Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Reviews

Bruce Diones
New Yorker
Top Critic
December 5, 2011

This penultimate "Twilight" film is the best in the series so far. It's languorous, romantic, moody, and, in the end, horrifying.

Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
Top Critic
November 20, 2011

Color us stoked that a Twilight movie even strays into evil-fetus territory.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
November 20, 2011

The last twenty minutes of Breaking Dawn are so harrowing that it's possible to forget that most of the acting is soap-operatic (the guy who plays Carlisle is aging to look like Liberace) and the dialogue from hunger.

Sara Stewart
New York Post
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

It all goes wrong just when it should go right.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

Melodrama reigns in this supernatural soap opera, even though author Stephanie Meyer's tale takes a decided turn toward the weird and violent.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

This is a well-made film, though sometimes unintentionally funny.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

There are a few reasons The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 is probably the best of the Twilight films.

Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

For those of us who are not Twilight fanatics, or even fans, or could not care somewhat less than less, the arrival of Part 1 is not cause for trumpets blaring. But I would imagine that even those who line up for this film will be somewhat let down.

Full Review | Original Score: C-
Dana Stevens
Slate
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

By any normal standard, this is a terrible movie, with stilted dialogue and leaden pacing -- every 15 minutes or so, the action stops for a musical montage involving slow-motion handsomeness. But the Twilight saga stopped being normal a long time ago.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

Here's hoping Breaking Dawn Part Two gives us more of what Part One provided in the final 30 minutes than what it forced viewers to endure to get there.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Laremy Legel
Film.com
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

Some nice moments, but not enough of them.

Full Review | Original Score: C
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
November 18, 2011

[It] was supposed to be climactic. Instead, it's the most jumbled and tonally confused movie yet.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

What remains is the total conviction that the ludicrous scenes are dead serious and fiercely meaningful. The result is not quite a laugh a minute, but close.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Linda Holmes
NPR
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Romanticizing an intimate relationship that leaves bruises and scars is a particularly terrible idea in a film aimed at girls. Talking about this is tiresome, but then so is putting it in the movie.

Joy Tipping
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

If you insist on seeing the entire, seemingly never-ending 117 minutes, though, you're going to spend at least 87 of those minutes bored out of your mind.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

The sexless, bloodless, padded and plodding Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is the worst Twilight movie to date.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Jane Henderson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Director Bill Condon may have been hampered by the original material, but he does nothing to help it along.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

The Twilight Saga hasn't matured along with its heroine. In fact, the latest movie regresses a bit, delivering more filler, less feeling and crummier CGI than last year's Eclipse.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and the upcoming Part 2 were both directed by Dreamgirls' Bill Condon, who keeps the lunacy moving apace.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Will Condon's movie convert agnostics to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight cult?

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

It breaks my heart to tell you that "Breaking Dawn" is broken.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

The good news? Now that all of the tedious exposition has been gotten, glacially, out of the way, "Part II" will probably be terrific.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

To my taste, savvy Hollywood veteran Bill Condon debuts as director of the two-part Twilight conclusion in satisfying fashion, delivering a voluptuous if often inert spectacle that splits the difference between high camp and decadent romance.

Alison Willmore
AV Club
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

It may be impossible for anyone but existing fans to take this seriously, but for the unconverted, it's still a legitimately engaging, gape-worthy nutso spectacle.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Breaking Dawn - Part 1 as a whole feels stretched-out, as if the filmmakers realized belatedly that there wasn't enough material in the book to sustain two movies. (There isn't).

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Dan Kois
Village Voice
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Condon delivers the most authoritatively directed Twilight film so far, which only brings into sharp relief how tonally incoherent its story is.

Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

This is Meyer's worst offense -- her disturbingly Victorian attitudes about sex and love, which this particular movie falls modestly in lockstep with, even though it concludes years of cinematic foreplay.

Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

To his credit, Condon takes this risible material as seriously as possible and makes the proceedings as stylish and creepy as he can.

Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

One is also grateful for the film's finale... which is genuinely brilliant. There, I said it.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Yes, I know, Twilight fans love The Twilight Saga. But they (you?) deserve something better to love.

Full Review | Original Score: C-
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

The dialogue is, of course, ridiculous and the acting ranges from stiff to mopey. But moments that should be pulsating with tension are usually hilarious because the special effects are still just so distractingly cheesy.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

The absurdity quotient of the movie begins high and rapidly escalates to bedlam.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Anna Smith
Time Out
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

As a stand-alone movie it's a mixed bag. But it progresses the story of beloved characters with a reverence for the source material that will doubtlessly please Twi-hards, ushering in a finale that promises to be darker still.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

The latest and best of the movies about a girl, her vampire and their impossible, ridiculously appealing - yes, I surrendered - love story.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Whenever certain actors take the lead and set the pace of the dialogue, time itself begins to crawl backward and the breaking dawn begins to feel like yesterday's breaking dawn, or last Tuesday's.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

This one draws you close and keeps you there - and, for those of us who haven't read Stephenie Meyer's novel, delivers some surprising turns of plot.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Though director Bill Condon is new to the series, both he and returning screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg have an excellent grasp of their audience's desires, and are determined to meet them in good faith.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Pattinson again stands around looking pale and soulful, while Lautner gets to act more, which is maybe not such a good thing.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

Kristen Stewart is really pretty good here, although like almost all actresses she believes pregnant women rub their baby bumps unceasingly.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

"Breaking Dawn'' is the series in its fullest Victorian flower. But with Bill Condon directing, the pacing is all wrong. It's "Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies.''

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Scott Bowles
USA Today
Top Critic
November 16, 2011

The series is finding momentum as it nears its finale.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Justin Chang
Variety
Top Critic
November 11, 2011

All the more disappointing, then, that a story so pregnant with dramatic possibilities should wind up feeling like such an unconsummated opportunity.

Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
November 11, 2011

An eventful but bloodless first half of the smash series' finale.