The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is not only setting records for best November opening, it’s also a marked improvement over its predecessor.

The first movie was an enjoyable, competent film, but its sequel is most definitely deeper, darker and more complex. Even so, the material is further elevated by an excellent cast, most notably Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jennifer Lawrence, whose talents as an actress are not to be underestimated.

This is one of those rare instances when a sequel far surpasses the first. If you liked The Hunger Games, run don’t walk to see this one. Apparently, everyone else is. And I confess to definitely being hooked for the third chapter.

I give it three and a half out of five overall, and four out of five for the acting and the story.