Warm Bodies Movie Poster Image

Warm Bodies

Despite violence, book-based zombie romance is OK for teens.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A central message is that all it takes to spark humanity in others is the expression of humanity -- and that even just a couple of optimists can make a huge difference. Although the story is Romeo and Juliet-esque in that the central romantic couple is from antagonistic sides, unlike Shakespeare's tragedy, love conquers the greatest of differences in Warm Bodies -- in this case, the bridge between life and death.

Positive role models

R is self-aware enough to feel conflicted about his "new hunger" to eat humans; he's willing to sacrifice himself to save Julie, who in turn puts herself in danger to be with R. R and Julie challenge others to see a way for the future that doesn't revolve around a cycle of killing and closing people off from the rest of the world.


There's zombie vs. human and zombie vs. zombie violence. The Boneys are skeleton zombies who no longer have any flesh, and they're ruthless and freaky looking. In a couple of scenes, zombies are shown attacking humans, but the quick editing doesn't focus on the gore. The main character and his zombie pals kill a bunch of young adults, and R eats a particular man's brains for a big part of the movie. Human militias shoot and kill zombies.


Unlike the book -- which features some explicit references to sex, zombie genitalia, and skin-to-skin contact -- the movie is tamer, with a couple of kissing scenes (in flashback), plus flirting, hand-holding, and eventual kissing between R and Julie. In one scene, Julie is so cold in her wet clothes that she strips down to her bra and panties in order to get dry.


Several uses of "s--t," plus "a--hole," one memorable "f--k," "hell," "ass," "crap," "oh my God," and a couple of "bitches."


Even after the zombie apocalypse, there are brands that have survived. Some of the ones featured or mentioned include BMW, USA Today, Corona beer, iPod, Prozac, Cream of Wheat, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

It's unclear how old Julie is, but she does drink a Corona beer that R offers her.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, given the current popularity of zombie apocalypse stories, Warm Bodies should appeal to plenty of teens. With its Romeo and Juliet romance and appealing leads -- not to mention a popular young adult book as its source material -- the movie is aimed squarely at adolescent viewers. There's a notable amount of violence, including a considerable body count (zombies kill humans and eat their brains). Although the zombies barely speak, there's some strong language (one "f--k," several uses of "s--t," "a--hole," etc.), and a sweet romance that builds up to a passionate kiss (as well as some making out shown in flashbacks). But overall, there's less sexual content here than in the book. Despite the violence, this is a funny love story at heart.

What's the story?

In a post-apocalyptic universe, "R" (Nicholas Hoult) is an airport-dwelling zombie who's still newly dead enough to feel conflicted about his ravenous need for human brains. On a hunting expedition to the city with his grunting BFF "M" (Rob Corddry), R and his zombie clique attack a group of heavily armed young adults who are out on a scouting mission. R kills the group's leader, Perry (Dave Franco), and grows immediately smitten with his victim's girlfriend, the comely blond Julie (Teresa Palmer). With Perry's memories fresh on his undead mind, R grabs Julie and takes her back to the airport. As R and Julie get to know each other, their flirting stirs something in R's heart and allows him to recapture part of his humanity. Unfortunately, Julie is the daughter of General Grigio (John Malkovich), who would never condone Julie's fondness for a "corpse."

Is it any good?


Move over, vampires, the zombies are upon us, and they're hilarious. These aren't the mindless savage zombies of George Romero or The Walking Dead, and this isn't an origin story like 28 Days Later. Based on author Isaac Marion's clever young adult novel, WARM BODIES is part Romeo and Juliet love story, part Shaun of the Dead biting comedy. It's funny, contemplative, and sweetly romantic. The leads have an authentic chemistry that makes for a perfect date movie for both teens and adults (thanks to the soundtrack featuring '80s classics like Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart," Guns N' Roses' "Patience," and John Waite's "Missing You").

Hoult is clearly one of England's most talented young imports. The former star of the edgy U.K. series Skins, he's transformed from the dorky young star of About a Boy into a handsome leading man with a knack for comedy, drama, action, you name it. The same goes for his Aussie leading lady, who can play tough and tender with equal flair. The small supporting cast is great (Corddry is a laugh, Analeigh Tipton is lovely as Julie's best friend, and Malkovich is Malkovich), the script is witty, and overall Warm Bodies is a well-edited, well-acted adaptation of a memorable book.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what R and Julie's story has in common with Romeo and Juliet. What are the similarities (and differences) between them and Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers? 

  • Some have criticized Warm Bodies for breaking established "zombie rules" the way that Twilight breaks vampire rules. Do you think it matters whether a zombie has ever been able to heal himself in a story before?

  • For those familiar with the book, what do you think about the changes the filmmaker made? Which changes did you appreciate, and which aspects of the book did you miss?

  • If you haven't read Isaac Marion's book, does the movie make you want to?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 1, 2013
DVD/Streaming release date:June 4, 2013
Cast:John Malkovich, Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer
Director:Jonathan Levine
Studio:Summit Entertainment
Topics:Book characters, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:zombie violence and some language

This review of Warm Bodies was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written byAliphulupus February 2, 2013

Love the movie

Very good movie!, some scenes you will see blood splatter but its very quick. There is some swearing but not to much. One scene they never mentioned was Julie gets a weed wacker and hits a zombie with it which cause a little bit of blood to splatter but its very quick. Movie is worth it!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bydavyborn February 4, 2013

Fun, sweet and occasionally inspiried, but mostly average teen comedy film.

Jonahton Levine's (50\50) adaptation of Isaac Marion's 2010 novel of the same name, Warm Bodies, is finally here, and it is sure to entice plenty of teen moviegoer's into the movie theatre and create a fairly profitiable box office revenue, which, I suppose, it has already began to do, considering the fact that it made $20,000,000 at the box office just this weekend. Now, Warm Bodies could probably be best described as Romeo and Juliet, with a twist. Or, if you prefer a different advantage, a twisted Romeo and Juliet. It tells the story of a rather unusal zombie named R (the only thing he remembers from his past lfie was that his first name started with R), who essentially just wanders through the world, which, to him, is basically just an abanoned airport now full of fellow brain-eaters, until one day, a small group of human resistance fighters break into the compound, which is where R meets Julie (Teresa Palmer), and he falls in love instantly -- that is, before he kills her boyfriend. So, the obvious complications arise: How will he be able to start a relationship with her? She is terrified beyond belief, obviously, at first, but, in a rather odd turn of events, they both begin to care for each other... Now, Warm Bodies is a movie that is petty much made up of a long string of odd turns of events, itself, but it strings them together with plenty of humor and heart (more so than you would think, given the fact that many people have there's ripped out) and some supriisingly inspired special effects, including the titular villains in the movie, named "boneys", who are the last form of a zombie, after he has begun to fully waste away, decompose and eat his own flesh. Yeah, sounds gruesome, right? But, than again, this film is made for teens, and it will certainly please them the most. And, finally, the acting is also a tad higher in calibar than one would think for yet another odd-ball teen comedy like this one, and it is helped by Nicholas Hoult who plays R, Teresa Palmer, Rob Coddry as one os R's "Friends", and the ever bizarre but always great, John Malkovich, who, here, plays Julie's dad in an attempt to play a "tough as nails" character, but it just doesn't quiet fit him. Oh well. So, despite being a zombie comedy film, Warm Bodies has recieved a PG-13 Rating, so, for parents, who are wondering about the films content, here we go: Because it is a zombie film, Warm Bodies contains many, many scenes of zombies attacking and eating humans, including repeated glimpses of them eating there brains; also, zombies are shot at, maimed, killed, and the films villainous "boneys" are gruesome skeleton-like creatures who still appear to have several layers of flesh still remaining on there bodies. Also, there is some infrequent but strong language, including one use of f--k, and several other uses each of god, jesus, g-dd-mn, h-ll and more. So, is Warm Bodies worth the ticket price of admission? Well, for most adults and older audiences, the film will probably be a bore, but for it's primary young teen audience, I'm am sure they will have a good time, as I did also enjoy it, if not intensely. Oh, and, one more thing, it is a great date movie. Reccomended.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byLupak February 1, 2013

So Bad

Innapropriate, sad, and violent. I watched it at the grand opening, i was so exited for thsis movie, and BOW! What a waste of time. Don't bother going to see it, it sucks
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing