Published November 22, 2012
This fifth and final installment of the popular franchise sees its domesticated vampire hero (Robert Pattinson) and his once-mortal, but now undead bride (Kristen Stewart) enjoying both married life and newfound parenthood. But when their half-human, half-bloodsucker daughter (Mackenzie Foy) is mistaken for a type of being long banned by the ruling clique of the vampire world, a conflict erupts between the young couple’s allies (most prominently Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli and Elizabeth Reaser) and the elite defenders of the established order (led by Michael Sheen). Themes of family loyalty, tolerance for others and the corrupting effects of power underlie the easy-to-laugh-at but undeniably entertaining proceedings of director Bill Condon’s gothic romance—adapted, like its immediate predecessor, from novelist Stephenie Meyer’s blockbuster “Breaking Dawn.” Parents will have to assess how well mature adolescents may cope with the unsettling means by which the vein-drainers dispose of each other during a climactic battle—essentially gore-free decapitation, followed by burning—as well as with scenes of intimacy between the central pair. Some harsh but bloodless violence, fleeting gore, semi-graphic marital lovemaking with partial nudity, a couple of crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.