Byzantium - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Byzantium Reviews

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½ April 2, 2018
This movie requires that you suspend your disbelief on several occasions and relies often on Deus ex Machina. Additionally, Caleb's acting was awkward in this one. I can see what he was going for, but something was lost in the execution. Nevertheless, I love how this movie plays with gender stereotypes of the genre, does not try to water down the ugliness of vampirism (or its privilleges) and focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter, rather than on the romance. It is a weird vampire - coming of age story. The visuals are superb, though the blood could be more realistic. I don't think that it is for everyone, but, personally, I love it!
½ February 11, 2018
Old school-romanticized and visually hypnotic, this modern vampire tale finds director Neil Jordan returning to the Vampire-take that popularized him 20 years ago, this time in a more art-house kind of production, with Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton shining in a touchingly-yet-twisted mother and daughter gothic-drama that lacks authentic horror and thrilling elements, but mostly consistent in gore and stylish aesthetics.
January 22, 2018
Starts off pretty good, gets a little stupid and then completely dumb...still okay though.
January 3, 2018
Byzantium offers an innovative and interesting concept but does very little to develop it to its full potential. Jordan creates a fascinating bridge between the past and modern day as the story unfolds and some intriguing twists unroll, but its the two female leads, Arterton and Ronan, that truly give this fantasy a hint of horror.
September 20, 2017
Didn't enjoy this one.
September 4, 2017
A decent quality vampire fable.
½ August 21, 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.
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.
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.
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