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on 6 September 2015
Inexplicably, the normal opening number "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" is excised from the movie, which I think is a great loss (although you can hear the theme intermittently used as incidental music). Instead the movie opens with "There's no place like London". Apart from this small point, this is a rather nice movie interpretation of the stage musical.

It's presented in muted colours, and nearly always in dark and brooding lighting (I think except for the beach and picnic scene in Mrs Lovett's imagination). It looks fine on Blu-Ray, but digitally streamed, it's not so good. The darkness and bleakness of Fleet Street chimes well with Sondheim's complex and off-kilter melodies. Johnny Depp is by no means a singer, but he pulls it off, and I think the duets with Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) and Mrs Lovett (Helen Bonham Carter) are probably the best performances in the movie. Bonham-Carter also puts in a good performance, but somewhat puts you in mind of other characters she's played in movies like the Harry Potter series, and Les Miserables. Rickman is excellently villainous as Judge Turpin, and reveals a sonorous singing voice. The versatile Timothy Spall is also there as Turpin's bruiser, and Sacha Baron Cohen appears briefly to sing a comic song before unwisely becoming Sweeney's enemy.

A warning for the squeamish: the murders are bloody, and this movie earns its 18 certificate. It's not for children, or for those that feel queasy at the sight of blood.

Very enjoyable, and certainly bears repeat viewings.
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on 23 March 2016
It's a fun movie - the songs are catchy and it follows the original script pretty closely. The acting is strong from Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs Lovett especially! She was my favourite character in the movie which surprised me.
The reason I only gave it 2 stars is because I am used to the Broadway Revival version of the music which had more of a flow to it and just seemed more upbeat and I bought the movie mostly for the music side of it. Johnny Depp is a great actor and a decent singer but his London accent seems forced in some of his songs which distracts a little bit from the music. The best song is A Little Priest and Depp and Carter sing their hearts out and it shows!
Before I heard the Revival version I would probably have given the movie 4 stars but, like I say, I am now prejudiced.
Still, a good, clean fun movie that, for the price, you probably will enjoy.
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on 9 October 2011
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street could split audiences like its title character splits jugular veins. Some could embrace Tim Burton's dark vision for the material. Others could have the opinion that the film continued Burton's descent into his own increasingly narrow world view, showcasing his reliance on the same collaborators (Depp and Helena Bonham Carter) and the same type of gnarled cityscapes and murky production values.

With the potential for such sharp disagreement about the quality of the film, a person's own Burton biases may help determine his or her feelings about it. So being a fan of Tim Burton, I would fall down on the side of the fence of liking it. However even though Depp and Bonham Carter hold their own on the singing, I have never been a fan of musicals, they make me cringe and take me out of the film, I'm sure I would be of a different opinion if people broke out in song on a regular basis in real life, but they don't. The dark style of the film did help to some what temper the ridicules plot device of singing to express thoughts and feelings, but I still can't help thinking that this would have been so much of a better film if it was "normal". But what is normal when Tim Burton is concerned?

What's beyond dispute is that Burton commits to grisly violence like never before. Even in a movie in which beheadings were the standard (such as Sleepy Hollow), there was never this much blood and this many dead bodies. Like almost everything else in the film, even the blood is some shade of brown or black. It's clearly a conscious effort on Burton's part to be so unrelentingly dreary, but it may turn off viewers seeking colour, which we get only during a day at the beach for Todd and Mrs. Lovett. Set apart stylistically from the rest of the film, this scene does well to contrast and to highlight just how bleak the London setting is, but this sequence may have unintended consequences. It may make audiences miss the Burton they once knew, who regularly saturated his films (such as Big Fish) with colour. Without colour, this bloody film is frequently and confusingly bloodless, as well as cynical to the nth degree.

Burton's vision of London is fully realized, if not entirely original. Then again, the biggest complaint about Sweeney Todd could be, not that Burton is stealing from others; rather, he's stealing from himself.
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on 18 February 2016
I love this film, it is an excellent version. When I first watched it on the television I was a little taken aback by the way it was performed, I was just not expecting the singing perhaps! However, I quickly realised that I would love this film and really enjoyed it - even my husband - (who doesn't do musicals or films with singing in!) really enjoyed it. The performances in my opinion are brilliant.
I bought this as a gift for my daughter as I thought she would like it - she did, she had a film night with some friends of both sexes and they all really enjoyed it, once they had got over the 'weirdness'!
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on 8 May 2017
I enjoyed almost everything about this film but found it a bit dark at times to were I was squinting to see it properly, Fantastic cast that portrayed the characters perfectly.
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on 29 May 2017
A dark and twisted movie that follows the return to London of a man who now goes bybthe name of Sweeney Todd.

Wagers, Live, Revenge and Pies. Just don't ask about the fillings!

An interesting musical. Typical Tim Burton vibe and visuals.
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Benjamin Barker - AKA Sweeney Todd - returns from a fifteen-year exile to learn of his wife's death and his daughter's imprisonment by the man who sent her mother into the clutches of insanity.

Wielding the sharpest straight-razors in London and stuck in a perpetual black madness he can never climb out of, he seeks his revenge on Judge Turpin, the man who ruined his life and destroyed his family.

I am not a fan of musicals, but this was so breathtaking I had to sit and watch it three times in a row. Johnny Depp proves himself to be highly capable of shedding his mainstream characters for theatrical acting and showcasing some impressive vocals.

Helena Bonham-Carter shines in this role more than she has in any other role she's ever taken. Her voice, her grace, her look was absolutely perfect for this kind of film.

The limit of claustrophobic sets in this film leave you feeling quite like you're sitting in the theatre. The music is loud, sharp, and emotional, the kind of music that will bring a thump to your chest on the rise of bitter church organs, moody strings and low mellow wind instruments.

Packed with enough blood splattering fun to keep you wincing in your seat, some slightly humourous and wistful scenes, this is one you're going to want to watch again and again.
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on 23 November 2017
I'm not really into musical film, though this one I can make an exception. The movie itself is dark and the music is catchy, overall a great watch.
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on 27 January 2009
I can't remember the last time I was this excited about watching a film. I'd heard all the hype and was praying that it lived up to it - well, it did - for the most part anyway.

You know when you see Tim Burton's name on the screen that you're not getting just any old film. The atmosphere from the opening credits sets the scene perfectly for what you're about to experience over the next 2 hours.

I knew it was a musical, so no surprises there, but I did wonder how much music there would be, especially at the start as it seemed to be nothing but, however it was a very useful way of giving us the background to Barker's life, and why he is the way he is. All the singers do a great job, but I can't help but think the film could have been just as good without the musical elements.

Johnny Depp is outstanding as always, and Alan Rickman is on top form as the twisted Judge Turpin. My main gripe though is the ending - it all seemed to be too abrupt - as if there had been some serious editing at the last minute.

However, this is a fantastic film, and one which I think will get better with each viewing. Highly recommended.
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on 21 December 2008
As a fan of Tim Burtons films I had high hopes for 'Sweeney Todd' and from the distinctive opening credits I knew I was on familiar Burton ground and in for a treat. The direction, make-up, costumes and sets are wonderfully atmospheric and give that dark feel to the film straight away. To be honest I found the musical aspect of this film got on my nerves by the end, but the acting and actual story itself was so good that I enjoyed the film immensely anyway. Depp is as great as ever and Sasha Baron Cohen was surprisingly good. This film isn't overly long and although the murders were quite gruesome at times, it didn't feel excessive or gratuitous, they were almost tongue in cheek in some ways. Alan Rickman plays an excellent 'baddie' again and all the supporting cast performed well. This is typical Burton fare (dark humour, distinctive styling and quirky music) and made for some great viewing. Well worth a look and I'd give this 3 1/2-4 stars.

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