The Girl with All the Gifts

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Girl with All the Gifts Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Very gory zombie movie tackles interesting ideas.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 111 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie ultimately asks viewers to consider whether the potential greater good is worth a painful sacrifice. Is Melanie a monster, or does she have a right to live? Who gets to decide who lives and who dies?

Positive Role Models & Representations

Helen is the movie's best role model. She shows kindness and empathy toward children who elicit fear and hate from other adults. It's her treatment of Melanie that allows Melanie to believe she has something worth living for.


Extreme zombie gore, including shooting, biting, fighting, blood splatters, and bloody wounds, some of it centered around kids. Child zombies attack and kill people, with gore. Soldiers point guns at children. Kids eat worms, a cat, and a bird. Hitting a zombie on the head with a fire extinguisher (part of skull comes off). Stabbing. Zombies lick spilled blood. Kids fight with baseball bat. Hitting, fighting. Painful wounds. Peril and danger.


A man looks at a magazine in a store; nothing is shown, but it's implied that it's an "adult" magazine.


Fairly frequent use of "f--k" and "f--king," plus uses of "Jesus f---ing Christ," "s--t," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation). Soldiers use "friggin' abortions" to describe the children; one child repeats it several times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Girl with All the Gifts is a post-apocalyptic zombie movie based on a novel by Mike Carey.
Expect lots of gory horror violence, with shooting, attacking/fighting, spurting blood, bloody wounds, hitting with blunt objects, etc. Children are infected (they're dangerous zombies), and some of the violence is directed toward them. A child zombie eats worms, a cat, a bird, and humans, with lots of blood shown. Language is also strong, with several uses of "f--k" or "f--king," as well as "s--t." A man looks through an "adult magazine" in a store, though nothing is shown; a bottle containing an alcoholic beverage is drunk and shared. Zombie movies may be a dime a dozen these days, but this one at least tinkers with some fresh ideas and themes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byGaurav G. June 5, 2017

A zombie movie with a twist beyond your imagination.

This movie is not like any other zombie movie. It has very fresh content and an unpredictable climax. The casting is also brilliant. A MUSt Watch!!... Continue reading
Written byAnonymous June 22, 2020

A true triumph for its budget and one of the best zombie movies of all time

While the man-eating fungus-body-snatcher-plague is by no means original, the serious portrayal of a zombie apocalypse in The Girl with All the Gifts is one of... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 25, 2018

Completely beautiful and touching.

This was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Definitely a MUST WATCH. It follows a post-apocalyptic world where "hungeries" (like zombies but the... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bylindseyquinn March 13, 2018

Amazing movie but strong violence!

I loved this film. It's not like other zombie films. This one has heart and kindness in it. I think it depends on the person and how they can handle violen... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, the zombie apocalypse has come, the result of a kind of fungal infection, and scientist Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close) is confident she can find a cure. This is partly because certain infected children can still think and operate as humans, even though they hunger for flesh and blood. Young Melanie (Sennia Nanua) seems to be the smartest and most promising of these kids; certainly her teacher, Helen (Gemma Arterton), thinks so. When their compound is breached and overrun by zombies (called "hungries"), they escape, accompanied by Sgt. Parks (Paddy Considine) and soldier Kieran (Fisayo Akinade), seeking safety and shelter. Unfortunately, Melanie discovers that the still-hoped-for cure will come at the cost of her life.

Is it any good?

There's no shortage of zombie movies out there, but this one, based on a novel by Mike Carey, at least tinkers with some fresh ideas. And, like the best zombie movies, its strengths are based on human themes. In The Girl with All the Gifts, director Colm McCarthy (a veteran of TV's Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Peaky Blinders) conjures up strong visuals, from the miserable, prison-like interiors that begin the film, to the lush, green, overgrown city streets in the second half, with "hungries" lurking everywhere.

Melanie is the key; even as she's forced to wear a plastic mask or satisfies her hunger with a stray cat, dribbling blood down her front, she's polite and wise in dealing with the adults. The movie asks whether she's a monster -- or the future? Which group should be sacrificed so that the other can live? It's not an easy question. Though the movie frequently stoops to bursts of all-too-ordinary horror violence, it's still satisfyingly focused on its concept of progress, both constructive and destructive.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Girl with All the Gifts. How does it make you feel? How do the filmmakers achieve that effect? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Is the movie scary? How does it compare to other zombie movies you may have seen?

  • What's the appeal of zombie movies?

  • Melanie is a very strong, resourceful girl, even though she's a "hungry" (a.k.a. zombie). Is she an appealing character? Is she someone you'd want to be like or be friends with? Do you agree with her final choice? Was she doing the right thing? Who benefits, and who loses? How?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love monsters

Themes & Topics

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