Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
A teenage girl falls for a tormented vampire.
If you were expecting a vampire movie with bite, Twilight will be a disappointment, said Richard Corliss in Time. Faithfully adapted from Stephenie Meyer’s insanely popular novel, the film is less a female take on The Lost Boys than “a pilgrimage to the Lourdes of puberty.” When 17-year-old Bella (Kristen Stewart) moves to Washington state, she falls for Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a misunderstood vampire who preys on animals rather than humans. Yet at times, their story of innocent lust evokes “great Hollywood romances, where foreplay was the climax and a kiss was never just a kiss.” Director Catherine Hardwicke understands the secret of the novel, “which is that it’s all about sex without being about sex at all,” said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe. Hardwicke, whose films include Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown, approaches teen awkwardness with uncompromising seriousness. At least until the word “vampire” is uttered, said Genevieve Koski in The Onion. From there, Twilight is all “gooey romanticism”: music swells, “chests heave, and voices crack with emotion.” Twilight never strikes a balance between the “low-key romance it could be and the action-packed epic it wants to be.”