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George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

… barely about zombies eating dumb teen victims. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    66

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    This "Living Dead" exercise delivers far less monstrosity and a great deal of pomposity, not to mention dull characters who aren't nearly as lively as those dead guys.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Diary of the Dead isn't bad; it's a kicky B movie hiding inside a draggy, self-conscious-work-of-auteurist-horror one.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The way Diary of the Dead chooses to deliver its gore, you know you’re in the hands of a grown-up uninterested in the excesses of the “Saw” or “Hostel” pictures. I mean, there’s gore, sure, and flesh gets eaten. But the way Romero shoots and cuts the shot of a girl’s reunion with her parents, one dead, one undead, it’s played for keeps--the right kind of gross, with a touch of mournful gravity.

    Read Full Review

  • See all George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Gory zombie movie raises questions about media.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this zombie horror movie is full of bloody violence and gory effects. Expect fights, shooting, disembowelment, gruesome wounds, and flesh-eating -- in other words, all the hallmarks of George A. Romero zombie movies. There's a brief shot of a girl's bare breast, as well as some kissing and allusions to "tits." The professor character drinks almost nonstop, including while advising and rescuing his students. Lots of strong language, particularly "f--k" and "s--t." The hectic handheld camerawork may be a problem for some viewers.

  • Families can talk about how this movie fits in with Romero's other "living dead" films (the first came out in 1968). How does this one update the earlier movies' themes or ideas by using the Internet and digital technology to record the devastation? What is the movie saying about the media's role in large-scale disasters? What is the larger message here? How does having that message set Romero's movies apart from other zombie flicks?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Drunken professor/war veteran; moral debates about journalists' duties; arguments about betrayal and loyalty; rich kid is untrustworthy; zombies eat everyone.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Extreme, gory violence throughout, including gunfire (zombies take many bullets to chests and limbs, and, most effectively, to their heads), explosions, crossbow shots (arrows go through bloody zombie heads), wrestling, and kicking. Repeated hectic battle and chase scenes as victims run and/or fight back. Zombies bite/rip open necks and eat flesh. A van slams into and decimates zombies. Girl shoots herself in the head (bloody effects and tearful friends). A hospital patient's entrails fall out (very bloody). Looting and frenzy in the street. Virtuous Amish farmer splits his own head -- and a zombie -- with his scythe. Zombie killed by pouring acid on its head (gross). Lengthy climax, with characters recording images of friends being attacked.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Girls dress in close-fitting, cleavage-revealing tops; brief shot of one young woman's breast. Brief kissing by couples. An actress complains that girls in monster movies fall and their "tits fall out" -- then later in the movie she does just that.

  • language false5

    Language: Relentless language, particularly "f--k." Other obscenities include "s--t," "hell," "ass" (also with "hole"), "damn," and "bitch" (with "son of a").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: MySpace.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Professor is an alcoholic and drinks from a flask and other liquor sources frequently; he also behaves drunkenly. A couple of students hole up in a mansion, boast of drinking, and appear high in an Internet video. Cigarette smoking.

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