Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Movie Poster Image
A good Jane Austen movie, but a poor zombie movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 108 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Women are encouraged to be strong and don't necessarily have to choose between marriage and personal (martial arts) training. They're allowed to choose both, to be themselves, and to show their strength and courage.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Elizabeth Bennet is a cunning warrior, a protector of her family, and a woman who stands up for what she wants and believes in. She refuses to settle for less, and when she marries, she does so on her own terms.

Violence

Zombie attacks, zombie fighting (though a large portion is more implied than shown). Slicing and slashing with knives/swords. Guns and shooting; a gun backfires in a woman's hand, leaving a bloody wound. Severed limbs, beheadings, and exploding heads, but little blood/gore shown. Martial arts fighting, with punching and throwing. Sword fighting, with kicking and head-butts. Battle and explosions. Gross zombie imagery. Zombie mother and baby shown.

Sex

Passionate kissing. During a fight scene, a man cuts the top button of a woman's dress off, revealing slightly more cleavage. Man's naked body is checked for bite marks (nothing graphic shown). Women getting dressed; stockings are shown, and they slide weapons into sheathes under their dresses. Many discussions of marriage.

Language

One (obscured) use of "prick."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking of sherry/brandy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is both a romantic drama and a horror-action movie, just like the 2009 mash-up book by Seth Grahame-Smith (which itself was inspired by Jane Austen's classic novel). There's a lot of zombie violence, though it's largely bloodless, with more suggested than actually shown. Still, zombies are killed, and there are some scary and/or gross images, as well as martial arts fighting, swords, blades, guns, battles, and explosions. Characters talk a great deal about marrying each other; there's one scene of passionate kissing and a flirty fight scene during which a male character pops the button off the top of a woman's dress, exposing a bit more of her cleavage. Language isn't an issue, and characters drink only in social settings.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySamanthaR 4 February 13, 2016
"One must have a proper knowledge in..." the original pride and prejudice to completely understand the full humor behind this parody. And a free gras... Continue reading
Adult Written byStevie111 June 2, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn't that bad, but it isn't that good either

This sort of bland zombie take on Pride and Prejudice really pushed the PG-13 boundaries. It isn't frequently violent, but when it is, heads are blown off,... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAlicia_Copak February 13, 2016

Awesome movie

Great movie! Followed original book and movie well and quite scary! For kids and parents that don't like blood and heads blowing up, don't watch this!... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byDrSoup007 February 7, 2016

Bizarre and charming, definitely an unexpected liking

This movie is ridiculously stupid, but self aware of its hilarity. If not for some good action, Matt Smith's great comedic acting, and it's ability to... Continue reading

What's the story?

Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and her four sisters are the daughters of an English country gentleman (Charles Dance). Their mother (Sally Phillips) wants them to marry rich, but their father has trained them to fight zombies, the outbreak of which has spread throughout Europe. As various suitors make their attentions known, including the brooding Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley), it's revealed that a certain group of "leader" zombies might save the day. But as trust is betrayed and hearts are broken, the battle between humans and zombies escalates, and the undead creatures must be contained -- at least long enough for a wedding between Elizabeth's sister Jane (Bella Heathcote) and the handsome Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth)!

Is it any good?

Perhaps not surprisingly, this is a poor zombie movie, but it is a pretty good Jane Austen movie. When it focuses on humans, the mood is playful, buoyant, romantic, and even funny. Director Burr Steers made his debut with Igby Goes Down (2002), a literate movie about smart characters, and in adapting Seth Grahame-Smith's 2009 mash-up novel PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, he clearly brings that penchant to Austen's creations as well.

Unfortunately, Steers doesn't seem to care about zombies. His creatures are fast-moving action-movie zombies (i.e. not scary). Plus, the film's fast, jerky cutting is clearly designed to minimize gore, and the remaining visual effects are third-rate. Likewise, the martial arts fight scenes, while well-choreographed, are shot with an equal lack of care. Eventually, action takes over, and the movie suffers through too many dead spots. It's too bad that Steers couldn't have hired a good "B" movie co-director to boost the movie's zombie half.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' violence. How much blood and gore is shown? How much is implied? What's the difference in impact? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?

  • Are the zombies scary in this movie? How do they compare with zombies you've seen in other movies?

  • What is a mash-up? How do you feel about zombies being added to Austen's 200-year-old story? Is it funny? Exciting? Inappropriate?

  • How does this take on Elizabeth Bennet compare with other versions of the character, either in movies, TV, or print? Is she stronger? More interesting? Less interesting? Do you consider her a role model?

  • Zombie-killing aside, what conclusions can you draw about the importance of choosing a mate carefully in love and in life?

Movie details

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