Gladiators of our time - The Hunger Games alternatives

While the commercial success of the movies is tremendous, the concept of The Hunger Games is not new: The idea of having human beings in a fight for life and death and presenting the fight as entertainment for an audience is at least as old as the gladiator fights in ancient rome. We put together a selection of movies that reminds us of the gladiators of our time. Viewer discretion is advised!

The list of movies which have some similarity to the Hunger Games is long, we start with a Janapese movie called Battle Royale (Original title: Batoru rowaiaru). While this movie contains more brutality and blood-thirst, it also has some more depth in terms of relationships between the contestants of the competition: While for many other movies the people who fight each other to death don't know each other, in Battle Royale a class of 42 students is placed on an island. Despite the fact that only one of them can survive, there are bonds of friendship and grudges that influence the deadly game.

Starring Jason Statham, Death Race is a fast paced race where prisoners have the possibility to join a race for life and death. The race is broadcasted by the money-grubbing director to a world wide public.

Very similar to the Death Race is the 2007 movie The Condemned where ten prisoners who are awaiting death penalty are fighting for freedom on an isolated island.

A third similar movie like the "Death Race" and "The Condemned" is "The Tournament" starring Robert Carlyle: In this 2009 flick, the worlds top 30 assassins battle for being the World Number 1 and a huge prize money. While the participants of these games joined the competition on a voluntary basis (mostly), this is not always the case for other movies in this article.

If there is a selection of movies that deal about life and death fights, tv shows and entertainment there are a few more movies we should not miss: Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in a script based on a novel from Stephen King, Running Man, tells the story of another prisoner who has to run from hunters for his freedom.

Comparable to Running man is RollerBall (2002), which is a remake from a movie with the same title from 1975, which is significantly better than the new version. For a change, the deadly fight is not between candidates in cars or by foot, but on roller blades.

Mentioning ancient rome earlier, Gladiator has to be a final recommendation, even though the story is set in a "sword and sandal" environment. Even during the old days, the folk was kept in good mood with "bread and games".

Final note: We at have long been waiting that another book of Stephen King (one may find it under his pseudonym Richard Bachman) called "The Long Walk" will be adapted into a movie. The story deals with 100 boys from the United States who have to walk as long as they can. Only one boy will survive. The book is absolutely thrilling and highly recommended. According to Wikipedia, Frank Darabont has secured the rights. We hope shooting starts sooner rather than late.

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