A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It takes bravery to stand up to zombie invaders, but that's not story's point; pessimism is also prevalent. Touches on environmental themes with mention of "polar fracking." Makes fun of consumerism, right-wing points of view. One character is like a parody of a racist (e.g., wearing a "Make America White Again" hat).
Positive Role Models
No real role models, but some strong female characters.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme blood and gore. Torn-open human corpses with entrails spilled out. Blood spurts. Guns and shooting. Zombies sliced with samurai sword (they ooze black powder instead of blood). Zombie attacks, chewing on humans. Skinned animal carcass.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Bare bottom of naked female zombie. Women objectified. Young woman shown bending over in skimpy shorts.
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Many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus uses of "motherf----r," "a--hole," "ass," "d--k," "hell," "goddamn," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).
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Products & Purchases
Familiar horror-related collectibles shown. Smart Car shown/discussed. Sharpie shown. Mountain Dew logo shown. Nestle ice cream logo shown. Snapple, Snickers, Skittles mentioned. Siri mentioned. Nintendo Game Boy mentioned. Reference to Star Wars.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One zombie is referred to as a humorous alcoholic, chanting "chardonnay" over and over. Oxy is mentioned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Dead Don't Die is an all-star zombie comedy from indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. Expect extreme zombie-related blood and gore, including torn-open corpses, chewing, blood spurts, spilled guts, dead bodies, guns and shooting, zombies sliced with a sword, and more. Language is also strong, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. A naked female zombie appears; her bare bottom is shown. Women are briefly objectified, and one young woman is shown bending over in short-shorts. A zombie character is referred to as an alcoholic who chants "chardonnay" over and over; another zombie chants "oxy." Many brands are referenced or shown, but mainly as commentary on consumerism, rather than in a promotional sense. Many viewers' interest may well be piqued by the popular cast (which includes Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Selena Gomez, and more), but only a few -- especially those familiar with Jarmusch's deadpan, sardonic humor -- will really click with this wonderfully weird movie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While this all-star, deadpan zombie comedy won't appeal to everyone, its wry commentary and postmodern goodness make it ideal for fans of sardonic writer/director Jim Jarmusch. The horror genre may seem like the total opposite of Jarmusch's style, but The Dead Don't Die is nonetheless a strange delight, a fitting companion piece to Jarmusch's angsty vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive. Most of the movie's incredible cast have worked with Jarmusch before, and they seem to be having laid-back fun; none of the characters gets terribly frazzled by the zombie attacks. But the film's low-key humor will definitely fall flat for those who aren't already attuned to the filmmaker's offbeat rhythms.
Miraculously, Jarmusch manages to have his brains and eat them, too, effortlessly combining political jokes with self-referential ones. Radio chats about "polar fracking" eerily mirror today's style of political debates, and the zombies have a funny consumerist streak. Meanwhile, a character runs a horror movie memorabilia shop out of the local gas station, and the theme song by Sturgill Simpson is available on CD, even as the movie is happening. The Dead Don't Die offers a few more truly bizarre surprises as things go on, as well as plenty of laughs. Viewers shouldn't expect anything like Ghostbusters or Groundhog Day, but die-hard, deep-dive Murray fans will find much to treasure.
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