Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

2011

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Critics Consensus

Slow, joyless, and loaded with unintentionally humorous moments, Breaking Dawn Part 1 may satisfy the Twilight faithful, but it's strictly for fans of the franchise.

25%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 204

60%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 186,607
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Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Photos

Movie Info

In The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), plus those they love, must deal with the chain of consequences brought on by a marriage, honeymoon, and the tumultuous birth of a child...which brings an unforeseen and shocking development for Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). -- (C) Summit Entertainment

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Cast

Kristen Stewart
as Bella Swan
Robert Pattinson
as Edward Cullen
Taylor Lautner
as Jacob Black
Anna Kendrick
as Jessica Stanley
Ashley Greene
as Alice Cullen
Billy Burke
as Charlie Swan
Sarah Clarke
as Renée Dwyer
Jackson Rathbone
as Jasper Hale
Peter Facinelli
as Dr. Carlisle Cullen
Elizabeth Reaser
as Esme Cullen
Kellan Lutz
as Emmett Cullen
Nikki Reed
as Rosalie Hale
Lee Pace
as Garrett
Christian Camargo
as Eleazar Denali
Mia Maestro
as Carmen Denali
Maggie Grace
as Irina Denali
MyAnna Buring
as Tanya Denali
Casey LaBow
as Kate Denali
Angelo Renai
as Minister Webber
Alex Rice
as Sue Clearwater
Gil Birmingham
as Billy Black
Kimani Ray Smith
as Near-Miss Husband
Tora Hylands
as Near-Miss Wife
Mackenzie Foy
as Renesmee
Christian Sloan
as Unsavory Person
James Pizzinato
as Unsavory Person
Ian Harmon
as Unsavory Person
Gabriel Carter
as Unsavory Person
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Critic Reviews for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

All Critics (204) | Top Critics (47)

Audience Reviews for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

  • Apr 20, 2016
    In my own opinion, Breaking Dawn pt. 1 is slow and moody, but captivating enough to maintain grasp over the majority of its audience. From a critical analysis, the film isn't great. Twilight is confusing because whilst the acting is (let's face it) for the most part terrible, the action is cringey and the pace is way too slow, I still find it really entertaining. Obviously at this point in the franchise the teeny vampire series may feature a wedding but it really hasn't matured much and retains all of its "emo-ness" that the previous films encompassed. I personally think Breaking Dawn is probably the best entry of the series because of its comfortable celebration of love that moves slightly away from the vampire theme and then bolsters us with it towards the end and the last half hour of the film is really fantastic.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 05, 2014
    After I thought Eclipse was pretty good(ish) because of the action I expected it to be just as action filled but I was let down and sat through a film that felt a million miles away from the first 3, It's not as dark and there's no fight scenes and the story drags but my rating is as high as is it because im hoping it's setting itself up for the grand finale, I hope.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 08, 2014
    Twi4 - it seems each Twilight gets a bit worse. This one features Bella in dark makeup - each scene a little darker than the previous.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Sep 12, 2013
    Hey, one of the cooler things that you can say about this film is that it marks the "twilight" of a mediocre series we're tired of, which should, of course, let you know how low this film's standard of cool is. Okay, fine, this film is actually pretty decent, but come on, man, you would think that they could pump more excitement into a film that's basically about a vampire mating with a teenaged human, especially when we're dealing with the director of "Kinsey", for goodness' sake. Man, if Alfred Kinsey was still alive and somewhere in this film, you know that he would have a field day writing "Sexual Behavior in a Vampire Male", something you would think this film is an adaptation of, - seeing as how it, like the "Kinsey Reports", is being forcibly split into two parts - if this material was actually that interesting. Yeah, you know that they probably just got Bill Condon to direct this film because it just hit the makers of this series that they never got around to getting a gay director, even though the series itself has been pretty consistently gay the whole way through. Shoot, they certainly couldn't have gotten Condon because his filmography has been building up to a film like this, because there are no gods to go with these monsters who aren't even powerful enough to overcome a silly love triangle, as well no "Dreamgirl" to be found in this romance, no matter what is being said by these beautiful, supernatural boy toys who, according to audience reception, could get any teenaged idiot of the female... or male persuasion they want. Interesting how Stephanie Meyer, in all of her Mormonism, has been making allegories about abstinence more-or-less throughout this series, and now that it's down to the wire, where the leads are married and can now make love without the judgment of the Lord who has already reserved a spot in Hell at least for one of them, the main girl has gotten married right out of high school and continues to tempt another man while she carries a baby that could kill her violently unless she commits her soul to Satan for eternal youth. Oh yeah, Stephanie, it's good to see that this series is ending on the moral high-ground, but hey, at least it helps in keeping this film from being too boring to escape mediocrity, and yet, it can't quite wash away all of the flaws here. The uniqueness to this series' story concept that was unveiled with the first installment has long been expired, and these films aren't getting any more refreshing, with this installment being anything but an exception, because even though my criticizing these story's as formulaic has itself become formulaic, make no mistake, when this film "finally" gets around to hitting some kind of a narrative direction, it follows a predictable path, and one that is bumpy enough without the familiarity. As if it's not bad enough that this film is formulaic, many of its tropes are taken from questionable sources, same as many of the tropes in any other "Twilight" installment, because even though this film's story isn't quite as bland as many are saying, it has some seriously thin spots in intrigue that it attempts to compensate for through the manufactured histrionics that are trademark for this series at this point, and made all the more glaring by the story's being interpreted into a messy script. Perhaps as some kind of fan service, source material author Stephanie Meyer co-writes this film's script with this film series' consistent writer Melissa Rosenberg, and let me tell you, that doesn't exactly make this installment's script any better, because even though this script's quality leans more towards that of the decent "Eclipse", rather than the quality of the thoroughly mediocre "Twilight" and "New Moon", dialogue still gets to be pretty hokey, sometimes unnervingly so, to where the sting of the melodrama goes intensified. Of course, what could very well be the biggest problem out of this film's script is all of the blasted dragging, for although this film doesn't drag quite as much as many are saying, it's still all but driven by fat around the edges, or rather, excess filler that pads out a thin narrative, eventually into the aimlessness that has haunted this series through and through. It's a long time before this series goes somewhere, and in that time, this melodrama drags its feet and gives you more time than you should have to soak up the shortcomings, both natural and consequential, so if you were concerned that this film's source material didn't deserve to be split into two feature dramas, in the fashion of the very strong "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" mini-saga, this effort fulfills your fears by taking too long to reach highlights that natural shortcomings were always going to dim to one degree or another, no matter how much Bill Condon apparently wants this film to excel. Sure, Chris Weitz had a bit of his heart in "New Moon", yet that didn't save it from mediocrity, and while Condon matches ambition with enough inspiration to turn messy material into a decent flick, or at least charm, his heart actually reflects the areas that are not and never can be terribly well-done, of which there is enough for the final product to go threatened by the mediocrity that threatened its predecessors, or at least the first two. Well, whether it be because this series took some notes from David Slade or whatever, I must admit, I'm okay with this film, which is still a mess, but an endearing mess, and one that has certain artistic strengths which back its decency up a bit. These films have always played up hit-or-miss, overly contemporaneous song soundtracks, and with this film, while there is the occasional passable beat, courtesy of the latest cornball musician with questionable talent, the soundtrack is as messy and, as misfortune would have it, recurring as ever, so if musicality really is going to play a factor in flavoring up the liveliness that saves this messy flick as decent, we have to turn to the original touches by 2008's "Twilight" score composer Carter Burwell, whose efforts are formulaic, but with a certain tastefulness that compliments the core of this film about as much as cinematography by Guillermo Navarro that isn't too impressive, but crisp enough in definition and lighting to catch your eye, especially when lovely visuals and art direction are played up. Now, the film is not as stylistically striking as "Eclipse", and may not even be as aesthetically commendable as the generally much inferior "New Moon", but musical and visual style prove to be reasonably attractive, and yet, what really keeps this slippery slope flowing as adequately enjoyable is what is, in fact, done right in substance handling. Hey, even in concept, this film's story could be messier, because even though this subject matter is a mess of tropes and histrionics, made all the more glaring by a cheesy script that forcibly pads out the first part of what was intended to be one narrative, there is some dramatic intrigue, or at least endearing elements that aren't so undercut by writing hiccups that you I could deny a degree of potential to this character melodrama that is partly brought to life by, of all things, the portrayers of the often questionably drawn characters. If nothing else has been hit-or-miss throughout this series, it has been the acting, and really, not even this installment can completely cleanse itself of glaringly faulty supporting performances, but on the whole, while this drama isn't especially well-acted, I am surprised how much this film is kept going by its performers, or at least the lead ones by Robert Pattinson and the typically mediocre Kristen Stewart, who share particularly potent chemistry and engage just fine by their own individual rights, with Pattinson being reasonably convincing in his portrayal of a man who fears that he may bring about the suffering and death of the love of his long, long life, while Stewart surprises more than anyone by bringing in a hint of the charisma that she has been lacking throughout this saga, as well as the occasional effective dramatic note. I won't go so far as to say that Stewart is all that good, but the opportunities to be in stronger productions that this series has actually allowed her to explore have clearly matured her as an actress by this point, and I commend her generally effort in keeping some of the heart of this character melodrama pumping, even if the Bella Swan character remains questionable on paper, but really, what truly saves this sloppy drama is a certain offscreen performance. Bill Condon has proven himself time and again to be a pretty talented filmmaker, but then again, so has Chris Weitz, and while Condon isn't dealing with material as fall-flat as the material whose shortcomings could not be watered down by Weitz enough for "New Moon" to escape mediocrity, Condon can do only so much, which doesn't stop him from trying, and ultimately succeeding about as much as "Eclipse" director David Slade did in drawing enough genuine intrigue from hit-or-miss subject matter to establish a bit of dramatic tension when it most needs to be present, or at least pumping atmosphere with enough liveliness to breathe life into entertainment value. If nothing else graces this reasonably entertaining melodrama with liveliness, it's a feeling of charm within Condon's direction, which is generally born of the ambition that emphasizes what is not done particularly well in this still pretty faulty effort, but nevertheless stands as an emphasis on what is, in fact, done well enough to get the final product by as yet another decent installment in a hit-or-miss saga, even if it itself is hit-or-miss. In the end of the beginning of the end (Great, now I've got a Smashing Pumpkins song stuck in my head), a formulaic, thin and histrionic story concept, - exacerbated by some cornball screenwriting - as well as aimlessness spawned from a near-exhausting struggle to pad out an incomplete narrative, threaten the final product with mediocrity, but through decent score work and cinematography, intriguing story concept elements, generally pretty good acting, - particularly that of Robert Pattinson and, of all people, Kristen Stewart - and an endearing, when not fairly effective directorial performance by Bill Condon, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" is left standing as an unexpectedly decently entertaining, if still pretty messy prelude to the conclusion of a rocky saga. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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