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The Host Review Critics


Dave White Profile

She hits you and it feels like a kiss. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's really a dramatic sinkhole.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Saoirse Ronan's talents are wasted on a foolish dual part in this dull sci-fi fantasy.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    There's something about novelist Stephenie Meyer that induces formerly interesting directors to suddenly make films that are slow, silly and soporific.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The Host is top-heavy with profound, sonorous conversations, all tending to sound like farewells. The movie is so consistently pitched at the same note, indeed, that the structure robs it of possibilities for dramatic tension.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Lots of kisses, but "Twi"-fi thriller isn't that compelling.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though author Stephenie Meyer intended her sci-fi novel The Host for adult readers, the big-screen adaptation is just as teen friendly as the Twilight saga -- but with aliens instead of supernatural characters. There's a whole lot of passionate kissing, and two young adult characters (in the book, they're specifically described as an older teenage girl and her twentysomething boyfriend) who are revealed to be lovers share a couple of mild sex scenes (mostly just making out in bed, with the man barechested). Given the genre, it's not unusual that there's also violence: People (both alien and human) are shot, commit suicide, and gravely injured. But as in all of Meyer's stories, there's a happily ever after, as well as themes of humans banding together to fight for their freedom and the ability to live and survive.

  • Families can talk about alien movies and their enduring popularity. How does The Host compare to other invasion/take-over movies in which the aliens are more overtly violent?
  • Stephenie Meyer has said that the book The Host was based on isn't YA but rather a sci-fi romance for grown-ups. Are there any aspects of the movie or story that you think make it more appealing to adults than teens? How do you think this story compares to Meyer's Twilight series?
  • Book fans, what characters or plot points do you wish had been included in the movie? Which changes did you like?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The positive message is that people will band together and fight for their freedom, even when it looks like all is lost. Humanity -- in all of its flawed complexity -- is exalted for its will to live, to survive. Other themes include the power of the sibling bond, self reliance, and friendship.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Melanie refuses to allow herself to be fully absorbed by her alien parasite. She makes her thoughts and feelings known and implores her body's alien (called Wanda) to help her keep her loved ones safe. Uncle Jeb, Ian, and Jamie are able to accept Wanda and the fact that Melanie is still alive in Wanda's consciousness. Wanda is an alien but is willing to empathize with Melanie and her friends.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Melanie throws herself through a window as a suicidal act, plunging to her apparent death -- but she lives long enough to be implanted with a parasitic alien. A young boy cuts himself deeply with a sickle. Another character cuts herself (with bloody results) to get a doctor to heal her (part of a larger plan). The body count includes alien "Souls" and humans who are shot or sacrifice themselves in a car crash. Characters have guns (and there's a sword), and weapons are discharged and used to hold people at gunpoint. Some chase/pursuit scenes. Some slapping and yelling between characters; one character tries to strangle another. Humans are opened up to insert the aliens.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Lots of passionate kissing/touching between different couples, and some allusions to sex. There are also a couple of scenes that make it clear that Melanie and Jared were intimate (in one of them, Jared is shirtless, and his entire back down to his tailbone is visible on the bed). A character wears a suggestive nightgown in an early scene.

  • language false1

    Language: A couple of uses of "hell," "damn," "ass," and "oh God" (as an exclamation), plus insults hurled at Wanderer -- "it," "thing," "parasite."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Mercedes, Jeeps, and Lotus vehicles are prominently displayed in several scenes.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue