Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Detroit Free Press:
Its secret is the same one that keeps us interested in the better examples of the movies it pillories: The writers, director and actors make us care about Shaun and his friends.
Members of the cast, most of whom hail from British TV sitcoms, have crackerjack comedic timing, and their characters have been written so well you'd watch them with or without zombies.
Robert K. Elder,
Playing the stereotypical twentysomething everyman, Pegg has a disarming fragility that evokes a bit of empathy from anyone ever stuck in a rut.
A wonderfully funny spoof of zombie movies ... and of the kind of life that can turn a man into the walking dead.
Ebert & Roeper:
...the second half of the film is just a standard horror movie showdown with a few mildly amusing gags.
The movie bogs down and the humor seems to dry up, though the blood continues to well, spurt and spew.
Mixing horror and humor is no mean feat, but Shaun Of The Dead tightens throats in fear without making the laughs stick there in the process.
Zombie movies have been spoofed before, but this one lurches to the top of the list on the strength of its twisted British wit and oh-so-clever mix of laughs and horror.
A British zombie flick that works not because of the crowds of undead, but because the guy trying to exterminate them was himself running out of reasons to live.
J. R. Jones,
George Romero's zombie trilogy has generated an endless parade of remakes and rip-offs, but this clever British spoof comes closer than many to the bitter satire that makes his movies so distinctive.
Dallas Morning News:
This movie is destined for cult greatness. See it now and you can say -- honestly, for once -- that you were there in the beginning.
Los Angeles Times:
It's a grisly but sweet ode to friendship, love and the George Romero zombie trilogy.
The biggest surprise (and asset) here is Pegg, who imbues the slightly daft Shaun with a good nature and bigger heart, providing the film with a central figure you actually care about.
There is gore aplenty for those who like to look at it, and a bounty of winking jokes for those who would prefer to laugh at it.
The zombie-movie genre already has some wink-wink funny entries, but this U.K. smash hit, written by Pegg and Wright, takes the prize. It's a bloody hoot.
A smart, cultish, semi-disgusting homage to the fine British art of not bothering.
It's a dead man's party driven by inspired sight gags, witty repartee and likable, dare we say, cuddly characters.
New York Daily News:
The movie's great joke never wears out its welcome: Many of the living are virtually indistinguishable from the undead.
New York Times:
By treating the genre as a joke, this satire, whose title plays off George A. Romero's 1979 golden oldie, Dawn of the Dead, yields ironic dramatic dividends.
For those who don't mind a little laughter with their zombies (or perhaps it should be the other way around), this is an unusual source of entertainment.
Though I prefer the hard-core zombie scares of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, Pegg and Wright -- who are rumored to resemble a real-life Shaun and Ed -- keep the blood and the laughs gushing.
I love George Romero's zombie pictures, and I love deadpan English humor, but I had no idea that the two would mesh as happily as they (mostly) do in Shaun of the Dead.
Plays brilliantly with our familiarity with zombie genre (yes, I actually said that) convention.
The cast make a cosy fit, the patter is still sitcom snappy, but Wright also has the visual snap to carry this saga of backyard apocalypse.
The pasty, scruffy Pegg shows a surprising amount of range for the unlikely hero of a zombie flick.
Co-scripters Pegg and Wright structure it as a classic three-acter (set-up, journey, finale) with enough twists, character development and small set pieces to keep the comedy boiling.
Taken on its own shaky legs it's a wittier genre coda than Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
If the zombie genre steadfastly refuses to die, we can be grateful to Shaun of the Dead for breathing fresh, diverting life into the form, with subtle visual humor and a smart, impish sense of fun.