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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. Aug 24, 2014
    Strong 3 stars, although a bit of a disappointment. Well, the rating is due to that disappointment...

    I was looking forward to seeing Johnny Depp on the big screen once again.

    As the trailer promised, the movie was plenty of fun while putting a bit of a twist on the familiar vampiric tale - but somewhere around the halfway point of the movie the story started to go downhill fast. I
    have no idea what caused those ridiculous things. For one, Angelique slowly but steadily ruined to movie by going over to top with her revenge. There were some other family revelations that came out of nowhere, for no apparent reason, and in general the plot just fell apart and killed the enjoyment level of the "big showdown" in the end.

    Lots of laughs and fun but they really should have stuck with what they started and not let the story run away the way it did.
  2. Mar 11, 2014
    i give my rating a 9 here's why . tim burton is a creative director others might think tim burton lost his mind . jhonny depp is a vampire who has been buried over 200 years and finds himself in 1972 and renuites with his family to break the curse also to fight the witch ( eva green ) . i love this film and i love tim burton's films and the fact that he put a vampire in 1972 which it is awsome . Expand
  3. Feb 12, 2014
    This movie is... Amusing?
    Not sure what to say about this one. Definitely not one of Burton's best movies. It was ok to watch one time, but I wouldn't repeat it.
  4. 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.
  5. Jan 4, 2014
    Sombras da Noite possui um estilo visual do mesmo seguimento da linha Burton, também há ótimos efeitos visuais e boas pitadas de humor, porém em si seu roteiro falho deixando muito a desejar nesse quisito, mais pelo menos consegue divertir.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Sep 1, 2013
    Dark Shadows is a fun film, it's not a film that'll change your life or give you any true emotional response which will effect you but it is a good fun movie to pass the time. You can really feel Burton's directorial impulses and feel in this film which is always good. Acting wise, the entire cast was good I thought Johnny Depp was just his average acting, which is still incredibly high in comparison to other actors. Michelle Pfieffer was very good as was Chloe Grace Moretz, with the rest of the ensemble giving good performances to.

    I enjoyed the 1970's setting of the film and the confusion Barnabas feels as he enters this new world. All in all a good film, but it isn't going to be anybody's favorite film of all time.
  9. Aug 27, 2013
    This was an enjoyable movie overall because of the last half hour and another outstanding performance from Chloe Moretz. Johnny Depp plays Captain Jack Sparrow sorry Johnny Depp plays Barnabus Collins (who is basically Jack Sparrow but without a tan). Dark Shadows is a decent movie which will not impress everyone but is bearable.
  10. Aug 25, 2013
    It's one of Tim's and Depp's best picture. I really liked it, and it's one of my favourite comedies. Do not miss it guys!!! And first of all: Do not hear to anyone who says that it's a bad and horrible picture!! It's a masterpiece!!!
  11. 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
  12. Jun 11, 2013
    great story, great cast, great fun The atmosphere was scary and funny at the same time.I really liked eva green and chloe grace moretz
  13. May 17, 2013
    The movies starts out with a large focus on a female protagonist named Victoria whom you are thereby inclined to believe is going to be the main character. Then you're introduced to some main characters which are trying to be interesting, forcibly so but to no avail. Then there's some quick history on Depp's character, then he comes to the household. Victoria is then barely if ever seen or heard from again till the end, and she's Depp's forced love interest so there's no development at all, just he sees her he loves her don't question it. There's also an evil witch that cursed Depp with vampirism and sealed him away for 200 years after killing his parents and the woman he loves (don't worry its all explained at the start of the movie, nothings been spoiled) whom did so because she loved him, but he didn't love her.

    I could go on but really it's a poorly written, uninspired vampire movie and the only saving qualities are the great art direction, which is to be expected from a Tim Burton film, and Johnny Depp, which is to be expected from a Tim Burton Film. The film seems extremely rushed, like they tried to fit too much plot and character development into a 2 hour movie, and sometimes its just plain stupid as well, at times I felt like I was watching a bad episode of charmed or something in that vein, simply beautified and branded by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
  14. Apr 24, 2013
    Haven't watched the TV show, but I think films should be all about their own merit and what they bring to the table, and from the research into the TV show of the same name, it was a classic. This film on the other hand, certainly isn't.
    Dark Shadows begins with a bang, Burton takes cues from his work on his own version of Willy Wonka by showing us a small montage of where it all began,
    we see how Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is madly in love with Josette (Bella Heathcote), but his recent affair with Angelique (Eva Green) reveals a truth that he may just have never wanted to find, her witchcraft skills manage to see off Barnabas's parents, and when further tragedy strikes, the evil Angelique curses our lovestruck hero, making him a vampire and subsequently burying him.
    We fast forward 200 years when the vampire Barnabas is accidentally set free, much to to the dismay of Angelique who has continued to live on throughout the centuries. Unfortunately when Barnabas arrives at his former manor of Collinwood, this is where the true confusion of this flawed film sets in. Its never clear what story is being told, there are small and silly moments of comedy, there is also romance, but throw in some drama, or attempt at a dramatic piece anyway, and you do have quite a layered mess of two hours.
    We are introduced to quite the ensemble of a cast, characters that are miraculously left out for the true plot of the film.
    Michelle Pfeiffer delivers a convincing turn as the head of the Collins house, but for most of the film she seems to be wandering around with nothing to do. Chloe Moretz plays her daughter, the rebel and typically moody teen who again, is introduced in what could be a major plot development, but is left as an after-thought. There is just the constant feel that the film isn't going anywhere, and feels too clustered for squeezing so many characters but not giving them a story behind them.
    Johnny Depp can always be relied on to give a fine performance, but for someone who is consistently a fan of the Burton/Depp collaboration, it does seem to unfortunately be waining.
    There are fine sets and typically gothic Burton touches to costumes and make-up which certainly give it his stamp, but the overall pace and writing of the film feels very out of touch and was truly disappointing after the opening 15 minutes.
    No amount of 70s jokes or even Barnabas's reaction to his new world could save this film from being a dull and under-developed experience.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. Mar 3, 2013
    Good special effects, but not much else. I felt like they crammed four hours of dialogue and story into two hours. The story felt rushed, and I got bored. There wasn't much time for plot character development. Enjoyable, but I won't be watching this again.
  19. Mar 2, 2013
    I came away thinking this film didn't know what it wanted to be. The trailers painted a different picture; that it was a wacky comedy it isn't, though it did draw a few laughs from time to time. Also I wonder who the target audience is, if not Depp and Burton's egos?
  20. Feb 6, 2013
    This movie is a curious one. It can't seem to decide if it wants to be a horror or a comedy. And no, it can't seem to be both, for some weird reason. If anything, this movie would have worked allot better as a pure horror movie. The comedy just feels forced and out of place. Allot of interesting ideas floating about that just don't get realized. Bottom line, it's poorly written and perhaps Burton's biggest blunder to date. BUT, it does have quite a few saving graces. Some excellent performance from Michelle Pfeiffer Jackie Earle Haley. Depp is also pretty decent, but doesn't really do anything we haven't already seen from him before. Eva Green is just utterly breathtaking and plays her role magnificently. Special effects are, mostly, top notch and some great set pieces. Overall: An OK movie that is generally OK but perhaps a little subpar to Burton's usual standards. Expand
  21. Jan 14, 2013
    Movies with potential need to stop screwing themselves over. This was interesting and decent for a while but due to lame plot twists and poor story development with bad jokes it turns out a very pretty piece of crap.
  22. Dec 29, 2012
    I'm not sure why people all seem to give this movie a bad review. Maybe they were expecting this to be a masterpiece like some of the other Tim Burton movies starring Johnny Depp. Is this Edward Scissorhands? No. Is this The Nightmare Before Christmas? No. Is this Sleepy Hollow? No. Is this a light comedy by Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp as a Vampire come back from the grave who says many funny things because he is only aware of things from the Victorian Age? Yes. If you like Johnny Depp and you want to see him say funny things in an old English accent when he misinterprets things in modern society then you will enjoy this film. The film does seem to move in multiple directions, never really landing on one, maybe that is why people find it weird. Is it a comedy? Action? Soap Opera? A bit of all of the above? -- Probably. Anyway, I saw it in the theater and I enjoyed it enough that I don't feel I wasted my time and money (a major feat these days with all the bad movies I've seen lately). I give it an 8/10 Expand
  23. Dec 27, 2012
    While the movie did have a good premise, Dark Shadows fails. Not terribly, but enough so that it is only deemed mediocre by myself and by my family. The story isn't rich enough, the screenplay is okay. This screams nothing special. And for that, my diagnosis would be to see it. Just know, this isn't like Sweeney Todd or some other great Burton movie.
  24. 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
  25. Nov 29, 2012
    Definitely one of the better Johnny Depp movies in recent memory. I was surprised with not only the originality but also the drama in the tragedy for it being such a light-hearted film. Definitely worth watching in my opinion.
  26. Nov 24, 2012
    This movie turned out quite differently than I thought it would. The story seemed rather odd, and moved strangely, but in the end I was still won over by Tim Burton's vision. It was a very nice movie to look at, and the ending totally made up for the mishaps. I enjoyed the characters too.
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. 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.
  30. Oct 21, 2012
    Dark Shadows sees Tim Burton retracing some of his Beetlejuice steps. It's actually pretty funny with laugh out loud moments sprinkled throughout. The movie isn't perfect, however. The tone is a bit uneven; Dark Shadows never seems confident in what it wants to be. The action scenes are underwhelming, too. All in all, though, Dark Shadows is another entertaining effort from Burton & Depp.

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."