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Dark Shadows

Horror . Fantasy . Comedy

Vampire Barnabas Collins is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate and family have fallen into ruin.

Actors: Helena Bonham Carter , Michelle Pfeiffer , Johnny Depp , Christopher Lee , Gulliver McGrath , Chloë Grace Moretz , Bella Heathcote , Eva Green , Jonny Lee Miller , Jackie Earle Haley
Directors: Tim Burton
Release: 2012-05-11
More Info:
  • Manohla Dargis

    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.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Depp's performance is more than just funny - it's ghoulishly endearing.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    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. Full Review
  • Pete Hammond

    It's a great time at the movies and a wickedly clever cinematic treat.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    There are times, not too many, when the movie drags. But 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.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Pinpointing the era - lovingly - is very much what Dark Shadows' has on its mind. While there's a tangle of romance and vengeance and all sorts of family matters to deal with, Burton's film is really about hippies in bell-bottoms, stoned out in their VW micro-buses.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Tim Burton has got his groove back.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    May be too light for vampire purists or fans of the original show, but fresh blood is just what the doctor ordered.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    It's Depp as Barnabas that holds the movie together. The story may be less than coherent and some of the minor characters washouts, but when he's on-screen, there's energy and humor and that foppish sex appeal that (as in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie) reminds you why you once liked Johnny Depp.

    Slate Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    Attention must be paid to movie allure, in a star like Depp and his current harem. Angelique may be the only satanist among the women here, but they're all bewitching.

    Time Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Maybe it's because I share Burton"s twisted affection for the 1970s, but for all its shortcomings, I'd sooner watch a sequel to Dark Shadows than another installment of the bloated "Pirates of the Caribbean" saga any day.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    At its best in comic mode, more effective as goofy spoof than horror show.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The pleasures of Dark Shadows are frustratingly hit-and-miss. In the end, it all collapses into a spectacularly gorgeous heap.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    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.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Matt Glasby

    One of the strangest mainstream releases of recent times, Dark Shadows' demented gothic melodrama/fish-out-of-water comedy/creature feature feels like you've slipped into a Burton fever-dream.

    Total Film Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    The movie is fairly entertaining, but the high production values and shticky humor invert the dynamic of the show, which was played totally straight despite the fact that the sets were always threatening to fall down.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    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.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    This really is a reasonably, moderately, whelmingly good film.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    A word of warning: this is not the knockabout comedy the trailer suggests. Instead, it cleaves closer to what you expect from Burton: darkness, quirk and Johnny Depp on great form. A step up, then, from Alice In Wonderland and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, but not tip-top Tim.

    Empire Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    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.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    The film is best when it focuses on Barnabas's culture shocks in this brave new world. Depp has fun with the character's bafflements without camping it up. What's missing overall is the sense of fun Burton once evinced in films like "Beetlejuice."

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Any proper adaptation of Dark Shadows, even one that acknowledges and celebrates its camp silliness as much as Burton's does, has to immerse itself in soap opera, too, and it's here that the director's lack of conviction becomes apparent.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Parts of Dark Shadows look lovely. So what happened to the story?

    Movieline Full Review
  • Stephen Cole

    Dark Shadows only meaningful relationship is between Depp and his audience. He's a persona now, no longer an actor. And the kick here, as always, is watching him try on funny accents and hairdos.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    This film has much more to do with what goes on inside director Tim Burton's head than with any TV show, no matter how beloved. In fact, Dark Shadows is as good an example as any of what might be called the Way of Tim, a style of making films that, like the drinking of blood, is very much an acquired taste and, unless you're a vampire, not worth the effort.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    'Bloodless' is the word for the whole enterprise.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    So Depp summons every type of behavior Burton requires: heroism, zaniness, longing, wit, ferocity, sexuality, icy resolve. Had they stuck to one or two of these, we might have had a terrific film.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Dark Shadows illustrates the fine line in a pop reboot between "relaxed" and "lazy."

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Depp and Burton are two gifted, like-minded artists whose affinity for oddball characters and humor makes them natural creative partners. But they also enable each other's laziest, most indulgent habits: Too often, they seem to be making movies to entertain themselves instead of the audience.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Bill Weber

    A mixed bag of Nixon-era pop burlesque and vampire kitsch is ultimately undone by pedestrian gags and bloated genre boilerplate.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Dark Shadows seems more like a mash-up of leftover ideas from "Beetlejuice," "Edward Scissorhands," "Sleepy Hollow," and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" – but they're ideas without the souls of characters.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    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.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Dark Shadows manages in two hours what the TV show took six years to do: become irrelevant and remembered only for how sloppy it was.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Dark Shadows sinks its teeth half-way into its potentially meaty material but hesitates to go all the way.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    This bizarre but weirdly bloodless retro-camp exercise is neither funny nor eerie enough to seduce the uninitiated, and will court bemused reactions at best from the series' still-estimable fan following.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith is witless and meandering, though the witlessness wouldn't matter so much if it moved, or the meandering if it were droll.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    It's stately with a smirk, crossing Bram Stoker with "The Addams Family" to arrive at what sometimes feels like a wildly overproduced "Saturday Night Live" sketch.

    NPR Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Amusing, in fits and spurts, and sure to make tons of money, but terribly familiar and fatigued.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It seems hollow, somehow false, even by its own campy standards.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Nick Pinkerton

    "Wood" is still by far Depp and Burton's best collaboration, exhibiting the balance of tone between kitsch parody and zealous fantasy that's missing in Dark Shadows, less a resurrection than a clumsy desecration.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Dark Shadows doesn't know where it wants to dwell: in the eerie, subversive penumbra suggested by its title or in playful, go-for-broke camp.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    Along with Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, Burton is one of the few magi who know what can be dredged up, even now, from the cauldron of special effects. [21 May 2012, p.80]

    The New Yorker Full Review
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