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World War Z Review Critics


Dave White Profile

The Running, Leaping and Climbing Dead Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

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

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Brad Pitt delivers a capable performance in an immersive apocalyptic spectacle about a global zombie uprising.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Essentially, it boils down to familiar fare: a well-paced, entertaining, conventional action thriller where a reluctant hero saves the day.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Variety Scott Foundas

    Emerges as a surprisingly smart, gripping and imaginative addition to the zombie-movie canon, owing as much to scientific disaster movies like “The China Syndrome” and “Contagion” as it does to undead ur-texts like the collected works of George Romero.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    Forster's meticulousness—coupled with ample excuses to blow stuff up—isn't enough to turn World War Z into one of those class-A end-of-everything movies that leaves you feeling just a little bit queasy, momentarily uncertain of your own small place in this unmanageable world.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This enjoyable shambles of a sci-fi thriller, directed by Marc Forster in impressive 3-D, stands on its own as a powerful vision of planetary chaos.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    It’s entertaining as hell.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's scary good fun.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Brad Pitt zombie thriller is dull, despite intense moments.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that World War Z is an action/thriller movie about a worldwide zombie outbreak that's based on the bestselling novel by Max Brooks and stars Brad Pitt. It tones down the blood and gore that are trademarks of most zombie movies, instead focusing on chase sequences and lots of shootings (including children), explosions, and dead bodies. It's intense, but it's not overly graphic -- though a plane crash sequence does result in a key character being injured, with a piece of metal sticking out of his stomach, and other scenes include a woman's arm being cut off (no blood) and people choosing suicide over infection. Language is sparse but features a few uses of "s--t" and other words. Some vodka is used as a painkiller (and a cleaner) while the main character cleans and dresses a wound, and Pepsi and Mountain Dew are definitely used for product placement.

  • Families can talk about World War Z's violence. What is shown, and what isn't shown? How is this movie different from other zombie movies? Is it more or less intense?
  • What's the appeal of zombie movies in general? What do zombies say about who we are as a culture?
  • Is World War Z scary? What is it really about if it's not a true horror movie?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The movie supports using your intellect to solve a conflict, rather than just fighting. It's about solving a very complicated problem against terrible odds and not giving up. The goal involves finding a tool for the fight, rather than a solution or a cure.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The main character would rather stay behind and protect his family, but instead he agrees to a deadly mission to try to find a cure for the zombie outbreak. Even when the odds are against him, he never gives up, and he resorts to violence only when necessary. Otherwise, he uses his wit, cunning, and intellect to save the day.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Less blood and gore than a typical zombie movie -- much of the violence takes place off screen -- but there are many fast-paced zombie attacks and lots of shootings (including children) and explosions. The attacks are intense. There's also a brutal plane crash that leaves a key character impaled through the stomach with a chunk of metal. A character chops a woman's arm off to prevent her from being infected (no blood shown). Some characters commit suicide rather than become zombies. Another character accidentally slips and shoots himself. Rotting corpses covered in white ashes are shown. Many characters die.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Images of a married couple being comfortable with each other, sleeping in the same bed, kissing, etc.

  • language false3

    Language: Language isn't constant, but "s--t" is used a few times, as well as "bastard," "bitch," "ass," "damn," "hell," "oh my God," and "goddamn."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: A Mountain Dew can is prominently shown -- the main character accidentally kicks it while trying to be quiet. Later, he stops to drink a Pepsi from a soda machine and then lets loose dozens of Pepsi cans from the machine for a distraction. Budweiser bottles are also shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character accepts a beer in one scene but isn't seen drinking it. On an airplane, he gives vodka to a woman to numb her pain while he changes a dressing. He also uses it to clean his hands and clean the wound.