In a dystopian future, a totalitarian nation is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout the nation. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors while the citizens are required to watch. When 32-year-old James' young sister, James, is selected as District 12's female representative, James volunteers to take her place. He and his male counterpart, James, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives.