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Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley ... see more see more... , Jonny Lee Miller , Bella Heathcote , Chloe Grace Moretz , Gully McGrath , Ray Shirley , Christopher Lee , Ivan Kaye , Justin Tracy , Susanna Cappellaro , Josephine Butler , William Hope , Shane Rimmer , Michael J. Shannon , Harry Taylor , Glen Mexted , Guy Flanagan , Nigel Whitmey , Philip Bulcock , Sophie Kennedy Clark , Hannah Murray , Victoria Bewick , Sean Mahon , Alexia Osborne , Richard Hollis , Felicity Brangan , Michael Anthony Brown , Charlotte Spencer , Gabriel Freilich , Thomas Grube , Jeff Mash , Raffey Cassidy , Janine Craig , Adelle Young , Dominica Van Santen , Josephine McGrail , Gulliver McGrath , Thomas McDonell , Alice Cooper

Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy...until he makes the g... read more read more...rave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. -- (C) Warner Bros.

Flixster Users

46% liked it

254,894 ratings


37% liked it

231 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 53 min.

Directed by: Tim Burton

Release Date: May 11, 2012

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DVD Release Date: October 2, 2012

Stats: 10,571 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (10,571)

  • June 10, 2013
    May work well for kids, I suppose. The execution is terrible; a handful of one-liners can't hold a film together. There are a few emotional scenes, but they are devoid of emotions!!
  • January 16, 2013
    The visuals; direction, costume, make-up, set etc are second to none and as great as you'd expect from Tim Burton, everything else is underwhelming. Tim Burton used to be a name you could depend on but he now has more disappointing films in his portfolio than he has great ones. I... read moret's not all bad, there are a few really nice scenes but I just expected more, although I'm not so sure why anymore.
  • January 4, 2013
    "Dark Shadows" is not top shelf Burton. It's a tad slow and overlong; and far from the director's most memorable efforts... but it's inventive, fun, and has just the right amount of humor and visual flair to remain interesting the whole way through. It's (schlocky) fluff to be su... read morere, but it's entertaining, likable fluff that I enjoyed.
  • January 3, 2013
    Barnabas Collins is a rich and powerful 18th Century aristocrat who rules over the manor and town named after him and his family. It's a good life, until he makes the mistake of spurning his mistress Angelique who, as it turns out, is a witch. She turns him into a vampire then bu... read moreries him alive.

    Cut to 1972. Barnabas is unearthed. Upon waking, he discovers that his family's empire and legacy are in ruins, and his remaining descendants are few in number and very dysfunctional. He finds himself determined to return the manor and empire to their former glory, fix his family, and break the curse. Only problem is, (not counting being a fish out of water) Angelique is still alive, and has taken control over the town and the Collins's business empire.

    Ya know, I really liked this movie better when it was known as Blacula. Seriously. I mean, I know it's based on a cult melodramatic gothic TV soap opera, but it really feels like Blacula but with white people. The concept did, and still kinda does, have potential, but this film is instead a continuation of Burton stuck in a rut, and seemingly unable to break free from the web of failing to grow and change.

    It's billed as a horror comedy, but it's not scary, and the humor is more miss than hit. This is a real mixed bag. The tone is all over the place, and the film has a hard time finding its identity, and instead is a big stew of confusion and stuff strung together. And some of it, like the stuff with Chloe, really stands out in a bad way.

    It's more of the same, and yeah, it really is wearing thin with me. There's a good cast, but they're primarily familiar faces, and most of them seem to be honing it in. Green does admittedly do a good job, but I think she's too good for this movie. Depp is Depp, and, though Burton needs a new muse, it is nice seeing Carter make somewhat of a return to Marla Singer territory.

    The technical stuff is what'd you expect, but many of the effects are probably too cheesy for their own good. The wooden snake is cool though. Elfman's score is really good, but the other music is a bit of an issue. Yeah, there's some good needle drops, but most of them are things we've heard way too many times before, are on the nose, and expected. I'd have been far happier had they included more deep cuts and obscure stuff instead of things that are played out.

    All in all, I wanted to like this movie, but it's hard. Surprisingly, while this is a bad movie, it's still somehow watchable and mildly entertaining. Ultimately though, it's typical crap, which is sad given how great Burton and his cohorts used to be.
  • November 18, 2012
    three stars
  • November 8, 2012
    "It's silly and not very interesting. If your going to make a silly film then make it funny. Obviously this film didn't get the memo. I can't believe this movie is listed as a horror flick. Where was the horror? If someone finds it, please let me know. The acting was good. I thin... read morek Depp has become too comfortable in playing these off beat quirky characters. It would be nice to see him in a thriller or crime suspense film for a change. The movie is forgettable. Which explains why it's taken me so long to write my thoughts on it. I forgot I watched it until I saw it on my profile page."
  • October 30, 2012
    This is Director, Tim Burton and Star, Johhny Depp`s richest and most skillful team up yet. Burton`s best film in years. A dazzling and widely hilarious Gothic comedy. Johnny Depp is a absolute riot, he gives his funniest performance since the pirates series. Depp is darkly charm... read moreing, very funny and remarkable. This is one of his most enjoyable and brilliant performances. It`s non-stop fun from star to finish that's loaded with great set pieces, wonderful effects and huge laughs. Horror-comedies dont get better than this. It has a wonderful all-star cast that look like they are all enjoying the good-time. It`s a scary good-time that will have you falling over laughing.
  • October 17, 2012
    Everything that everyone else has said about this movie in terms of criticism is true. It's looks fabulous, but it's completely pointless and struggles to maintain a consistent tone and rhythm throughout. Burton has kind of lost his way a little with this one. I'm a pretty big fa... read moren of his work, but I can't see even diehards loving this unless they are completely biased. Not even Johnny Depp stands out. It's kind of getting old.
  • October 7, 2012
    It was good but fell short of my expectations. It felt at times like I was seeing scenes from "Death Becomes Her".
  • September 26, 2012
    Dark Shadows, based on the gothic soap opera from the late 60's (and film House of Dark Shadows) once again pairs director Tim Burton with Johnny Depp, using their proven styles in an attempt to elevate the source material - that it ultimately fails is as much due to that self-s... read moreame process as anything else.

    Sure, the film has style, and yes it has some very tongue in cheek lines - but just as with their other collaboration Alice In Wonderland - the film, just like the Vampire lore Shadows ascribes to - there is no soul.

    I'm probably one of the few reviewers that can actually say watched the soap opera live back in the day - I remember rushing home from school, making it just in time to tune in to the haunting theme music. And it goes without saying that I saw the film in the theater when it was released (no cable TV or Netflix back then!). Therefore I can attest to the source material which moved too slowly (as they were writing the stuff on the spot, day by day), and yet had some very nice haunting moments of true gothic goodness (at least to a 12 year old).

    For better or worse, the film attempts to emulate some of the campy creepiness of the source, and this is the first misstep. The opening scenes that tell the backstory all rush by way too quickly and are witness to some heartstopping bad dialog delivery. Bella Heathcote as Victoria Winters is especially guilty of said delivery, pairing well with her totally wooden performance.

    Wasted in the film are the presence of Michelle Pfeiffer and long time Burton/Depp sidekick Helena Bonham Carter - the script simply doesn't give them much to do, or much to sink their fangs into (just couldn't resist the Vamp pun). Depp carries the film with yet another of his quirky character performances. He can deliver the corniest of lines with aplomb and make it seem effortless - thank goodness, for without his performance this one would be a real stinker, even considering the cinematic glossiness of the Burton production.

    I'm not sure if the script was the culprit, or if the film was just conceptually wrong - it appeared as though Burton wanted to do this cool goth film, but then the humorous opportunities presented were just too good to pass up. So, a little jab at McDonalds draws a smile and the lovely throwaway scene with Depp, the Vampire, brushing his teeth/fangs, got a serious chuckle, but the references to birthing hips got overused - it was amusing the first time; the tenth not so much.

    Mixed in for good measure is a rather pointed bit of pop music (Nights In White Satin!! And an amusing choice of The Carpenters' "On Top Of The World" all worked well - and of course, if you're going to do a goth film, you kind of have to include the de-facto king of goth Alice Cooper (and here's a bit of inside info - the musical score to the film was by Danny Elfman, who produced Alice's quasi musical "Welcome To My Nightmare").

    But in the end it all boils down to the battle between Angelique the witch, and Depp's Vampire (with a totally ridiculous Werewolf thrown in, coming from god knows where). It is this part of the story that also doesn't wash - the spurned lover aspect just doesn't wash, or carry the required poignancy - since it ultimately gets played for laughs and/or a simple plot device - making the ending big confrontation seem endlessly boring, in spite of some Burton visual magic.

Critic Reviews

David Thomson
June 17, 2013
David Thomson, The New Republic

The only reason to see Dark Shadows is to discover how dire and pointless-how flat-out dreadful-a movie can be even when it has Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Helena Bonham Carter att... Full Review

Anthony Lane
May 15, 2012
Anthony Lane, New Yorker

This is not so much a coherent movie as it is a long, expensive joke in search of a purpose. Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
May 11, 2012
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Mostly Dark Shadows is silly when we're trained to expect slightly richer fun from Burton and Depp. Full Review

Christopher Orr
May 11, 2012
Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

Fans of Depp's past collusions with Burton will find their rewards along the way. But there's a perfunctory vibe to the goings on, a weariness amid the weirdness. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
May 11, 2012
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

Clearly, they made the movie they wanted to make. It's just not the movie this "Dark Shadows" fan hoped to see. Full Review

Stephen Cole
May 11, 2012
Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail

Dark Shadows' only meaningful relationship is between Depp and his audience. He's a persona now, no longer an actor. Full Review

Tom Long
May 11, 2012
Tom Long, Detroit News

How bad is "Dark Shadows"? It makes you long for a "Twilight" movie. That's bad. Full Review

Lou Lumenick
May 11, 2012
Lou Lumenick, New York Post

"Dark Shadows'' certainly has its moments, especially when Barnabas and Angelique hilariously wreck her office during a surreal, CGI-fueled, PG-rated tryst. Full Review

Ann Hornaday
May 11, 2012
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

At once a brash, strutting pop culture pastiche and gloomy exercise in self-cannibalizing nostalgia, "Dark Shadows" is depressing on myriad levels. Full Review

Eric D. Snider
May 11, 2012
Eric D. Snider,

Can't decide whether it's a parody, a horror comedy, an atmospheric melodrama, or a tedious bucket of crap. Eventually it chooses the last one. Full Review

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    • Victoria Winters: You're the doctor.
    • Dr. Julia Hoffman: Yes. And you're the nanny and she's the bitch.
    • Willie Loomis: Don't worry Mr. B. I never liked the bitch anyway.
    • Barnabas Collins: Ahhh, music... Yes, I'm rather fond of the music of the day. "I'm a picker, I'm a grinner, I'm a lover and I'm a sinner. I play my music in the sun."
    • Roger Collins: That's what I've been saying. This family needs more balls!
    • David Collins: Uncle Barnabas, why do you have ladies underwear on your head?
    • Barnabas Collins: Never mind that.
    • Barnabas Collins: What is that thing?
    • Dr. Julia Hoffman: It's a lamp.
    • Barnabas Collins: It looks like a pulsating blood urn!

Dark Shadows : Watch Free on TV

Dark Shadows Trivia

  • In the movie Running With Scissors,what soap opera is Agnes Finch watching with Augusten?  Answer »
  • What is the name of the man who played Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows  Answer »
  • Who stars in Dark shadows?  Answer »
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