The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: A Look at the Movies of the Twilight Alumni

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: A Look at the Movies of the Twilight Alumni

Sep 19, 2011

Three short years ago, the cast of the first Twilight movie were relatively unknown to all but the staunchest Stephanie Meyers supporters. Robert Pattinson was best known for his part as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Kristen Stewart had played Jodie Foster’s daughter in Panic Room and Taylor Lautner was a pre-chiseled dimply kid in Robert Rodriguez’s  Shark Boy and Lava Girl. A lot has changed in three years.

Besides selling a few warehouses full of extra copies of Meyers’ teen vamp series and countless tickets at the box office, Twilight has launched the careers for a host of young up-and-coming actors and sent leads Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner running from salivating paparazzi.

So far, however, none of the Twilighters have had much luck when they aren’t playing dress-up as vampires, werewolves and lovestruck teens. This week Taylor Lautner will take a stab at Twilight separation with Abduction, an action thriller from director John Singleton about a teenager (Lautner) who finds himself on a missing persons website and learns his parents aren’t really his parents.

Today we take a look at non-Twilight roles from the cast - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Kristen Stewart (Bella Swanson, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

Good

Adventureland/The Runaways/Into the Wild - Thus far, Stewart has been the most successful member of the Twilight cast, although she’s yet to drive a movie completely on her own. As the titular character of the forthcoming Snow White and the Huntsmen, she may soon get that chance. Adventureland was great, though the bulk of credit probably belongs to star Jesse Eisenberg. Into the Wild was a smaller but respectable part. Runaways was a bold move and, while Stewart struggled at times with the difficult Joan Jett role, most critics agreed it was a step in the right direction.

Bad

The Messengers - Schlock horror at its worst riding the wave of the Asian horror trend of the aughts, most have long-since forgotten this one and Kristen Stewart is thankful.

Ugly

Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas - Granted, Stewart was only 10 and uncredited in her brief part as “Ring Toss Girl,” but its hard not to at least mention this truly terrible prequel starring Mark Addy and Stephen (yes, Stephen) Baldwin. Even a ten-year-old had to be wondering about her career just a tad after this one.

Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

Good

Water for Elephants - An adaptation of the Sara Gruen novel, this romance received mixed to positive reviews and Pattinson generally held his own with acting vet Reese Witherspoon. One consistent criticism of the film was that there was a noticeable lack of chemistry between Pattinson and Witherspoon.

Bad

Remember Me -This coming-of-age dramedy failed to ride the Edward Cullen wave to the box office and was roundly savaged by critics to the tune of a 28 % on Rotten Tomatoes. “If this movie is playing at a theatre near you,” said A.O. Scott of At the Movies, “you might want to consider moving somewhere else.”

Ugly

Vanity Fair - “Ugly” might be a stretch, but no actor likes to end up on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately, Mr. Bedhead didn’t make the finished cut of this one. He can be found on the DVD, for those who seriously can’t get enough of R-Pat.

Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

Good

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 - “Good” is debatable, but well, you can hardly bemoan a 12-year-old for taking a part in a movie with Steve Martin.

Bad

Valentine’s Day - Critics attacked this hokey date movie ensemble, but it fared quite well at the box office all the same. Lautner lovers swooned over his scenes with namesake and rumored girlfriend, country pop star Taylor Swift.

Ugly

The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D - Robert Rodriguez says this one came out of an idea from one of his kids and it probably should've been relegated to home movie status. It’s hard to put too much blame on Lautner, though, who was still just a pre-teen, pre-chiseled little kid at the time.

Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

Good

Thirteen - Reed broke out as the multi-talented bad girl and co-writer of this harrowing feature length parental PSA she helped developed with Catherine Harwicke, who would later cast Reed in Twilight.

Bad

The Last Day of Summer - What, never heard of this one? Count yourself lucky. This limited release couldn’t capitalize on Reed’s Twilight exposure and disappeared quickly from theaters. It scored a lowly 17 % on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ugly

Mini’s First Time - Here Reed tries to capitalize on the bad girl status, but the hammy tale is more creepy than compelling with its multiple cringe-inducing hookup scenes between Reed and a past his prime pre-30 Rock Alec Baldwin.

Kellan Lutz (Emmet Cullen, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

Good

A Warrior’s Heart - Starring alongside fellow Twilight alumnus Ashley Greene, Lutz has received early festival praise for his part as lacrosse star Connor Sullivan, sent into a downward spiral by the battlefield death of his Marine father. After being kicked off the team, Lutz is sent off to play lacrosse with his dad’s Native American friend, where he discovers the roots of the game and begins to piece his life back together. Warrior’s Heart was just picked up for distribution, so hopefully this one will get a release date shortly.

Bad

Prom Night - This turkey of a remake was called “A bland, timid and thoroughly un-thrilling teen thriller” by critic Jason Anderson. Lucky for Lutz, he played only a brief role before washing away its memories with Twilight a year later.

Ugly

Nightmare on Elm Street - Director Samuel Bayer did Lutz the favor of offing the actor early in this forgettable attempt revive the ‘80s horror franchise. Coupled with Prom Night, hopefully Lutz has already paid his dues for trashy slasher flick parts.

Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

Good

A Warrior’s Heart - Teamed with Kellan Lutz, Greene hopes this festival breakout feel-good movie will help her begin to establish her post-Twilight career.

Bad

Skateland - After some success on the festival circuit, this skater drama failed to garner much interest upon theatrical release. Criticized for its formulaic coming-of-age plot-line, at least no one singled out Greene as the problem.

Ugly

Summer’s Moon - More Schlock horror, this time cashing in on Greene’s role in Twilight with some of the most shameless marketing tactics this side of Roger Corman. Along with a title font more than a little reminiscent of Twilight, the DVD box even includes a red circle advertising “Starring Ashley Greene from the Twilight Saga.” The title was also changed from Summer’s Blood to Summer’s Moon, presumably only so they could put the title in front of the moon, a la Twilight.

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