Arnold Furious’s review:
I remember when a Tim Burton film was something kooky that the whole world would fall in love with. Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, even his Batman (although I wasn't keen on it). But increasingly Burton's films have lost their way. Dark Shadows is a mess. Disjointed, rarely keeping any character continuity from one scene to the next. Its only saving grace is Johnny Depp's rather familiar central character. As per usual he throws enough heart into the performance that it stands out. Its Burton who lets the film fail. Poor editorial choices and a lack of good characters make this hugely disappointing. The trailer made it feel like a comedy but the truth is Dark Shadows isn't a comedy, it just doesn't know what it is.
The truly sad part of seeing Dark Shadows is making the realisation that Tim Burton has now made more bad films than good ones and nothing worthwhile since 2003's Big Fish. I wouldn't hold out hope for a recovery either. He's clearly not willing to accept criticism as this film falls into the same faults as others he's made. The astonishing thing, for me anyway, is that regardless of how many bad films he puts out I still keep coming back. Am I being stupid or Burton clever? Or is it the optimist in me, hoping that he can turn the corner. On this basis, not bloody likely.