The Hunger Games as been described as "ultra-violent," yet the teen movie has been classified as a 12A in the United Kingdom, where it premiered last night (March 14, 2012). However, British censors only agreed to award the film that certificate after two scenes were cut from the film. The young stars of The Hunger Games have spoken out in defence of the violent scenes included in the tale, though, saying that they are necessary, if the moral of the story is going to hit home with its young audience.

Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the role of Katniss Everdeen, said that she believed the violence shown on screen was necessary to the development of the plot and that it was acceptable, bearing in mind the movie's younger audience, telling Reuters "it's the violence and the brutality (which) is the heart of the film, because it's what gets the people angry to start an uprising and to start a revolution. I do think the violence and brutality is justified, but I understand if everybody has a different standard for ratings," referring to the differences between the U.S. and UK versions of the film.

Lawrence's co-star Josh Hutcherson added that the violence is "part of the story," as it is about young children who, in a futuristic society, are forced to fight to the death in a battle which is televised for entertainment purposes. He added that he thought that children "are more mature than they have been over the years and I think ... the whole idea was to make this movie and stay true to the book without alienating audiences."