The Host Reviews

Tom Charity
CNN.com
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

This is pretty silly stuff, Twi-lite if you will, but played with maximum solemnity, no discernible humor and minimal excitement.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

[A] bizarre Saturday Night Live sketch about a girl with a bratty alien inside her.

Full Review | Original Score: F
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

The Host isn't very good as a romance. There's not very much passion on screen, which makes the film a poor cousin to Twilight.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

The movie's structure is awkward. There's no real narrative thrust.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

The Host's infelicities-drab dialogue, ridiculous plotting, more emotional crises than there is story-are enlivened by its thematic eccentricities.

Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

Fear and dread of "the other" have long ruled American science fiction, fantasy, suspense thrillers and politics... How jarring then, and refreshing, to see The Host... take the invaders' point of view.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

Neither romantic nor fake romantic, and not at all ridiculous, The Host has an atmosphere that is cold, austere and sardonic.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

Ronan, youthfully elegant as always, tries hard, but the material defeats her.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Adam Graham
Detroit News
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

A goofball teenage sci-fi romance, "The Host" is an End of Days parable that seems like it was written at a slumber party.

Full Review | Original Score: C
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

If only the movie played as nicely as it looked.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Stephanie Zacharek
Film.com
Top Critic
March 29, 2013

The Host raises many questions, among them, how has it taken this long for Diane Kruger to play an alien?

Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

Long, tedious and often unintentionally hilarious.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

It's a mushy and unsuspenseful melodrama.

Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

Pick up the book. It does a far better job of breathing life into this monochromatic new world than the film.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

Dopey, derivative and dull, "The Host" is a brazen combination of unoriginal science-fiction themes, young-adult pandering and bottom-line calculation.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

There's only so much value that Niccol's slick presentation can add to Meyer's shallow material.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

Ronan is better than the material she's given as Melanie/Wanda. The star of Atonement and Hanna conveys more intelligence than her foolish dual roles call for.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

A sci-fi writer like Philip K. Dick ("Blade Runner") might have used this premise to explore notions of memory and identity. Meyer uses it to create a teen soap opera.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

During the dull stretches of The Host -- and, sadly, there are many of them -- you may find yourself rewriting the movie as a French farce.

Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

An invasion of the body snatchers is preferable to realizing that the true horror perpetrated here is not on the characters but on the audience.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

We're treated to the bizarre spectacle of Ronan arguing with herself repeatedly over which guy to kiss. But since both are similarly bland, it barely matters.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Scott Foundas
Variety
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

Meyer is undeniably canny at using genre to address the age-old struggles of adolescence, but at just over two hours, even "The Host's" air of guilty pleasure eventually subsides.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

The Host is born from the mother of all things Twilight, Stephenie Meyer, which is the next best - or worst - thing, depending on your point of view.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

There's something about novelist Stephenie Meyer that induces formerly interesting directors to suddenly make films that are slow, silly and soporific.

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

"The Host" is like a confused guest who stays too long - but at least it's good for a few laughs.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

By the time the film finally gets to its conclusion -- an obvious set-up for a sequel -- you may wish you'd been possessed by aliens for the previous couple of hours.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

Sci-fi hits the skids as bad melodrama rules, and we get such risible dialogue as, "It's not really me you like, it's this body" and "I'm still of two minds." And how about this groaner: "Kiss me like you want to get slapped."

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

The film may as well be titled "Stephenie Meyer's Waiting Around."

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

Niccols always picks unusual, intriguing projects, and gives them a distinctive look, but the emotional core of his stories sometimes escapes him.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
March 28, 2013

"The Host" is top-heavy with profound, sonorous conversations, all tending to sound like farewells.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
March 27, 2013

Just kind of dumb.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
March 27, 2013

If nothing else, the movie serves as an excellent substitute for the book: better art direction and a quarter of the adjectives.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out New York
Top Critic
March 26, 2013

Niccol helps The Host survive as a sci-fi movie even as he's saddled with the Twilight author's source material.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5