User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 374 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 71 out of 374
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  1. May 15, 2012
    2
    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 theThis 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 16, 2012
    2
    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.
  3. May 12, 2012
    8
    I never saw the tv show so have nothing to compare it to except Depp and Burton's previous movies. I thought this was witty and well acted. Depp is excellent as a camp, over-the-top Barnabus Collins. Maybe it's not what fans of the series were expecting (or wanting), but I had fun!
  4. May 11, 2012
    5
    It was okay. It started off good, but then there was too many plot lines and back stories, and it kind of fell apart. It was very rushed, and the characters seemed very superficial. It was like they were trying to cram years of a TV show into one 2 hour movie. I've never seen the TV show, so I don't know if the movie was merely the same premise, or if the whole plot was straight fromIt was okay. It started off good, but then there was too many plot lines and back stories, and it kind of fell apart. It was very rushed, and the characters seemed very superficial. It was like they were trying to cram years of a TV show into one 2 hour movie. I've never seen the TV show, so I don't know if the movie was merely the same premise, or if the whole plot was straight from the TV show, but it sure seemed like I was watching a soap opera. It was extremely melodramatic and soap opera-y. Yes, it was a former soap opera, but I hopeful that the movie would just be using the same premise to create something better and deeper than that. That didn't really happen.

    It seemed like the movie was written 8 hours long, and they just cut most of it out and awkwardly patched the rest together. At the beginning, we got so much of Victoria that it seemed like the movie was being told from her point of view, but then she disappears for much of the rest of the movie. It was weird, and I wasn't really feeling the relationship between her and Barnabas. That being said, it was humorous and fairly entertaining...as much as a soap opera can be.
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  5. May 15, 2012
    10
    A fun movie but at the same time dramatic and a little horror. Excellent scenery, even the special effects,an amazing make up, as always, a truly stellar cast and a storyline particularly full of vampires, witches, curses and mysteries to solve.
  6. May 13, 2012
    3
    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.
  7. Jul 3, 2012
    3
    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.
  8. May 12, 2012
    7
    I liked it much more than I anticipated I would. I was hoping and praying it wouldn't remotely resemble a Pirates film - it doesn't. The acting is excellent - particularly Helena Bonham Carter (as the family psychiatrist) and Bella Heathcoate (as Victoria Winters). The parts are not overplayed like they often are in Burton films. Your head isn't spinning by the third act. But what standsI liked it much more than I anticipated I would. I was hoping and praying it wouldn't remotely resemble a Pirates film - it doesn't. The acting is excellent - particularly Helena Bonham Carter (as the family psychiatrist) and Bella Heathcoate (as Victoria Winters). The parts are not overplayed like they often are in Burton films. Your head isn't spinning by the third act. But what stands out for me is the music - perfectly captures the time period. I was particularly pleased to hear Donovan's "Season of the Witch" and Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy." The movie does the early 70's perfectly.. Sure, it gets a touch slow, and perhaps runs a bit long, but it's a good movie. Expand
  9. May 15, 2012
    2
    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.
  10. sLm
    Jun 18, 2012
    6
    There were funny moments in the film, and also scary ones (like that of the child disguised as a ghost) but all as a whole, it was a bit boring, progress was slow, too much speaking sometimes, and characters relationships felt a bit superficial, Victoria overall, it was good at first but then she just disappears the whole film, and her relationship with Deep is barely shown. I think theThere were funny moments in the film, and also scary ones (like that of the child disguised as a ghost) but all as a whole, it was a bit boring, progress was slow, too much speaking sometimes, and characters relationships felt a bit superficial, Victoria overall, it was good at first but then she just disappears the whole film, and her relationship with Deep is barely shown. I think the first part and the ending of the film were the best dramatic moments, the rest felt just as filler. Expand
  11. May 16, 2012
    8
    I walked into this film expecting to laugh frequently. As it turns out, a word better fitted to the result would be intermittently. I did enjoy the film. You just need to bear in mind that the majority of punch lines were already delivered in the promotional trailer.
    I am a fan of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. For those of you like me out there this will be worth every penny. Don't waste
    I walked into this film expecting to laugh frequently. As it turns out, a word better fitted to the result would be intermittently. I did enjoy the film. You just need to bear in mind that the majority of punch lines were already delivered in the promotional trailer.
    I am a fan of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. For those of you like me out there this will be worth every penny. Don't waste your money on the IMAX version. This particular film is not improved much by the format.
    This time around Mr. Burton didn't come across as outlandish as in previous films. Perhaps he is residing closer to Earth as he grows in age. Although, my movie date said, and I quote, "this Tim Burton guy must smoke some good stuff."
    Johnny Depp was impeccable in his rendition. Who would expect any less. The guy has something. Some of you out there could only wish.
    Eva Green's character was tons of fun to watch. She gives the movie that extra that makes you want to keep watching. No doubt she had a good laugh playing this character. Let's hope she doesn't take it home with her. Scary.
    Michelle Pfeiffer hasn't been much on the circuit lately, and I wish she did. Her skills are as good as ever in this movie. We miss you girl! Come back more often!
    Everyone else performed as expected. Professional deliveries all around. Just nothing too off the pallet. I'm not sure the writing asked more of them.
    I particularly enjoyed the set design and costumes. The right blend of grandiosity and fantasy without getting too outlandish. Do look around as you walk through this film. You will find interesting treats.
    Tim Burton has always done well using digital effects combined with cinematography to deliver a believable world of fantasy. The film is simply beautiful. Sometimes you just want to hit the magic pause button and stare at the screen for a while. Amazing.
    Make your way to the theatre and watch this film with positive expectations. It will be well worth it. Just don't expect to laugh off the seat of your pants simply because the marketing wants you to believe that. In retrospect, I see clear now that the movie was never intended to be that. But simply another fantastic world delivered by the never-disappointing Burton-Depp team. Thanks guys!
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  12. Sep 24, 2012
    7
    Dark shadows: Fun for the elderly, good for those between 30 and 40 years, but not very good for those under 18. Not that I did not like but when I left the cinema did not like anyone but me. In my opinion it is entertaining but little more ... The problem with this movie is that it has not used the original it was.
  13. May 11, 2012
    8
    I liked it. I think some of the criticism is valid, however, this IS a movie adapted from a soap opera. It's not supposed to be deep, or especially thought provoking. It's just good campy, vampy fun!
  14. May 11, 2012
    2
    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?) andI 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
  15. May 11, 2012
    9
    Witty and well crafted with an ingenious interwoven plot as it is not quite a horror film, not quite a romance film while being comedic and seemingly resolute in purpose. Johnny Depp is absolutely amusing and thoroughly entertaining as he tries to apply old world logic to the culture and attitudes of 1972. A bit of a new twist on an old style for Tim Burton. Not to be missed!
  16. May 14, 2012
    10
    I like it. Very good movie. One of best Burton's movies. The story is gorgeous. very good cast, Depp is famous, this role (Barnabas Collins) is really for him
  17. May 13, 2012
    0
    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 redboxSorry 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. Expand
  18. May 12, 2012
    10
    True to the original material in many ways. New and different in ways that do not detract. I thought the soundtrack was great. One of Elfmans best in fact. The look of the movie is appropriately dark and shadowy. Well done. FUN!
  19. May 13, 2012
    0
    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.
  20. May 28, 2012
    6
    this film was something i was looking forward to see but only got disappointed. this film was great don't get me wrong with that but there was so many things in this film that didn't really seem to make much sense. the story line and the actors were done well but to be honest i would of rather watched Sweeney Todd instead. the ending was shallow and the finish was too quick. the next filmthis film was something i was looking forward to see but only got disappointed. this film was great don't get me wrong with that but there was so many things in this film that didn't really seem to make much sense. the story line and the actors were done well but to be honest i would of rather watched Sweeney Todd instead. the ending was shallow and the finish was too quick. the next film to this would be something to look out for..because i hope it picks its self up. Expand
  21. May 15, 2012
    8
    It's not the best Burton film, but the art direction and interpretation work are excellent.

    The story and characters could be better explained but the movie is simply fun.
  22. Jul 26, 2012
    6
    With Dark Shadows, Tim Burton reminds us just how good his films can be. It's not on par with Beetlejuice or Corpse Bride, but it's an extremely fun ride and almost makes up for the disappointment of Alice in Wonderland. It's visually sumptuous, with Burton's trademark gothic flair and some pleasing 70s period details, and has a solid atmospheric soundtrack from Danny Elfman, bolstered byWith Dark Shadows, Tim Burton reminds us just how good his films can be. It's not on par with Beetlejuice or Corpse Bride, but it's an extremely fun ride and almost makes up for the disappointment of Alice in Wonderland. It's visually sumptuous, with Burton's trademark gothic flair and some pleasing 70s period details, and has a solid atmospheric soundtrack from Danny Elfman, bolstered by an eclectic collection of cheesy rock, pop, soul and disco tunes. It's well-acted across the board, particularly by johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley and Chloe Grace Moretz, and a gag-laden script by Seth Grahame-Smith and an abundance of camp energy helps to make the film thoroughly enjoyable. The best scenes are in the film's first half, with vampiric aristocrat Barnabas (Depp) adjusting to the 20th century and to his highly dysfunctional family after being forcibly entombed for 200 years. The film does, however have a big problem with maintaining a consistent tone. It's dark, but would probably benefit from being either even darker, and though the horror elements have been toned down because of its low age rating, I would suggest that it's a bit too raunchy to be suitable for some of its intended audience. This raunchiness does result in a very funny supernaturally-powered sex scene between Barnabas and manipulative witch Angelique (Eva Green), but the majority of the implied sexual goings on may result in some awkward questions posed to parents by their children after seeing the film. Also, the special-effects dependent, relatively big-budget finale of the film was presumably meant to be exciting, but comes across as stupid, overblown and belonging to an entirely different film. At other points, there are scenes that appear a bit disjointed and unconnected to those that came before, and Eva Green is guilty of some wooden delivery of her lines, and an accent that alarmingly frequently changes continents. I'm not sure if Dark Shadows says much about anything below its immaculate surface, but the film remains a memorable, funny and light-hearted romp which Burton fans will love, and it proves that there is still afterlife to the relationship between the goths' director and his favourite actor. Expand
  23. May 11, 2012
    4
    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 andI 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
  24. May 13, 2012
    6
    Probably it's not the best collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, Dark Shadows was a little more than a disappointment. The laughs were a little funny, but Eva Green sure looks smokin' hot as Angelique. Although some of the scenes were too dark with less violent a little bit, but I'm not sure if fans haven't been familiar with the short-lived soap opera cult back in the lateProbably it's not the best collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, Dark Shadows was a little more than a disappointment. The laughs were a little funny, but Eva Green sure looks smokin' hot as Angelique. Although some of the scenes were too dark with less violent a little bit, but I'm not sure if fans haven't been familiar with the short-lived soap opera cult back in the late 60's. I watched every Burton/Depp movies like Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, and Sleepy Hollow. So Dark Shadows is good, but it needs a makeover. I'll wait for a rental. Expand
  25. May 23, 2012
    3
    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 onlyIt'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
  26. May 12, 2012
    6
    Dark Shadows takes advantage of the interesting premise. The story could have been a bit more organized and the little bit of action could have been better, but it is consistently funny throughout.
  27. Oct 13, 2012
    4
    "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"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
  28. Nov 18, 2012
    4
    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.
  29. May 13, 2012
    5
    To be honest I thought this was a comedy film. But when I saw it it was just a basic vampire story with a 1970's twist in it. It lacks from a few thing and the ending was silly. But other than that it was okay. Dark Shadows 5.7/10
  30. May 18, 2012
    1
    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
Metascore
55

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
    70
    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
    58
    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."