Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Twilight Fades, Bolt Electrifies

The critics say nay to teen vampires, yay to animated mutts.

by | November 20, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got angst-ridden teen vampires (Twilight, starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) and celebu-mutts (Bolt, with voice work from John Travolta and Miley Cyrus). What do the critics have to say?

If you have fallen under the spell of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling series about young vampires in love, you may not give a hoot what critics think about Twilight. For what it’s worth, they say if you’ve read the books (or are a teenage girl), you’ll probably dig it, while others will likely be left scratching their heads. Kristen Stewart stars as Bella, a new student at a small-town high school in Washington who finds herself falling for the impossibly handsome, exceptionally smart Edward (Robert Pattinson). But there’s one slight problem: he’s a vampire, which kinda puts the kibosh on any hookups — or does it? The pundits say Twilight isn’t exactly long on plot, and many will find the special effects to be pretty cheesy, more suited to network TV than the big screen. However, they also note that the cast is committed to the material, and if you’re in the right frame of mind (or the target demographic), the film has some swoon-worthy moments. Still, at 44 percent on the Tomatometer, Twilight could use a little more bite. (For a primer on Twilight‘s characters, click here. Also, check out star Pattinson’s five favorite films here. Finally, for our rundown of cinema’s sexiest vampires, click here.)

“So you’re too old for me, you don’t go to church, you hate garlic… Any other potential dealbreakers?”

Good news, parents: there’s a new animated feature called Bolt in theaters, and critics say it will please the wee ones while giving you some yucks as well. Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) isn’t a superhero, but he plays one on TV, and when he’s accidentally shipped from Hollywood to New York City, he has overcome his delusions of grandeur in order to be reunited with his loving owner Penny (Miley Cyrus). The critics say Bolt may not be the most original animated romp, but it’s funny, exciting, sweet, and smart. At 86 percent on the Tomatometer, Bolt is a blast.

“What? I can’t bring my dog to the Twilight screening?”

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Betrayal, a drama about how the U.S. bombing campaign on Laos during the Vietnam War affected one family, is at 100 percent.

  • Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, a documentary about an unusual 1968 football contest that puts the gridiron action in the context of the times, is at 82 percent.

  • Were the World Mine, a gay-themed musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is at 60 percent.

  • Special, starring Michael Rappaport as an average guy who acquires superhuman powers as part of an experimental drug study, is at 60 percent.

  • I Can’t Think Straight, a culture-clash romantic comedy about a woman who, shortly before her wedding day, falls for another woman, is at 14 percent.

  • Lake City, starring Sissy Spacek and Troy Garity in a family drama about a man who returns home after getting in trouble with a drug dealer, is at nine percent.

Recent Kristen Stewart Movies: