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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 Review

Movies.com Critics

3.0

Dave White Profile

Finally, some blood. Read full review

1.0

Grae Drake Profile

Breaking yawn. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    45

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    What we learn in this all-pain/no-pleasure episode is that marriage feels like a life sentence, weddings are miserable events, honeymoon sex is dangerous and leaves a bride covered in bruises, and pregnancy is a torment that leads to death in exchange for birth.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    In the end, given how little goes on in Breaking Dawn - Part 1 despite the major plot points, what you're left with is to gaze at the three leads, all of whom have their constituencies and reasons for being eminently watchable. The only hope is they'll have more to do next time around.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Absorbing, if somewhat slow-paced, and has without doubt the most blood-curdling scene of live childbirth in a PG-13 movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    It is in many respects the best installment of the franchise as its stars go from sullen kids to sullen young adults, where their expressions look more natural.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Sexy honeymoon, disturbing pregnancy dominate latest movie.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this next-to-last installment in the Twilight series is sure to attract throngs of tween, teen, and adult fans of the book-and-film phenomenon. But parents of tweens and younger teens should know that this adaptation faithfully follows the book's mature, disturbing storyline concerning an extremely dangerous pregnancy. Although the action-based violence is mostly confined to a couple of werewolf vs. vampire skirmishes, the birth scene is like something out of a horror film; it's brimming with blood and gore and agonizing pain (though still less than what was in the book). Also, after three movies of abstinence, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) finally consummate their relationship in a bed-breaking honeymoon scene that shows a lot of skin but nothing R-rated. Families wary of discussing abortion or family planning should know that much of the film deals with those issues. There are also some sad/poignant goodbye scenes.

  • Families can talk about Bella and Edward's relationship. Is 18 too young to get married? Should marriage be part of a young adult series aimed at tweens and teens?
  • Is Bella and Edward's romance a positive example for teenagers? What's your take on the mature issues of sexuality, marriage, and family planning that are addressed in the movie? Parents, take this opportunity to talk to your teens about your own family's values when it comes to these topics.
  • Because of her focus on Edward (and, to a lesser degree, Jacob), Bella has been unfavorably compared to other young-adult heroines. Why do you think she and the Twilight series remain so popular, and does this popularity convey messages to girls about girls' roles in relationships?
  • What aspects of the movie were faithful to the book? What scenes are more powerful in the book? In the movie?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Bella doesn't rely on Edward to make an important, possibly self-sacrificing choice for her (having their baby). And despite the controversial pregnancy, the movie offers a positive outlook on what constitutes a "family" and how love can take many different forms. But Bella and Edward's marriage remains a sticky issue, since it's not widely considered a good idea for teens to consider marriage right out of high school.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: For once, it's Bella -- not Edward -- calling the shots, so regardless of how you feel about her decision regarding her pregnancy, it's hers to make. The Cullens are all selfless, generous, and peace-loving vampires. Jacob is at his best in this installment. Despite disagreeing with Bella, he guards her life -- and just when you think he's going to do something monstrous, he redeems himself.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: (Note: Potential spoiler alerts.) Although, action-wise, this isn't the most violent of the Twilight movies, the extended and unforgettably bloody birth sequence seems straight out of a horror movie (though it's still far less bloody than the description in the book). There's also lots of pain during this scene, including scalpel cuts, the sound of breaking bones, and many screams. At one point, viewers briefly see Edward biting his way through Bella's uterus; he then pulls out the bloody baby, while Bella is also covered in blood and seems about to die. Edward then attempts to revive her with his venom by biting her on all of her pulse points. Bella looks frighteningly emaciated and on death's door throughout her pregnancy, and there are a few minutes when it seems she actually has died. There are several conversations about abortion, "getting rid" of the pregnancy, and "fetus" vs. "baby" debates. Bella drinks blood on several occasions like it's a milkshake. The wolves fight each other and, in one scene, the Cullens. Jacob looks poised to beat Edward up on a couple of occasions and even agrees to kill him should Bella die in childbirth. A brief cameo by the Volturi shows their humorous (to them) decision to have a human employee killed; in a bloody nightmare sequence, the Voluturi also kill many key characters -- their bodies are shown. A flashback shows Edward violently biting and killing three unsavory men.

  • sex false3

    Sex: After sharing a couple of passionate kisses and getting married, Bella and Edward finally consummate their relationship on their honeymoon. Viewers see bare backs and other flashes of skin as Bella and Edward skinny dip (backs, chests, and a quick glimpse of Bella's breasts from the side as she embraces Edward), make out passionately in the water, and then move to the bed; there are also breathing sounds, lingerie shots, etc., and Edward is seen on top of Bella and consequently breaks the bedframe with his passion (he also bruises Bella). On another occasion, Bella has a sexy dream and wakes up pleading with Edward to make love. She also wears pretty skimpy lingerie and swimsuits. After the honeymoon, the romance is limited to one quick glimpse of the wolves and their mates kissing on the beach and some chaste embraces.

  • language false2

    Language: Less swearing than most PG-13 movies. Words include "pissed off," "crap," "bloodsucker," "damn," and "hell."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: The entire Cullen household is outfitted with Apple computers, Bella and Edward drive around in a Volvo (a car that's also available in real life), and there's a Tampax product placement. Off-camera, the movie franchise has huge merchandising tie-ins with cosmetics, apparel, accessories, toys, and more (even wedding dresses!).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults enjoy champagne (Bella's parents a bit too much) at Bella and Edward's posh wedding reception.

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