Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good looking, good cast

Intentionally mundane plot is too mundane

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Only Lovers Left Alive

Studio:  Recorded Picture

Genre(s):  Romance/Horror/Drama

Release Date(s):  May 25, 2013 (Cannes Film Festival)/February 21, 2014 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  R


Being a vampire is so…boring

Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) are vampires living among the world of zombies…also known as the living.  Drifting in and out of each others lives over the years, the two lovers have a long history.  Eve has been reunited with Adam but unfortunately, Eve’s sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) has come to visit as well.  When Ava throws Adam’s life in turmoil, change is coming…again.

Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive is a vampire drama.  Before filming Tom Hiddleston replaced Michael Fassbender in the lead role.  The film was released to critical acclaim and had a small box office release.

I get what Only Lovers Left Alive is doing.  It is showing how mundane life can become if you live forever, but also how even though you might know someone completely, they can still be infatuating and loved…unfortunately, I found it to be a bit dull.


I just needed a pick-me-up

The movie is based on the idea on how mundane life can become while repeating it over and over again.  Despite this, there is something about love that can trump the mundane nature.  As a talented songwriter, Adam has tons of connections, but I find it a bit cheesy in this aspect of the script.  The characters have known famous people throughout his life.  You could argue that they gravitate toward Adam and Eve, but it would be better to me if he just kept a low key existence and knew few famous people.

The movie is really an actor’s movie.  Fassbender would have been great, but Hiddleston makes a good replacement (I also like that all of the vampires look very similar and somewhat androgynous).  Tilda Swinton is always creepy just in her appearance and plays a great vampire.  Mia Wasikowska is ok as Swinton’s sister, but her character as the young rebel is typical.  I like John Hurt as the wise old man (who just happens to be Christopher Marlowe…another unnecessary part), and Anton Yelchin is also good (if not cliché as well) as Hiddleston’s connection to society.


Let’s go out to eat!

The movie looks great.  It is limited by the darkness of the story and vampires, but Jim Jarmusch does a good job.  The cinematography for the movie is great and it plays a lot with the darkness and it is worth seeing for some of the nice visuals.

I can understand why people like Only Lovers Left Alive, but despite great visuals and a strong cast, it didn’t really connect with me.  I have respect for the film but the intentionally “bored” vampire style of the movie just wasn’t very compelling (the love is the only constant theme is good).  Only Lovers Left Alive isn’t really a horror film and is more of a romance…and the horror is almost a distraction.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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