New Moon pales in comparison to Twilight, according to the critics.

Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert says "the characters in this movie should be arrested for loitering with intent to moan. Never have teenagers been in greater need of a jump-start. Granted some of them are more than 100 years old, but still: their charisma is by Madame Tussaud."

Ty Burr of The Boston Globe remarks: "Sorry, girls: The thrill is gone." He says that "where the first film’s director, Catherine Hardwicke, plugged into [author Stephenie] Meyer’s vision of supernatural teenage lust with abandon, Chris Weitz is stuck with a sequel that’s a morning-after mope-fest."

Burr also says that the film favors werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) than vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson).

"When he's onscreen, Pattinson’s Edward is all emo posturing under a trembling bouffant - the actor suddenly seems to be embarrassed to be here," says Burr. "Lautner's performance, by contrast, has the warmth of an actual human."

But Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times says Lautner and Kristen Stewart (who plays Bella) have no heat: "The connection between these two is so self-evidently non-romantic that it turns out not to be much of a diversion."

USA Today's Claudia Puig agrees, saying the the Bella-Edward romance is a bore and that "the pace picks up" once Jacob and his pals turn into werewolves. She gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars.

Variety writes that ladies hoping to gaze at Pattinson the big screen " may be disappointed by Pattinson's reduced presence" in the sequel, "as his Edward appears predominantly in mumbling visions until a cliffhanger that brazenly sets up the next episode."

Despite some harsh reviews, the film is still expected to earn more than $85 million during its first weekend (it has run up the biggest advance sales of any film in history). It opens in 4,024 locations, beginning with 3,500 performances at 12:01 a.m. Friday.