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Zombieland

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Zombieland Movie Poster Image
Horror-comedy hybrid is gory, crude ... and not for kids.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 88 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 64 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 180 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

You could argue that the main character's attempts to form bonds with people and create a family of sorts gives the movie a positive undercurrent, but really it's all about bloody (albeit supposedly comedic) action mayhem.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters may be very crude and violent, but they also go through noteworthy changes over the course of the movie -- whether it's learning to live without constant terror or embracing relationships with others. Issues of trust, sacrifice, and loss also come up, with the survivors truly working together to survive and thrive.

Violence

Extraordinary horror- and zombie-themed violence, with zombies devouring humans in bloody fashion, humans dispatching zombies with aplomb, and more. Shootings, bludgeonings, stabbings, falls from great heights, and limb removal, are all featured, plus vehicular mayhem and more. Humans are eaten, assaulted, shot, and hurled from cars; zombies are set aflame, hit with falling objects, and more. The zombie-related violence includes copious amounts of blood, rent flesh, and gore. 

Sex

Kissing; discussions of sex; discussions of how a character "would hit that" or "at least ... first (base)."  A zombie stripper -- with pasties over her nipples -- is briefly seen.

Language

Strong language throughout, including "f--k," "motherf---er," "c--k," "nut," "balls," "hell," "dick," "s--t," "bitch," "crap," "Jesus," "oh my God," "Jesus Christ," "ass," "bastard," and more.

Consumerism

Brands mentioned or seen include Cadillac, Hostess snack foods (specifically Snow Balls and Twinkies), Pepsi, Mountain Dew, World of Warcraft, and Lancome.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol -- including hard liquor and wine. Marijuana is smoked from a hookah.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, in keeping with its title, Zombieland is full of zombie violence, whether it's the zombies dispatching humans or being dispatched themselves. Although much of the mayhem is played for laughs and the film's overall tone is lighthearted, there's tons of gore (shootings, bludgeonings, stabbings, flesh eating, and more), as well as scary depictions of the end of the world. Also expect frequent strong language (including "f--k" and then some), some drinking, and one scene of drug use.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDarkAgentE February 21, 2018

A good time.

Zombieland is one of my favorite action comedies. There's non stop action, blood and gore, carnage, and lots of dark humor. The film can get surprisingly d... Continue reading
Adult Written byPizza G. May 14, 2017

Horror comedy has great characters and action

Zombieland is probably the best zombie movie of all time. It combines superb action sequences and excellent gore effects with likable characters, witty humor, a... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 4, 2016

Crude but funny horror/comedy is gory fun for teens

To be honest, Zombieland's R-rating is slightly inaccurate; yes, language is frequent, yes, there are some innuendos, and yes, the violence is pretty grues... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byChambear November 26, 2009

THE zombie spoof.

This is the funniest zombie spoof ever created. It is all about a cautious, Michael Cera type young adult named Columbus who meets the tough, southern attitude... Continue reading

What's the story?

In ZOMBIELAND, two months after the outbreak of a plague that turned the majority of humans into flesh-hungry walking dead, two survivors meet. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a nervy, nerdy loner, while Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is a wild man warrior who's ready to handle any and all zombie attackers. The two soon bump into con-artist sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) -- after some initial clashing, the foursome heads to Los Angeles, with the promised land of a supposedly zombie-free amusement park as their destination.

Is it any good?

While violent and crude, this movie is also great fun. It's that rare horror-comedy that manages to have its overall senses of excitement and tension supported, not undercut, by the tension-releasing laughs. The cast is uniformly fine, with Harrelson as a real standout, and commercial director Reuben Fleischer jumps to the big screen with verve and intensity. The film's affection for prior zombie movies is clear, but Zombieland never breaks its own rules: The undead are almost always a real threat.

The jokes come as fast and furious as the body count (including a cameo by a celebrity survivor that's too good to spoil); the action is both goofy and exhilarating; and, while the film certainly isn't for kids, it's ultimately a remarkably satisfying genre deconstruction that simultaneously celebrates and makes fun of zombie-film traditions. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Zombieland's mocking tone. Can a film mix brutal violence and comedy? Horror and humor? How does the comedic tone affect the impact of the violence?

  • Why do you think zombies are such a popular movie subject? What do zombie movies tend to have in common? Why are they so often also about the end of the world?

Movie details

For kids who love scares

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