Byzantium - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Byzantium Reviews

Page 1 of 28
August 12, 2017
Worth it. Slow at first but pays off quickly. Thoughtful story with no loose ends.
July 30, 2017
This is a badass, little known, vampire (and most importantly) ADVENTURE
½ July 29, 2017
Well worn vampire plights are explored in this story, where the characters are filled with regret and yearning for a more normal existence. There's a good dynamic between the leads, and it's all handled well enough to be interesting. I liked the shifting between 18th century and modern times.
½ June 17, 2017
7.5/10 Great atmosphere, setting, and acting. But the second half struggles to present an equally compelling story as the first. Very nice, but a missed chance for something great.
April 12, 2017
Some nasty parts, mom is hot, Bf is ugly. Intriguing how one becomes vampire.
February 17, 2017
An delightful movie. A new era for vampires.
Super Reviewer
January 18, 2017
I don't know where to start off this review really. I guess I should start off by saying that, realistically, speaking this is kind of an anti-Twilight. Perhaps that's not even fair to the movie, comparing it to such an awful film franchise. But a lot of people will, undoubtedly, compare the two when you get right down to the romance between Eleanor and Frank. But, thankfully, in this movie, they at least make the attempt to build a relationship between the two characters based on mutual attraction and not just because somebody sparkled in the sunlight. But the movie isn't really even focused on that, that's just an element of the narrative, not the main focus. While the narrative of the film may not have been incredible, I was actually fairly intrigued by the movie enough to keep me hooked and interested in what was going on. Eleanor (or Ella for short) and Clara have been on the run from these vampires who have attempted for over 200 years to hunt them down. The story is focuses on how Clara and Ella got to where they are right now. There are flashbacks that reveal a bit of Clara's story and how she came to be a vampire and that, to me, are the most interesting parts of the movie. Especially once you get to see that the vampire group is a brotherhood that not just anyone can join. You have to be of the proper caste in order to even be considered for this. And, of course, women cannot join. Nor can they create, which is when someone else is turned into a vampire. Clara 'creating' Ella is what made them have to go on the run in the first place. Again, I found this to be the most interesting parts of the entire movie. A problem with that, though, is that the movie focuses on Ella and Clara's escape from the brotherhood as they attempt to hunt them down to destroy them. But, and this is just me, I would have liked to have heard more about the brotherhood, how they formed and established the code of rules they live by. And I realize that I cannot complain about something the movie was never intended to include, but a lot of the modern day stuff, that's not related to the actual hunting down of Ella and Clara, isn't as interesting as the backstory the characters come from. And I'm not even saying that putting in a romantic element was a bad choice, because they did the best they could with Frank and Ella's character, but it's not something that I find very interesting. I also liked Ella granting death to those who truly wanted it, all old people in the film for example. I wish they would have done more with that, in exploring how it is that all the old people know what she is and what she can do for them, offering them a release from life as it were. I just feel they could have done so much more with these characters than what they did, so it's disappointing to see that. The modern stuff is essential, since Ella finding a way to tell someone the truth of her origins and what she is, actually does lead into where the narrative wants to go, but it could have taken a more interesting route to get there. And this is coming from someone who, overall, thought the movie was actually quite solid. Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton are pretty damn great here and seeing their characters' backstory, again, is the best part of the entire flick. Seeing Clara do whatever is absolutely necessary to protect herself, and most importantly, Clara from being found out is executed effectively. Because, in many ways, while she is trying to protect Ella, keeping her closed off from the rest of the world also has some selfishness, due to fear of being found out. They find a good balance between motherly duty and selfishness in that regard. Visually speaking, the film sets a great mood and atmosphere right from the very start. So I can't complain much, but the narrative did have its flaws. And the third act itself had some very silly moments. I do think those flaws kept me from enjoying it more, but I still found this to be an enjoyable, if a bit loquacious, vampire horror film.
½ January 15, 2017
Not a great story, especially for a vampire film, but the acting done by Saoirse Ronan was, as always, impeccable!
December 11, 2016
The movie is very short on story but overstocked with style and atmosphere. Saoirse Ronan has always seemed like an old soul trapped in a young woman's body; playing a vampire comes naturally to her. Gemma Arterton is the hottest vampire since... ever. Here's my neck.
November 28, 2016
At last something worthy of interview with the vampire. It's a slow movie which focuses on exploring what it means being a vampire, rather than how cool it is supposed to be. A must see for any vampire film fan.
October 30, 2016
It is interesting to see a vampire movie that focuses more on what life would be like for someone who does not age. A life like that could be lonely, especially since you would need to kill people and drink their blood to stay alive. Most vampire stories focus on humans and view vampires as monstrous figures, but this movie places the focus on the vampire and thus humanizes them. It is less about drinking blood and more about a sense of family, growing up, and finding love. Unlike the Twilight series, this has a darkness and realism to the movie. The relationships between the characters are not straightforward feel-good fairytales. It has a strong story that takes time to unfold; there are mysterious elements to the main characters and their past. Through a series of conversations, writings, and flashbacks, a rich and full story of interconnected characters emerges. At times, the somber expressions and melancholy of the main character pulls the energy down, but not too much. Saoirse Ronan is believable as a lonely girl who craves a rewarding warm relationship with others. Gemma Arterton is even better as her protective guardian, who lives in the shadows, always on the move and avoids close relationships. If you like typical vampires, this will not have enough action to satisfy you. It is primarily a drama; the vampire lure is secondary to the characters. They get the most important things right with the story and acting. If you have the patience for the slower pace and a different take on vampires, then it is a good pick.
½ October 26, 2016
"Byzantium" gushes blood and exudes gloom, but with a story that's far less compelling than it's dark elegance, some might believe that it was all in vein.
October 13, 2016
Don't know why, but I really like this movie. I watch it often.
June 21, 2016
Very stylish and well acted vampire saga.
May 1, 2016
lost interest.......
½ April 10, 2016
watched the first half an hour and turned it off. so boring.
April 7, 2016
Neil Jordan made an art-house film about werewolves in Company of Wolves, turning the Red Riding Hood story into a darkly erotic gothic horror. He's tried to repeat the trick for vampires here, and nearly succeeded.

Over a fairly measured (slow?) 2 hours, he tells the tale of 2 female vampires, who are able to exist in sunlight, and blood-let as much through a fang-like nail as with the more traditional teeth. There are strong themes of men exploiting women for sex, and women getting their own back.

Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan are great in the leading roles, both vulnerable and defiant in their own way, but none of the supporting characters do very much to provide a strong counterpoint for their story, which means it can all flag, more than a little.

There are some excellent scenes and a lot of craft in the film-making, but it perhaps feels like less than the sum of its parts...
March 26, 2016
Great story. It serves its purpose as a one off with no need for fleshing out, even though much is left to the imagination as far was wondering why such a "shrine" exists, for example, or what is the history of "The Brotherhood".
About that shrine, I found it intriguing that such a fantastical and ominous facility would exist on an island outpost far from human habitation. It isn't a device used in any other vampire myth or story of which I am aware.
There are no scares here, only drama and dark fantasy. It's nearer the art house end of the horror spectrum. I do recommend it.
½ March 22, 2016
Sexy and creepy, but somehow it manages to remain slightly boring, and lacking a standout element.
March 6, 2016
A wonderful movie about motherhood, time, and being a vampire.
Page 1 of 28