From: ShadowSpy | #007Speaking as someone who read the books first, I'd have to say that the movie really is a good adaptation.
But yes, if I think about it, the movie doesn't quite stand on its own. Part of it is because there's more world building in the later novels (and I assume the same for the inevitable movie sequels), and part of it is because the world background is placed subtly in the movie to avoid exposition. For example, the movie mentions that 13 districts rebelled against the Capitol, but there's only 24 tributes--two for each district. Movie-goers have to infer that District 13 was destroyed in the rebellion, while book-readers get that information handed directly as words.
But what I'm saying is...even though that exposition is placed subtly, I think it's still there. Maybe not noticeable for someone watching the movie for the first time, but I suspect the movie may stand on its own after the second or third time.