Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Dark Shadows Doesn't Scare Up Enough Laughs

Plus, I Wish is graceful and touching, and God Bless America is a wild black comedy.

by | May 10, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp reteam to spoof the 1970s horror soap opera Dark Shadows, with help from Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, and Chloë Grace Moretz. What do the critics have to say?



Dark Shadows

35%

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have made plenty of witty, macabre pictures together. Unfortunately, critics say their latest, Dark Shadows, lacks their particular brand of black magic — despite moments of oddball inventiveness, the film suffers from jarring tonal shifts that prevent the story from resonating. Based on the 1970s soap opera, Dark Shadows stars Depp as Barnabas, a wealthy 18th century playboy who becomes a vampire after breaking a witch’s heart. After a long slumber, Barnabas awakes to find himself in the 1970s — and in the center of the squabbling family that now occupies his old mansion. The pundits say Dark Shadows looks fantastic, and Depp is enjoyable as always, but the movie never finds a consistent rhythm, mixing campy jokes and gothic spookiness with considerably less success than earlier Burton/Depp collaborations. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Depp’s best-reviewed movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Portrait of Wally, a documentary about the legal battle over a painting by the great Egon Schiele, is at 100 percent.
  • Sleepless Night, a French thriller about a dirty cop involved in a botched heist, is at 100 percent.
  • Under African Skies, a doc about a reunion between Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo for the 25th anniversary of their Graceland collaboration, is at 100 percent.
  • You Are Here, a sci-fi drama about a woman who collects documents and recordings of a secret parallel world, is at 100 percent.
  • The Chilean import Bonsái, a dramedy about a struggling writer looking for inspiration for his autobiographical novel, is at 93 percent.
  • Patience (After Sebald), a cinematic essay on the work of writer W.G. Sebald, is at 93 percent.
  • Nobody Else But You, an offbeat mystery about the investigation into the death of a Marilyn Monroe lookalike, is at 88 percent.
  • Hirokazu Koreeda‘s I Wish, aa drama about a boy who hopes for a miracle to reunite his divorced parents, is at 87 percent.
  • A Bag of Hammers, starring Jason Ritter and Rebecca Hall in a dramedy about a pair of con men who reconsider their ways when they mentor a 12-year-old boy, is at 67 percent.
  • The Road, a horror movie about the discovery of terrifying secrets in the search for missing teens, is at 67 percent.
  • God Bless America, a black comedy about a terminally ill man who reacts violently to what he sees as the stupidity of contemporary culture, is at 62 percent (check out director Bobcat Goldthwait’s Five Favorite Films here).
  • Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, a dramedy about a pregnant woman who makes an impulsive road trip to visit her estranged mother, is at 50 percent.
  • Where Do We Go Now?, a comedy about a Lebanese town divided along religious and gender lines, is at 47 percent.
  • Transit, starring Jim Caviezel in a thriller about a family on the run from ruthless killers after stumbling upon a stash of money, is at 43 percent.
  • Girl In Progress, starring Eva Mendes and Matthew Modine in a dramedy about a teenager who attempts to stake out a life independent from her preoccupied mother, is at 35 percent.
  • Tonight You’re Mine, a romantic comedy about two young rockers who are accidentally handcuffed to each other, is at 33 percent.
  • The Cup, starring Brendan Gleeson in a drama about a jockey overcoming adversity with the help of a veteran horse trainer, is at 29 percent.
  • Hick, starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Blake Lively in a drama about a pair of young hitchhikers who run into trouble on the open road, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

nbcuniversal diversity TCA HBO Go Thanksgiving Marvel Academy Awards award winner DGA Pacific Islander olympics Photos latino Bravo transformers Trailer police drama all-time A24 GoT politics First Look First Reviews new zealand cartoon Pride Month richard e. Grant anthology DC Comics scary movies Showtime Podcast CMT cancelled talk show royal family hispanic heritage month MCU Winter TV cinemax directors 2015 what to watch The Arrangement USA Network Emmy Nominations VOD YouTube Premium Esquire Pop blockbusters 007 TruTV slasher Hulu quibi Polls and Games know your critic 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards blockbuster The Walt Disney Company Walt Disney Pictures tv talk mutant Awards Tour travel Box Office mcc Fall TV football marvel comics Hallmark laika classics Lucasfilm Film Western obituary anime emmy awards social media kaiju franchise SDCC Pixar joker Funimation 21st Century Fox Television Critics Association Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ID Fox Searchlight wonder woman hist Heroines spain toy story Family TBS golden globe awards feel good Action justice league Cosplay blaxploitation Reality Competition trailers marvel cinematic universe Superheroe versus stoner BET ghosts New York Comic Con halloween tv animated Lifetime festival medical drama action-comedy worst movies Epix Alien dexter facebook Turner Classic Movies CW Seed Paramount Plus spanish rotten SundanceTV Valentine's Day mission: impossible dragons comiccon Tumblr cops stop motion boxoffice suspense Song of Ice and Fire Amazon Prime scene in color canceled Tomatazos VICE Calendar Trivia Rom-Com game of thrones E! Crackle Shudder El Rey new york Chernobyl Tarantino Comic Book Adult Swim Endgame video on demand posters movies deadpool rom-coms Character Guide The CW Certified Fresh crossover festivals Extras CNN Holidays Warner Bros. TV renewals VH1 BET Awards TCA Awards See It Skip It Tubi Sci-Fi heist movie king kong dogs Peacock ESPN sag awards Lionsgate italian Spectrum Originals Rocketman National Geographic adventure docudrama Teen comic book movies 2017 target Music American Society of Cinematographers Oscars boxing Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt MSNBC adenture APB Countdown A&E Britbox thriller biography TCA 2017 Comics on TV Arrowverse hidden camera child's play Animation science fiction Elton John Marvel Studios binge chucky space Video Games lord of the rings asian-american historical drama Superheroes Shondaland spy thriller Women's History Month IFC Films Writers Guild of America Stephen King YA GIFs TV One spinoff Sundance Now jurassic park Sneak Peek japan renewed TV shows Exclusive Video basketball Ghostbusters Schedule Nat Geo Paramount Network Fantasy indiana jones TV Land fast and furious TLC a nightmare on elm street Rock king arthur war Apple TV+ christmas movies casting FOX Set visit Trophy Talk Holiday Lifetime Christmas movies dramedy Television Academy comic book movie Vudu ABC Signature Horror DirecTV Comedy batman dark 1990s Musicals aapi singing competition dceu Disney Channel 2018 Election ratings Mindy Kaling unscripted supernatural crime drama south america golden globes CBS All Access Netflix Christmas movies reviews Crunchyroll Opinion Tokyo Olympics movie Drama Sundance RT History sequel fresh Turner children's TV Anna Paquin Watching Series zombies TV movies worst slashers women comics History Columbia Pictures criterion hispanic theme song cooking Disney Plus universal monsters spider-man Legendary Creative Arts Emmys Premiere Dates ITV french popular Wes Anderson spanish language debate films Pop TV Sony Pictures Nickelodeon series international screenings cancelled TV shows razzies sitcom sports zero dark thirty 2020 The Witch rt labs critics edition australia breaking bad TIFF crime thriller Dark Horse Comics Awards Winners FX Martial Arts true crime Rocky The Purge Netflix DC Universe Star Trek Marvel Television Mary poppins 20th Century Fox USA Syfy werewolf high school serial killer Musical OneApp Quiz toronto revenge adaptation composers streaming OWN CBS San Diego Comic-Con independent Pet Sematary miniseries Amazon Studios kong discovery Black History Month Amazon Prime Video RT21 based on movie Year in Review comedies elevated horror TCA Winter 2020 73rd Emmy Awards monster movies parents new star wars movies cults BBC One Film Festival Broadway IFC Nominations telelvision Universal aliens natural history Infographic rt archives Country teaser video scorecard reboot cars The Walking Dead Freeform best Logo HBO superhero YouTube Red 4/20 james bond 45 robots Cartoon Network 24 frames game show Grammys Summer Apple young adult indie MTV ABC Family FXX Acorn TV superman mockumentary 72 Emmy Awards biopic Captain marvel Biopics Fox News news screen actors guild Baby Yoda Mystery kids Disney streaming service die hard BBC America Spring TV television Binge Guide GLAAD godzilla 2019 90s pirates of the caribbean technology Toys Starz prank Avengers President Christmas Comedy Central Food Network japanese nfl Image Comics Comic-Con@Home 2021 nature live action twilight Discovery Channel 93rd Oscars Ovation Reality free movies sequels stand-up comedy The Academy Cannes rt labs E3 71st Emmy Awards 2021 Marathons Ellie Kemper Travel Channel finale halloween book adaptation psycho Mary Tyler Moore critic resources dc black NBC docuseries Spike Red Carpet X-Men Sundance TV comic books zombie NBA cats DC streaming service LGBT Masterpiece Pirates cancelled television Brie Larson Kids & Family LGBTQ saw Disney+ Disney Plus SXSW TCM BAFTA NYCC 99% documentaries YouTube harry potter vampires concert jamie lee curtis disaster PlayStation witnail remakes Star Wars rotten movies we love Hallmark Christmas movies cancelled TV series Black Mirror FX on Hulu AMC PaleyFest legend Mudbound strong female leads Apple TV Plus Classic Film name the review Emmys period drama ABC WGN venice foreign TV Interview psychological thriller WarnerMedia Paramount Super Bowl gangster Disney TNT romantic comedy documentary critics comic crime canceled TV shows Amazon book Best and Worst 2016 green book doctor who ViacomCBS HBO Max PBS satire Hear Us Out Mary Poppins Returns political drama romance BBC hollywood archives streaming movies