Dark Shadows Reviews

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David Thomson
The New Republic
June 17, 2013
The only reason to see Dark Shadows is to discover how dire and pointless-how flat-out dreadful-a movie can be even when it has Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Helena Bonham Carter attached to its flimsy pretext.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
May 15, 2012
This is not so much a coherent movie as it is a long, expensive joke in search of a purpose.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
May 11, 2012
Mostly Dark Shadows is silly when we're trained to expect slightly richer fun from Burton and Depp.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
May 11, 2012
Fans of Depp's past collusions with Burton will find their rewards along the way. But there's a perfunctory vibe to the goings on, a weariness amid the weirdness.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 11, 2012
Clearly, they made the movie they wanted to make. It's just not the movie this "Dark Shadows" fan hoped to see.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
May 11, 2012
Dark Shadows' only meaningful relationship is between Depp and his audience. He's a persona now, no longer an actor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 11, 2012
How bad is "Dark Shadows"? It makes you long for a "Twilight" movie. That's bad.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
May 11, 2012
"Dark Shadows'' certainly has its moments, especially when Barnabas and Angelique hilariously wreck her office during a surreal, CGI-fueled, PG-rated tryst.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
May 11, 2012
At once a brash, strutting pop culture pastiche and gloomy exercise in self-cannibalizing nostalgia, "Dark Shadows" is depressing on myriad levels.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Eric D. Snider
Film.com
May 11, 2012
Can't decide whether it's a parody, a horror comedy, an atmospheric melodrama, or a tedious bucket of crap. Eventually it chooses the last one.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 10, 2012
When you consider all the pitfalls avoided, and all the laughs and pleasures it provides along the way, "Dark Shadows" is a satisfying and skillful effort.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 10, 2012
Burton's offbeat montages are amusing, but the story's slow start and overblown conclusion make Dark Shadows half a good movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 10, 2012
Burton's offbeat montages are amusing, but the story's slow start and overblown conclusion make Dark Shadows half a good movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
May 10, 2012
An uncertain combination of elements that unsuccessfully tries to be half-scary, half-funny and all strange...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
May 10, 2012
"Dark Shadows" is amusing, in fits and spurts, and sure to make tons of money, but terribly familiar and fatigued.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
May 10, 2012
[Burton] and Depp, both avowed childhood fans of the original series, seem to be in their element and having a grand old time.
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May 10, 2012
Handsome, vaguely true to the old soap opera, and inert.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 10, 2012
"Dark Shadows" opens promisingly, downshifts after 30 minutes, and sputters into a meandering, momentum-free mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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May 10, 2012
The script by Seth Grahame-Smith is witless and meandering - and I wouldn't mind the witless so much if it moved, or the meandering if it were droll.
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Joy Tipping
Dallas Morning News
May 10, 2012
The film's biggest disappointment is the utter lack of chemistry between Depp and either Green or Heathcote.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
May 10, 2012
Whether it works is a matter of taste, but the fact that Burton's revisit unearths enough fun while feeling like four films in one is testament to the source's seductive bloodline.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
May 10, 2012
"Dark Shadows" doesn't add anything new to the genre, but it's a surprisingly high-spirited and genuinely black-humored comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 10, 2012
A nutty romp that's as much about celebrating a significant blip in the pop-cult continuum as it is a tale of bloodsucking, of grudge-holding, and the stress involved in maintaining a 200-room, two-century-old house.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 10, 2012
Burton's visuals are a sumptuous treat, as is Depp's unerring sense of mischief - but, after a fierce and funny start, Dark Shadows simply spins its wheels.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
May 10, 2012
An expensive, all-star bore, albeit a bore that's been art-directed to a fare-thee-well.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 10, 2012
Tim Burton is like a billionaire fanboy who buys Bela Lugosi's Dracula cape: he has a perfect right to it, but that doesn't mean it looks good on him.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 10, 2012
Tim Burton has got his groove back.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 10, 2012
Stumbles blindly along with Barnabas for most of its overlong 113 minutes, leaving viewers in the dark as to its intentions.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 10, 2012
Attention must be paid to movie allure, in a star like Depp and his current harem.
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 10, 2012
"Dark Shadows" may be too light for vampire purists or fans of the original show, but fresh blood is just what the doctor ordered.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 10, 2012
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton enable each other's laziest, most indulgent habits: They make movies to entertain themselves instead of the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
May 10, 2012
"Dark Shadows" isn't among Mr. Burton's most richly realized works, but it's very enjoyable, visually sumptuous and, despite its lugubrious source material and a sporadic tremor of violence, surprisingly effervescent.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 10, 2012
You keep wishing that the movie was either scarier or funnier - too often it flatlines between the two - but it's nonetheless impossible to look away.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
May 10, 2012
"Dark Shadows" offers potent atmosphere and delirious '70s fashions and hilarious gags and some really terrific performances, none better than Pfeiffer's triumphant return to the screen as a pitch-perfect family matriarch.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 10, 2012
"Dark Shadows" illustrates the fine line in a pop reboot between "relaxed" and "lazy."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
May 10, 2012
There's no doubt that viewers still know that they're watching a Tim Burton movie. The question now is why.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 10, 2012
It offers wonderful things, but they aren't what's important. It's as if Burton directed at arm's length, unwilling to find juice in the story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
May 9, 2012
"Shadows" leaves us with the sense that this isn't the last time we'll be seeing Barnabas and company. One can only hope that next time they'll work out the kinks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 9, 2012
Dark Shadows, a kinky love triangle, is true, in its fashion, to the spirit of the old soap opera. Yet its real love affair is between Johnny Depp and the audience who's still hooked on seeing him get his freak on.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
May 9, 2012
Bipolar film that's equal parts comedy and horror show, with neither element particularly effective.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 9, 2012
Dark Shadows is a mess, and it's unclear whether its bizarre recipe of comedy, campy horror, and gothic melodrama will satisfy anyone, regardless of their familiarity with the source material.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
May 9, 2012
All dressed up and no place to go.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
May 9, 2012
In a time when even the most accomplished genre movies have the fingerprints of focus group-happy execs all over them, the relatively unmitigated quirk of Dark Shadows is worth celebrating.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
May 8, 2012
Dark Shadows sinks its teeth half-way into its potentially meaty material but hesitates to go all the way.
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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
May 8, 2012
Less a resurrection than a clumsy desecration.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
May 8, 2012
Burton, as usual, is great on atmosphere and comic timing (these are his weirdest moments since Ed Wood), but less so at reining in an overcomplicated plot and dimly lit action scenes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
May 8, 2012
The film itself takes awhile to get going as it establishes all those characters and back stories. Once there, it seems to have nowhere to go -- out of the shadows or into the light, it doesn't really matter either way.
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Justin Chang
Variety
May 8, 2012
Few director-star partnerships are as consistently eccentric or malleable as that of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, but even loyalists will detect an odor of mothballs clinging to their eighth bigscreen collaboration.