5 Movies Similar to Hunger Games

Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth attended the Hunger Games premiere.

In 2012, the movie The Hunger Games delighted fans of Suzanne Collins’ beloved Hunger Games Trilogy. The story takes place in a dystopian world that used to be the United States. Katniss Everdeen, a teenage girl from District 12, watches in horror as her younger sister, Primrose, is selected to participate in the annual Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games are a gladiatorial-style death match between the two representatives from each of the 12 districts of Panem. These games are a punishment for a rebellion the districts put on and lost to the Capitol many years earlier. Katniss heroically volunteers herself in her sister’s stead. She is whisked off to the Capitol to participate in a literal fight for survival against other teens from the different districts of the nation.

The movie stars great actors like Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, the other participant in the games from District 12, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne. Gary Ross directed the film on an estimated $78,000,000 budget. However, the film grossed $694,294,724, according to IMDB.com.

The Hunger Games story challenges the morality of human nature’s basest desires, and it acts as a commentary on a society that is constantly pushing the envelope for entertainment. However, it is also an inspiring story of family, friendship, and sacrifice for loved ones. For those of you itching for more stories like this one, this list was compiled to satiate those cravings.

My three top movie recommendations that are like The Hunger Games are Divergent (2014), The Maze Runner (2014), and The Matrix (1999).

Table of Contents

Divergent (2014)

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Beatrice Pryor lives in a dystopian version of Chicago in an unspecified time in the future. After the apocalyptic collapse of the world, the survivors in Chicago created a new society that was divided into five factions based on specific traits and values. Upon reaching young adulthood, late teens are tested to see which faction they belong in.

When Beatrice is tested, however, her results are inconclusive; she is divergent. Without knowing which faction to join, Beatrice leaves her parents’ faction and joins up with Dauntless. As a member of Dauntless, Beatrice, now known as Triss, navigates a ruthless community focused on bravery and combat. She meets Four, her brooding teacher, and most importantly, she helps discover the secret of being Divergent.

Like The Hunger Games, Divergent is based on a bestselling young adult novel set in a dystopian world. Triss is a strong female protagonist like Katniss. She unintentionally and intentionally challenges the norms and values of her society, all while uncovering evil plots and fascinating secrets.

Divergent stars Shailene Woodley as Triss, Theo James as Four, and Kate Winslet as Jeanine. Neil Burger directed the film that cost an estimated $85,000,000, and it grossed an impressive $288,885,818.

The Maze Runner (2014)

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The Maze Runner centers around Thomas, a young man who wakes up in an elevator with no memory nor idea of how he got there. Finally, the elevator stops, and Thomas enters a clearing surrounded by giant walls where he meets a group of young men of similar ages to his own. Thomas quickly learns that the Glade is in the center of a giant maze, and the boys have been trying to escape for years.

Each week someone sends supplies in the elevator, a new boy comes once a month, and the maze shifts every night. Yet, they have no idea how to get out or who put them in there. As Thomas seeks to establish himself in Glade’s society, he feels compelled to become a Runner, one of the boys who explores the maze each day.  But everything starts to change when a girl is sent up in the elevator, and she not only remembers, she remembers Thomas.

James Dashner’s Maze Runner Series is the source material for this action-packed thriller. Like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner highlights an oppressed community in a dystopian society. Also, Thomas and his friends must navigate and escape the dangerous maze, just as Katniss must navigate the horrific games in her story.

Wes Ball directed The Maze Runner on an estimated $34,000,000 budget. The film grossed a whopping $348,319,861 in worldwide box office revenue. The movie stars Dylan O’Bryan as Thomas, Kaya Scodelario as Teresa, and Will Poulter as Gally.

The Matrix (1999)

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The Matrix is a science fiction film following the protagonist Neo. However, before he was known as Neo, he was called Thomas Anderson, a guy with a dead-end job who worked as a hacker on the side. However, early in the film, Thomas Anderson is given a choice to discover what the Matrix is. Suddenly Mr. Anderson’s eyes are opened as he is awakened from the illusion of the Matrix and truly sees the world for what it is.

The Matrix is also a dystopian movie like The Hunger Games. Additionally, it provides a chosen one figure in Neo that is similar to Katniss, and it gives a suppressed population resisting an oppressive force. However, in this movie, the tyrant is an artificial intelligence that has hunted down and enslaved humanity.

Lana and Lilly Wachowski directed this film with an estimated $63,000,000 budget. The movie was a smashing success, garnering $466,364,845 at the worldwide box office. The film’s main stars are Keanu Reeves as Neo, Lawrence Fishburne as Morpheus, and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity.

Mortal Engines (2018)

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Mortal Engines has a story that revolves around Hester Shaw. Hester is a courageous young woman bearing a scarred face caused by the leader of the mobile city of London, Thaddeus Valentine. The movie takes place in a dystopian world far in the future where cities are mobile on giant tank-like tracks.

The larger cities cannibalize the smaller and use their parts. As Hester seeks her revenge on Valentine, she realizes that he wants her more than anything. Hester seeks her revenge and the answers to why she is so vital to Valentine.

This film is similar to The Hunger Games due to the strong female protagonist fighting an unjust society. Mortal Engines is also the first book in a YA novel by Phillip Reeve. While the movie was not a box office success, do not miss the fantastic special effects and cinematography used in this film.

Christian Rivers directed the film on a $100,000,000 budget. The film only grossed $83,869,818 in worldwide revenue. The film starred Hera Hilmar as Hester, Robert Sheehan as Tom, and Hugo Weaving as Valentine.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

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J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter books are perhaps the most successful book franchise of all time. The movies were also incredibly successful. The story of young Harry Potter, who grew up bullied and abused and suddenly learned he was a famous wizard has been in homes for decades. 

Young Harry is thrust into a magical wizarding world that he has already left a significant mark on. Harry gathers friends, creates enemies, and ultimately learns more about his wizarding heritage and the lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone provides many similarities to The Hunger Games. Harry is a protagonist dedicated to doing the right thing like Katniss. Also, Harry and Katniss are reluctant heroes in many ways. Both movies also provide themes of friendship and trust.

Chris Columbus directed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on a $125,000,000 budget. The film gained a worldwide box office of $1,006,968,171. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Rupert Grint as Ron, and Emma Watson as Hermione.

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