A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive MessagesThe movie supports using your intellect to solve a conflict, rather than just fighting. It's about solving a very complicated problem against terrible odds and not giving up. The goal involves finding a tool for the fight, rather than a solution or a cure.
Positive Role ModelsThe main character would rather stay behind and protect his family, but instead he agrees to a deadly mission to try to find a cure for the zombie outbreak. Even when the odds are against him, he never gives up, and he resorts to violence only when necessary. Otherwise, he uses his wit, cunning, and intellect to save the day.
Violence & ScarinessLess blood and gore than a typical zombie movie -- much of the violence takes place off screen -- but there are many fast-paced zombie attacks and lots of shootings (including children) and explosions. The attacks are intense. There's also a brutal plane crash that leaves a key character impaled through the stomach with a chunk of metal. A character chops a woman's arm off to prevent her from being infected (no blood shown). Some characters commit suicide rather than become zombies. Another character accidentally slips and shoots himself. Rotting corpses covered in white ashes are shown. Many characters die.
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Sex, Romance & NudityImages of a married couple being comfortable with each other, sleeping in the same bed, kissing, etc.
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LanguageLanguage isn't constant, but "s--t" is used a few times, as well as "bastard," "bitch," "ass," "damn," "hell," "oh my God," and "goddamn."
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Products & PurchasesA Mountain Dew can is prominently shown -- the main character accidentally kicks it while trying to be quiet. Later, he stops to drink a Pepsi from a soda machine and then lets loose dozens of Pepsi cans from the machine for a distraction. Budweiser bottles are also shown.
Drinking, Drugs & SmokingThe main character accepts a beer in one scene but isn't seen drinking it. On an airplane, he gives vodka to a woman to numb her pain while he changes a dressing. He also uses it to clean his hands and clean the wound.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that World War Z is an action/thriller movie about a worldwide zombie outbreak that's based on the bestselling novel by Max Brooks and stars Brad Pitt. It tones down the blood and gore that are trademarks of most zombie movies, instead focusing on chase sequences and lots of shootings (including children), explosions, and dead bodies. It's intense, but it's not overly graphic -- though a plane crash sequence does result in a key character being injured, with a piece of metal sticking out of his stomach, and other scenes include a woman's arm being cut off (no blood) and people choosing suicide over infection. Language is sparse but features a few uses of "s--t" and other words. Some vodka is used as a painkiller (and a cleaner) while the main character cleans and dresses a wound, and Pepsi and Mountain Dew are definitely used for product placement. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The bestselling novel World War Z by Max Brooks (Mel Brooks' son) started a bidding war right out of the gate, and unfortunately it's been turned into a sloppy, dull summer action flick. Director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Machine Gun Preacher) has never shown much personality or skill when it comes to big movies; his action sequences are shaky and choppy, and his suspense sequences are clunky rather than tense. The entire movie has a grim, serious demeanor that sucks all the potential fun out of it. It's probably the least scary zombie movie ever made.
WORLD WAR Z is also one of those movies that makes you want to scream at the characters for not being very smart; if they'd seen even one zombie movie, they'd know not to make the same old mistakes. There isn't a scene in it that couldn't have been done better. Not even the actors pass muster: Pitt is on autopilot, and character actors like David Morse are gone before they've had a chance to warm up. The title of this dud should have included more "Z"s.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.