Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. A darkly stylish horror film.
  2. Peter and Michael Spierig's earlier, campier horror outing, the zombie picture known as "Undead," was even bloodier than this one. The movie-makers are after bigger game here, and a subtler mixture of speculative nightmare and action film.
  3. While the characters are B-movie thin, the dialogue standard-issue, and the CG and matte effects only passable at best, it's undeniable fun to behold the likes of serious thespians Hawke and Dafoe slumming around in this cheeseball stuff.
  4. 75
    Daybreakers has unexpected flashes of brilliance.
  5. 75
    On balance, however, there are more things to like about Daybreakers than to dislike. The production is loaded with impressive touches, some more nuanced than others.
  6. The symbolism is about as subtle as a fang to the neck. Really, Daybreakers is more fun than foreboding; it's fright-lite, yet that's par for the bloody course in these busy apocalyptic days.
  7. Daybreakers is more serious, from its A-list cast to its political commentary, with blood as a metaphor for oil. Like the best genre films, it has something on its mind.
  8. Daybreakers isn't a great film, but it's a good one, and in a market oddly lousy with vampire tales, it's an original.
  9. The narrative may flag, but the doomsday atmosphere and George Liddle’s production design remain vivid until the final, blood-splattered reel.
  10. Reviewed by: Cliff Doerksen
    70
    Just when it seemed as if the vampire narrative had degenerated into terminal suckitude, along comes this gleefully gory little gem.
  11. It’s a little bit silly – as is Dafoe’s Kentucky-fried cowboy mechanic named Elvis – but silly is fun. In fact, one wishes it were sillier still.
  12. 63
    Daybreakers, despite the star presence of Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, is a B movie, with all the disreputable low rent, lowbrow pleasures that implies. I'll take that over pompous any day.
  13. 63
    This intriguing premise, alas, ends as so many movies do these days, with fierce fights and bloodshed.
  14. 63
    Possibly the least sexy vampire flick ever to crawl out of the crypt (it never occurs to anyone that biting someone's neck is kinda intimate; the act is strictly utilitarian), but it's unusually detailed in its imagining.
  15. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Daybreakers is entertaining, though not quite up to the standards of "28 Days Later."
  16. Reviewed by: Nick Starkey
    63
    A slick, bloody, fast-paced, and ultimately enjoyable B-movie.
  17. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    60
    Lots of interesting concepts competing for limited running time make for more of a TV pilot than a feature film.
  18. The Spierigs make exciting use of their clever vampire premise and the result is a potential horror/action franchise equal to "Underworld."
  19. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    60
    The script doesn't wring many surprises or much character involvement from the premise, and the brothers' helming, while slick, is short on scares, action setpieces and humor.
  20. The idea goes only so far--roughly halfway through the 98-minute running time--in staining narrative clarity. Daybreakers finally comes up with some comments on the predatory practices of Big Pharma, but that's an awful comedown from the blood-rushing brilliance of the early scenes.
  21. 58
    After a while, Daybreakers settles into the lulling rhythms of too many horror movies, as the characters ponder what to do in darkened rooms instead of doing much of anything.
  22. Reviewed by: Maitland McDonagh
    50
    The Spierigs have assembled a strong cast, but even their best efforts -- notably by Neill, whose Bromley is the ultimate vampire squid, tentacles wrapped around the face of this scary new world -- can't pump any real life into the bloodless script.
  23. Hawke is half-assed throughout, showing passion only when he's screaming like a little girl when something scary happens. The visuals have a dingy, unfocused quality, especially in the muddy visual-effects-enhanced backdrops. And some of the plot turns are awful. The vampire "cure" is so stupid, you'll want to walk out of the theater, even if you normally like this kind of movie.
  24. Despite the Spierig brothers' punchy visual style and satiric tone, Daybreakers eventually devolves, though Dafoe and his Southern drawl goose things up and Hawke has a greasy romanticism.
  25. Daybreakers turns?into a ponderous apocalyptic chase film -- it's like "Children of Men" with exploding-plasma shock effects.
  26. 50
    Hawke gives his all here -- or maybe just half his all -- and it isn't quite enough: He's trying to be soulful, but he really just looks a little tired. The real delight is Willem Dafoe, as the rednecky leader of the survivor humans.
  27. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    50
    Wearisome "Ain't it cool?" video-game splatter-violence is all that's memorable of the action, while a (mixed) metaphorical subtext of conservationism can't save a text that squanders its actors.
  28. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    50
    In standard-narrative terms, Daybreakers suffers from tired blood. No question the Spierigs are prime film imagineers. What they needed here was a director.
  29. In the end, Daybreakers doesn't really want to make anyone think too hard. If that were to happen, they might stop to wonder why all the human survivors out there hiding in fear of their lives don't just become garlic farmers and call it a day.
  30. 38
    Daybreakers is a stylish but unavoidably silly sci-fi vampire thriller.
  31. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    30
    Any higher intentions are brought crashing down by predictability, wooden characters, giggle-inducing attempts at scares (shrieking bats, anyone?) and cinematography so gloomy it should be checked for serotonin deficiency.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 148 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 41
  2. Negative: 8 out of 41
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    4
    "Daybreakers" portrays the rise and fall of democracy, but in a bloody dumb way.
  2. EdwardD.
    Feb 2, 2010
    8
    I can't believe all the nitpicking about this movie. I initially did not go to see this because of what I read. I thought it was a very interesting story....a new twist for a vampire story. It was very well done from start to finish.......quality acting, well known and interesting actors. I read one comment that Sam Neil's daughter added nothing. Wrong again, it added horror and pathos to the story. I enjoyed this movie more than "Sherlock Holmes". This held my interest where Sherlock started to bore me. I recommend this movie to anyone who is a horror fan. Full Review »
  3. Aug 13, 2014
    8
    Daybreakers had an interesting story and at the end it was one of the best vampire movie i have ever seen.There is a lot of blood and the actors are really good.The only dumb thing is the cure,like if the sun would help them. Full Review »