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Dawn of the Dead Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Don't leave before the final frame -- if you're still breathing.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    When there's a whole mess of zombie killing to be done, who cares about reflective writing or that time-wasting element of suspense?

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Overall, this Dead is zippier than 1995's retake on "Village of the Damned" and somewhat less junky than the recent remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Calling this version of Dawn of the Dead a remake is applying a misnomer. It's more of a re-imagination.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    My only complaint is that its plot flatlines compared to the 1979 version, which was trickier, wittier and smarter. Romero was not above finding parallels between zombies and mall shoppers.

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  • See all Dawn of the Dead reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Extremely gory horror movie; not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 2004 Dawn of the Dead is an extremely violent remake of George A. Romero's 1978 horror film of the same name. Perhaps the violence should come as no surprise, since this is, after all, a zombie film. Expect lots of blood, bites to the throat, vast armies of zombies shot in the head by shotguns, as well as moments of gore like eye stabbings and a head impaled with a spike. There's also considerable profanity, and some of the characters fill the empty hours of hiding out in the shopping mall from the zombies waiting outside by drinking and having sex. While this film delivers what horror fans want and expect from the genre -- including zombies moving at a much faster, more aggressive pace than typically seen in zombie movies -- for younger viewers and people who aren't horror fans, he violence and gore will be too much. 

  • Families can talk about the different approaches taken by the survivors and the range of choices that they make. Are there times when the moral answer is at odds with the instinct to survive? 
  • If you've seen the original 1978 Dawn of the Dead, how do you think this version compares? 
  • Why do you think movies and books about the undead are so popular? 

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Not an issue

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: In the "Unrated Director's Cut," there are attempts to, pardon the pun, flesh out the characters, but no one really stands out as anything more than a stock character. 

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Zombies move much faster than the lumbering zombies commonly seen in films like these; they bite the throats of their victims, are covered in blood and the remnants of body parts, and are continually being shown getting shot in the head by humans with shotguns. When a newborn baby is born as a zombie (which is not shown), there's the sound of a gunshot to signify that the baby has been killed. A character is impaled in the head with a spike. Another character is stabbed in the eye. Early in the film, when the zombies first start to appear, a panicked character is run over by an ambulance. 

  • sex false5

    Sex: While two of the characters are hiding from the zombies in the shopping mall, they pass the time  by having sex. At the end of the film, a camcorder shows quick flashes of one of the characters before the zombie attacks, hanging out on his boat with various naked women. 

  • language false3

    Language: "Motherf---ers." "Faggot." "F--k." "F--king." "S--t." "Tap that s--t." 

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the characters decides to fill the empty hours of waiting and hiding out from the zombies by drinking and smoking cigarettes. This character frequently appears drunk in the film.