Not that anyone should be surprised, but even critics love Jennifer Lawrence. Planet Earth's favorite actress and quote machine stars as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," and reviewers have not only embraced the franchise's second entry, but Lawrence herself.
"[Lawrence] continues to impress as someone who shatters the archetype that exists for 'strong young woman' in these types of movies," HitFix critic Drew McWeeny wrote of the Oscar-winning actress in his "Catching Fire" review. "There is nothing easy about the work that Lawrence does on film. She has so much going on as a performer that at some point, I don't really care where the story is going. I just like watching her in this world. She is difficult. She is unwilling to do things 'right.' She frequently can't even deal with her friends, much less her enemies. Katniss feels real, and Lawrence is setting the bar for films like this. She is no cookie-cutter Disney princess or Buffy clone."
Writing for Indiewire's The Playlist, critic Todd Gilchrist, who called "Catching Fire" the "'Empire Strikes Back' of young adult adaptations," echoed McWeeny's sentiments.
"In an industry with no shortage of star wattage, Jennifer Lawrence burns like the sun, and makes stardom look miraculously easy without ever hinting at the possibility she’s coasting on charm," he wrote. "Katniss is an extraordinarily conflicted character who wears desperate pragmatism like an armor -- not just against the world, but against her own vulnerability -- and Lawrence breathes a fluid complexity into her decisions that makes her one of the strongest and most relatable female characters in recent memory."
The praise didn't stop there: Variety's Peter Debruge noted that Lawrence "masterfully conveys the character’s naivete, while bringing a strength and resolve no pre-teen actor possibly could." TheWrap's Alonso Duralde wrote that Lawrence "grounds the film," while The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy was impressed with how the 23-year-old "further solidifies her tenacious grip on this signature role."
As for Liam Hemsworth, Lawrence's "Catching Fire" co-star, who has had a small part in the "Hunger Games" franchise thus far, here's McWeeny: "Liam Hemsworth is affable."
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is out on Nov. 22.