Box art for World War Z

World War Z

drama, horror

World War Z is the fast-paced, pulse-pounding epic of the potential last days of the human race. Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is called in to help stop the pandemic that has spread around the world.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
4 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 0
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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

2 stars

Jurgen Warmbrunn: Most people don't believe something can happen until it already has. That's not stupidity or weakness, that's just human nature. "Remember Philly" This was a movie that I had large expectations for. World War Z didn't quite deliver though. It had exciting moments and cool action sequences, but largely the movie was dull and was just missing something. I haven't read the book, so I can't comment on how the movie is as an adaptation. All I can say was the movie was okay, but it was disappointing. When a zombie pandemic breaks out and stretches the entire globe, all ex-UN employee Gerry Lane wants to do is protect his family. Soon the UN wants him to come back to work though, and in order for his family to be allowed to stay on a naval ship, he agrees. He then goes all over the world trying to figure out where this all started and also trying to figure out how to stop it. Brad Pitt was his usual self. His performance doesn't rank up there with the best of his career, and it all seemed a little easy for him, but still he was the driving force through the whole film. The zombies themselves can sometimes look good and other times look ridiculous. Normally when in large groups, the zombies look amazing. One scene in particular where a shit load of zombies try to climb a wall is eye popping to say the least. In the end, I have a tough time rating this one. I really want to like it more than I ended up, but the fact is that it wasn't that good. Good action sequences and a solid lead don't push this movie over the top, they just keep it from failing.

- blkbomb, Sunday, July 28, 2013

3 stars

Now I'm not a huge zombie person as much as some other people are and this isn't a gore hounds dream of a zombie film (Thank you PG-13) but I will admit I was generally surprised for what I got considering the trailer didn't intrigue me that much. The acting in World War Z is mainly hit or miss in my mind. Brad Pitt, while not a huge fan of his work, does a very good job here and gives a very legit serious performance. Mireille Enos does a very good job as the wife of Brad and does get a few very well pulled off emotional moments. My favorite actor in the film though is Danielle Kertesz who plays a foreign soldier who helps Brad Pitt through Israel and the hospital at the end of the film who has her hand amputated off due to getting bitten and keeping it from spreading. She gives a very good emotional performance and she definitely knows how to pull off the very intense moments in the film. The rest of the cast does well but they don't really focus on a lot of the side characters in the film, mainly its just Pitt, the wife, and the soldier, so a lot of the side characters are either forgettable and just there to die, or just give a passable performance. Now the effects. This is the one thing I was mainly concerned about, because in all the trailers, they show the massive amounts of zombies piling on top of one another and running in MASSIVE groups and it is painfully obvious CG and looks pretty laughable from far away, but up close the zombie makeup actually looks very good and the makeup does have some fantastic details to it, especially the teeth and hair on some of the zombies, especially the last one near the end of the film. And some of them have very graphic detail to them which I was genuinely pleased with that they at least made them look like zombies unlike some other zombie films in the past few years. Now the horror element. Considering it is a zombie movie you would expect some suspense and jump scares, and this is my one problem I have with the film, the jump scares are very predictable, and I was even talking to my friend (Very quietly I might add) in the theatre during the jump scare scenes and saying, this would've worked so much better if they did this. One example is a zombie is shown on a stretcher in a flashback explanation scene asleep, the doctor is examining the zombie while dormant, and at one point puts his ear to the zombies face, now I thought it was going to be that the zombie was going to bite him while his face was right there, which would've been a very good jump scare, but he backs up and they zoom on the zombies face and its eyes open up, which killed the whole jump moment. The movie is just full of these moments that kill the jumpscares by anticipating them. It's almost like the film is to scared to actually scare the audience which is not a good sign for a zombie movie. And I've seen jump scares done very well in other PG-13 films such as Mama and the Grudge and it is just sad that they don't utilize jumps that well. That is until the last act of the film where Brad Pitt and the soldier are in a research facility with a few other people where they have to find the cure so they have to go into the other half of the building, only problem is that the whole other half of the building is crawling with the other infected doctors and scientists, so some of the doctors, Pitt and the soldier have to sneak through there without alerting the zombies, and this is where I think the suspense is just phenomenal. The whole scene builds up so well having the first half of the scene in quiet while the people slowly have to sneak stealthily through the zombies without getting caught. And there is one scene where Pitt is in the medicine room locked in and I think this scene is arguably one of the best suspense scenes I've seen in a film. I won't ruin it but it is just fantastically creepy and makes you feel so anxious on whats going to happen. Overall, while this isn't the best Zombie film I've seen, I feel that the film has some fantastic elements of a zombie film, adds a couple things, has some good suspense (near the end), good acting, good writing, and some great makeup. I'd say it's at least worth one viewing if you can get over how cheap the CG looks at points and how predictable the jump scares are.

- skeletonking101, Sunday, July 14, 2013

4 stars

I'm not int zombie movies but this is more than about the gore. Brad Pitt and his family take shelter off shore but Brad has to help a scientist find the source of the virus that is causing these zombies to attack. Good story and special effects.

- thmtsang, Thursday, July 11, 2013