'Breaking Dawn - Part 1': The Reviews Are In!

Read what critics have to say about the latest 'Twilight Saga' installment.

"Breaking Dawn - Part 1," the penultimate entry in "The Twilight Saga," hit theaters Friday (November 18), and millions of fans around the world will see what Bella, Edward and Jacob are up to in this installment.

Many of them won't read a single review before going to the theater, but if you are curious about what the nation's critics have to say about the latest vampire romance, we've taken a sampling that best represents the overall consensus.

Turns out, "Breaking Dawn" is just like every other "Twilight" movie. Fans won't be disappointed, but outsiders may have trouble getting adjusted, since the film doesn't take any breaks to explain what's come before. But director Bill Condon brings some nice touches with his first venture into the series.

Here's what the critics have to say.

The Story

" 'Dawn' picks up where 'Eclipse' left off, with our heroes Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) set to wed. The wedding is as storybook as the romance, which explains why there are so many 'Twilight' moms: Bella is perceptive and patient, saving sex for marriage. Edward is loyal and has been waiting a century to lose his virginity. See a zombie be that patient." — Scott Bowles, USA Today

The Honeymoon Sex Scene

"The 'Twilight' movies have devoted three episodes to Bella Swan's clinging to her virginity despite the compelling appeal of Edward Cullen, the vampire. Now comes 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1,' in which you have to give her credit: She holds out until after her wedding. Then she and Edward fly to Brazil and a luxurious honeymoon hideaway on the beach, where the morning after her wedding night she is black and blue with bruises, the frame of the bed is broken, all of the furniture is tossed around and the draperies are shredded. Good gravy! What happened? We have no idea. The movie doesn't show us! Yes, the most eagerly awaited deflowering in recent movie history takes place entirely off-screen." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Taylor Lautner

"As Jacob, Edward's long-suffering, oft-rejected rival for Bella's affection, Mr. Lautner has plenty of reasons to strip angry: he can turn into a wolf, for starters, and Jacob's musculature has long been one of the most special of the movies' effects. That's reason enough for Mr. Condon to get the character's shirt off, as is the unavoidable truth that Mr. Lautner, whose pumped physique and flat affect bring to mind one of those friendly pizza delivery boys in a pornographic movie, remains a dish best served with as few words and clothes as possible." — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

On Splitting Up "Breaking Dawn"

"When the decision was made to split Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two films to bring that blockbuster series to a close, there was cynical talk regarding mercenary motives to milk as many dollars as possible out of the franchise. Once the films came out, however, that talk stopped, so emphatically did the massive narrative incident justify the extended length. On the basis of 'Breaking Dawn - Part 1,' though, the same cannot be said of this series ender, which feels as bloated and anemic as Bella becomes during her pregnancy." — Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

Final Word

"The fourth film in the 'Twilight' series reveals a flash or two of real filmmaking (mostly in a suggestively grotesque birthing sequence), enough to save it from pure lousiness. But a significant number of its 117 minutes do seem like hours, and 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." — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."

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