Byzantium Reviews

Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 12, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 12, 2013
Go ahead, bite.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 12, 2013
A drama that feels both strenuously earnest and impossible to take seriously.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
July 11, 2013
Byzantium has a few moves that might surprise you. They have nothing to do with blood, but everything to do with the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
July 11, 2013
A confusing yet eye-pleasing tale that struggles to breathe new life into the well-worn mythology.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 5, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 4, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 4, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
July 1, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
June 28, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Bruce Ingram
Chicago Sun-Times
June 28, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
June 28, 2013
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
June 27, 2013
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
June 27, 2013
This feels tired as storytelling despite some evocative imagery and typically lush camerawork.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 27, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
June 27, 2013
Unfortunately, the story never grabs hold as insistently as Jordan's tone and visual artistry.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.5/10
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 27, 2013
Despite multiple graphic beheadings and literal waterfalls of blood, the film generates a shockingly small amount of horror.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 27, 2013
Lyrical, full of visually enthralling fantasy sequences punctuated by moments of intense, bloody violence ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
June 27, 2013
"Byzantium" comes late to the vampire game hoping to restore a little decorum, but winds up looking decayed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
June 27, 2013
Jordan, a master of mood, creates an unsettling atmosphere of small-town despair, and the film's sporadic spikes of violence ... are often inventive.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
June 26, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
June 26, 2013
It's not perfect, but when it works, Byzantium towers above all of the romantic vampire slobber we've been getting lately.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
June 25, 2013
Jordan's poetic sensibilities more than make up for any flaws.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
June 25, 2013
Byzantium, like all good vampire stories, is a romance, and Jordan opens himself up to its atmospheric lushness.
Top Critic
Dennis Harvey
Variety
June 24, 2013
A lethargic and uninspired take that aims to be something different, but ultimately isn't.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
June 24, 2013
Neil Jordan interviews a whole new set of vampires but draws precious little blood.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
June 17, 2013
The movie is gorgeous, mesmerizing, poetic; the lyricism actually heightened by harsh jets of gore.
Top Critic
Cath Clarke
Time Out
May 29, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
September 10, 2012
I simply have no more room in my life for ennui-besotted vampires.
Full Review | Original Score: C+