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Mixed or average reviews- based on 364 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 71 out of 364

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  1. May 15, 2012
    This may be the best example of a trailer that crammed the movie's ONLY decent 2 minutes into a promising preview. The other 111 minutes are deadly dull. In this vague nod to the TV series, Johnny Depp stars as Barnabas Collins, who returns to his home in the 70s after being buried for 200 years. The potential for fish-out-of-water humor is wrung out in a handful of gags (all in the trailer) and the rest of the proceedings are incredibly tedious and listless. The only thing worth watching is the art direction. Otherwise, this is undoubtedly Tim Burton's worst film ever. Expand
  2. May 11, 2012
    I don't know what happen with Burton, I remember Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ed Wood, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, excellent movies, but now he do blockbusters for kids, or really terrible movies, Dark Shadows is a great example. The trailers are really funny, but when you watch the movie, you can watch the bad development, the terrible performances (really? Deep again?) and all the problems that Dark Shadows have. Funny in some moments, but the biggest part of the movie is terrible. Expand
  3. May 13, 2012
    The movie is NOT a comedy. All the "funny" parts are in the trailer. I'm not even sure what genre it belongs in as it isn't scary either. Just kind of a dumb high budget B film you'd expect to see straight to dvd these days.
  4. Jul 3, 2012
    I can't find the Old Burton in this movie. Maybe he is changing his style, I don't know, but I don't like it. I have to admit the mixed all styles: vampire, retro, gothic it's well done...but no more. I am really tired to see Depp doing the same "Jack faces" over and over again. If Burton are producing and directing "kids stuff" is time he public that new, 'cos this movie.... isn't Burtons style.
  5. May 13, 2012
    What a piece of crud. This movie sucked (pardon the pun) almost as much as the Twilight films. Someone please make Burton and Depp from making movies together. A TV show with over 1,000 episodes that ran for years cannot be made into a condensed two hour movie. Don't waist your time. Go see Avengers again, like many people did.
  6. May 16, 2012
    The visual are top notch but Tim Burton never finds a consistent rhythm, mixing campy jokes and gothic spookiness. Dark Shadows suffering imbalance and ridiculous script and all A-list star here couldn't help much. Despite its intriguing trailer, Dark Shadows turn to be dead and boring entertainment.
  7. May 15, 2012
    The trailers made this movie look like it was going to be funny and entertaining, I'm a huge Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, and Tim Burton fan, but this movie was bad. There were funny parts but overall a bad film. There was no character development and the story was all over the place. There were way too many flaws in the story for me to be able to like it.
  8. May 13, 2012
    Sorry to say this movie stank! For the first time this year I feel cheated out of the ticket price. It's a funny thing, as I usually love Depp/Burton movies. Sorry nothing to spoil really, as all the good scenes were already put in the trailers. Watching this movie was like watching a ceiling fan, for two hours! Whollmoley what were they thinking. I will probably rent it for $1 at redbox just to see how it ended. Yes this is the first movie I walked out on in years. Collapse
  9. May 28, 2012
    The worst film Tim Burton has ever directed. I sat through a gruelling 2 hours of nothing but crap. The story is an absolute mess with so many plot points scattered everywhere and some scenes are very poorly paced and are just use for padding to make the film more painfully longer. The characters, with the exception of Johnny Depp, are boring and uninteresting and most of them are utterly useless and pointless to the plot. The only redeeming quality of this film is the production design and Johnny Depp's campy performance as the vampire. Tim Burton cannot juggle this many characters and failed to develop any of them and in addition to all these characters, the story completely stumbles with scenes trying to make the characters interact but results in most of them being entirely pointless to the overall story. The film can't decide whether it is a comedy or a Gothic horror and it fails in delivering both. I thought the trailer was better than the film itself. That's just sad. Expand
  10. May 20, 2012
    Stole 2 hours from my life, a huge letdown. Started semi-promising but towards the end I found myself scratching the arm of my chair, I was bored, couldn't wait the movie to end. The final "battle" was absolutely chaotic and shallow. Burton seems to get to the end of dark, humorous,charcters with an English accent and elegance to put Depp in...
  11. May 11, 2012
    I don't usually like Tim Burton's movies and Dark Shadows is in between. I liked it but then i didn't like it. Overall it was an ok film, and nothing more. Johnney Depp was his usual strange but comedic self in another one of his collaborations with Tim Burton, but he didn't even feel like the main character throughout. This movie was so clustered and packed with different plots and narrators. One of the main storylines which was between Barnabus and Victoria was only granted about one or two scenes and both were very brief at that. I found myself laughing quite a few times which is about the only positive i can think of from this film other than Depps performance. The ending to the film was just plain strange. It moved from one new story, to and old story, to another new story, and then back to the old one. This film was just filled with too many storylines and different narrations. Theres only two reasons why i would recomend this movie and thats if you're a Depp fan or a Tim Burton fan. If not, do not bother with this movie, even if you were a fan of the original tv series. 4/10 Expand
  12. Dec 11, 2012
    It has many things in common with Tim Burton's earliest films (the supernatural protagonist staying with the dysfunctional family is one of them) but it felt more like an over-budgeted rehash of his early formula. Apart from the suitably gothic beginning and climax, the rest of the movie was as dull as dishwater. All the laughs the film has to offer are all in the trailer, and they fall flat over the course of almost two hours. Johnny Depp overacted, even by his standards and his character shifted too often from Barnabas the loveable vampire to Barnabas the murderer causing abrupt tonal shifts. The rest of the cast also overacted, and their characters were completely unlikable and never developed. Shame, since some of them are great in other movies. Dark Shadows is a wasted opportunity that squanders a great cast and crew, and is a surefire candidate for the worst movie of the year. Expand
  13. May 23, 2012
    It's an open secret among civilians outside of Hollywood that Johnny Depp is a wildly overrated actor, and Dark Shadows stands among the most prime examples. Who told him he was funny? He is clearly his own biggest fan, as there are scenes in Dark Shadows in which he stinks of overconfidence. To be fair, we didn't actually sit through the entire film, but after 40 plus minutes our only hope was to still convince the theatre to give us a refund. Expand
  14. Aug 7, 2012
    No, just no. This was the only movie i have ever walked out of. The story was bland, the acting was terrible, and it was just another copy of a vampire movie, it had the same jokes as all of the other ones, and i was very dissappointed in Tim Burton. Bad is the only word I have for this movie.
  15. Aug 28, 2012
    Dark Shadows is yet another ladder rung into the descent of disapointment that has become Tim Burtons career. The only thing this film is good for is a possible attraction at a theme park.
  16. Oct 13, 2012
    "Dark Shadows" is an oft-filmed tale of shunned-love accented by revenge. This version is largely set in 1972 when director Tim Burton was a teen so the soundtrack is basically a best of 70s hits collection. All the principal actors get to dress up in period fashion with lots of flattering makeup and hairstyles which I think really thrills the actresses. But the experience itself is something you've seen many times before unless you're only 13 which, by the way, is the maturity-level of this film. Expand
  17. Nov 18, 2012
    I expect Dark Shadows to be a funny loosely based comedy and what i got was a movie that lacks everything creative. very dull which isn't characteristic of tim burton. Visually okay, acting below par.
  18. May 23, 2012
    Besides the fact that the movie deserved to be rated R, the movie overall was just not very appealing to anyone. I laughed at some points, but not too much. The acting was great by Depp, but this movie is not exactly worth seeing.
  19. May 18, 2012
    Unless you are a fan of Johnny Depp and/or Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter and/or Tim Burton you will have a hard time sitting through this almost 2 hour film of â
  20. Aug 30, 2012
    Its good seeing something refreshingly campy for the summer, too bad this wasn't good camp. Dark Shadows straddles somewhere between good and bad. It boasts some fine performance and visual style, but is ultimately undone by it uneven script and bipolar direction. Considering the supernatural nature of the film the screenwriter kept things too simple for its own good, constructed under-cooked characters for the screen, and created many devices to fill his laziness in telling a good story. The characters were underdeveloped, and had sparse appearances throughout the movie, due to this we were unable care for many of them, and their revelations, by the films Expand
  21. May 22, 2012
    This seemed cobbled together from the worst cliches of plot, characterization, and art direction. Nothing original from the first frame to the last. And the ending suggesting a sequel to come is the scariest thing in the movie.
  22. Nov 2, 2012
    It's very cheesy, with almost zero likable characters (like most hollywood films lately). During the first half maybe, I thought I could get into it as it started to take on a comedic style and worked pretty well. The second half however was a downhill tumble into some of the most retarded crap I've ever seen.
  23. Jun 3, 2012
    Not what I was hoping for, at all.
    The first half of the movie is very slow paced (maybe a litte too slow) and makes you think the second half will have some more action and stuff going on. This didn't seem to be the case and I seriously caught myself with my eyes closed at a moment.. NOT good. There was finally something happening in the last ten minutes, but to me it just came off as bad
    script writing as it didn't make any sense.
    I expected way more from Tim Burton.
  24. Jun 12, 2012
    For lovers of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton movies, I'd suggest you stay far away from this movie. It's childish humor and terrible story line will leave you feeling so very disappointed. I suggest going back and watching some good old Sweeney Todd.
  25. Jun 17, 2012
    You know that feeling you get when you are watching the trailer to a movie and feeling that all the funny parts were most likely just seen? That was Dark Shadows for me. I knew all the laughs that could be had in the movie arrived in that 2 min sneak but I could not resist Depp and Burton. I have definitely seen worst, don't get me wrong, but i felt myself growing bored and considering how uncomfortable my seat was as it droned on. Save it for a home rental. Expand
  26. Jun 23, 2012
    Tim Burton's Dark Shadows is just another partnership between Burton, Johnie Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Nothing else. The big problem is Seth Grahame-Smith's screenplay. With its weak humor, the film doesn't know which character to follow. Another problem are the subplots, that are poorly resolved. Johnie Depp is okay as a vampire, Jackie Earle Haley and Helena Bonham Carter are good, but Eva Green delivers an over the top performance as an evil witch. At the end, Dark Shadows is a boring, poorly written film. Expand
  27. Oct 2, 2012
    What happened to TIm Burton? He used to be such a great film maker. My guess is that he had a spurt of creativity in his teen years and was happy to muck around in the same stomping grounds for the rest of his life. Hollywood and the general public felt differently though. After rehashing Beetlejuice and Nightmare before Christmas to make Corpse's Bride, someone probably told Mr. Burton that people were getting tired of the same thing in slightly different packaging. It's at this point that Mr. Burton fell into the same trap that currently plagues Hollywood. The remake. Planet of the Apes was drab and had none of the Tim Burton Magic. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was just dreadful. And now we have Dark Shadows. Tim Burton doesn't seem to be able to point this piece in any direction. There's just far too much ground covered in too short a time. I had no feelings throughout the entire movie for Victoria, who's supposed to be the main love interest. They could've pulled a Sixth Sense, she's been dead the whole time, and no one would've blinked or cared. And why must all Tim Burton movies star Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter? They're both good actors, but please get some other people in there. Did they sign some sort of life long contract? If they had removed the whole vampire being confused by modern day shtick, they may have been able to tell a decent story. Or go the other direction and go for pure comedy. This movie is muddled and confused. If you're aching for some Burton/Depp magic, go watch Edward Scissorhands for the hundredth time. Expand
  28. Aug 13, 2012
    For the first time in history, I fell asleep during an act in the movie. Not sure if it was the movie's fault or not, but it happened. Well yeah, the movie did have something to do with it in some ways. This is a pretty bizarre movie, but unfortunately, in a rather dismal way as its unconventionality just dosen't hit home compared to other unconventional mainstream films. The movie was mediocre amd utterly forgettable, and the fact that the source material was based on a soap opera was pretty evident, as the script just dosen't work well to translate the soap opera elements to the screen. Expand
  29. Jan 1, 2014
    Johnny Depp is acceptable in his role and is the only saving grace for Dark Shadows as the rest of the film is generally uninteresting, boring and unsatisfying. A miss for Depp and Burton.
  30. Nov 10, 2012
    It is neither a horror flick nor a campy comedy. Besides a couple of fun special effects and some jokes about the 70s, the pace is slow, there is no character development, the plot is ludicrous and goes nowhere, and there are no thrills. The old TV soap opera at least was fun and the 90s TV series had bite. In this remake, even Alice Cooper's performance is lackluster. I wasted 2 hours plus the $1.30 I paid to Redbox. Expand
  31. Mar 17, 2013
    Another movie that Tim Burton chose to go with his style over the substance of a good movie. I understand that these talented actors had to act a certain way for this movie, but the acting made this movie even more boring.
  32. Mar 27, 2013
    Oh Johnny, The Tourist was better then this. Tim, Alice and Wonderland was a masterpiece. What the F%#K was this. Unfunny the only funny moments were probably in the trailer or the first 8 minutes. Please this won an award for best comedy. The audience and I laughed more at "Madeas Whitness Protection". God, that should've won instead this, eh still a better plot then Avatar. I actually enjoyed Twilight more. Expand
  33. Mar 29, 2013
    It wasn't terrible, I guess. This movie was slow and I felt like I was missing some important information about the back story. I also felt this movie was represented as more of a comedy when it wasn't. One thing I did enjoy was Johnny Depp's lines. I liked how they kept him proper. In all, this movie is very forgettable and I won't remember most of it in the morning.
  34. Jun 17, 2013
    I was expecting more to be honest Tim Burton disappointed me this time and Johnny was okay for a role that was made for him .
    Michelle Pfeiffer was a disappointment too i was thinking that she'll make a great comeback but obviously the role was passable
    The best in show was obviously Eva Green what a great turn
  35. Jan 20, 2014
    A pointlessly gloomy film with none of the satirical appeal of its source material. Here we again find Johnny Depp playing a misunderstood character who unfortunately is not supported by an interesting cast.
  36. Dec 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I missed the premiere of ‘Dark Shadow’ in 2012, and was really excited to finally have a chance to watch it yesterday. However, my excitement was cruelly killed by Barnabas Collins just as he did to Dr. Hoffman.

    When it comes to characters with inhuman nature, viewers would probably expect to see how they show off their abilities, or in the case of ‘Dark Shadows’, how they struggle to conceal it in order to fit in the life of an ordinary human; it is safe to say that this movie totally ignores such details. Barnabas possesses a variety of vampirical features such as super strength, blood thirst, fear of sunlight, and immortality, but each of which is only exposed once or twice during the movie in a good few moments of humour; the most noticeable exposure of his nature when he kills Julia is, unfortunately, just an insignificant drive in the whole movie. Probably after leaving the cinema, most viewers would just remember Barnabas as a male version of sleeping beauty that’s all. The same thing happens to Carolyn and David, as their amazing abilities are only revealed at the end of the movie yet in a very unnatural and shallow way.

    Assume that the producers didn’t want to make ‘Dark Shadows’ a blockbuster full of stunning visual effects; then why don’t they give the story more depth as that of emotional and psychological genre? The film could have left the audience a much stronger impression if it had exploited the miserable private lives of its characters: Elizabeth’s warm heart behind her cold and strict mask, Carolyn’s crave for understanding during the lonely fight to hide her being a werewolf, David’s isolation and desperate attempt to win his father’s attention.

    In addition to the film missing many potential materials to win the audience’s affection, there have been detected a lot of unreasonable details in the development of the storyline. The character Elizabeth, for example, seems to be created as a caring and warm-hearted mother despite her cold and strict mask; however, she does know about her daughter’s being a werewolf at all; she should have noticed some signs of it, or at least, should have some memory of the girl being bitten by a werewolf (in the guise of a dog maybe). Moreover, she takes on the intention of killing Barnabas when he reveals his identity very fast and easily would a kind mother do such things? Another unnatural point of the story is David’s relationship with Julia and Victoria. Maybe it does not hold any major importance to the development of the storyline, but would it be more natural if we see some scenes of Julia treating David, or Victoria teaching the boy? Angelique’s death is also an odd detail she seems to be immortal, and survives after being shot by Elizabeth and beaten up by Barnabas, yet she dies just because of being blown into the chandelier? It would be more acceptable if she dies of a serious injury after an epic fight against the vampire, the werewolf and the ghost all together.

    There are numerous other drawbacks of the film ‘Dark Shadows’ regarding sense of humour and spookiness., which are already discussed by many critics; therefore, in my writing, I’d like to discuss only the most obvious weakness the storyline. It is just my personal opinion about the movie; if you hold a different perspective, please take my writing just as another point of view, and let us agree to disagree.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    May 18, 2012
    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]
  2. 40
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 11, 2012
    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."