The teenage vampire romance films were a huge hit with audiences, becoming one of the highest-grossing film franchises of all time—but critics responded to all five movies with often lukewarm to negative reviews.
The Twilight film series, based on the hit novels by Stephenie Meyer, were a massive financial success and a cultural phenomenon.
The films launched stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson to worldwide fame, and more than a decade after the release of the last film, the series maintains a loyal fanbase.
The Twilight franchise may soon have a resurgence: A television series based on the novels was announced in April 2023, produced by Lionsgate Television.
Despite raking in more than $3 billion at the worldwide box office across five films, the Twilight movies largely struggled to connect with film critics, earning mixed to negative reviews.
The Twilight Movies Ranked Best To Worst (according To Critics)
1. (Tie) Twilight (2008)
The first film in the series shares first place as the best-rated movie in the Twilight series—though reviews were largely lukewarm. Twilight has a 49% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 56% on Metacritic. The film introduces Kristen Stewart as protagonist Bella Swan, who moves from Arizona to Washington state and meets Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen, a fellow high school student who masks his identity as a vampire. Twilight grossed $407 million at the global box office on a $37 million budget—making it the lowest-grossing film in the Twilight saga.
1. (Tie) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
Eclipse, the third film in the Twilight saga, ties the first for highest critics’ scores with a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 58% on Metacritic. Eclipse leans into the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), a werewolf from a clan that has historically been in conflict with vampires. Eclipse grossed $698 million at the global box office, making it the fourth-highest grossing movie in the series—but it’s the highest-grossing Twilight film at the domestic box office, grossing $300 million.
3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 (2012)
The dramatic conclusion to the film series, Breaking Dawn — Part 2 is considered “the most entertaining Twilight” by the Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus, where it has a score of 49%. It also has a 52% on Metacritic. The film follows the birth of Bella and Edward’s daughter and the violent conflict between the Cullens and a rival vampire clan. Breaking Dawn — Part 2 is both the highest-grossing, and most expensive, film in the series: It grossed $848 million at the global box office on a $120 million budget.
4. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
New Moon is the second film in the franchise—and it has the second-worst critics’ ratings. Just 29% of Rotten Tomatoes critics gave the film a positive review, and it has a 44% score on Metacritic. The Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus states the 130-minute film suffers from its “slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length.” New Moon follows Bella’s depression and relationship with Jacob after Edward leaves her. The film grossed $711 million at the global box office on a $50 million budget.
5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 (2011)
The worst-reviewed film in the Twilight film series, Breaking Dawn — Part 1 has just 25% on Rotten Tomatoes and 45% on Metacritic. The Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus blasts the film as “slow, joyless, and loaded with unintentionally humorous moments.” The film covers Bella and Edward’s marriage and honeymoon, as well as Bella’s pregnancy. Despite the negative reviews, the film is the second-biggest Twilight film at the box office: It grossed $712 million worldwide on a $110 million budget.
The Rotten Tomatoes critics score, known as the Tomatometer, is the percentage of critics who have given the film a positive review. A movie with at least 60% positive reviews is given a fresh tomato, while those with a score of less than 60% are given a splat. Metacritic calculates a weighted average of critics’ reviews, assigning different weights to each critic and publication depending on importance or quality. Scores are displayed in green, yellow or red—indicating favorable, mixed or unfavorable reviews—and films with a score of at least 81% are designated as “must-see.” Both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic track user ratings and allow users to write reviews, though these are displayed separately from critics’ scores.
Twilight Movies Ranked By Global Box Office Gross
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2: $848,593,948
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1: $712,205,856
- The Twilight Saga: New Moon: $711,025,481
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: $698,509,825
- Twilight: $408,430,415
‘Twilight’ TV Series in the Works (Exclusive) (The Hollywood Reporter)
Reckoning with Twilight, 10 years later (Vox)
how ‘twilight’ changed fan culture forever (Vice)
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