Between 2008 and 2012, the romantic saga of Bella and her vampire Edward enchanted cinema audiences – and sometimes made them laugh. The five feature films grossed over 3 billion dollars, made stars of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, lured numerous worse clones to light and delighted with their meme potential.
The complete Twilight Saga is currently streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. But which film from the vampire and werewolf series is actually the best? And which is the worst? We rank all the Twilight movies from worst to best.
What is the fantasy series about?
The five Twilight films are based on the novels by Stephenie Meyer, in which young Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves from Arizona to her father in Washington state. In the town of Forks, she meets a mysterious young man named Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who has supernatural powers and strange eating habits. Because Edward is a vampire and with this realization Bella gets caught up in the centuries-old conflicts between (glittering) bloodsucker clans that will test Bella and Edward’s relationship in the upcoming films.
Twilight Ranking #5: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Breaking Dawn – Bis(s) zum Ende Der Nacht 1 – Trailer (German) HD
It’s not like there’s not much drama happening in Twilight 4: Breaking Dawn – Part 1. So in theory. After the lengthy bridal spot at the beginning aka Bella and Edward’s wedding, the rest of the film revolves around how the child in Bella’s womb tries to kill his mother. The material of a horror film about the misogynist ideology of anti-abortionists is transformed in the Twilight guise into a deadly boring drama about everything a mother has to go through for her husband’s sacred offspring.
That Taylor Lautner’s werewolf Jacob is finally driven against the wall to soak up a drop of drama hits hard. But Breaking Dawn Part 1 not only suffers from the fear of biting deeper into the very real issues at its core and breaking with the prescribed Twilight diet. The biggest problem is that it even exists. It is constantly noticeable in the film how much the story had to be stretched in order to save it over the course of the feature film. The dichotomy of final films actually only worked with Harry Potter and Twilight, as well as the Hunger Games films. (YY)
Twilight Ranking #4: New Moon
New Moon – Bite Until Noon – Trailer 4 (German)
There are many things that one can blame New Moon – Bis(s) zum Mittagstunden. a less thrilling story, questionable learnings for the young target group, the Glorification of a maximally toxic relationship dynamic – and everything is correct. However, New Moon manages to do something no other film in the series can: it perfectly depicts what first love feels like, with all its ups and downs.
Edward leaves Bella because he doesn’t think he’s good for her. Of course he’s right about that, but Bella is in love and suffering. Which leads to one of the most iconic scenes in the Twilight story: the devastated one Bella apathetically staring out the window to “Possibility” by Lykke Li, as the seasons pass her by. Goose flesh! And just one example of the film’s near-perfect soundtrack (“No Sound But The Wind” anyone?).
The story only really picks up speed when, after several semi-suicidal actions, Bella learns that Edward wants to kill himself with the help of the powerful Volturi. But of course everything goes well in the end Bella and Edward become engaged and Jacob looks down the drain once more. Much trauma, little consequence. Maybe that’s why it was only enough for a community rating of 4.1 on Moviepilot and 29% on Rotten Tomatoes? (LL)
Twilight Ranking #3: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Breaking Dawn – Until the End of the Night – Part 2 – Trailer (German) HD
Finding the perfect ending to a film series that’s equal parts loved and loathed isn’t easy. However, Twilight 4: Breaking Dawn – Bite to the End of the Night – Part 2 achieves the seemingly impossible for one reason in particular: The film celebrates its own silliness. That was enough for a 49% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 4.8 rating from the Moviepilot community. Not bad at all by Twilight standards!
What’s the matter? After Bella’s traumatic birth and the associated transformation into a vampire, Bella and Edward selflessly take care of their creepy CGI child, the newly minted family seems perfect. When the Volturi suddenly appear, the destroy the forbidden vampire child Renesmee want. It comes as it must: The Cullens join forces with friendly vampires and werewolves, who are actually enemies, and prepare for battle. For Bella. And of course also for her child, with whom Jacob has fallen madly in love.
The showdown is action-packed, gory and surprisingly brutal for a teen series – and creates the ultimate plot twist at the end: Everything was just a vision of Alice! The Volturi, unwilling to risk their own lives, retreat. And if Bella and Edward didn’t die unnaturally, they live and love each other forever. How nice. (LL)
Twilight Ranking #2: Eclipse
Eclipse – Twilight – Trailer (German)
Eclipse, the third film in the series, is the first to hint at the magnitude of the fantasy tale – and its perils. At the beginning there is the murder of a student, in the middle a newborn army of vampires, werewolves and Volturi and at the end Bella’s momentous decisions.
Director David Slade (30 Days of Night) drives the eventful story and has a knack for both the parts brutal fantasy elements of the series as well as the romantic drama that defines Twilight.
Eclipse sets the stage that will take Twilight from a small-town vampire romance to the epic clash between the Cullens and the Volturi. The fact that the film remains consistently entertaining despite this task speaks for itself, especially in comparison to the immediate successor Breaking Dawn Part 1, which tells the series into a coma. (YY)
Twilight Ranking #1: Twilight
Twilight – Bite at Dawn – Trailer (German)
The story is smaller and more intimate, Jacob still plays a supporting role and that’s a good thing. Coming of Age expert Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) brings just the right feel for walking the tightrope between sensitivity and teenie ecstasy for Twilight – Until(s) zum Dawn, although the film actually contains a classic story: A girl moves from a divorced man Parent to the other and has to get used to the new city (and the rainy climate).
That the leap to adulthood firstly, with the realization that vampires are real, secondly, that they’re pretty hot is the icing on the fantasy cake. Before vampire mythology enters the picture, jealous werewolves enter the picture, consuming babies are conceived and immortality questions are resolved, Twilight tells the story of two people who don’t really fit anywhere except at each other’s sides. This aspect comes into its own in the ballast-free first film. The fact that Pattinson and Stewart are relatively unconcerned about the franchise hype benefits the best part of the series.
Incidentally, the Twilight films, which were never particularly well received by the critics, have already reached their peak at Teil. At least at Rotten Tomatoes, no successor made it over the pitiful 49 percent hurdle. (YY)
*These links are so-called affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links or subscribe, we will receive a commission. This has no effect on the price.