Byzantium

Byzantium Image
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 27, 2013
    90
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Bruce Ingram
    Jun 27, 2013
    88
    It takes a while, but the old-fashioned pleasure of watching a well-told story unfold eventually becomes the chief satisfaction in Byzantium, though there are other things to enjoy as well.
  3. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jun 25, 2013
    80
    Jordan’s poetic sensibilities more than make up for any flaws. His uncanny aptitude for conjuring up resonantly metaphorical images — from a pointed fingernail pushing toward a vein to a waterfall turning into a literal river of blood — proves there’s plenty of life left in this undead genre.
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jun 26, 2013
    67
    With her piercing baby blues that never seem to settle on a subject, even when she’s locked in conversation with it, Ronan seems just… off enough to play a vampiric vixen.
  5. 63
    There’s not much new here, but at least Byzantium has well-acted, compelling characters telling its time-worn tale with style. That’s the best we can hope for, these days, from this genre that will not die.
  6. Female-forward and class-conscious, allegorical and adventurous, Byzantium is almost the anti-Batman.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 28, 2013
    25
    Neil Jordan’s 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.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Aug 15, 2013
    10
    This movie had a feeling of specialty, it had a whole new world of vampires and their living. Saoirse Ronan is electric.

    Beautifully told,
    This movie had a feeling of specialty, it had a whole new world of vampires and their living. Saoirse Ronan is electric.

    Beautifully told, the story of Clara and Eleanor's past unfolds on the background of developing young love.
    Expand
  2. May 22, 2016
    10
    At last something worth (although different) of Interview with the vampire. Forget special effects, this is mostly about what being a vampireAt last something worth (although different) of Interview with the vampire. Forget special effects, this is mostly about what being a vampire would mean.

    A must see.
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  3. Nov 6, 2013
    10
    Unless you're looking for a fantasy romance like Twilight, Byzantium is a must-watch for those who want to see a different, well thought outUnless you're looking for a fantasy romance like Twilight, Byzantium is a must-watch for those who want to see a different, well thought out take on the genre.
    Whilst this film is rather slow paced, I feel that only enhanced the telling of the story we aren't told everything in one go, and as a result I became more invested in the characters and their stories.
    Overall a good story beautifully told.
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  4. Aug 20, 2013
    7
    A fresh take on the vampire movie genre, shown from a more "realistic" perspective. I put that between quotes as this is still a movie aboutA fresh take on the vampire movie genre, shown from a more "realistic" perspective. I put that between quotes as this is still a movie about vampires of course. It shows us a story about 2 female vampires that are trying to survive in today's world and all the social conflicts that come with it. Think more 1994's "Interview with a vampire" than 1998's "Blade". Collapse
  5. Oct 23, 2015
    7
    It's about character. It's about how you get by when no one did anything to prepare you for a life measured in centuries. It's about theIt's about character. It's about how you get by when no one did anything to prepare you for a life measured in centuries. It's about the choices you make and what's right and what's wrong.

    This is not Coppola's Dracula. It's not Lestat. It's not Underworld or Blade. It has more in common with Near Dark and The Addiction in that it's a small story focusing in on fine details. A film best viewed by fans of the genre but not a bad film by any means.
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  6. Feb 15, 2014
    7
    Very good vampire movie. Something I feel isn't said very often anymore. I thought it was very interesting and well done. The acting is goodVery good vampire movie. Something I feel isn't said very often anymore. I thought it was very interesting and well done. The acting is good and the story is interesting. I'm really not sure why it took so long for me to hear about because I think it's very good and deserves some attention. Also Gemma Arterton is not hard to watch either. Expand
  7. Sep 3, 2013
    4
    If at first you think the story Byzantium tries to tell is a little too thin, it's because it is and Director Neil Jordan tries everything inIf at first you think the story Byzantium tries to tell is a little too thin, it's because it is and Director Neil Jordan tries everything in his arsenal to slow things down but that just makes this unoriginal picture boring as well. When mysterious women Clara (Gemma Arterton) and Eleanor (Saorise Ronan) move to a quiet coastal town they bring with them death and destruction as a shrouded in darkness group hunts them for something Clara did years prior. Jordan who previously worked on vampire tale Interview with the Vampire takes a different approach with this story of the blood sucking creatures as it flits from present to past to tell the simplistic and oftentimes pretentious story of these two women. In fact the film spends so much time swapping time periods that the film never builds any momentum and the glimpses into their pasts get less interesting as the film goes on. Byzantium however is more interested in telling a simple story well, an admirable idea but in doing so fail to grip its audience, Jordan does create an interesting world but its one so bleak and miserable that the ending which should real as hopeful is just bizarre. Ronan and Arterton who are stuck with an uninventive script make the most of it and Arterton especially stands out as she makes Clara a tragic yet brutal vixen, a born manipulator whose a real joy to watch when she really gets going, something this film rarely shows, Ronan who is consistently good in everything it seems is memorable as the shy, afraid of her own shadow Eleanor yet the two together lack the kind of chemistry expected meaning a key aspect of the film is missing It's a depressing film with a long arduous run time that did not keep me interested because of its insistence to tell what was ultimately a generic vampire story. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews

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