In a time when even the most accomplished genre movies have the fingerprints of focus group-happy execs all over them, the relatively unmitigated quirk of Dark Shadows is worth celebrating.
—Glenn Kenny MSN Movies
Tim Burton has got his groove back. Dark Shadows doesn't pretend to be anything more than an entertainment, but it recaptures the experience of watching the Gothic daytime soap opera ... with rapturous comic bliss.
—Ty Burr Boston Globe
At nearly two hours, this two-joke comedy is entirely too long. But Burton neither dishonors the show nor disappoints generations of fans of that series...
—Roger Moore McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton together again for a fun-enough makeover of an old TV favorite.
—Todd McCarthy Hollywood Reporter
Dark Shadows isn't among Mr. Burton's most richly realized works, but it's very enjoyable, visually sumptuous and, despite its lugubrious source material and a sporadic tremor of violence, surprisingly effervescent.
—Manohla Dargis New York Times
It offers wonderful things, but they aren't what's important. It's as if Burton directed at arm's length, unwilling to find juice in the story.
—Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
Scene after scene finds Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, and Chloe Grace Moretz all dressed up and ready to play, only to be left high and dry by the material.
—Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune
Burton gives us some dazzling visuals and some good offbeat humor, but Dark Shadows is equal parts comedy and horror show, and neither half is really all that effective.
—Richard Roeper ReelzChannel
Tonally, thematically, visually, you've seen this movie before, with its oddball characters, skies in varying shades of gray and a foreboding sense of gothic mystery. No one gets challenged here; no one gets pushed.
—Christy Lemire Associated Press
This is Depp's eighth collaboration with Burton... You'd think by now the pair would have figured out how to get things right, but Dark Shadows is actually their first outright failure, and by a large margin.
—Peter Howell Toronto Star