'Dark Shadows' Critic Reviews
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
"... There is a been-there-done-that feeling permeating all of 'Dark Shadows,' no matter how entertaining it might be at times.
Dark Shadows suffers from the now-predictable Tim Burton pile-on: Like a matron who's gone mad for garish jewelry, he just doesn't know when to stop.
This is not the knockabout comedy the trailer suggests. Instead, it cleaves closer to what you expect from Burton: darkness, quirk and Johnny Depp on great form.
Brian Henry Martin
Eight movies together later and that razor sharp Depp / Burton relationship now feels less like scissorhands and more like spoonfingers.
TV Guide's Movie Guide
These shadows aren't nearly as dark as they are dull, ensuring that not even Burton's trademark visuals are capable of hypnotizing us into believing that we're seeing something remotely interesting.
A movie about the undead can still be DOA.
Wonderfully weird visuals from Tim Burton and a highly watchable performance by his muse, Johnny Depp cannot keep the tone from faltering and the results are unsatisfying.
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton enable each other's laziest, most indulgent habits: They make movies to entertain themselves instead of the audience.
An expensive, all-star bore, albeit a bore that's been art-directed to a fare-thee-well.
Handsome, vaguely true to the old soap opera, and inert.
San Francisco Chronicle
When you consider all the pitfalls avoided, and all the laughs and pleasures it provides along the way, "Dark Shadows" is a satisfying and skillful effort.
While the script is a mess and the finale underwhelms, if you still dig the Depp/Burton combo does it really matter?
On paper, Dark Shadows is a home run, but they don't play the games on paper.
The film is not an out-and-out comedy, nor is it a supernatural spooker: It can't out-camp the original and it doesn't make us fear the creatures of the night. However, Dark Shadows is not without some delightful moments.
Sydney Morning Herald
When Burton is going through the motions, his films are as involving as a school play. He directs this film on autopilot. Ed Wood would have done it better.
A loss of empathy for the hero vampire drains the lifeblood out of this project. Flaws don't necessarily derail a film -- but nothing nails the coffin shut quite like an unlikeable Barnabas Collins.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Dark Shadows is fun if you go with it.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Dark Shadows" may be too light for vampire purists or fans of the original show, but fresh blood is just what the doctor ordered.
There's no doubt that viewers still know that they're watching a Tim Burton movie. The question now is why.
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.
The costumes and production design are first class but Dark Shadows is only a must-see for Burton devotees.