Ah, the Twilight saga. It’s the movie series everyone loves to love, or loves to hate. Which is which? Sometimes with cineastes, there is no middle ground! Either you like it a lot, or you hate it to bits.
That’s the strange quandary that the Twilight films find themselves in, it seems. No matter how much you look at the Twilight movies in order, it’s really hard for some people to assess sometimes what worked with this series or what didn’t work.
But as movie buffs to the core, we’re always curious about what each film has to offer – and where it also fails miserably so. Thus, for this listing, we’ll offer you several mini-listings of Twilight movies in order of many different criteria.
For the whole saga, we’ll be scrutinizing the elements of all the films, as follows:
Twilight (2008) – The one where Edward the vampire and Bella the human first meet
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) – The one where Jacob the third wheel becomes a werewolf
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) – The one where the Edward-Bella-Jacob love triangle is put to the test, and a decision is made
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 1 (2011) – The one where Edward marries Bella, and she gets pregnant
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 2 (2012) – The one where Bella gives birth to a half-human half-vampire, and they all get in trouble with the Volturi coven for it
We’ll rank all these films in the saga, post the pros and cons per our category, include the best and the worst examples, and give our filmic justifications for all of them. For each category, we’ll pick the top 3 examples only. Sounds interesting? Well, have fun and see if they live up to your standards – or not! No offense taken!
Twilight movies in order of best character development
The Twilight saga had many types of characters that stuck in there, from the first film to the last. For us, these three had the best character developments:
1 – Bella Swan
2 – Jacob Black
3 – Alice Cullen
Admittedly, it was hard at first to find a reason to cheer for Bella Swan. She’s moody, angsty for no apparent reason, and doesn’t look so troubled like any ordinary small-town teen (she has friends!) in the first two films. But emerging from that teen persona and evolving into the vampire persona, she summed it up best when she said “I was born to be a vampire” and really got kick-ass after turning into one. Now we understand her better. And she also understood herself better, so it seems. The undead look becomes her, too. So good for ya, Bella!
As for Jacob and Alice, the same thing applies. Jacob was gracious enough to accept his defeat in this eternal love triangle between him, Bella and Edward. His cockiness in the first three films were justifiable, and his internal struggles within his wolf pack is also interesting to follow. His maturity in the series is a well-written one, and it was very interesting to see where his character will go.
Meanwhile, Alice was also so cool to distance herself from time to time, especially during the last movie. That she was the one who held the major turning point of the last movie was spectacular. Never mind that she was a bit annoyingly chirpy in the first couple of films. When it’s needed for her to pull through, she does. So that’s a good enough reason for her to exist in this series.
Twilight movies in order of worst character existence
Admit it, sometimes you sit there watching a film and ask, “Why is this character here?” We’ve wondered the same thing throughout this saga! So here’s our biggest questions:
1 – Volturi Jane
2 – Emmett Cullen
3 – Leah Clearwater
The Volturi empress of pain, Jane, was obviously the important henchperson of the Volturi leader. She’s the one who always goes out as the advanced party, scours the location to assess its safety for the bosses, and kills without effort anyone who gets in their way. But was she that important, really? She didn’t really have anything special to offer here, as this character could also be played by anybody, so there’s really nothing unique that this character is offering. It’s also such a waste of Dakota Fanning’s talent, actually, to just stand there and emote with her eyes, and to speak badly written dialogue to boot. We all know that she can act circles around all of the three leads combined – and she has been doing that ever since she was a child! She has had better roles, really. This is obviously not one of them.
As for Emmett, he seems like an excess character, only put there to make the adoptive Cullen family larger. But he’s just always sitting there, reading a newspaper beside Carlisle, sitting on a couch whenever there’s a family powwow, or standing there when needed. Like doesn’t he have better things to do somewhere else? We already know vampires are strong and sturdy, so his brawny character feels redundant here. Or was he just put there to arm-wrestle with the newly-turned vampire Bella, to show that she’s indeed stronger than anyone in the family? And by anyone, we mean the buffed guy, obviously. If that’s his sole purpose of existence, he can actually be written off, easily.
It’s the same with the shapeshifter wolf Leah. Obviously put there to be an almost hopeful rebound for Jacob when he gets rejected – over and over – by Bella, her character could actually do much better than the circumstances she found herself in here. The hurt ex of Sam the wolf pack leader is also a bit of a stretch already in the last films. We wish she was utilized better than this, because her character had huge promise, actually. What a waste.
Twilight movies in order of best film techniques
Of course, we also have to assess the cinematic quality of this saga. Setting aside the story and the characters first, here are the best ones in the pack:
1 – Breaking Dawn part 2
2 – New Moon
3 – Breaking Dawn part 1
The cinematography, editing, and sound design of the Breaking Dawn films were masterfully put together well, good enough to build the movie to its ginormous climax. Plus the musical score was just right for the scenes here, and they don’t appear too much. These elements also helped propel the saga towards its end. The technical devices wrapped up the films perfectly.
As for New Moon, the second film highlighted the other side of the Forks creatures. Seeing how the wolves developed into their own here, through the great visual effects, was also awesome. And to see the huge werewolves interact with humans was also an achievement. It’s just beautifully shot and edited.
Twilight movies in order of worst story devices
Sometimes you’re also sitting there wondering why the heck some events or actions happened in a film, and why this or that character did what they did, or said what they said. These small story devices should help push the narrative forward. Sadly, there are times when they stalled the movie a bit.
Here’s our countdown of the ones doing that the worst:
1 – Twilight
2 – Eclipse
3 – Breaking Dawn Part 2
Perhaps it’s the economy of cinematic plot devices that landed the first Twilight film here. The book expanded so much on the pre-meetup of Edward and Bella, and why Edward seemed to have such hatred for Bella at first – which turned out to be such a defense mechanism for him, all the while. The film took many shortcuts about these events and rushed into their meetup, which made the story really not too appealing and very questionable to those who didn’t read the book. Logic, guys, logic first, please.
As for the vampire-in-sunshine-revelation scene, we were just a bit disappointed. What, he shimmers? That’s it? Good heavens! No wonder Bella wanted to be a vampire! The girl had no shimmer in this first book, sorry.
Eclipse was also obviously there to serve as a huge bridge towards the ending book and the meet-up book. But it wasn’t really developed well, because the subplot of Victoria the vampire going at great lengths to kill Bella was so overstretched. I mean, what’s up with Bella that she’s always Public Enemy Number One of many creatures? If it’s not some bad vampire, some previously-kind-werewolf wants to kill her. And she’s not even shimmering here yet, so what gives? Again, logic, please.
Meanwhile, while Breaking Dawn had its great moments, the last part didn’t have the greatest of dialogues. And Bella seems to have the bulk of delivering them. That quote about Jacob having a “wolfie claim” on Renesmee? Ugh. And every time Jacob says “It’s a wolf thing?” even in the other films? Please. And our ultimate favorite: “You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness monster!?!” Yah, bad dialogue writing.
Twilight movies in order of best overall story
And finally, we save the best for last. Looking at the Twilight saga in terms of story development, character arcs, cinematic qualities, and of course plot development, we have come to this decision as to which of the films have the best to offer in totality.
In terms of an overall impact, here’s how we rank the Twilight movies in order:
1 – Breaking Dawn part 2
2 – Breaking Dawn part 1
3 – New Moon
Perhaps book author Stephenie Meyer really saved the best for last. Given that she already had producer credits in these films, it’s interesting how the filmic story even surpassed the elements of the book story.
The whole Breaking Dawn book was about Edward and Bella getting married, accidentally impregnating her, and her life-or-death struggle during childbirth of a creature they have yet to encounter. Then the Volturi learns of this strange creature’s existence, and they threaten to attack the Cullen clan because of some evil backstory related to a child being turned immortal. But it was a genius stroke to separate two major events in the book into two separate movies: in part 1, it was just Bella getting pregnant and trying to get turned into a vampire. In part 2, it was the discovery of another creature, Renesmee the half-vampire half-human, and Bella’s experience of being a vampire herself. So to have two major events stretched entirely into two films gave the final book real justice to it. That’s why the two last films were the very well-developed ones in the film series, overall.
As for New Moon, it also has great story development, because this is where we start to see the nuances of the major characters involved here. Even if the focus here is on Jacob’s development and internal struggle in becoming a werewolf, Bella also came to terms with herself in this one. So she’s slowly trying to come to her senses about being with Edward, and what she really wants to do in life. So that, in a way, was also okay.
So, what do you think about out countdown of these Twilight movies in order of various criteria? Share this one if you liked it! We know you did!