World War Z 2013

Critics score:
67 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Christy Lemire, As both thrilling spectacle and escapist summer entertainment, World War Z is enormously effective, with Brad Pitt at the center hopscotching the globe in search of the origin of a zombie apocalypse. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Here's the oddest element in this tale of Hollywood fine-tuning run rampant: the movie is pretty good -- the summer's most urgent, highest-I.Q. action picture. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: [It] does not try to extend the boundaries of commercial entertainment but does what it can to find interesting ways to pass the time within them. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Robustly mounted, magnificently photographed and bone-crunchingly terrifying, World War Z towers above every other alleged summer blockbuster. It's the real deal. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: This enjoyable shambles of a sci-fi thriller, directed by Marc Forster in impressive 3-D, stands on its own as a powerful vision of planetary chaos. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Essentially, it boils down to familiar fare: a well-paced, entertaining, conventional action thriller where a reluctant hero saves the day. Read more

Soren Anderson, Seattle Times: A genuine nail-biter. Read more

Scott Foundas, Variety: This is a surprisingly smart, gripping and imaginative addition to the zombie-movie canon. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: World War Z bucks the current trend in summer blockbusters by feeling weirdly understuffed. It's an episodic adventure without enough episodes. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Even as big-budget blockbusters go, this is a hard movie to connect with. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The surprise of the absorbing, frightening "World War Z" is that what sounds ridiculous on paper turns out be a gripper on the screen. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Director Marc Forster can't do much with the stale human story, in which Pitt leaves his frightened wife and daughters on an aircraft carrier to await his return. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The stakes are high and the excitement's there and the results ... are messy but fairly entertaining. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Pitt conducts himself manfully throughout the proceedings -- he is never less than believable while facing off against this pandemic -- but if I never see another zombie in the movies, I will not feel deprived. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: As compelling as Pitt is at reflecting the world's pain through Lane's eyes, the movie treats him too often as if he truly is the only one with loved ones to lose or a world to save. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Forster's action scenes are fairly effective, if necessarily far-fetched, and his bouncy, race-track zombies are an interesting hybrid. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ A fun, if not particularly emotionally engaging, thrill ride ... Unlike the best in the zombie genre, the movie doesn't tap deep into the existential dread of succumbing to mob bloodlust and the fear of the crowd. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: [It] may be the most entertaining and accomplished zombie thriller since George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead ... Read more

William Goss, As I understand it, fidelity to Max Brooks' novel has been scant at best, but neither that nor countless post-production woes prevent Paramount's adaptation from serving as an efficient and effectively exciting globe-spanning zombie thriller. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: [A] lousy, ugly-looking, intensely illogical movie. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Brad Pitt delivers a capable performance in an immersive apocalyptic spectacle about a global zombie uprising. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Against considerable odds, the ability and professionalism of the cast and crew have carried the day. Read more

Karen D'Souza, San Jose Mercury News: Other than the CGI eye candy, which is intense, there is little in the way of layers and complexity to this portrait of pandemonium. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: World War Z opens with an undeniable bang. But if this is the way the world ends, we're going out with a whimper. Read more

David Thomson, The New Republic: Z has guts and energy. It starts its mayhem early and it never lets up. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: A smart, entertaining zombie flick that's slightly cleverer and classier than most. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Despite some conventional passages and a soft ending, Forster and Brad Pitt, who is a producer of the film as well as its star, pulled the picture together. They also managed to reawaken in a large-scale movie the experience of shock. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: [It] has a fragmentary feel, with its novel multipart style eventually turning a bit jarring. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR: Whatever problems World War Z encountered in its making, the movie has made it to theaters not dead on arrival, but walking dead, running dead, and - when it's really working - swarming dead. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: It's an anemic actioner that fosters excitement like dead limbs as it lumbers toward a conclusion. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: It's just a jumped-up midnight movie that thinks "stuff jumping out at you and making loud noises" equals horror and "perfect human being impervious to everything" equals hero. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: World War Z hits the blockbuster equivalent of a delicate balance: gargantuan spectacle with a human touch. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: A relentless horror thriller that serves up a chilling vision of a planet in the throes of apocalypse ... Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: A letdown with a strange mixture of epic apocalyptic material and generic zombie stuff. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Entertaining as hell. Read more

Matt Zoller Seitz, Chicago Sun-Times: If you need proof that sometimes more can be less, here you go. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: World War Z is still as smart, shifty and scary as a starving zombie ready to chow down on you, baby, you. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Whatever caused all the production angst on this film I don't know, but you never get the feeling that Forster loses control of the images, and "World War Z" contains several of the most effective big-canvas action sequences in recent history. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: The choreography is thought out, and the use of 3-D is at least good enough that I embarrassed myself, leaping in my seat to get out of the way of a zombie that was falling on me. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Given how efficiently World War Z has delivered jolts and screams over the course of its sleek 116-minute running time, it's easy to forgive [its] rushed and slightly muted finale. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Fast, furious and ferocious, "World War Z" proves there's plenty of bite left in zombie cinema. Read more

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: Pretty much what you'd want in a summer blockbuster: scary but not-too-gross zombies, a journey to exotic locales, a few excellent action scenes, and did we mention Pitt? Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: [It] has a relatively plausible perspective on mass catastrophe. It deserves comparisons to Steven Soderbergh's brainy "Contagion." Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: World War Z is a perfectly decent thriller, the smartest and most sober action film so far this summer and a grown-up addition to the zombie canon. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The whole movie seems in many ways like a fortunate accident. But there's no doubting the deliberate wisdom of making a star of Pitt's talent and stature the lead. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: For all its effectiveness at portraying the horror of possible human extinction, the film's actual humans are so soulless that this could just as well be the movie version of the video game Plants vs. Zombies. Read more

Cath Clarke, Time Out: What's missing is a sense of loss - the horror and grief that should be etched on the faces of the living. Read more

David Fear, Time Out: The movie essentially becomes little more than cool set pieces ... jammed together and interspersed with underdeveloped family-strife scenes. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: Forster moves the action forward deftly scene by scene, yet the movie ends up feeling sprawling and empty, a "zombies invaded the world and all I got was a lousy T-shirt" enterprise. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: The result is a movie that, while no classic, can be credited with giving the audience something a bit more substantive than the usual disposable summer fare. Read more