A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
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, ZOMBIELAND 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 the film'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?
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