Zombieland

  • Review Date: September 30, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Horror-comedy hybrid is gory, crude ... and not for kids.
  • Review Date: September 30, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

While violent and crude, ZOMBIELAND is also great fun -- 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. 

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 2, 2009
DVD release date:February 2, 2010
Cast:Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson
Director:Ruben Fleischer
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Horror
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:horror violence/gore and language

This review of Zombieland was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous July 11, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

ON for 15+

What great one! Yes, it is violent, but rightfully so. It IS a zombie movie, but there is a lot of team-building themes within it as well. The raunch factor is surprisingly low, but the language and violence are considerably high. The dialogue is snappy, and constantly one-upping the previous line. Plus, the violence is very realistic and not overdone. In all, Zomieland should be considered a classic. 4 stars.
Adult Written byBBQ1113 July 13, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 
Cool movie, I saw it when having lunch. Not so disgusting, instead, the black humor interests me very much.
What other families should know
Great role models
Adult Written byMovie Man October 3, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Horiffically Hilarious! Fun, Funny, and Scary!

This is a great, original comedy. It made me laugh out-loud many times. But it was VERY scary with lots of zombie violence and gore, the type you'd see in 28 Days Later or Dawn of the Dead. If you've seen Shaun of the Dead you'll get an idea of what this is like: hilarious, but scary and graphically gory. PARENTS: kids will be freaked out by some jump scenes and a zombie clown (I'm not even afriad of clowns and it scared the crud out of me)! Very gory, almost gruesomely so, but very funny. If you can handle lots of graphic gore and a zombie clown (who doesn't show up for very long; only one scene, but it's freaky), then you should enjoy this awesome comedy. Thanks for reading - Movie Man.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byCommanderC October 15, 2009
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Violent, But Funny

This is a know your kids situation. Yes, it is a bit violent and gory, but it is counterbalanced by its hilarity. Personally, I loved it, but this is not a movie that you can take your kids along to if you can't find a babysitter.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages

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