Critic Review - Chicago Sun-Times

The movie was directed by Catherine Hardwicke. She uses her great discovery, Nikki Reed, in the role of the beautiful Rosalie Hale. Reed wrote Hardwick's Thirteen when she was only 14. That was a movie that knew a lot more about teenage girls.

November 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (36)
Chicago Sun-Times
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Erik Xian

Ebert, you made two typos in your one-liner. Otherwise, good review and I appreciate that you point readers to the much better film with a vampire%u2014the only one with a vampire worth seeing this year.

Nov 19 - 12:06 PM


Logan Aube

I actually read Ebert's entire review, and it was more positive than negative. Does RT determine the positivity/negativity of a review based solely on its one-liner?

Nov 19 - 01:35 PM


Erik Xian

I think the critic decides whether it's rotten or not.

Nov 19 - 03:28 PM


Alice Cooper

And he did.

Nov 19 - 03:44 PM

bob rulz

Jason Berntson

It actually seems to me that the review could go either way. It's pretty neutral.

Nov 19 - 01:43 PM


Stephen Fargo

Cheers, Roger. This movie IS rotten.

Nov 19 - 02:37 PM


m z

"Now playing around the country is the much better and more realistic teenage vampire movie "Let the Right One In," a Swedish import scheduled to be Twilighted by Hollywood. In this one, the vampire girl protects the boy and would never dream of killing him. That's your difference right there between girls and boys. Warning: This is very R-rated."

Hell. Yes.

Nov 19 - 03:07 PM

Cranky A.

Cranky Anonymous

From the FAQs:

How is the Average Rating calculated?

Each critic's original rating scale (star, letter grade, numeric) is converted to a 1-10 scale, and then an average is produced based on the converted rating scale. Reviews without original ratings are not counted, and a minimum of five reviews with original ratings is required.

Ebert's review gave it 2.5 out of 4 stars, which should be considered fresh. But just barely. *shrugs*

Nov 19 - 04:34 PM

Michael A.

Michael Alber

Ebert disdains the star rating system but grudgingly uses it due to competition from other critics. He has written that he personally considers a 2.5 rating a non-recommendation.

Nov 21 - 09:23 AM


Todd Reynard

2.5 out of Five = 50% = F

Nov 22 - 05:15 PM

Will B

Will Boissonnault

No, an F, according to metacritic, is more likea half a star. 2 and a half would be more like a B-

Dec 12 - 07:23 AM

Chris D.

Chris Ducat

For Ebert, though, it is equivalent to a 50% on RT, and if RT allowed 1% increments I think it'd be fair to say it's 59%: just under fresh, but under it for sure.

Feb 24 - 06:04 PM

M G.


If you thought the review was praising the movie more than it was making fun of its shallowness you need to get checked upstairs.

I'm amazed he gave the movie 2 and a half stars after deconstructing the movie to it's bare supidity.

What a beautifully written review. You might agree or not with him, but he would certainly beat anyone's a** with his keyboard.

Nov 19 - 07:16 PM


Erik Xian

Ebert, you misspelled Hardwicke's name: "Hardwick's Thirteen" should be "Hardwicke's Thirteen". This is in both the one-liner and the review.

Nov 19 - 08:43 PM


Robert Bobby

Cranky A,

2.5/4 is rotten. If Ebert gives a movie 2.5 stars, he has ALWAYS given that movie a thumbs down on At The Movies.

Thumbs Down is the same as Rotten.

Nov 19 - 11:41 PM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

To clarify: At RT we consider a 2.5/4 review to be mixed, which can go either fresh or rotten, so our editors read it to assign the rating. Mr. Ebert has stated before that his 2.5/4s are usually rotten, but we did confirm with him that this review's rating stands.

Nov 20 - 12:18 AM

Fozzie B.

Fozzie Bear

Ebert, I like your review, cracks me up actually.
I haven't seen the movie but your opinion is not as green as that tomatoe you have on your soft spot.
I sense a bit of sarcasm, but I still think you've blushed with pleasure seeing all those hormonal-hipped girls swooning over young, cute and HOT guys.
I think you're tomatoe is hot red.

Nov 20 - 03:26 PM

natalie g.

natalie garnica

This is not only directed at Roger Ebert (whom I love) but at all critics.

Teenage girls everywhere should be insulted. To here over and over again that "the film was crappy, but its target audience will love it" assumes that every teenage girl is insipid and can't find her way out of a paper bag.

I am 17, and I am not insipid. I was reading reviews in order to see whether or not the story was compelling, the acting was good, etc. Instead I found review after review saying that the themes of chastity, love conquers all, and the capacity to choose, are all ridiculous and overdone.

I can handle the special effects being lame, or horrible acting, or an overwhelming amount of cheese. Those are legitimate criticisms.

But making condescending remarks to a whole demographic is in no way related to writing a good movie review.

Critics: Stop lumping the teenage female into a group of empty headed nimwits. It is the extremists that determine a stereotype - which is precisely why I refuse to call every film critic a stuffy, pessimistic, and intellectual snob.

Nov 20 - 11:53 PM


Gina Sackman

Natalie, I think they are all implying the teenage girls that are in love with this series [or would be in they read it and were into that sort of mindless drivel] will love it. Sure, they should make that more clear but I really believe it's what they were intending to say. And most of the reviews I've read do say it at one point or another at least once.

But if Ebert didn't, then yes, that's what he should have said.

Nov 21 - 12:30 AM

Michael A.

Michael Alber

I think they're responding to the rabid popularity of these books.

I've read Twilight. It's not terrible, but it's not as good as J.K. Rowling's juvenile fiction. Meyer makes a lot of grammatical, structural, and literary errors. It builds up suspense but doesn't deliver an adequate climax. And yet it has the same kind of popularity phenom the Potter books had. I think a lot of adults don't understand this and the critics' reaction is the response to this.

Nov 21 - 09:28 AM

Anna M.

Anna Maldonado

Amen... It builds the suspense but fails to climax ( I blinked and almost missed it)... I mean, the girl of your dreams reveals (and doesn't run like hell) the fact that you are the ultimate predator and her mortal enemy by nature and all you can do is make mindless chatter in the car. The movie handled the scene a lot better (if not over the top somewhat).

Jun 29 - 10:27 PM

Anna M.

Anna Maldonado

(a response to Natalie.g.) Natalie, I think you are missing the point. I admit, I begrudingly read the book to find out what the fuss was about, but secretly wanted to be swept up into the romance of the vampire world.

Within a week's time, I read the book, saw the movie and am obsessed with trying to find out WHY I didn't like it, although I WANTED to really like.

And it hit me, it wasn't meant for my age group. BTW I am a 33 mother of two. My daughter is 14.

It's not that "we" think it's mindless BS, it's just that we "know" better. At that age, love IS all you need, but as an adult we need a little more.

My biggest problem with this movie/book is because it was never made clear to me why Edward loved Bella. And please don't say it was because she smelled yummy. That reasoning is likened to smelling a great cheeseburger and wanting to marry it. I would have been more satisfied if Meyer would have played up the fact that he couldn't read her mind easily, therefore an enigma and a challenge for her.

So yes, the critics may not say it as nicely but the truth is this movie and line of reasoning is made for an age group willing to accept love in its purest form. Thank God you still have that ability. (BTW, my favorite love story is Romeo and Juliet.) Much love.

Jun 29 - 10:45 PM

natalie g.

natalie garnica

P.S. I have to say Roger...despite being insulted, your writing, as always, made me laugh out loud.

Nov 20 - 11:57 PM


kelly Jackson

I was waiting for your review Mr.Ebert on this movie, I'm glad you gave it a rotten rating because it deserves it. Also, "Let the Right One In" looks a million times better than Twilight.

People need to wake up, Twilight is overrated and can't deliver.

Nov 21 - 06:47 AM

Jessamyn J.

Jessamyn Jeffery

I resent that 'Thirteen' is supposed to be more teenage girl-ish than this. Not all girls are messed up, psycho, or as daredevil as the two mains in that movie. There are so many Jessica's, and more than a few Bella's that feel amused and oddly comforted by the normal people you make friends with in school, but very much want a girlish deep love that she is so unwilling to leave Forks because of. In short, I myself as a teenage girl, would be happy to be more affiliated with the Bella side of things than that of Thirteen.

Nov 21 - 08:19 PM

Joshua S.

Joshua See

The movie is rotten it doesnt matter if your a bella or not. its not the book and dont compare it to it. A waist of 9.00 and time.

Nov 29 - 02:09 AM

Jessamyn J.

Jessamyn Jeffery

Obviously, I mean, Bella is a bit more radical about love than most 17 year olds are, wanting to die for someone before they know them fully, which seems more like younger-teen infatuation, and I don't entirely align myself with that, don't take my last words for saying that I am like her, but that I would rather be, than the girls of Thirteen.

Nov 21 - 08:24 PM


Daniel Erny

"If there were no vampires in "Twilight," it would be a thin-blooded teenage romance, about two good-looking kids who want each other so much because they want each other so much."

ahahaha...oh ebert. you know just how to tickle one's funny bone. :]

Nov 22 - 11:33 AM


R Descartes

Again Ebert, a wonderful review. Reasonable and well written, keep up the good work.

Nov 23 - 05:17 PM


R Descartes

Again Ebert, a wonderful review. Reasonable and well written, keep up the good work.

Nov 23 - 05:26 PM


Frisby 2007

Who expects you, Roger Ebert, the critic who gives negative reviews to great movies (Howl's moving castle, Eduard Scissorhands), to enjoy a film like this?

Mar 24 - 07:18 PM

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