Jordan is no stranger to the yearnings of vampires. He directed Interview With the Vampire. But Byzantium is a kinder, gentler yet pretty durn bloody affair.
Go ahead, bite.
| Original Score: B
A drama that feels both strenuously earnest and impossible to take seriously.
| Original Score: 2/4
Byzantium has a few moves that might surprise you. They have nothing to do with blood, but everything to do with the heart.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A confusing yet eye-pleasing tale that struggles to breathe new life into the well-worn mythology.
Neil Jordan's sensitive and very slow exploration of vampire angst. That the film also seems intended as some kind of vampire feminist statement makes it a rare combination of mildly boring and mildly hilarious.
| Original Score: 3/4
The story drags a bit, bouncing back and forth in time in a manner that is sometimes useful, sometimes not. Overall, though, it's an intriguing addition to the genre.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
It's a pleasure to see a vampire movie that aspires to something artful, and that explores the misery that comes with living - forever - on blood, and in the shadows.
The film slows and slumps as it ventures into a historical backstory, complete with a mysterious brotherhood, an ancient map, and Sam Riley in a wig worse than death.
Lines like "The pearl stays pure while the oyster's flesh rots around it" or "Would you like to kiss me? In celebration of my wickedness?" confound any efforts to make them sound less than ridiculous.
Mother/daughter conflict runs deeper - and much, much longer - than usual in this gorgeous, brooding, fascinatingly female-centric vampire saga, which also gushes waterfalls of blood.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
"Byzantium" dares to rework "Twilight" with twice the teen moping and Robert Pattinson replaced by a guy with the sexual magnetism of a sickly Ron Weasley.
| Original Score: 1/4
"Byzantium's" appeal is not so much its bite, which could use some refining, but the emotional journey its undead take. In Jordan's hands, the vampires are so very human.
This feels tired as storytelling despite some evocative imagery and typically lush camerawork.
Again and again, as the story shifts between women, times and moods, Mr. Jordan adds a punctuating flourish ... that exquisitely illustrates the once-upon-a-time mood.
| Original Score: 4/5
Unfortunately, the story never grabs hold as insistently as Jordan's tone and visual artistry.
| Original Score: 5.5/10
Despite multiple graphic beheadings and literal waterfalls of blood, the film generates a shockingly small amount of horror.
Lyrical, full of visually enthralling fantasy sequences punctuated by moments of intense, bloody violence ...
"Byzantium" comes late to the vampire game hoping to restore a little decorum, but winds up looking decayed.
| Original Score: 2/5
Jordan, a master of mood, creates an unsettling atmosphere of small-town despair, and the film's sporadic spikes of violence ... are often inventive.
| Original Score: B-
The best thing in the movie is Arterton's sultry, claw-baring turn, but mostly it's a rudderless riff on Let the Right One In.
| Original Score: C-
It's not perfect, but when it works, Byzantium towers above all of the romantic vampire slobber we've been getting lately.
Jordan's poetic sensibilities more than make up for any flaws.
Byzantium, like all good vampire stories, is a romance, and Jordan opens himself up to its atmospheric lushness.
A lethargic and uninspired take that aims to be something different, but ultimately isn't.
Neil Jordan interviews a whole new set of vampires but draws precious little blood.
The movie is gorgeous, mesmerizing, poetic; the lyricism actually heightened by harsh jets of gore.
What's really missing is the vampire's tragedy: that ache, the loss of feeling, the sense that in killing death, the essence of what it is to be human is destroyed.
| Original Score: 3/5
I simply have no more room in my life for ennui-besotted vampires.
| Original Score: C+