The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Movie Poster Image
Twilight sequel has more obsession, action, wolves.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 119 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 52 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 263 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Bella, while in some ways very mature, is the poster child for obsessive love in this movie. She intentionally acts recklessly in order to see Edward in her mind, which isn't a positive message to send young girls. And her relationship with Edward, while loving, continues to determine her happiness, as evident in her three months of catatonic depression after their break-up early in the film. Edward is downright suicidal at the thought of losing Bella forever, and his decision to provoke the Volturi is literally self-destructive. Platonic friendships are shown as being fraught with sexual tension, which is also iffy for tweens and adolescents. All of that said, there's a lot of selflessness here, too, with characters putting themselves at risk to help others.

Positive role models & representations

Even though Bella is an incredibly loyal friend and girlfriend, she also has far too much of her self esteem wrapped up in her intense relationships with Edward and Jacob. She never feels that she's worthy of Edward, and she admits to feeling selfish in the way that she clings to Jacob even while telling him she can never love him "that way." That said, Edward and Jacob are both very protective of Bella, who is in turn protective of each of them. They all get a chance to save each other and don't hesitate to do so. And Charlie and Bella's father-daughter relationship, while not completely honest on Bella's part, is very close.

Violence

Notably more action and violence than in the first film. Early in the movie, Jasper almost attacks Bella, leading to a fight between him and Edward. Accident-prone Bella falls, bleeds, and gets bruised several times and in one case almost drowns to death. Victoria and the Wolf Pack have a big fight, as do the werewolves and Laurent. Bella slaps Sam; Paul then becomes aggressive and lunges at her in werewolf form, only to be caught in a fight with wolf-Jacob. The Volturi's minions dismember a guilty vampire (it's quick and not much is shown, but the effect is gory), almost kill Edward and Bella, and make Edward writhe in pain.

Sex

Although there's nothing explicit, all of Bella and Edward's scenes are filled with passionate looks, hugs (including one in which he's shirtless), and brief-but-intense kisses. Jacob holds Bella's hand and stares at her longingly, and they share several close embraces (two while he's shirtless) and at least three "almost kisses." Other couples are shown holding hands, hugging, and kissing. No shortage of shirtless, buff guys, courtesy of the La Push Wolf Pack.

Language

Just like the books, the worst is a few exclamations of "what the hell," "dammit," and "oh my God," plus derogatory barbs like "weird," "wet dog," "bloodsucker," etc.

Consumerism

Volvo once again supplies Edward's car of choice (this time it's an XC60); other featured car brands include Porsche and Mercedes. Bella's computer is an Apple MacBook, and she and Alice fly Virgin America to Italy (which is amusing, since that division of Virgin doesn't fly to Europe). The movie also has huge merchandising tie-ins with Volvo, Burger King, and Hot Topic.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the second installment in the hugely popular Twilight saga is darker and a bit more violent than the first movie, but not enough to make it inappropriate for teens, especially those who've read the books. That said, the relationship at the core of the story is obsessive and intense -- Bella's entire sense of self worth is wrapped up in being with Edward, which isn't the greatest example for young fans, who could get the wrong idea of what love is "supposed" to be like. Like Stephenie Meyer's books, the New Moon movie is virtually free of salty language, drinking, and smoking -- but there are some intense action sequences involving vampires and/or werewolves, and one supporting character dies. Bella and Edward share several kisses, while Jacob and Bella exchange many longing looks and charged embraces. And there's no question about the marketing machine that the Twilight franchise has become, with merchandise and promotional deals with companies including Burger King, Volvo, and Hot Topic.

User Reviews

Parent of a 13 year old Written byJindwen May 18, 2010

Use caution...not appropriate for young girls!!!

These movies are SO not appropriate for young girls. When the first movie came out, we took our daughter and she 12. All Bella did the entire movie was LUST ov... Continue reading
Parent of a 10 year old Written byDad review September 4, 2010

A teachable moment courtesy of Twilight: New Moon

I watched the movie by myself on a Friday night. I made the decision that it was okay for MY 9-year-old daughter. My advice is to preview any movie you're... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byconfetti13 March 17, 2010

Only good for a child who is mature for their age

I really enjoyed watching this movie, and I think that kids 10+ could handle it. If your child hasn't seen couple's kissing or shirtless boys/men befo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byUryjah March 23, 2010
I LOVE the Twilight series. Books and movies! Personally, I'd say that the movies are better than the books, because they do less cursing. In the first Twi... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on the second of Stephenie Meyer's four Twilight books, NEW MOON begins with Bella Swan's (Kristen Stewart) 18th birthday -- an event she's fretting about because it officially makes her one year "older" than her 109-years-old-but-stuck-in-a-17-year-old's-body boyfriend, vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Bella wants him to transform her into a vampire before she gets too old, but Edward has no desire to suck out Bella's soul. After Bella's birthday party at the Cullens' nearly turns into a feeding frenzy, the Cullens decide to move away from Forks, Wash., and Edward breaks up with Bella. Heartbroken and depressed, Bella discovers that she can "see" a vision of Edward cautioning her whenever she acts recklessly, which she proceeds to do frequently. Meanwhile, Bella also finds solace in her deepening friendship with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), an attractive 16-year-old Quileute with a knack for making Bella feel almost normal. But as Bella and Jacob grow closer, it becomes clear that he has his own wolfish secrets. When danger threatens Bella, who will be the one to save her -- her best friend or the love of her life?

Is it any good?

Director Chris Weitz gives New Moon a more polished, action-oriented feel than the first film, but he isn't as adept as Catherine Hardwicke in capturing teenage emotions. With Edward away for much of the movie, the overall tone turns dark and moody (with an excellent indie-rock soundtrack as accompaniment). There's less passion and more angst, with Stewart translating Bella's heartbreak into constant sullenness and hysterical nighttime screams (at least until she starts hanging out with the warm and attentive Jacob). Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg does infuse the sequel with considerably more humor than the original, generally in small moments between Bella and her dad Charlie (Billy Burke), while Bella's hanging out with her classmates (there's a rather comical scene in which Bella's at a movie sitting between Jacob and Mike, both of whom have their hands propped and ready for hers), and when she's in La Push with Jacob and his pack of friends.

Despite some of slow, dragged-out scenes of melodrama, there's plenty for Twihards to howl about in the movie. Lautner, in particular, is swoony and sweet -- compared to Edward, he's all smiles (there might've been applause the first time Edward stepped out of his Volvo, but there was a collective gasp the first time Jacob whipped his shirt off to wipe blood off of Bella's face). In fact, Jacob's pack and the creepy Italian Volturi vampires who play a role later in the film are far more interesting than the Cullens in this installment. The caliber of the Volturi cast is surprisingly high, especially Michael Sheen as leader Aro and Dakota Fanning as sadistic head guard Jane. By the time the ends movie in a sentimental cliffhanger that sets up Eclipse, you can't help but hope that there's more of both groups in the final two films.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Bella and Edward's relationship. What do you think about how completely obsessed they are with each other? Do your kids think that's healthy/normal? Parents, talk to your teens about setting expectations for their own dating life, and share your values about what makes for healthy dating and relationships.

  • Why do you think vampire love stories all the rage now? How is Edward and Bella's relationship different than other vampire-human romances in pop culture?

  • How are Edward and Jacob opposites? Despite their differences,Bella loves them both (albeit differently). What do they each representto her? Does the film urge viewers to choose between them, or is it complimentary to both characters?

  • Fans of the book can compare the it to the movie. Was the adaptation faithful? What bits from the book did you miss seeing on screen?

  • Talk about the larger-than-life phenomenon that the Twilight franchise has become. Are the movies and their stars becoming too overexposed?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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