New Movie Reviews: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1,' 'The Descendants,' 'Happy Feet Two' Hitting Theaters

9:15 PM PST 11/17/2011 by Paula Zulian
Summit Entertainment

What is THR's critical take on the weekend's new films?

Moviegoers have a bounty of options at the box office this weekend, including the highly anticipated vampire movie The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1, George Clooney's awards hopeful The Descendants and the animated family sequel Happy Feet Two.

In Breaking Dawn, the penultimate Twilight movie, Kristen Stewart's Bella, Robert Pattinson's Edward and Taylor Lautner's Jacob have a lot to deal with. Bella and Edward get married, and she gets pregnant on their honeymoon. The adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's novel was directed by Bill Condon and opened in five overseas markets on Wednesday and Thursday grossing $8.9 million already.

PHOTOS: 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn': New Images From the Pentultimate Film in the Saga

On Wednesday, Alexander Payne’s comedy-drama The Descendants opened in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles. In the movie, which was well-received at the Venice, Toronto and Telluride festivals earlier this year, Clooney plays a father who tries to reconnect with his two daughters when his wife slips into a coma after a boating accident.

Happy Feet Two is director George Miller's follow-up to 2006's box office hit. Elijah Wood and Robin Williams reprise their roles in the 3D animated sequel, which features two new characters voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

PHOTOS: 'The Descendants' Premiere Red Carpet Arrivals

Read what The Hollywood Reporter's film critics have to say about all the films opening this weekend, and find out how they are expected to perform at the box office.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson take their characters' relationship to the next level in Part 1 of the epic franchise finale. Click here to read Todd McCarthy's review.

PHOTOS: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1' Black Carpet Premiere Arrivals

The Descendants 
Alexander Payne has always impressed with his talent for injecting his studies of flawed ordinary people with unexpected warmth and comedy, but never has his knack for mixing moods and modulating subtle emotions been more evident. Click here to read Todd McCarthy's review.

Happy Feet Two
Even with the addition of new characters, such as the ones voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, George Miller's animated sequel just isn't very funny. Click here to read Todd McCarthy's review.

PHOTOS: 'Happy Feet Two' Blue Carpet Premiere Arrivals

The Lie
The tale of father who lies about his baby dying to get out of work combines subdued black comedy with a fresh take on familiar compromise-vs.-idealism angst. Click here to read John DeFore's review.

Tyrannosaur
Actor-turned-director Paddy Considine's World Cinema Dramatic Competition film pulls no punches in its intense exploration of the corrosive effects of human violence. Click here to read David Rooney's review.

Another Happy Day
A family-dysfunction film that walks a fine line, "Another Happy Day" earns its share of dark laughs without ever trivializing the very real pain almost all its characters endure. Click here to read John DeFore's review.

VIDEO: Ellen Barkin in 'Another Happy Day,' Sam Levinson's Directorial Debut

Tomboy
Promising French auteur Celine Sciamma follows up her noteworthy debut, "Water Lilies," with another sharply observed story of youths grappling with awkward bodies and budding hormones in the lighthearted preteen drama "Tomboy." Click here to read Jordan Mintzer's review.

Also opening this weekend is the documentary Garbo: The Spy.

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