Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Photo: Summit Entertainment

There's a decent film hiding somewhere in the concept that makes up The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. It runs about 90-95 minutes and presents a story where the actors read their lines as if they gave a damn and want you to believe the things they are saying. Instead we get the 121-minute lifeless equivalent of a filmed table reading with each actor reading their lines aloud and nonchalantly flipping through the pages, anxious for a smoke break. Toss in a few flashbacks, CG werewolves and a couple of action scenes to make it look like they tried and roll credits.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Grade: D+

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" is a Summit Entertainment release, directed by David Slade and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality. The running time is .

The cast includes Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Xavier Samuel, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jodelle Ferland, Jack Huston, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Billy Burke, Kirsten Prout and Justin Chon.

In the process of making a billion dollar franchise it would seem the furthest thing from the filmmakers' interest with the Twilight franchise is to make a film everyone can enjoy and Eclipse is simply the latest example. A script rewrite, no matter how necessary, seems unheard of, considering it would just delay production and profit. And who can blame them? It's worked so far why change now?

Eclipse has got all the long-winded line reading you can ask for, trumping up a melodramatic love triangle and the promise of a vampire/werewolf battle only to add zero tension or intrigue on the way to the film's inevitable climax.

As fans and Burger King commercials debate over Team Edward and Team Jacob, so must Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). Making for the majority of the film's running time Bella pines for the vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), begs him to take her virginity and hides a buried love for the predominantly shirtless werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Bella and Edward play a verbal tug-of-war, her wanting to become a vampire and him wanting her hand in marriage before that's to happen. As for Jacob he takes a more direct approach and forces himself on Bella because he "knows" she loves him. He's more of a man of action it would seem.

Meanwhile, the red-haired vampire villain from the first Twilight film, Victoria (now played by Bryce Dallas Howard), is back and building a vampire army. Her sights are set on killing Bella in order to get revenge on Edward for killing her beloved James. Victoria gets about five minutes of screen time, so be on the lookout for that.

You learn most of this in the first few minutes of the film, and yet it takes another 100 minutes or so to sort it out. It would seem the Twilight films despise editors and just as equally vexing is screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg's lack of interest in spicing up the story with any level of wit or intelligence. Most of what is said in Eclipse is so half-hearted, hardly any of it registers as believable. Of course, the actors aren't helping matters much.

I can't say I felt an ounce of emotion from any of the film's leads or believed a word any of them said. Stewart's listless onscreen persona has worn me out. Her open-mouthed, empty stares put me to sleep, bringing the abundance of lengthy and bored dialogue to a screeching halt. Pattinson and Lautner don't help either, something I chalk up more to an assumed lack of interest rather than an absolute lack of talent, though I haven't entirely ruled out the latter.

It doesn't stop there. The Volturi scenes were undoubtedly the best part of the previous installment, New Moon, but here they completely phone it in. Led by Dakota Fanning playing the vampire Jane, they look on for most of the film and occasionally deliver monotone impressions of what they are looking at in hopes it comes off as ominous and frightening. Instead they just add to the lifeless story that, like its characters, rarely registers a heartbeat.

Proving director David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) wasn't entirely working on auto pilot, a series of flashbacks aren't all bad and the action sequences do work quite well. However, the flashbacks are relatively inconsequential in that they are used to either telegraph future plot developments or add back stories for characters that simply don't matter. The action gave me a brief reprieve from the tedium with solid choreography, a decent score and a bit of an adrenaline rush, but it wasn't before long everything was dialed back to dull.

The built-in fan base is sure to love Eclipse. Their favorite characters are on the big screen and the emotional core of the story already exists in their hearts, which makes the quality of what's on screen rather inconsequential as long as it sticks close enough to the story they know. There is no problem with this as this is a film made specifically for them, but it simply leaves the rest of us out in the cold. And after three films this is something I've now come to accept. Hopefully with that in mind the next two films will be easier to swallow.


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More Reviews
  • Winchester

    It's a relative fact that the Twilight movies have become one of those franchises that is 100% critic-proof in every single way.


  • Jean Paul

    Necrophilia or Bestiality..., tough call, can't blame Bella for delaying her choice hehe, maybe i'll see it on dvd

    • darkknightfan12


  • buddy

    Well, that's not much of a surprise since nothing expected from this movie.
    Sure fans will be pleased, sure it will make boatloads of money.
    Even I will be seeing this tomorrow evening.
    It's just one of "guilty pleasure" movie...
    What's your guilty pleasure movie brad??

    Regards from Indonesia

  • therapycase1279

    wht grade did twilight and new moon get?

    • Brad Brevet

      I gave Twilight a C- (review) and New Moon a D+ (review).

      • eeoropor

        coooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!i hate twlight i like toy story 1,2,3

  • randy

    ive come to realize these movies are not for all...I hate these movies and they are out for one fan base only. Yet i find it odd that Harry Potter is suited for most demographics. My parents like watching it me and my sister as well as all my friends like watching the movies. Twilight has been for one demographic, one fan base and i dont like that in a way its stealing HP's thunder

  • steve

    My local paper did give it 3 stars, saying it was the best one yet, and noted “Eclipse is, arguably, the best of Stephenie Meyer’s four “Twilight” novels, with plot strands interwoven into quite the page-turner."

    Read more here

    • Mr. T.

      Steve- yes the NOVEL Eclipse not the MOVIE did get good reviews from critics, however the new Eclipse MOVIE is not written by Stephanie Meyers...more like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift which is why my 9 year old sister can't wait to see that load of trash.

      • mfan

        Go Miley!!!

  • The Check Spot

    I think for me the problem that I have with the movie is that I just don't get it. I don't understand why it's popular. The characters are bland, the action isn't great, the story drags and it creates lame rules for its popular monsters (Oh, being a werewolf means you exude tons of body heat, so you can't wear a shirt. Seriously? That's convenient for people who like abs but doesn't to move the mythology along). But the thing that bothers me is that I'm in my thirties and I never thought I would ever not get what the kids like. So, yes, the popularity of Twilight makes me feel old. That may be my biggest problem. But I love Harry Potter.

    • Ooze33

      The reason being is that the girl is written as so dull and boring the girl reading the book pictures themselves as Bella. So whatever happens in the book, happens to them.

      ...I don't understand it either but this is what I've gathered.

    • Benny

      Did you read the Twilight books? The movies do not compare to the books. The Twilight saga is more of a literary vehicle than a movie one. They are written for young adults. I am older than you and I enjoyed the Twilight books. I enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, but not The Twilight movies. The Twilight movies have a poor screenwriter, Melissa Rosenberg, among other problems. The books are better.

  • darkknightfan12

    I have seen none of the Twilight films and yet I know enough about them to know they are not even mediocre. The writers, producers, directors, and especially the actors are laughing all the way to the bank. No one is even trying with these films.

  • LJ

    Brad reading this review had made my day, it seems that as each excuse for a film goes on, they get worse, shame plus i completely agree with Randy I despise how it seems to be taking potter's thunder, not all the potter films are great the first two weren't great and the series didnt really find its legs until the 3rd film which is still one of my favourite films. It's just a shame that with Potter finishing and the last Twishite being split in two, i'm going to have to endure my cinema being overrun by brain dead twifags.

  • goavs

    Not a shocker, but the tweens will be in full effect so the film will take #1 at the BO.

  • Helgi

    Stupid got stupid-der.

  • Melanie

    Have you not read the books!? Bella's character is not super giddy and does not show extreme emotion, that's her personality. Just easy going, therefore, Kristin Stewart did PERFECT. She in incredible. I absolutely disagree with you and absolutely loved Eclipse, and Kristin's acting.

    • Colin

      no "extreme" emotion? Easy-going? Non responsive maybe? You mean that she's every bit as lifeless as the pale-skinned pretty-boy of the undead who she follows around like a complete idiot?

    • Daniel Sarath

      There aren't only two extremes between super giddy and easy going, there are things that lie in between. Therefore, I don't think Brad is trying to say that Bella should be more exciting, I think the issue is that she doesn't add ANYTHING to her shy, timid character. She just blinks, gazes emptily and occasionally bites her lip without any kind of emotion to what she is doing or saying. I've seen both Twilight and New Moon and, I'm sorry to say, found Bella Swan to be entirely loathsome and infuriating and I think that's got a lot to do with Kristen.

      • Jennifer

        I always think Kristin makes Bella look like she is about to throw up right before she stammers out a line... To be fair, I have not yet seen this movie, but being a fan of the story I was expecting more than a fast forward montage of select moments in the book. I don't really think you can compare these books or movies to Harry Potter, but using HP as an example has shown that a long book can be made into a good movie by sacrificing some of the "moments" without sacrificing any of the story.

    • Gavi

      so you are saying that she did PERFECT playing a bland dull lifeless character? i accept that

  • Colin

    Biggest openning day of all time tomorrow! Gaurantee it!

    • Winchester

      Oops - that didn't quite pan out I'm afraid!

  • Joker

    Get over yourself Brad. What's up with you and D's

  • darkknightfan12

    I hate Twilight but I am madly in love with Kristin Stewart.

  • Chris138

    I'm not a fan of this series, but all I can say is...

    Damn, these movies really haven't gotten any better?

  • aj

    absolutely terrible movie I would of rather eaten crap thenm seen it

  • aj

    and brad when can we expect another RB update can u tell us any now

  • buddy

    No wonder the twilight saga always make a killer opening debut. It's packed, full for today show, from first to last show. It's crazy that so many people seems to be excited about this movie...
    I will be watching at 7pm, got my ticket already. I was queing from 11 am it's almost sold out for all today's show....

    Regards from Indonesia

  • Mari S

    This is probably my most anticipated review of the year. The review and the comments brighten up my day. Thanks!

  • TS

    Oh god. I had to go see this for my sisters birthday and it was bad. Like intensley bad. There were three reasons why i didn't actually puke during the movie: 1. Harry Potter 7 trailer. 2. Paranormal Activity 2 trailer. 3. And the supporting cast which was good.

    Otherwise, the acting and movie was really bad.

  • Colby

    First off im a big vampire fan... Iv actually takin vampire knowledge as a second hobbie. But as far as the Twilight franchise, I have to say I am a little disapointed due to the fact that it only takes on some of the myths about vampirism. Stephanie, I know wanted to make a vampire love story, but on the same note you cant just make up some stuff in the world of vampires. Example, Vampire CAN NOT walk in sunlight and survive. I think if you watch true blood, the whole Bill coming out at night only to see sookie, and how the story is made is just romatic.... Yes Twilight does have that lovey dovey touch but whats the point of writing a story about vampires when your not following vampire tradition. Another big thing is the whole turning prosses into a vampire in twiligh is messed up. You just dont get bit and then your a vampire. A vampire needs to share its blood with its host. If every person a vampire bit turned into one there would be nothing left. And I know what your thinking, when a vampire bites someone mostlikly they kill their prey. WRONG they take what they need and move on, it wouldnt be wise to do so... There would be no human left alive. There for no vampire could survive. Im not saying Twilight is a bad franchise im just saying the writers could have thought about the movies a little more, instead of jumping right into it.

  • AJAY

    I didn't want to go....Really! But my cousin was begging me, and begging me to take her! Just as I sat down at the theaters, first 20 minutes of the movie....Half of the people in there already bit the dust. They left so fast! That's how horrible this movie is!!! I don't want to spoil the movie, but it seems like it's the same crap as Twilight, and New Moon. Lovey dovey scenes! UGH! I just wanted to throw up all over the cinema screen! What I did like is the Wolf Scenes, or just the action. The communicating sucks...Sorry, not the best movie of the year. I think these Twilight movies are a waste of money! All the money already spent on it should be saved for other important purposes! This movie is really not recommendable!

  • The Jackal

    @Brad Brevet: Gotta disagree with your assessment, Brad. The first Twilight film, while not a masterpiece or a classic, nailed down the whole teen-angst-high-school-flick, while enfusing it with enough chemistry between Bella and Edward to make the first trip to Forks well worth the price of admission: I gave it a very solid "B".

    New Moon was a failure on almost every level. Bad acting, too much angst, uninspired story/visuals and a ridiculous love triangle. Still, the concept of the Volturi during the last reel managed to bring something fresh to the proceedings. I gave it a "D".

    Which brings me to Eclipse. Gone is all of the boring/excessive angst and instead we are presented with characters dealing with the meaning of love and the consequences of their actions. Some supporting characters are fleshed out a bit more (Jasper, Rosalie and Victoria) and the visuals are not only solid-this-time-around but, dare I say it, somewhat inspired?

    This film has elevated Twilight from a small-scale teen romance to an epic tale of supernatural love and war. This is the direction future installments in this series should take. I give it, like the first film, a very solid "A"

    • Joker

      I agree with the Eclipse and Twilight grades of yours. But id give New Moon a C+.

    • Kim

      I totally agree with you, although maybe I wouldn't be so harsh on the acting in New Moon - I have more an issue with its choppy editing and - in my opinion- unnecessary ending. I've found Eclipse pretty good and well-acted. The thing is, either you love these movies or you hate them. I really like Brad Brevet's reviews and usually agree with most of them, but here I must respectfully and totally disagree. @brad, I find your review too harsh and even though I respect your opinion, I'm slightly disappointed because this sounds like pure bashing, something lots of reviewers seemed to be eager to be doing - like "I can't wait for Eclipse to be released so I can totally punch it to death". And I was hoping you would have a different take. Ah well, I guess we can't agree on everything!

  • lynn

    sometimes people just want to have something to be excited about. my friend planned this movie experience for a whole row of friends 2 months in advance. it was like preparing for a great party. we sat in the theater
    watching no. 1, no. 2 and then at midnight no. 3. this was so we would have out seats and not have to stand outside in the heat and rain. everyone in our row had the
    5.5o drink and 6.oo popcorn.. i think it was about being passionate about doing something out of ones normal experiences.there were 1500 people there at midnight doing something to talk about the next day.

  • The Jackal

    correction: I gave Eclipse a very solid "B" (not an "A")

  • TS

    If i were to rate all three twilight movies in order from best to worst, it would be:

    Twilight (It wasn't terrible, but not great)
    Eclipse (Pretty bad, but some good action)
    New Moon (Sucked Badly)

  • mrs.webb

    this was an okay movie but i feel like it is way drawn out to keep money coming but i wish they would not have Bella leading these two men on cause in real life she would get someone hurt......has to get better....twilight: was a great romance--new moon:left me hanging wanting more---eclispe: was just pointless and confusing

  • Seiko

    I'd take the werewolf anyday, no insane vampire rages, you can walk in the light, you can make a painless transformation into a werewolf, and basically hang out all day. Sounds like a good life.
    With the vampires, you have the annoying Vulturi, the whole has to be turned thing, and if not, they want to eat her and Bella has to be worried about that. No, No, No.
    Logical choice is Jacob, and with this over, this is why Breaking Dawn sucks so bad, because it goes the entire other way.

    Personally I liked the first Twilight, but on Round 2, New Moon was far better done, a way better movie with great special effects and a pretty big ending.

    Nobody can stop Twilight, though even Twilight fans wish they would go for an original script instead of Adapting Breaking Dawn. Where is Paul Greenglass? He wouldn't be faithful, and neither would David Yates? Both of them should direct Part 2.

    • roysquad

      seiko....are you fucking nuts? the 2nd one was no where near as good as the the 1st one. the wolf effects were fucking awful and the wolf dude just whined through the whole entire movie.....overall these movies are terrible but new moon was just a joke

  • Kyle Coley

    I saw it last night. I'm doing a review mt school newspaper. I must it was pretty good. I am not fan of Twilight but, this one was good. The score was really well done. Howard Shore might get an Oscar for this. Best so far of the films.

    • chaffer

      I am sorry but that is just too funny....Twilight and Oscar will be two words you will never see together

  • m1

    So the barely watchable Transformers 2 gets a 'C', but this gets 'D+'. Nice. And by nice I mean NOT NICE AT ALL!!!!!

  • Winchester

    Yes, but you must understand that the Twilight 'saga' (for Summit definition of 'saga' read: cash-cow) is equally barely watchable for a great many people.

  • G. Clem

    Boy! You just kicked Burger King in the balls.

  • Mai

    I gave this movie an "F". It deserved it, Im not into vampires and werewolves so I gave it an F. Oh and you cant say anything about my commetn because it was how I reviewed the movie. So get a life and get over something that is not real or true and can ever happen to you. Teenage girls- with no life>>they turn to this load of crap.

    • Kim

      Wow, you're not into vampires and werewolves - and you went to see what is the third installment of a vampire and werewolve series???
      I went to a midnight session and there were barely any teenagers.
      As I've said, either you love it or you hate it, but obviously lots of people love it, not only teenagers. That's the reality, and you wil have to accept it.

  • milderico

    well, i think the movie should be rated a c+. reason simple! its not ,altogether that bad at least u had hyped action of what 8 minutes, worth your money aint it? look Y'all dont be hating. it took lots of work u know? a little credit won't hurt.