The Host Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
March 29, 2013
This is pretty silly stuff, Twi-lite if you will, but played with maximum solemnity, no discernible humor and minimal excitement.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 29, 2013
[A] bizarre Saturday Night Live sketch about a girl with a bratty alien inside her.
Full Review | Original Score: F
Top Critic
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
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
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 29, 2013
The movie's structure is awkward. There's no real narrative thrust.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
March 29, 2013
The Host's infelicities-drab dialogue, ridiculous plotting, more emotional crises than there is story-are enlivened by its thematic eccentricities.
Top Critic
Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
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+
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 29, 2013
Ronan, youthfully elegant as always, tries hard, but the material defeats her.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Adam Graham
Detroit News
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
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 29, 2013
If only the movie played as nicely as it looked.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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?
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 28, 2013
Long, tedious and often unintentionally hilarious.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
March 28, 2013
It's a mushy and unsuspenseful melodrama.
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
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.
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
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.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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
Top Critic
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
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
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 28, 2013
The film may as well be titled "Stephenie Meyer's Waiting Around."
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
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+
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
March 27, 2013
Just kind of dumb.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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
Top Critic
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
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