Even the most egocentric or self-important film critic realizes that his opinions and insights aren't going to be agreed with or respected by everyone, but movies like New Moon offer a special challenge in both honesty and humility. Like with any other beloved literary franchise brought to the silver screen, there's already an impassioned fan base eager to see it realized regardless of its quality, and there's also an inherent distrust among them of nonfans who will eventually be analyzing the object of their affection. In which case, a critic must not only manage his own response to the film, perhaps filtering it through some designated demographic or specific audience that's potentially different than him, but gauge the reaction he'll get when he puts pen to paper, if only to be aware of the relevance of his reaction to what the filmmakers were trying to achieve and what those fans really want. Even if he's also got to be completely honest and unmerciful, too.

By virtually all technical measures, The Twilight Saga: New Moon is a superior effort to its predecessor – well-shot, efficiently told, and by all accounts faithful in tone and execution to its source material. But what filmmaker Chris Weitz makes up for in directorial proficiency he lacks in conveying emotional authenticity, which is why it fulfills the expectations of fans and followers of the franchise but nevertheless still falls short of forming something transcendent and meaningful to everyone else.