What Movies are in the 'Twilight' Saga?

The Basics on the 'Twilight' Films Based on Stephenie Meyer's Books

A few years ago, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner could hardly go out in public because they were the lead actors in the incredibly popular Twilight films, based on the series of novels by Stephenie Meyer. Pattinson won over millions of mostly female fans playing a teen vampire who falls for the very human, very vulnerable Bella. Stewart, who'd already built up an impressive resume before taking on Twilight, brought Bella to life on the screen. Martial arts enthusiast Taylor Lautner plays Jacob, a childhood friend of Bella's who'd like to take the relationship to the next level.

Though the Twilight film series has concluded, newcomers to the series hoping to see it all will need to watch the following films:

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Twilight (2008)

Summit Entertainment
Released on November 21, 2008 Twilight

primarily focused on two of the three main characters of the series, with just a few short minutes spent with key player number three. Having moved to Washington to live with her dad for a while, Bella (Stewart) finds herself instantly fascinated by the strange and beautiful Cullen family. While everyone else in school gives the Cullens a wide berth, Bella is drawn to the youngest member of the family, Edward (Pattinson). Although no one else realizes what they are, Bella pieces two and two together and quickly figures out the Cullens are vampires. Yet despite that, Bella falls hopelessly in love. And Edward, who hasn't had a girlfriend in a hundred years, finds himself returning the feeling.

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

New Moon
New Moon. © Summit Entertainment

Release Date: November 20, 2009

Catherine Hardwicke directed the first film, but Chris Weitz () took over for the second film of the franchise. In New Moon the focus shifts from Bella and Edward to Bella and Jacob after Edward and the Cullen family leave town following a rough incident at Bella's birthday party. Much of the action takes place on the reservation in New Moon, and werewolves enter the storyline in a major way.

Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning and Cameron Bright make their first appearances in the Twilight franchise as members of the Volturi, powerful vampires who keep the peace among the undead population.

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Summit Entertainment

Release Date: June 30, 2010

David Slade (30 Days of Night) took over as director on the third film of the series. Edward is back in town after coming to his senses and realizing he can't deny the fact he and Bella are meant to be together. His return isn't greeted with cheers as Jacob hasn't given up on trying to win over Bella. She's determined to keep things on a friendship level, but Jacob's a persistent guy. In addition to struggling to keep both men in her life happy, Bella's dealing with a vampire out for revenge and her impending graduation from high school which signals the approach of a huge change in her life.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011)

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Summit Entertainment

Release Date: November 18, 2011

Breaking Dawn is by far the most difficult of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books to adapt for the big screen, and Summit opted to split the novel into two films. The fourth book introduces a new, bizarre character that had fans guessing exactly how this new creature would be brought to life on the screen. With sex and an extremely bloody, violent and disturbing sequence, it took a little finessing on the part of screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and director Bill Condon to make Breaking Dawn PG-13 rated. Part 1 wound up with a PG-13 for "disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements."

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012)

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Summit Entertainment

Release Date: November 16, 2012

With Breaking Dawn Part 2, we say good-bye to sparkling vampires (it's not likely any other author is going to use that Stephenie Meyer trick). The final Twilight film finds our vampire heroes fighting off evil vampires and falling deeper in love. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 was the highest-grossing of the saga, earning $829.7 million worldwide at the box office.

Edited by Christopher McKittrick