Daybreakers (2010)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Though it arrives during an unfortunate glut of vampire movies, Daybreakers offers enough dark sci-fi thrills -- and enough of a unique twist on the genre -- to satisfy filmgoers.

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Movie Info

Fresh off the success of their inventive take on the zombie genre, Undead masterminds Michael and Peter Spierig direct Ethan Hawke in an ambitious tale of a futuristic Earth populated entirely by vampires, and the efforts made by the creatures to ensure that their food supply doesn't run out as humankind is faced with extinction. The year is 2017, and a vampire plague has turned most of the planet's human population into bloodsucking ghouls. As the population of mortals fast begins to dwindle, a vampiric corporation sets out to capture and farm every remaining human while simultaneously researching a consumable blood substitute, headed by undead hematologist Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke). His work is interrupted after stumbling onto a pocket of human survivors lead by Elvis (Willem Dafoe), a former vampire, whose past reveals a cure that could reverse the tide and save the human race. With time running out, Dalton's only hope lies in outsmarting the security forces of his boss (Sam Neill), whose goal isn't just to find a substitute, but to repopulate humanity in order to sell its blood to the highest bidder. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Rating:
R (for strong bloody violence, language and brief nudity)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Ethan Hawke
as Edward Dalton
Willem Dafoe
as Lionel 'Elvis' Cormac
Isabel Lucas
as Alison Bromley
Sam Neill
as Charles Bromley
Vince Colosimo
as Christopher Caruso
Jay Laga'aia
as Senator Turner
Claudia Karvan
as Audrey Bennett
Michael Dorman
as Frankie Dalton
Harriet Minto-Day
as Lisa Barrett
Damien Garvey
as Senator Westlake
Carl Rush
as Al Walker
Paul Sonkkila
as General Williams
Todd Levi
as Commissioner Turnbull
Mungo McKay
as Colin Briggs
Emma Randall
as Ellie Landon
Charlotte Wilson
as Joy Watkins
John Gibson
as Detective Cosgrove
Robyn Moore
as Forensic Investigator Simms
Troy MacKinder
as Officer Hobbs
Christopher Kirby
as Jarvis Bayom
Todd Allan Brissette
as Businessman
Des Coroy
as Businessman
Gabriella di Labio
as Businesswoman
Sahaj Dumpleton
as Homeless Vampire
Ben Siemer
as Police Officer
Peter Welman
as Police Officer
Callum Mclean
as Vampire School Kid
Jarrad Pon
as Vampire School Kid
Victoria Williams
as Vampire School Kid
Zoe White
as Vampire School Kid
Aolani Roy
as Vampire School Kid
Konrad Whitten
as Weathered Human
Tiffany Lamb
as News Reader
Renai Caruso
as Coffee Shop Attendant
Chris Brown
as Subway Commuter
Rohan Smith
as Police Officer in Car
Kirsten Cameron
as Subway Commuter
Wayne Smith
as Inmate 4075B
Berni Chin
as Lab Technician
Kevin Zwierzchaczewski
as Lab Technician
Joel Spreadborough
as Vampire Subject
Jane Wallace
as Bromley's Assistant
Bryan Probets
as Subsider in Kitchen
Glen Martin
as Coffee Buyer
David Vallon
as Janitor
Candice Storey
as Onlooker
Anne Bennetts
as Onlooker
Kellie Vella
as Subsider in Garage
Scot McQade
as Security Desk Officer
Jack Bradford
as Security Guard #1
Jason Chin
as Medic
Mark Finden
as Young Vampire Cadet
John Gibson
as Detective Cosgrove
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Critic Reviews for Daybreakers

All Critics (141) | Top Critics (31)

No excerpt available.

November 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | November 16, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Daybreakers is the pinnacle of fun, modern sci-fi horror actioners.

Full Review… | May 5, 2011
Film.com
Top Critic

Interested in societal collapse - that is, when it's not more interested in the super cool way these vampires explode when stabbed

Full Review… | January 10, 2010
I.E. Weekly
Top Critic

Hawke gives his all here -- or maybe just half his all -- and it isn't quite enough: He's trying to be soulful, but he really just looks a little tired. The real delight is Willem Dafoe.

January 8, 2010
Salon.com
Top Critic

For the lowbrow, the thrill is a level of fleshy explosiveness reminiscent of David Cronenberg's Scanners. No one dies quietly; he must either detonate like Hiroshima or burst into juicy red chunks of viscera.

Full Review… | January 8, 2010
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Daybreakers

In spite of its intriguing idea and a good cinematography, this is a safe movie that never goes deep enough into the possibilities of its premise, relying on many coincidences and contrivances, and with an attempt at a "message" in the end that disappoints.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Again I must go against many bad reviews here as I quite liked this vampire tale. Some of the ideas in this film are really good, I loved how the human race has adapted to being vampires by building huge tunnel walkways under the cities (like subways) for getting about during the daylight and how cars are kitted out with daylight protection and UV alerts. It's really quite cool and I would love my car to be like that hehe I also like the look of the vamps in this universe, simple pale faces with yellowish clear eyes that reflect light wonderfully, simple but effective and not everyone is a good looking gaunt vamp either which is more believeable. Other little bits like the death of a vampire when exposed to sunlight or struck through the heart was nice too, good explosions and ember usage although not a very original way of doing it. Much like the plot and the now overused 'world has been infected by virus leaving only a handful of resistance' story. Things I didn't like about this film was firstly the way in which Hawke changes back to a human, I don't get how that worked, he just flashes himself to the sun for a few seconds??...huh?. Second was the casting of Dafoe and his character. Willem just didn't seem into it properly if you ask me, he wasn't given much to do and his acting was beyond normal cheese levels where as the rest weren't too bad, I stress weren't too bad, Neill being the best of course. Lastly was the mutation of vampires into bat-like Nosferatu looking vampire creatures if they didn't get blood to feed on. I just felt that was stupid and not needed, why would they change into big bats??. Just about on par with the first 'Underworld', just.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Vampirism has spread throughout humanity to the point where they vastly outnumber the normal humans who have been turned into livestock to replenish the rapidly diminishing stocks of blood. Daybreakers was a really nice surprise. In the seemingly endless parade of pointless vampire films it has a really fresh feel to it as it puts a different spin on the idea rather than rehashing the same old schtick. Ethan Hawke has made a career out of playing off beat, vulnerable anti-heroes and Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe bring their usual dominating presences to the screen which combined with some really nice production design and a smart script makes for a refreshingly different fang flick. My only reservation was with the open ended conclusion which made me think that the Spierig brothers were more interested in angling for a sequel than presenting the audience with a satisfying conclusion to the story, but as a whole it's easily one of the best vampire films I've seen of late.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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