The Crazies

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Crazies Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Gory, scary horror remake with anti-military message.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 27 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie carries over the Vietnam-era social commentary from George A. Romero's 1973 original, which is that the military is just as bad as -- if not worse than -- the maniacal, homicidal "crazies." Wherever the heroes go, they must look out for both kinds of attackers. There are no suggestions for improving this situation. It could be argued that the heroes fighting for their lives and exhibiting compassion and love in the face of true horror is an admirable quality, but the overall theme of the movie trumps their efforts.

Positive Role Models & Representations

After a military experiment spreads a deadly virus around a small Iowa town, sheriff David Dutton, his wife Judy, the town doctor, and deputy Russell Clank show bravery and selflessness in the face of horror. They remain devoted to their duties as long as they can, and brave dangerous situations to rescue one another. When the time comes to run, they try to help as many other people as they can. Their optimism eventually runs low, but for the most part, they keep their chins up and work to overcome an impossible situation.


Horror imagery and violence abounds, though the most disturbing imagery comes in the piles upon piles of grisly, burned or otherwise mutilated corpses. One of the scariest sequences occurs in a military tent as men in hazard suits run weird medical tests and forcibly separate loved ones (including a mother from her child). Huge amount of gun violence, including shootings, killings, and threats. Also head-whacking with a blunt instrument, an attack with a bonesaw, stabbing with a pitchfork, a knife through a hand, an attacker set on fire, and bodies burned with a flamethrower.


No onscreen sex. The action focuses mainly on a married couple. The wife is pregnant and they occasionally kiss, hold hands, and touch each other in comfortable ways. A teenage girl has a secret boyfriend, but we only see them together in one scene, where they hug.


There are many instances of both "s--t" and "f--k" with some uses of "Jesus Christ" and "Goddamn" as exclamations.


 The "Valvoline" logo is prevalent in one shot.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character is described as a drunk, but we never see him or anyone else drinking. No drugs or smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Crazies is a violent, somewhat cynical remake of a 1973 film by famed horror director George A. Romero. The tense movie is filled with strong language, disturbing images, i.e. grisly piles of mutilated and burned corpses, as well as blood, jump-scares, and other frightening moments. But despite this, and the over-reliance on genre clichés, the movie contains some interesting ideas and should spark some good conversation between parents and older teens about the role of the military in society and the human instinct for survival.

Wondering if The Crazies is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMr.Fazbear2004 April 15, 2020

The Crazies isn't crazy enough.

Aside from well-acted performances and a scary enough concept, The Crazies isn't anything special by the end. It just turns into a jumpscare fest. Not for... Continue reading
Adult Written bycjlewis97 January 1, 2019
Teen, 13 years old Written bygharding2005 March 8, 2019

Alright but quite disturbing

I think this was a pretty good film but at times was a bit disturbing. E.g at one point there was a guy with his eyes sewn together and his mouth also sewn toge... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byharvj99 February 16, 2015

Effective Horror Remake

While light on jump scares (only two or three scenes were genuinely frightening) The Crazies packs in lots of gore, primarily in one memorable scene involving a... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a sleepy small town in Iowa, a blank-faced man walks into the middle of a baseball game carrying a gun, and the local sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) is forced to shoot him. The sheriff's wife, the town doctor (Radha Mitchell) sees patients with similar behavior. It turns out that an experimental military virus has been set loose in the town, turning everyone into mindless, homicidal maniacs. Soon the military shows up, trying to contain the problem, but they cause as much violence and destruction -- if not more so -- than the "crazies." The sheriff, his wife, the deputy, and a teenage girl decide to flee across the county lines to safety, all the while fending off attacks from both sides, and risking contracting the virus themselves.

Is it any good?

A remake of George A. Romero's 1973 Vietnam-era movie, THE CRAZIES retains all the social commentary of the original, but streamlines it and smoothes it into a regular horror film. It cuts down on the many talking and bickering sequences in the original, and turns the military men into faceless, voiceless spooks who are more or less the equivalent of the "crazies." In a way, the new film is perhaps even more direct in getting Romero's anti-military message across.

Though the movie relies a bit too much on standard genre conventions like jump-scares, last-second rescues, and characters splitting up to search for things, it makes up for it with a high standard of acting, mainly by Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell as the married sheriff and doctor. Their realistic reactions to the horror around them are far more effective than any amount of shock imagery or bloody gore.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Crazies. Did the movie's high body count have a shocking or a numbing effect on you? Why or why not?

  • Which are worse, the "crazies" or the military men? Why? What message about the military do you think this movie sends? What role does the military play in our lives, past and present?

  • In the movie, there's no way to tell when someone first comes down with the virus. How far would you trust a friend or a family member in this situation? Talk about humanity's instinct to survive.

  • In the early scenes, Becca tells an outright lie to her boss so she can meet her boyfriend. Do you still sympathize with her after this? Why? Is it ever OK to lie?

Movie details

For kids who love thrillers

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate