World War Z movie poster

World War Z

In theaters June 21, 2013

116 minutes

Marc Forster’s (Machine Gun Preacher, Quantum of Solace) zombie epic is far from perfect, but it offers enough Outbreak and Contagion-like paranoia and suspense to please general audiences. Perhaps I am not the most unbiased movie-goer when it comes to Zombies – if it involves the undead, I feel alive.

WWZ doesn’t waste time setting tone, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), a retired investigator from the United Nations, is delivering his family on the morning commute. Moments later, explosions and panic set in across the city as people begin attacking each other. A global pandemic of zombie-like symptoms and attacks has erupted and running rampant in large cities. Gerry’s background investigating crimes in the world’s most dangerous of locals affords him the survival expertise and government connections to get his family to safety aboard an aircraft carrier. Reluctant to leave his family in a global crisis, Gerry is convinced to join an investigative team to determine the source and cure of the outbreak.

The investigation leads to multiple corners of the planet helping movie-goers understand the scope of the Max Brook’s bestselling novel. Gerry’s globetrotting uncovers clues along the way, and we get terrifying zombie chases (FYI, these are the fast zombies) and suspenseful close encounters, on each of his stops. The most notable scenes in Jerusalem when thousands of zombies attempt to breach a protective wall or aboard a commercial airplane when an outbreak leads to an incredible crash landing. The superhuman nature of these undead hordes can come off comical in a sense, but no less frightening if you can occasionally suspend reality.

The third act lazily ties the film together with a zombie montage and voiceover, a mediocre attempt, but you get the gist – in a genre in the midst of a renaissance – zombies aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. For this zombie-lover, that’s good news.

The undead invade your local cineplex June 21.

World War Z is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.


  1. I, like you, find it hard not to like a zombie flick. If one can suspend reality in a few parts, the suspense certainly grabs you and doesn’t let go until the scene is over. The CGI actually held up better than I thought it would and Pitt was strong. The finale could have been better, but the movie passed the time well and was entertaining.

  2. Even without the gore you see in your typical zombie movie World War Z was a damn good zombie flick that favored a 28 Days/Weeks Later meets Contagion mash up. It hit the ground running and the intensity was present throughout.

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