'Dark Shadows' Critic Reviews

75%
MovieWeb:   12 reviews
38%
Rotten Tomatoes:   231 reviews
  • Moira MacDonald Seattle Times
    63
    You keep wishing that the movie was either scarier or funnier - too often it flatlines between the two - but it's nonetheless impossible to look away.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Matt Glasby Total Film
    60
    One of the strangest mainstream releases of recent times, Dark Shadows' demented gothic melodrama/fish-out-of-water comedy/creature feature feels like you've slipped into a Burton fever-dream.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jim Judy Screen It!
    While nothing here frightened me like its TV predecessor so long ago, it scares me to think that those involved read the script and thought it would be great from start to finish. It isn't. (Full Content Review for Parents also available)
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • David Edelstein NPR
    The script by Seth Grahame-Smith is witless and meandering - and I wouldn't mind the witless so much if it moved, or the meandering if it were droll.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jim Slotek Jam! Movies
    70
    Dark Shadows is fun if you go with it.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Joe Williams St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    75
    "Dark Shadows" may be too light for vampire purists or fans of the original show, but fresh blood is just what the doctor ordered.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Scott Tobias AV Club
    50
    There's no doubt that viewers still know that they're watching a Tim Burton movie. The question now is why.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Laura Clifford Reeling Reviews
    50
    Ironically, fans of the series seem to be the least targeted demographic...and Burton has failed to mine the comic possibilities of the 'Ed Wood' vibe that made the series' production infamous.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Bill Weber Slant Magazine
    50
    A mixed bag of Nixon-era pop burlesque and vampire kitsch is ultimately undone by pedestrian gags and bloated genre boilerplate.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Dominic Corry Flicks.co.nz
    60
    ...Tim Burton's best film since 2003's Big Fish.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jeff Meyers Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
    42
    Dark Shadows can't really figure out what kind of movie it is. There's comedy and campy macabre and gothic melodrama and horror but none of it ever congeals into a story that dramatically, tonally or thematically makes sense.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • David Jenkins Little White Lies
    60
    Allow yourself to get hung up on the fact that there is no story or characters and you're missing the good stuff.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Alex Zane Sun Online
    60
    Dark Shadows may be overcrowded in characters and story but it's never less than entertainingly weird.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Lawrence Toppman Charlotte Observer
    50
    Depp summons every type of behavior Burton requires: heroism, zaniness, longing, wit, ferocity, sexuality, icy resolve. Had they stuck to one or two of these, we might have had a terrific film.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Leigh Paatsch Herald Sun (Australia)
    50
    With Dark Shadows, an erratic mish-mash of horror, comedy and camp period satire, Burton delivers less than even his most ardent followers might have bargained for.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Shawn Levy Oregonian
    42
    Really, it's more set-up than story: the film grinds through a number of subplots that don't resonate with one another and don't add up to a narrative with any momentum or tension.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Scott A. Mantz Access Hollywood
    60
    Dark Shadows is a bit of a slow burn, but once it gets going, it's good.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Ann Lewinson Kansas City Star
    50
    A movie that heads in so many directions it's a wonder Depp didn't get whiplash.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Chris Bumbray JoBlo's Movie Emporium
    70
    Wildly entertaining for it's first hour. More successful as a comedy than gothic horror.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Graham Young Birmingham Post
    80
    Like its root '66 TV show Dark Shadows, this film is a heady mix of vampire, werewolf and witch ingredients all bubbling away in a cinematic cauldron.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Frank Swietek One Guy's Opinion
    42
    In the end the delicate oddity that enlivens the earlier portion of the picture evaporates in an orgy of big-budget mayhem.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • James Verniere Boston Herald
    0
    Depp's Barnabas is a Kabuki-faced boy vampire with a notably smooth visage for a character played by a 48-year-old man.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Matthew Turner ViewLondon
    60
    Becomes increasingly flawed and frustrating in equal measure, though it's still worth watching thanks to its striking production design and enjoyable performances from Depp and Green.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) St. Paul Pioneer Press
    63
    It's often amusing and it looks great, but "Dark Shadows" lacks the same thing its hero lacks: a pulse.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jordan Hoffman ScreenCrush
    40
    [It has] all the raw ingredients of a cult classic. Why, then, is 'Dark Shadows' such a bore?
    Full Review » 2 years ago