Shaun of the Dead

  • Review Date: December 21, 2004
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2004

Common Sense Media says

Plenty of funny moments, but not for the faint of heart.
  • Review Date: December 21, 2004
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2004





What parents need to know

Positive messages

A man has to kill his zombie mother and characters contemplate suicide.


Graphic, bloody gore. Humans and zombies constantly try to kill each other in various ways -- by biting, shooting, impaling, stabbing, etc.


Some sexual references and crude humor.


Lots of extremely strong language.


Product placement for Coke and Jaguar.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Nonstop drinking and smoking -- many scenes set in a bar. Some drug references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is not for kids. Although it's more of a comedy than a true horror movie, there is still enough blood, guts, and gore to turn your stomach and make you avert your eyes. It's also extremely violent -- zombies and humans try to kill each other in every way possible -- biting, shooting, stabbing, impaling, etc. There is almost nonstop profanity and some crude humor. There's also a lot of smoking and drinking, and there are a few drug references. There are also some intense scenes, such as when a son is forced to kill his zombie mother and some characters consider killing themselves.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a 29-year-old slacker who holds down a dead-end job he hates. His girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) has asked him to make something of himself, but he cannot bring himself to change. Sick of playing second fiddle to his immature roommate Ed, beer, and video games, Liz breaks up with Shaun. Shaun wants to save the relationship, but before he can, he must deal with a strange situation that has emerged -- a horde of zombies are taking over London, and they are looking for new recruits. Now Shaun must save his family and friends as chaos erupts through the city.

Is it any good?


A cult favorite, SHAUN OF THE DEAD pokes fun at zombie movie cliches, but it also honors these movies by following their rules. It balances laugh-out-loud funny scenes (such as when Shaun is so self-absorbed he doesn't see the zombies wandering around his neighborhood and then misses the news warnings because he is channel-surfing) with some intense, suspenseful, and yes, very gory and bloody scenes (for example, the zombies attack a man and pull various bloody organs out of his stomach).

Due to the gore, we don't recommend this movie for kids under 17. Older teens and adults who are horror fans, however, are likely to enjoy the droll British humor and homage to George Romero's zombie trilogy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of zombie movies. They can also talk about satire, and point out the many instances that occur in this film.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 23, 2004
DVD release date:December 21, 2004
Cast:Lucy Davis, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg
Director:Edgar Wright
Studio:Rogue Pictures
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:zombie violence/gore and language

This review of Shaun of the Dead was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of an infant year old Written bychrysophylax October 30, 2009

This is comedy and satire. If you don't get it, you don't get it. If you do, it's drop dead (and reanimate) funny. There is a lot of gore and swearing, but overall the messages and actions of the characters are positive given the situations they find themselves in.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bycallofduty5 September 26, 2010

Too gory for kids

I loved this film alltough not good as severance, but still a good gore-filled-zombie-spoof movie definetly your kids will love it!
if u got older teens get this movie

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old Written byShaunofthedead11 December 24, 2011

Shaun of the dead Must read

I think the positive message is being very brave going against zombies. I am 11 and i watched it, i think it should be 11 & up because it is appropiate, no bleeding

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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