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Sweeney Todd

Tim Burton's 2007 film adaptation of the musical starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

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On Fleet Street, a Shave and a Haircut Can Cost Much More Than Two Bits

  • Mar 3, 2008
Rating:
+5
After serving time abroad for a crime he didn't commit, barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) returns to London under the new name of Sweeney Todd to find out what has happened to his wife and child. He's told that his wife died and his daughter has been placed under the guardianship of the man who set him up and sent him away, Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman). Todd swears revenge. He makes the acquaintance of Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), a woman who makes "the worst pies in London" and who has taken up residence in the building that Todd's family once lived and worked. He sets out seeking his revenge on the judge, but along the way is distracted by a showman barber, Signor Adolfo Pirelli (Sacha Baron Cohen). Todd challenges Pirelli to a barber's duel and after he loses, Pirelli threatens to reveal Todd's true identity. With the assistance of Mrs. Lovett, the final exchange between Pirelli and Todd sets Todd on a bloody course of destruction that ultimately leads to a tragic end.

SWEENEY TODD isn't your usual musical. Blood freely gushing as Mr. Todd takes his revenge upon his various victims. Mrs. Lovett's place becomes a booming business and her pies become the tastiest in town after she begins butchering Sweeney's victims and using them as meat. There are some who will be taken back by the violence and there are others who may find that such a brutal subject is not worthy of a musical.

Before watching the film, I wasn't sure if I was going to like SWEENEY TODD or not. I really enjoy Tim Burton's films and even though I knew the basic plot of the story, I was unfamiliar with Sondheim's music and didn't know how well it would stand up on screen. Despite the subject matter, I thought SWEENEY TODD was an excellent musical. I didn't mind the violence and enjoyed the dark humor scattered throughout. Johnny Depp is wonderful as ever as Sweeney Todd; he's an extremely talented actor, but this is the first film I've seen where he sings and he sings well. I also enjoyed the performances of Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin and Timothy Spall as Beadle Bamford. The costumes and settings are superb and provide a general mood full of gloom and doom, only sporadically broken with brilliant colors of life either from dripping blood or by the love story between Todd's daughter, Johanna (Jayne Wisener) and Todd's young friend Anthony Hope (Jamie Campbell Bower).

Overall, SWEENEY TODD is a tragic musical that fans of the genre will probably enjoy watching and if you're squeamish just close your eyes when you see those silver blades unleashed.

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More Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber... reviews
review by . January 04, 2013
Can You Tell This Is A Tim Burton Film?
This movie, like all Tim Burton movies, screams TIM BURTON. That being said, it's an enjoyable musical adaptation. Of course, "Johanna" is the stand-out musical number, being hauntingly and achingly sad. Sacha Baron Cohen is memorable and Helena Bonham Carter is quite bearable (to be fair, much of my ire towards her comes from her being Burton's wife). There are some striking visual shots (as expected) and lavishly grotesque scenes which make the lack of character depth and plot …
review by . May 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    Tim Burton gives me all that I look for in a musical feature film with "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street", an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim hit Broadway show of the same name. If you've followed up on the filmmaker's works to this day, then you'll know that he's usually not afraid to go to dark places, but I don't think he's ever purposely corned himself in a dark alley and proceeded to inflict severe and perverse emotionally deconstructive …
review by . December 12, 2010
In all fairness this is probably the worst version of Sweeney Todd out there, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. I actually do like this movie, but it seems that the only reason Tim Burton decided to adapt it is that it's a dark musical and he has already laid claim to anything with even an iota of macabre. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love that, but it just makes me think that he amped up the blood and guts and downplayed the original beloved characters whereas the …
review by . May 02, 2011
I decided to rewatch this movie and after doing so, I have deduced that I was being unfair, comparing this to the stage show. Of course the stage show is brilliant, but this is a splendid work in its own right and arguably the best thing Tim Burton has done since Beetlejuice. There are some things that this movie does better than the show, and some things that the show does better than the movie, but I shall get on about that later in the review. This musical is my favourite musical of all time, …
Quick Tip by . September 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Strong performances all around in both singing and acting. Even though I thought Bonham-Carter was a bit too young to play Mrs. Lovett when the cast was announced, she pulled off this role wonderfully. Depp totally got into this role as he usually does. Like he does all of his roles, he played Sweeny Todd as a three dimensional character, who did horrible things, yet you could feel sympathetic to what he went through.
Quick Tip by . August 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
this movie was weird to say the least. when i first heard that it was a musical i was totally uninterested, but then when i saw it i was pleasantly suprised, it was really good!
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Depp shows his wide range of talents. He shows that he can both act and sing in this movie. Burton's direction is also at its best.
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A quite amazing musical/drama revenge movie. It had great potentilal and rose to the challenge. A fantastic cast.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
very......interesting, and strange movie. for a musical not that bad though.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Loved this movie! I went and bought the original afterwards and I must say, they did a great job with this movie! It is entertaining and the effects are amazing!
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About this movie

Wiki

2007 musical thriller and the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's stage musical starring Johnny Depp

Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
Directed by Tim Burton
Writers: John Logan, Steven Sondheim (Musicals)
2007

After years of rumors, it turns out that Tim Burton was the perfect visionary to filmSweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Stephen Sondheim's Broadway masterpiece, and the result is a macabre and moving musical movie as enthralling as anything Burton has ever done. The show's mix of gothic horror, Grand Guignol,verydark humor, and witty and beautiful music never was the stuff of traditional musical comedy, but it's a powerful work, and perhaps the richest of the late 20th century. In the movie, Burton's frequent collaborator, Johnny Depp, plays Todd, a wronged man whose lust for revenge drives him to murder (an 19th-century legend who has been traced to a real-life barber). Helena Bonham Carter, another Burton mainstay, is Mrs. Lovett, the barber's partner-in-unspeakable-crime. It's no surprise that Depp is an excellent choice to convey Todd's brooding intensity and volcanic rage, but he can also sing a score that is so challenging it has often played in opera houses (though not with the same style as the Broadway original, Len Cariou, and he occasionally lapses into pop style). Bonham Carter is small of voice and lacks the humor of the original Broadway Lovett, Angela Lansbury, but ...
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Details

Director: Tim Burton
Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: December 21, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 56min (116 Minutes)
Studio: Dreamworks PIctures, Warner Bros Pictures
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