28 Days Later Movie Poster Image

28 Days Later

Viral apocalypse, zombies, and terror. For adults.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

What parents need to know


Graphic violence, characters killed. Extremely intense peril, very scary images.


Full frontal nudity, sexual references, including rape.


Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and drug use.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that 28 Days Later is very scary and deeply disturbing. It has extreme and graphic peril and violence. Many characters are killed. Characters use very strong language. There is frontal male nudity. Characters drink and take drugs. There are sexual references, as well as sexual violence -- including rape.

What's the story?

This is a movie about a viral apocalypse. It has very scary zombies and jump-out-at-you attacks, but that is not what is most unsettling. Like the small group of survivors, we are cut off from any information and don't know whether it's London, the UK, or the whole world that has been almost entirely wiped out. There is no way to know who or what to trust, no basis on which to evaluate alternative courses of action. When anyone becomes infected with the virus, there are only 10-20 seconds to kill him before he becomes a crazed, lethally infectious zombie. There is no time to plan to rebuild civilization. Survival is the only imperative. And then, just as we begin to process -- if not accept -- all of that, the movie shifts into a whole other level of scariness. The zombies are terrifying, but they are not as bad as the "human" survivors, those people capable of higher reasoning and moral principles and therefore of the most profound and disturbing betrayal.

Is it any good?


Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) keeps the audience off-balance. Nightmarish quick cuts and digital video give the look of the movie a gritty, hallucinatory immediacy. Boyle also makes brilliant use of the empty artifacts, from the deserted London streets to a once-magnificent Gosford Park-style country house, now occupied by military, who eat rotting food around the table once used for glittering parties. Each character gets just one defining quality (idealistic Jim, tough Selena, stout-hearted Frank, ingenue Hannah), but that just adds to the sense of urgency -- we don't have time to get to know them, just as they don't have time to get to know one another.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different characters' responses to ultimate questions about the meaning of life. Who is responsible for what happened? What will the world be like 10 years later?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 26, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:October 16, 2003
Cast:Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley
Director:Danny Boyle
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence and gore, language and nudity.

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Adult Written byFZNNJ July 21, 2010

Great Movie Squeamish Beware

This movie, although graphic, is a very good rendition of what zombie movies should be like. The overtones of helping others through whatever happens can come as a good change in the newer horror movies that put sex at the forefront. Now although this movie is a good one, and the action scenes can get everyone on the edge of their seat there are a three main parts that require a mature personality especially at the younger ages. The first and most obvious is the full male nudity near the beginning of the film. It is a short scene that really sets a symbolic tone, but for the sensitive beware. Second is the first third of the movie is really dark. Zombies are everywhere, running away through sewers, having to put a bullet in some guys head to stop him from becoming a zombie. It can be a bit much for a squeamish viewer to handle. Finally the last part of the movie revolves around the plans to rape the two female protagonists. Note, this is not actually done and it is not said directly "I am going to rape them", but for an older viewer it is more apparent. This is of course balanced out by the surviving male protagonist rescuing them emphasizing the main message of the film. Overall a great movie, but make sure the younger viewers are more able to cope with the violence.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bygraciepie99 August 15, 2013

Gracie's review

I first watched this movie aged 13. I'm Bipolar and one of my traits is that I'm not easily disturbed. At all. I sat through the whole movie and didn't even flinch. For a normal child, I would say keep a close eye on your child, watch it with them, and if they get scared, turn it off immediately and watch something a bit brighter as it is quite a grim movie. I would say the most disturbing part is when the soldiers lure the survivors into their fortress to rape them.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 14, 2012

A much better job than 28 Weeks.

Unlike its sequel,28 Weeks Later,28 Days Later dosent rely on heavy gore and blood to shock viewers.The movie pulls you into the atmosphere right at the beginning and manages to artistically feel what the characters are feeling,a sense of hopelessness.Very suspenseful and gory,28 Days Later dosent deserve a not for kids but it's not recommended for squeamish,although I can say that I have watched this when I was 6 and have still remained fine to this days.Danny Boyle's films rock!