Adventure Movies

20 Films To Watch If You Liked The Hunger Games Series

November 17, 202318 Mins Read


  • 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. TheHunger 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.

20 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

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

Most Star Wars franchises bear a resemblance to The Hunger Games, as they 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.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
is available to stream on Disney+

19 The Hunt (2020)

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

Emma Roberts standing in a field with a cache of weapons in The Hunt 2019 movie

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. The right-wingers’ ignorance and hatred shows 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.

The Hunt
is available to stream on Peacock Premium.

The Hunt

Release Date
March 13, 2020

Craig Zobel

Hilary Swank , Ike Barinholtz , Emma Roberts , Amy Madigan , Betty Gilpin , Justin Hartley , Glenn Howerton


18 Ready Player One (2018)

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

Tye Sheridan as Wade in Ready Player One.

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.

Ready Player One
is available to stream on Hulu.

Ready Player One

Release Date
March 29, 2018

T.J. Miller , Hannah John-Kamen , Lena Waithe , Mark Rylance , Mckenna Grace , Letitia Wright , Ben Mendelsohn , Ralph Ineson , Simon Pegg , Olivia Cooke , Tye Sheridan

2h 20m

17 The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

One Of The Earliest Movies Like The Hunger Games

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.

The Most Dangerous Game is available to stream on Max.

16 Logan’s Run (1976)

Logan points a gun while Jessica watches in Logan's Run

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.

Logan’s Run
is available to rent and purchase on a variety of platforms including Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video.

15 The Percy Jackson Series (2010 – 2013)

Percy Jackson Goes Through A Similar Journey To Katniss

A promo image from Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

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, but a new Percy Jackson TV series might fix that complaint.

The Percy Jackson Movies
are available to stream on Disney+.

14 Mortal Engines (2018)

One Of The Few Dystopias More Bizarre Than Panem

One of the moving cities from Mortal Engines.

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.

Mortal Engines
is available to rent and purchase on a variety of platforms including Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video.

Mortal Engines

Release Date
December 14, 2018

Christian Rivers

Frankie Adams , Robbie Sheehan , Colin Salmon , Hera Hilmar , Ronan Raftery , Stephen Lang , Jihae , Hugo Weaving


13 Red Sparrow (2018)

Jennifer Lawrence Brings Her Time As Katniss To A Maturer Role

Jennifer Lawrence looking off-screen in Red Sparrow

One of the movies like The Hunger Games that also stars Jennifer Lawrence is 2018’s 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.

Red Sparrow
is available to stream on Freevee, Fubo, and FXNow.

Red Sparrow

Release Date
March 2, 2018

Francis Lawrence


12 The Road (2009)

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

The Father and Boy walking alone in The Road.

Another gritty post-apocalyptic movie based on a best-selling novel, 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.

The Road
is available to stream on Starz.

The Road

Release Date
November 25, 2009

John Hillcoat

111 minutes

11 The Harry Potter Series (2011 – 2011)

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

Harry, Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter.

The Harry Potter franchise are 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.

Harry Potter
movies are available to stream on Max.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Release Date
November 16, 2001

Chris Columbus

Daniel Radcliffe , Rupert Grint , Emma Watson , John Cleese , Robbie Coltrane , Warwick Davis , Richard Griffiths , Ian Hart , John Hurt , Alan Rickman , Fiona Shaw , Maggie Smith

152 Minutes

10 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

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

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.

Mad Max: Fury Road
is available to stream on Hulu.

9 Ender’s Game (2013)

Similarly Epic Drama Also Focused On A Child Forced Into War

Ender stares off into space.

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. The large-scale drama of this film effectively encapsulates the tone and scope of movies like The Hunger Games, rather than just presenting a similar overall premise.

Ender’s Game
is available to stream on Peacock.

Ender’s Game

Release Date
November 1, 2013

Gavin Hood


8 Circle (2015)

A Game That’s Less Complex But Just As Deadly

The Circle

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.

is available to stream on Netflix.

7 Lord Of The Flies (1963)

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

A group of young boys standing or sitting on rocks in Lord Of The Flies 1963

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.

Lord Of The Flies
is available to stream on Max.

6 The Truman Show (1998)

Truman And Katniss Are Both Toyed With For Public Entertainment

With Jim Carrey taking the lead role, TheTruman Show doesn’t feature a female teen protagonist like many movies like The Hunger Games doe, What it does have, however, is an uncanny 1984-like setting that creates an unsettling atmosphere. The Capitol is always watching in Panem, and just like Katniss, Truman is also constantly under surveillance. Also like The Girl on Fire, Truman is a megastar — though unlike her, he has no idea.

Watching Truman live his life painfully unaware that everyone around him is acting, and the world is watching his every move is similar to the process of the reaping, in which the hosts and sponsors merrily promote a show they know ends in the death of multiple children.

The Truman Show
is available to stream on Paramount+.

The Truman Show

Release Date
June 5, 1998

Peter Weir , peter

103 minutes

Ed Harris , Natascha McElhone , Laura Linney , Jim Carrey , Noah Emmerich

5 Hanna (2011)

A Violent Tale Also About A Girl Turned Into A Weapon

Saoirse Ronan holding a gun in Hanna (2011)

There is a distinct element of Hanna that goes beyond the teen drama of The Hunger Games, though there are still a great deal of similarities between the two. 2011’s Hanna follows the titular Hanna Heller (Saoirse Ronan), a 15-year-old — just a year younger than Katniss at the start of the first film in the series — with immense skills in combat.

Viewers don’t really get to see Katniss’ prowess until she grabs the attention of sponsors during her training, but Hanna was trained by an ex-CIA operative since the age of two. As such, she is a skilled assassin. The plot that follows doesn’t have the same dystopian nature as TheHunger Games, but there are certainly overlaps between the main characters. Like Katniss, Hanna was turned into a weapon by the government.

Hanna is available to stream on Hulu.


Release Date
April 7, 2011

Joe Wright

111 minutes

Saoirse Ronan , Eric Bana , Vicky Krieps , Cate Blanchett , Paris Arrowsmith , John MacMillan

4 Battle Royale (2000)

The Cult Japanese Gem That Draws Endless Comparisons To The Hunger Games

Battle Royale came long before TheHunger Games universe was created, and comparisons between the two have been commonplace. Based on the 1999 novel by Koushun Takami of the same name, Battle Royale focuses on a group of wayward Japanese schoolchildren. Believing they are on the way to a field trip the class is gassed on a bus, waking up to find they’ve been sent to a remote island where they must fight to the death.

The premise is incredibly similar to The Hunger Games, although there are many distinctions between the two. Battle Royale doesn’t take place in a nearly unrecognizable dystopia like Panem, for example, but is instead set in Japan in the near future. What’s more, the deaths in Battle Royale are much grizzlier than The Hunger Games, and the contestants (of which there are many more) receive no combat training whatsoever — something that serves to make the clumsy murders throughout all the more brutal.

Battle Royale
is available to stream on The CW, Roku, Hoopla, and Freevee.

3 The Divergent Series (2014 – 2016)

One Of The Best YA Franchises To Follow The Hunger Games With

With teenage characters fronting this trilogy and a dystopian future provided for them to roam in, the similarities between Divergent and movies like The Hunger Games are numerous. First, everyone in this future world is divided into factions based on traits. Not exactly the same, but it certainly has an overlap with the idea of districts. There are also notable similarities between Tris (Shailen Woodley) and her journey of self-realization as Divergent and Katniss’ emergence as the Mockingjay. On top of all this, love stories, teen drama, and over-the-top action turn this into a film perfect to explore after TheHunger Games.

movies are available to rent and purchase on a variety of platforms including Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video.

2 The Maze Runner Series (2014 – 2018)

The YA Adaptation Almost As Well Known As The Hunger Games

Like Divergent, the Maze Runner series is so spiritually tied to TheHunger Games that it’s a lot harder to point out the ways that they’re thematically different. Set in a dystopia in which teenagers form a society, the abundance of teen romance and overly heroic action sequences make this a natural follow-up viewing. The mysterious maze is the only way out of the grassy area in which the group is trapped, and much like the Games, survival in the maze is far from guaranteed. Based on the YA novels by James Dashner, the three Maze Runner movies bring a similar kind of dystopian excitement as The Hunger Games.

movies are available to stream on Max.

The Maze Runner

Release Date
September 19, 2014

Wes Ball

113 Minutes

Kaya Scodelario , Aidan Gillen , Nathalie Emmanuel , Dylan O’Brien , Patricia Clarkson , Rosa Salazar , Thomas Brodie-Sangster , Ki Hong Lee , Giancarlo Esposito , Katherine McNamara

1 Snowpiercer (2013)

Districts Are Swapped For A Train In This Chilling Tale Of Dystopian Rebellion

Chris Evans on a train in Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer is another post-apocalyptic movie based on a book. In this case, it was the French graphic novel by Jacques Lop and Jean-Marc Rochette. The movie follows the same story as the book, with a climate catastrophe causing a new ice age. However, this slowly creeping armageddon was able to be prepared for, and the elites of society created a self-sufficient train that could keep the populace alive until the world became habitable again.

This is one of the most thematically similar to Katniss’s story of all the movies like The Hunger Games, as it deals directly with class struggle and a violent revolution in an incredibly unique dystopia. In this case, it is the “Tailies,” or the impoverished people kept on the back of the train with nothing, while the wealthy live in luxury.

is available to stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.

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