Byington's work has been called literate, bawdy, sardonic, and quirky. The Los Angeles Times described his film Harmony and Me as a "collision of joyous whimsy and bittersweet melancholy." His work is occasionally lumped in with the largermumblecore movement in part because of his appearance in Andrew Bujalski's film Beeswax and his use of actors, such as Bujalski, Justin Rice, and Alex Karpovsky, who appeared in movies carrying the mumblecore label.
Byington considers his films thematically different from mumblecore and has resisted the label. Variety magazine agreed in its review of Harmony and Me describing Byington's work as "mumblecore without the mumble." Unlike the extreme naturalistic dialogue of many mumblecore films, Byington's work leans towards exact dialogue and, according to Roger Ebert, "perfect timing" which is "unreasonably funny". Filmmaker Magazine likened his rich humor to the New Hollywood comedies of the 1970s.
Byington often reuses performers, including Nick Offerman, Kristen Tucker, Pat Healy, Keith Poulson, Kevin Corrigan and Suzy Nakamura. Offerman will star in Byington's latest film, Somebody Up There Likes Me, which begins shooting Summer 2011 in Austin, Texas.