenn Howerton Runtime 90 Minutes

The Hunger Games uses the deadly games as a commentary on various aspects of modern society. The Hunt also uses the concept of a deadly game, but it’s used for an even less subtle, yet more comedic, social commentary on the divisive nature of modern culture. The Hunt centers around a group of right-wing people who are abducted and hunted for sport by “liberal elites” who disagree with their political leanings.

The Hunt is a satire on both extremes of the left-right political divide while infusing a lot of dark humor to ensure it is still a fun ride. The right-wingers’ ignorance and hatred show through even in life-or-death situations, while the leftists are filled with hypocrisy, failing to recognize their own faults. It is a wild and outrageous satire that is more clever than it initially seems.

18 Ready Player One (2018)

Steven Spielberg’s Dystopian YA Novel Adaptation Has A Spiritual Kinship With The Hunger Games

Ready Player One

Director Steven Spielberg Release Date March 29, 2018 Cast T.J. Miller , Hannah John-Kamen , Lena Waithe , Mark Rylance , Mckenna Grace , Letitia Wright , Ben Mendelsohn , Ralph Ineson , Simon Pegg , Olivia Cooke , Tye Sheridan Runtime 2h 20m

The dystopian world of high-stakes games played by young heroes is also at the center of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Like The Hunger Games, Ready Player One is based on a book and takes a look at a bleak future. In the dystopia presented by Ready Player One, the creator of a virtual reality world that the downtrodden of society use for escapism. The creator has left an Easter egg to be found inside the games, and winning will give one player control of his vast empire.

It’s clear why this is a movie like The Hunger Games, although the motivations of Katniss and Ready Player One hero Wade (Tye Sheridan) are slightly different. While Katniss can escape the poverty of District 12 if she wins, her primary motivation for entering the games was to protect her sister. Wade, on the other hand, is simply seeking a better life. The mix of virtual reality gives Ready Player One its own unique spin on the premise of a deadly challenge being the only way to escape abject poverty.

17 The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

One Of The Earliest Movies Like The Hunger Games

The Most Dangerous Game 1932 Film Poster

The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

Director Irving Pichel , Ernest B. Schoedsack Release Date September 16, 1932 Cast Joel McCrea , Fay Wray , Leslie Banks , Robert Armstrong Runtime 63 Minutes

The idea of a game being played for entertainment that will cost people lives has been around long before The Hunger Games, perhaps going back to the 1924 short story by Richard Connell called The Most Dangerous Game. The story has been adapted many times including as recently as 2022, but the 1932 original was one of the first movies like The Hunger Games to appear.

1932’s The Most Dangerous Game follows Bob (Joel McCrea), a man who finds himself on an island where he is hunted for sport by an aristocrat, much like the original novel. The idea of the rich using people’s lives for pure entertainment is an idea that has stayed with storytellers and certainly inspired The Hunger Games, but it is also a thrilling adventure with a twisted premise. Though the violence isn’t as intense as modern takes on this kind of story, it is amazing how thrilling the movie is nearly a century later.

16 Logan’s Run (1976)

One of The Biggest Predecessors to The Hunger Games


Logan’s Run (1976)

Director Michael Anderson Release Date June 23, 1976 Cast Michael York , Richard Jordan , Jenny Agutter , Roscoe Lee Browne , Farrah Fawcett , Michael Anderson Jr. Runtime 120 minutes

The Hunger Games also owes a lot to the bleak sci-fi dystopian movies of the past, with Logan’s Run being one of the most notable entries in the sci-fi subgenre. 1976’s Logan’s Run is set in a future society where people are terminated when they reach the age of 30. It follows an agent meant to enforce the mandatory execution of those who’ve left their 20s, and decides to fight against the system.

Logan’s Run looks at the themes of rebellion in The Hunger Games from an almost reversed angle. While Katniss rebels against the system as one of its victims, Logan (Michael York) is an agent of the system enforcing the whims of the tyrannical government. Like The Hunger Games movies, Logan’s Run is a complex commentary inside an entertaining sci-fi premise. It remains one of the most influential dystopian sci-fi movies.

Logan points a gun while Jessica watches in Logan's Run
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15 The Percy Jackson Series (2010 – 2013)

Percy Jackson Goes Through A Similar Journey To Katniss

Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief Poster

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Lightning Thief

Director Chris Columbus Release Date February 12, 2010 Cast logan lerman , Kevin McKidd , Steve Coogan , Brandon T. Jackson Runtime 1h 58m

Many movies based on young adult novels like The Hunger Games feature a young hero getting introduced to a brand-new world that they will quickly have to adapt to. While Katniss goes through her training to compete in the games, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) goes through a very similar journey. Joining Camp Half-Blood, Percy learns about his demi-god heritage and must quickly assimilate himself into this new world of myths so that he can survive, and one day live up to the prophecy that he’s destined to fulfill.

Much like The Hunger Games, there were also changes from the books that some fans were not overly impressed by. However, the movies still deliver fun magical adventures that are less intense than The Hunger Games and don’t go into as dark of territory as that story. The recent success of the Disney+ Percy Jackson series shows the lasting popularity of the books.

14 Mortal Engines (2018)

One Of The Few Dystopias More Bizarre Than Panem

Mortal Engines

Director Christian Rivers Release Date December 14, 2018 Cast Frankie Adams , Robbie Sheehan , Colin Salmon , Hera Hilmar , Ronan Raftery , Stephen Lang , Jihae , Hugo Weaving Runtime 128 Minutes

Another movie like The Hunger Games based on a young adult novel set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world, has a premise that’s possibly even more unique than Panem’s games and districts. Mortal Engines is about giant cities on wheels that forever race across the country in a war for resources and survival. What’s more, the larger of these cities consume the smaller for materials, meaning that nobody in this permanently roaming society is ever really safe.

While it matches movies like The Hunger Games with a strong female lead, Mortal Engines also has an incredibly imaginative realization of what the future could be. The citizens of the moving cities live under many oppressive regimes similar to those found in The Hunger Games, but the concept of settlements on wheels and the aesthetic of Mortal Engines make its dystopia truly unique.

13 Red Sparrow (2018)

Jennifer Lawrence Brings Her Time As Katniss To A More Mature Role

Red Sparrow

Release Date March 2, 2018 Director Francis Lawrence Cast Charlotte Rampling , Joel Edgerton , Mary-Louise Parker , Sergei Polunin , Jeremy Irons , Jennifer Lawrence , Matthias Schoenaerts Runtime 140minutes

Following the popularity of The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence starred in 2018’s spy thriller Red Sparrow. Not only does the movie released after 2015’s Mockingjay – Part Two show the evolution of her career, but she also relies upon some of the action training from her days as Katniss Everdeen. Lawrence stars as Dominika, a Russian spy expertly trained to be a weapon in every capacity.

Lawrence plays a much more mature and deadly character in Red Sparrow, though Dominika definitely shares similarities with her role in The Hunger Games. Like Katniss, Dominika enters a world of violence out of concern for her family, namely her ill mother. The fact that Dominika is a renowned ballerina also creates parallels between her and Katniss, as “The Girl on Fire” could probably relate to many of Dominika’s struggles with fame before her ballet career ended.

12 The Road (2009)

A Family Under Constant Threat In A Dystopia Far Bleaker Than Panem

The Road

Release Date November 25, 2009 Director John Hillcoat Cast Kodi Smit-McPhee , Guy Pearce , Viggo Mortensen , Robert Duvall , Charlize Theron Runtime 111 minutes

Another gritty post-apocalyptic movie based on a best-selling novel from acclaimed author Cormac McCarthy, The Road centers on a young boy and his father as they travel cross-country. The world has faced a devastating event that resulted in the loss of almost all plant and animal life, scavenging for supplies and avoiding cannibalistic gangs. Protecting his son at all costs, this movie is about the emotional journey a father and his child go through and the sacrifices the father makes to protect his family.

It’s an emotionally powerful film that touches upon the themes of protecting one’s family in a dystopia found in The Hunger Games, though in a much bleaker fashion. Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee make for a harrowing duo while the movie also features smaller roles from the likes of Charlize Theron, Michael Kenneth Williams, Robert Duvall, and Guy Pearce.

11 The Harry Potter Series (2011 – 2011)

The Wizarding World Shares A Surprising Amount In Common With The Hunger Games

Harry Potter Franchise Poster

Harry Potter

Cast Daniel Radcliffe , Emma Watson , Rupert Grint , Tom Felton , Alan Rickman , Matthew Lewis , Bonnie Wright , Evanna Lynch , Maggie Smith , Michael Gambon , Richard Harris , Ralph Fiennes , Helena Bonham Carter , Alfred Enoch , Harry Melling , Gary Oldman , Robert Pattinson , Warwick Davis , Oliver Phelps , James Phelps , David Bradley , David Thewlis , Katie Leung , Jason Isaacs , Imelda Staunton , David Tennant , Jamie Campbell Bower , Timothy Spall , Robbie Coltrane , Eddie Redmayne , Jude Law , Katherine Waterston , Ezra Miller , Dan Fogler , Alison Sudol , Johnny Depp , Mads Mikkelsen Created by J.K. Rowling First Film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


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The Harry Potter franchise is among the most well-known movies like The Hunger Games, and they share many clear similarities. They are both based on extremely successful young adult novel series and focus on teenage protagonists going up against adults. The similarities go beyond this though, and run through to the deeper themes and subtexts of both movie franchises. For example, there are shadows from conflicts in the past looming over both Harry Potter’s wizarding world and Panem in The Hunger Games.

Focusing on children in life-or-death situations, both exist in dark universes with moments of feel-good joy in a coming-of-age story. Just as The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes continued The Hunger Games stories following the end of the main series, there will be a Harry Potter series to take fans back into the wizarding world for a new adaptation of these books.

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10 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Furiosa And Katniss Both Flee The Wrath Of Iron-Fisted Tyrants

Mad Max Fury Road Poster

Mad Max: Fury Road

Release Date May 14, 2015 Director George Miller Cast Tom Hardy , Charlize Theron , Nicholas Hoult , Zoe Kravitz , Hugh Keays-Byrne , Riley Keough , Courtney Eaton , Abbey Lee , Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Runtime 120 Minutes

Mad Max doesn’t exactly follow the same teen-friendly storyline of The Hunger Games, but there are certain similarities between the dystopian future worlds of both. Resources are scarce in Panem just like they are Mad Max’s wasteland, and this is integral to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, one of the more adult movies like The Hunger Games.

The driving force behind the entirety of Mad Max: Fury Road is survival, with the main cast desperately trying to stay alive while fleeing the army of Immortan Joe. The Hunger Games follows Katniss desperately trying to survive the wrath of President Snow and the dystopian society he leads, a situation mirrored by Charlize Theron’s Furiosa. The recent blockbuster Furiosa continued the Mad Max movie franchise while also further cementing Furiosa as an iconic hero in this dystopian universe.

9 Ender’s Game (2013)

Similarly Epic Drama Also Focused On A Child Forced Into War

Ender looking at an explosion in Ender's Game

Enders Game sees a child sent into training for an upcoming alien invasion. While the sci-fi alien elements aren’t exactly similar to the struggles of Katniss Everdeen, her training for a fight she doesn’t want to be a part of in The Hunger Games has a lot of overlap with the character of Ender. In Ender’s Game, Ender proves himself a strategic warrior and ends up training with other cadets his age for a world-changing battle.

Ender’s Game is another movie based on a young adult novel to come out in the wake of the success of The Hunger Games movies yet, like the others, it failed to get the same kind of attention. The large-scale drama of this film effectively encapsulates the tone and scope of The Hunger Games, rather than just presenting a similar overall premise.

8 Circle (2015)

A Game That’s Less Complex But Just As Deadly


Circle (2015)

Release Date May 28, 2015 Director Aaron Hann , Mario Miscione Cast Michael Nardelli , Carter Jenkins , Lawrence Kao , Allegra Masters , Julie Benz Runtime 87 Minutes

While Circle is among the more adult-oriented movies like The Hunger Games, and doesn’t have a specific focus on the fight for survival among children, its brutal central plot device creates a distinct thematic overlap between the two. Inspired by 12 Angry Men and its one-room drama, the 2015 film sees 50 people in a circle who are killed when they try to leave or one by one every minute.

The fact the contestants can end one-another leads to some fraught and ever-changing alliances just like those among Katniss and the other contestants in The Hunger Games. The horror element also givers the movie a similar feeling to the Netflix hit series Squid Games. All of these stories, though they range in how graphic they can be, highlight the inhumane ways those in power use death as entertainment.

7 Lord Of The Flies (1963)

One Of The Most Infamous Tales Of Child-On-Child Homicide


Lord of the Flies

Release Date August 13, 1963 Director Peter Brook Cast James Aubrey , Tom Chapin , Hugh Edwards , Roger Elwin Runtime 1h 32m

There is no competitive, enforced element like that of Snow found in Lord Of The Flies. but it’s likely that Suzanne Collins took at least some influence from the legendary William Golding novel — and the 1963 version is one of the best classic movies like The Hunger Games. After they crash on an island, a group of children must form a society.

The story then shows how the young boys are forced into a fight for survival similar to The Hunger Games, though their enemy is the wilderness itself — that is until violent tensions emerge among the group. It is a heartbreaking examination of how even the most innocent in society can give way to animal instincts under the right circumstances. Interestingly, unlike The Hunger Games, this is a look at the young characters battling nature rather than an oppressive power.

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