Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (18)

Film

Musicals

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Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Jan 22 2008

A great deal bloodier than most musicals, Tim Burton’s beautifully crafted take on Stephen Sondheim’s stage show still feels like a kids’ film that no littl’uns will see, such is the sweep of his story, his caricaturing, and his balletic approach to killing.

But human behaviour isn’t Burton’s strong point, so one doesn’t expect him to gain a strong grip on the psyche of Benjamin Barker – now Mr S Todd (Johnny Depp, with a skunk’s streak in his locks) – the barber who’s back in dank Victorian London and looking for revenge on crooked Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman, resuscitating his turn in ‘Perfume…’) after enduring an unjust stint in a penal colony and losing his wife and daughter. This forlorn figure is now entering a pact with local pie-maker Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter, fresh from the Queen Vic) that sees trade blossom for both – and offers Todd a busman’s outlet for his anger…

There’s something of the Hulk to this Todd (a monster with a heart and a troubled past), but there’s a heavy dose of Fred West, too. Depp is too young and too beautiful – but he claws back some romance for his anti-hero and proves a capable singer. It’s the usual Burtonisms that impress: the sets, the costumes, a masterly embrace of the sound-stage (retaining the theatricality of Sondheim’s original).

There’s a gulf between the colourful leads and the bland supporting roles, and Burton struggles to avoid a flat middle section that contrasts with the atmospherics of his opening and the melodrama of his finale – but mostly this is grand-scale studio-work at its most beguiling.

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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Jan 25, 2008

Duration:

116 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:51
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|124
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Bells

i am a huge Sondheim fan and a huge Burton fan and so I was incredibly happy to see this film. It is a good remaking of the musical but only good, in Burton's understandable attempt not to pitch this film into a clumsy, overly melodramatic film, you lose something. Because on stage it is very melodramatic and it works, however on film this would look amateurish and so Burton lost some of the dark humour of the musical. Sondheim's lyrics and melodies are beautiful as ever the majority of the cast are passable singer- Jamie Campbell Bower (Anthony) is actually good and Johanna is performed beautifully. The other good singers are the actresses playing the beggar woman and johanna. Alan Rickman (Judge Turpin) and Timothy Spall (Beadle Bamford) really aren't great, and Helena Bonham Carter's is alright but not a singer (though i love her) and Johnny Depp is a little better though still not a singer. As the film is a lot shorter than the musical a lot of very beautiful songs have been cut out, some merely for time and also some big choruses (notably THe Ballad of Sweeney Todd) as Burton was against the whole cast coming in and singing because of the staged, dramatic feel of this. Overall this is a good film but cannot compare to the original stage production, Sondheim says he likes it because it is a film of the musical not just the filmed musical, and while i see that this is possibly the best version you can film, it captures the dark and brooding aspect without flu translating the incredible humour notably from Mrs. Lovett. In general from a film makers view i see why but i think the only place they could have gotten away with a bit over the top humour is a little priest. This is originally a gleeful song over their own cleverness and a hilarious attempt to outwit each other with their plays on words- in the film it is dark and without the spark of humour which makes this musical a genius production.

Kartoffelbrei^e

When I heard about this excellent movie the first time (and I hate pointless comments in brackets), I could not imagine that there is such a captivating story behind this. For me, as Mr. Todd already mentioned, this musical was a whole new experience for me and I am quite shure that this will change my life! Even though some scenes are too brutal (my mum told me not to look on the TV when there's blood), there is still enough SWAG inside these captivating minutes of video. So all in all, I enjoyed this movie a lot and I actually don't know what I'm talking about so all what I can say about this is: #YOLO Greetings from good old Germany Kartoffelbrei^e

Mr. Todd

At first I have to say that i haven't watched that much musicals yet so it was a full new experience for me. The movie itself has got a different character compared to other movies. This special character makes the movie entertaining and good to watch although some scene are quite brutal. Like "KingJulien" already said is a musical in this genre a whole new experience but this special character of the movie makes that the musical type fits to this movie. In the end I wished myself to see more about the future of the daughter and her friend. But nevertheless the movie is in my eyes good but it has got only few beauty mistakes.

fan4ever

I really like the film so much, because they are all great actors with brilliant voices!!! I liked that the film never got too horrifying and was livened up by funny scenes again and again. I am already so curious about the next project of Tim Burton!!! He makes everything brilliant. He is one of my favourite producers and movie directors.

fan4ever

I really like the film so much, because they are all great actors with brilliant voices!!! I liked that the film never got too horrifying and was livened up by funny scenes again and again. I am already so curious about the next project of Tim Burton!!! He makes everything brilliant. He is one of my favourite producers and movie directors.

sun and rain

From my point of view the movie is a good remake of the musical because of the songs and other musicalitems .These items make the movie something special and make them even more alive .But I also think that many szens are to violent and brutal. Although I would say that the movie is quite good and also worth watching.

Edna

Appalling. Imagine: a musical in which neither the lead (Depp) nor his leading lady (Bonham Carter) can sing in tune. What a wondrous concept.

A.J

I love Tim Burton films i think they are all amazing to watch and i find them so intresting. Sweeney Todd the demon barber of fleet street is awsome! All the things they are on about is a true real life story and i find it so inspireing:) Its gory and bloody and a musical im not a big fan of musicals but this has got to be my fave... don't get me wrong i love EVERY Tim Burton film but this has got to be number 1. I didnt go to watch this at the cinema when this come out i wanted to but i was under 18 so it was on the TV not long after so that was when i watched it later on that week i went out and bought it on DVD now i watch it every week along with my other collections of Tim Burton film:) I would defo tell my friends about this as we all love Johnny Depp 'Nom Nom'

A.J

I love Tim Burton films i think they are all amazing to watch and i find them so intresting. Sweeney Todd the demon barber of fleet street is awsome! All the things they are on about is a true real life story and i find it so inspireing:) Its gory and bloody and a musical im not a big fan of musicals but this has got to be my fave... don't get me wrong i love EVERY Tim Burton film but this has got to be number 1. I didnt go to watch this at the cinema when this come out i wanted to but i was under 18 so it was on the TV not long after so that was when i watched it later on that week i went out and bought it on DVD now i watch it every week along with my other collections of Tim Burton film:) I would defo tell my friends about this as we all love Johnny Depp 'Nom Nom'

Jesse said

Amei a atuação de Johnny,ele foi muito bem escolhido para o papel.Adoro todos seu filmes,já acompanhei todos seus trabalhos,e digo que ele esta de parabéns^^

Jesse said

Amei a atuação de Johnny,ele foi muito bem escolhido para o papel.Adoro todos seu filmes,já acompanhei todos seus trabalhos,e digo que ele esta de parabéns^^

usman khawaja

an exhilirating movie musical as can be -this is as good a modern adaptation of a stage play as the come -.depp is good but helena is superb and tim burton keeps the music low key so the acting can shine through ,the dark macabre mood of the victorian streets which witness this riotous romp ,the beach frolics are dazzling with depp in the striped swimsuit and the pier was a delight to behold in the celestial english summer light ,the pies baked out of the barbers victims are just as delicious, though i dont have any appetite for the judge turpin, yet i will definitely go for seconds to this great darkly gory meat pie shop, its enough to turn a canine into a vegetarian ,dare if you enter but the dark makeup and the looming shadows beckon anyone who loves cinema ,well done mr burton and how about converting some more west end shows primarily joseph and the technicolor dreamcoat and lady in white, this is a worthy successor to CHICAGO as can be-of a stage musical to cinema . helena finally is given enough meat to literally sing and sink her sharp acting fangs into and she shines like a gem,the story becomes more then a revenge caper as the greed of the barbers lust for blood starts exceeding logic, and reason is abandoned for a blood orgy .the impact of negativity on human psyche is borne out from self -meted justice gone wrong and it is an observation with a conclusion too. . it is a brilliant documentary on the idea of wrong ,punishment and justice and it does full justice to all its themes ,the violence can be seen as satire and it is definitely not titillting ,neither terrorising as the barber butchers his daft clients to send them straight into a cannibalistic meat pie machine . the episode with the italian magician that sparks the whole blood orgy is an absolute stroke of genius as is the grand chiding finale . but what makes this a masterpiece is the brooding victorian degeneracy ,the london that rants in evil ,with darkshadows and luminous posh interiors ,nobility rotten to the core devoid of any morality ,and love flourishing in the midst of filth, the sewers running with human gore and yet the flowers decorating the nursery of a cherub ,it is a tribute to paternal love as much as an admonishing for the evil and wicked , tim burton has exceeded himself and makes his previous efforts like corpse bride look shallow,this is a dark,mellow yet mature masterwork ,with baroque overtones which almost composes every sequence as a handpainted work of art and renders itself a true masterwork in the ultimate count . johnny depp ,helena and burton nedd a round of standing applause . jbz7879

usman khawaja

an exhilirating movie musical as can be -this is as good a modern adaptation of a stage play as the come -.depp is good but helena is superb and tim burton keeps the music low key so the acting can shine through ,the dark macabre mood of the victorian streets which witness this riotous romp ,the beach frolics are dazzling with depp in the striped swimsuit and the pier was a delight to behold in the celestial english summer light ,the pies baked out of the barbers victims are just as delicious, though i dont have any appetite for the judge turpin, yet i will definitely go for seconds to this great darkly gory meat pie shop, its enough to turn a canine into a vegetarian ,dare if you enter but the dark makeup and the looming shadows beckon anyone who loves cinema ,well done mr burton and how about converting some more west end shows primarily joseph and the technicolor dreamcoat and lady in white, this is a worthy successor to CHICAGO as can be-of a stage musical to cinema . helena finally is given enough meat to literally sing and sink her sharp acting fangs into and she shines like a gem,the story becomes more then a revenge caper as the greed of the barbers lust for blood starts exceeding logic, and reason is abandoned for a blood orgy .the impact of negativity on human psyche is borne out from self -meted justice gone wrong and it is an observation with a conclusion too. . it is a brilliant documentary on the idea of wrong ,punishment and justice and it does full justice to all its themes ,the violence can be seen as satire and it is definitely not titillting ,neither terrorising as the barber butchers his daft clients to send them straight into a cannibalistic meat pie machine . the episode with the italian magician that sparks the whole blood orgy is an absolute stroke of genius as is the grand chiding finale . but what makes this a masterpiece is the brooding victorian degeneracy ,the london that rants in evil ,with darkshadows and luminous posh interiors ,nobility rotten to the core devoid of any morality ,and love flourishing in the midst of filth, the sewers running with human gore and yet the flowers decorating the nursery of a cherub ,it is a tribute to paternal love as much as an admonishing for the evil and wicked , tim burton has exceeded himself and makes his previous efforts like corpse bride look shallow,this is a dark,mellow yet mature masterwork ,with baroque overtones which almost composes every sequence as a handpainted work of art and renders itself a true masterwork in the ultimate count . johnny depp ,helena and burton nedd a round of standing applause . jbz7879

Katy

Fantastic! I loved this film! Definitely my fave of the moment! Acting and siging was superb, especially considering they aren't singers!! A masterpiece full of my fave cast and crew!!!!

Katy

Fantastic! I loved this film! Definitely my fave of the moment! Acting and siging was superb, especially considering they aren't singers!! A masterpiece full of my fave cast and crew!!!!

Apple

I'd never loved musical movies but this film totally changed my point of view! From the background of the movie, design of the characters and the emotion that played by each character. I was drawn into the deep, dark revenge from Depp's performance.

Apple

I'd never loved musical movies but this film totally changed my point of view! From the background of the movie, design of the characters and the emotion that played by each character. I was drawn into the deep, dark revenge from Depp's performance.

Mervin McQuillan

Just seen this movie and was a little doubtful about all the hype that surrounded it, but I must say I was very impressed with it, basically it sets out what it means to and I must say it is a contender for Tim Burtons greatest ever achievement in the movie business. All of the actors out shine themselves in it. There is sort of a trwist at the end which you really do expect but want to see it happen and it delivers. I have to say for those of you who are the people who buy DVD's but are not neccessarily seeing them first. GET THIS FILM TO YOUR COLLECTION YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID. I recently seen a Tv version of Sweeney on ITV for those in the UK, but if you thought that was good its nothing compared to the movie. I must admit though you are tempted every now and again to skip through scenes but don't stick with it you'll be glad you did. There is 1 line near the start that sets up the whole movie for me "At last my arm is complete again", an amazing line well done Tim Burton for this, I hate to say it but the critics where right this movie really is a work of Art

Mervin McQuillan

Just seen this movie and was a little doubtful about all the hype that surrounded it, but I must say I was very impressed with it, basically it sets out what it means to and I must say it is a contender for Tim Burtons greatest ever achievement in the movie business. All of the actors out shine themselves in it. There is sort of a trwist at the end which you really do expect but want to see it happen and it delivers. I have to say for those of you who are the people who buy DVD's but are not neccessarily seeing them first. GET THIS FILM TO YOUR COLLECTION YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID. I recently seen a Tv version of Sweeney on ITV for those in the UK, but if you thought that was good its nothing compared to the movie. I must admit though you are tempted every now and again to skip through scenes but don't stick with it you'll be glad you did. There is 1 line near the start that sets up the whole movie for me "At last my arm is complete again", an amazing line well done Tim Burton for this, I hate to say it but the critics where right this movie really is a work of Art

Ferrero Rachelle

Wasn't impressed with this film. Thought the singing was shocking considering it's a musical! The acting was worthy of a mention though with good performances from Depp and Bonham Carter. Could appreciate what the producers/directors were trying to achieve but overall it didn't quite hit the spot I'm afraid!

Jess

I was very disappointed. All the ingredients were there for a brilliant film: great director and actors, brilliant costumes and sets, gripping story but it failed to mix properly. I was actually hoping it would hurry up and finish.

Ashley

This was one of the best films i have seen in a while.The acting and singing was phenomenal. A definate must see, and i too agree that it shouldnt be an 18!

Ashley

This was one of the best films i have seen in a while.The acting and singing was phenomenal. A definate must see, and i too agree that it shouldnt be an 18!

Disappointed

How very sad, Depp & Bonham-Carter should have made this an absolute blast, I ended by feeling sorry for them, Burton's film lacks drive and pace, utterly boring, maybe he should leave the musicals to people who actually like them, it felt more like punishment than entertainment - couldn't wait for it to finish - so I left early.

Liam

This film was totally amazing. It incorporates both classic Tim Burton with a touch of something new. And the combination went off like fireworks. In other words, beautiful and brilliant. A must see.

Liam

This film was totally amazing. It incorporates both classic Tim Burton with a touch of something new. And the combination went off like fireworks. In other words, beautiful and brilliant. A must see.

Seany Darko

Wait a minute... How can you honestly judge a full film if you only seen half of it? I thought the film fantastic. The vocals, visuals and performances were top notch and I can honestly say it's among my 30 greatest and I do tend to have high standards. It's a must see for any Depp/ Burton fans and will be added to my collection as soon as it's released on DVD. Arriva derche, Sean

Seany Darko

Wait a minute... How can you honestly judge a full film if you only seen half of it? I thought the film fantastic. The vocals, visuals and performances were top notch and I can honestly say it's among my 30 greatest and I do tend to have high standards. It's a must see for any Depp/ Burton fans and will be added to my collection as soon as it's released on DVD. Arriva derche, Sean

Jack and Sam Know All

A new an interesting move for Mr.Burton, remember it was a stage play before hand and the theatrical element is key to the film's drive so if you don't like musicals then no don't see this movie. Again drenched with Gothic touches and German Expressionism. H B Carter was fantastic i thought and the music was different to previous Burton films due to the absence of Elfman. I did like the film, a new frontier for Depp as a singer. Again Burton is more concerned about the look of the film (it is visually stunning) rqather than the narrative.

charlie kemp

this film was an excellent film. i can believe people were saying that they left at half time! it was excellent! the bloody scenes where class and the singing was great! as a johnny depp fan i think he did an excelletn job of being the part of sweeny todd! i will definatly being seeing this film again because its the best of film i have seen in my life!!!

charlie kemp

this film was an excellent film. i can believe people were saying that they left at half time! it was excellent! the bloody scenes where class and the singing was great! as a johnny depp fan i think he did an excelletn job of being the part of sweeny todd! i will definatly being seeing this film again because its the best of film i have seen in my life!!!

Chelsea

This Film Is Apsolutaly Fantasicaly Awsome ! The Use Of Blood Is Amasing I Cant Belive That Some People Would Be Ignorent Enough To Leave Half Way Though The Film. This Is A Must See For Depp Fans All The Actors And Actresses In It Were Awsome. A Big CONGRATULATIONS To John Christipher Depp II (Johnny Depp) Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs.Lovett) Ed Sanders (Tobias 'Toby' Ragg) Alan Rickman (Judge Turpin) It Was A Awsome Film The Best I've Seen All My Days. As Mr Todd Would Say Goodbye My Faithful Friends.

Chelsea

This Film Is Apsolutaly Fantasicaly Awsome ! The Use Of Blood Is Amasing I Cant Belive That Some People Would Be Ignorent Enough To Leave Half Way Though The Film. This Is A Must See For Depp Fans All The Actors And Actresses In It Were Awsome. A Big CONGRATULATIONS To John Christipher Depp II (Johnny Depp) Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs.Lovett) Ed Sanders (Tobias 'Toby' Ragg) Alan Rickman (Judge Turpin) It Was A Awsome Film The Best I've Seen All My Days. As Mr Todd Would Say Goodbye My Faithful Friends.

martinez

This film is rubbish.The history and the songs poor.I left at half moovie.And so many others. Really disappointed.

rosita

My friend and I thouroughly enjoyed this film. Johnny Depp is superb and always changes his personalilty to suit the part he is playing. I always follow his films. Helena BC was also very good and always manages to appear "over the top" disgusting and convincing. Not like some of the precious actresses of today.

rosita

My friend and I thouroughly enjoyed this film. Johnny Depp is superb and always changes his personalilty to suit the part he is playing. I always follow his films. Helena BC was also very good and always manages to appear "over the top" disgusting and convincing. Not like some of the precious actresses of today.

Gabby

As a Musical, Sweeney Todd has never interested me and gore-fests do not turn me on. But I went to see this out of interest because the combination of Depp, Burton and Todd was interesting to say the least and I didn't want to go back to my cold flat at that moment. I am aware that musicals are not to everyones taste but I have enthusiastically recommended this film to my friends and family and will go and see it again. The use of colour is clever, in the happy scenes, the seaside scene is just so funny! ST and Mrs Lovetts matching hair and dark apparel reiterate their diabolical partnership. The cast are actors, not singers but for me that meant the words of the songs were acted and given more meaning and the wit of the lyrics were more noticeable. The film was about treachery love despair and in the case of Todd, total descent into obsessive madness. Mrs Lovett came across as a sad soul, full of unrequited love with an amoral streak when trying to get her happy ending. The throat slitting is repetitive but shows so clearly Todds total obsession with his revenge, when he has to actually shave a man because his wife and child are in the room is funny too, Todd is almost sulky in having to do it when blood is all he wants! It was poetic and sad and the image at the end was sad but beautiful too, he had found his peace. Wonderful story telling by Burton.

Gabby

As a Musical, Sweeney Todd has never interested me and gore-fests do not turn me on. But I went to see this out of interest because the combination of Depp, Burton and Todd was interesting to say the least and I didn't want to go back to my cold flat at that moment. I am aware that musicals are not to everyones taste but I have enthusiastically recommended this film to my friends and family and will go and see it again. The use of colour is clever, in the happy scenes, the seaside scene is just so funny! ST and Mrs Lovetts matching hair and dark apparel reiterate their diabolical partnership. The cast are actors, not singers but for me that meant the words of the songs were acted and given more meaning and the wit of the lyrics were more noticeable. The film was about treachery love despair and in the case of Todd, total descent into obsessive madness. Mrs Lovett came across as a sad soul, full of unrequited love with an amoral streak when trying to get her happy ending. The throat slitting is repetitive but shows so clearly Todds total obsession with his revenge, when he has to actually shave a man because his wife and child are in the room is funny too, Todd is almost sulky in having to do it when blood is all he wants! It was poetic and sad and the image at the end was sad but beautiful too, he had found his peace. Wonderful story telling by Burton.

harri

was disappointed as it wasn't as good as i had expected. so much more could have been done and although it seemed to go on forever with very little story line, the cast did a great job.

Bex

okaii...whoeva said it was crap i guess thats your opinion and i respect that but were you standing outside the cinema whislt the film was showing?! because the film was B LO O D Y B R I L L I A N T!!! Im seeing it again on friday!! CANT WAIT!! xD xxx

Bex

okaii...whoeva said it was crap i guess thats your opinion and i respect that but were you standing outside the cinema whislt the film was showing?! because the film was B LO O D Y B R I L L I A N T!!! Im seeing it again on friday!! CANT WAIT!! xD xxx

Gemma

Exceptional film, any who think otherwise shouldnt be so narrowminded.

Gemma

Exceptional film, any who think otherwise shouldnt be so narrowminded.

Amy

Average film - not at all as good as the hype. Bit slow in places & not sure about the singing - more like fast talking with a tune in the background. Loved Johnny Depps portrayal of Sweeney Todd & Tim Burton's dark & eerie atmosphere is great. Not sure about Helena Bonham Carter though.

Nina

Its a love or Hate film from what i have read, so really the only way to make up your mind is to see it because most peoples comments can be completely different. personally i think its is wonderful the atmosphere, acting and singing is just amazing in my eyes.

Nina

Its a love or Hate film from what i have read, so really the only way to make up your mind is to see it because most peoples comments can be completely different. personally i think its is wonderful the atmosphere, acting and singing is just amazing in my eyes.

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