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The Host Reviews

Tom Charity
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source:

March 29, 2013
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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[A] bizarre Saturday Night Live sketch about a girl with a bratty alien inside her.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: F

March 29, 2013
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
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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 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 29, 2013
James Berardinelli
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The movie's structure is awkward. There's no real narrative thrust.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 29, 2013
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
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The Host's infelicities-drab dialogue, ridiculous plotting, more emotional crises than there is story-are enlivened by its thematic eccentricities.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 29, 2013
Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
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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 Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

March 29, 2013
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Neither romantic nor fake romantic, and not at all ridiculous, The Host has an atmosphere that is cold, austere and sardonic.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2013
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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Ronan, youthfully elegant as always, tries hard, but the material defeats her.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 1/4

March 29, 2013
Adam Graham
Detroit News
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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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C

March 29, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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If only the movie played as nicely as it looked.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

March 29, 2013
Stephanie Zacharek
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The Host raises many questions, among them, how has it taken this long for Diane Kruger to play an alien?

Full Review Source:

March 29, 2013
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Long, tedious and often unintentionally hilarious.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1/4

March 28, 2013
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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It's a mushy and unsuspenseful melodrama.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

March 28, 2013
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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Pick up the book. It does a far better job of breathing life into this monochromatic new world than the film.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

March 28, 2013
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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Dopey, derivative and dull, "The Host" is a brazen combination of unoriginal science-fiction themes, young-adult pandering and bottom-line calculation.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 1/5

March 28, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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There's only so much value that Niccol's slick presentation can add to Meyer's shallow material.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

March 28, 2013
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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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 Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

March 28, 2013
Rafer Guzman
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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 Source: Newsday | Original Score: 1/4

March 28, 2013
Alonso Duralde
The Wrap
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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.

Full Review Source: The Wrap

March 28, 2013
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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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 Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 1/4

March 28, 2013
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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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 Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/5

March 28, 2013
Scott Foundas
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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.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 28, 2013
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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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 Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 28, 2013
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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There's something about novelist Stephenie Meyer that induces formerly interesting directors to suddenly make films that are slow, silly and soporific.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

March 28, 2013
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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"The Host" is like a confused guest who stays too long - but at least it's good for a few laughs.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 28, 2013
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/4

March 28, 2013
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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The film may as well be titled "Stephenie Meyer's Waiting Around."

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 1/4

March 28, 2013
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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"The Host" is top-heavy with profound, sonorous conversations, all tending to sound like farewells.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 28, 2013
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Just kind of dumb.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2/5

March 27, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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If nothing else, the movie serves as an excellent substitute for the book: better art direction and a quarter of the adjectives.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 27, 2013
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out New York
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Niccol helps The Host survive as a sci-fi movie even as he's saddled with the Twilight author's source material.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

March 26, 2013
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