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Generally favorable reviews- based on 259 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 259

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  1. Jul 17, 2014
    Dawn of the Dead (2004): 10 out of 10: I sympathize with the fan boys that feel any remake of Dawn of the Dead is religious sacrilegious. You get an emotional attachment to films that scared you in your youth. (One on mine is Assault on Precinct 13 that was remade recently and I just know I will be disappointed with the remake. I am still scared of ice cream trucks as a result of seeing that film when I was 9)

    Remakes themselves have a well deserved bad reputation. (Easiest movie trivia question: What is the best film remake? The Maltese Falcon of course. That Humphrey Bogart perennial was a remake of a 1931 film of the same name. I'm sure back in 1941 that there were a couple of people complaining that Bogart was no Ricardo Cortez and the ruined the story by taking out the affair and homosexual subplots. The first film after all was a pre-code affair.)

    Dawn of the Dead is in reality a different movie than the original. This is no shot for shot Psycho remake nor is it the same movie with a glossier CGI coat of paint. It is a faster more intense zombie film. It is one of the best action horror films of the last ten years. The opening twenty minutes in simply one of the scariest action packed sequences I have ever seen. By the time our band of protagonists gets to the mall they are not the only one's catching their breath.

    It becomes a pretty good sized group at the mall and you end up slogging through some slow bits as the zombies eat it down to a more manageable size.The acting is across the board good and the effects are suitably gory and plentiful. Director Zack Snyder wisely dumps much of Romero's sociological subplots and replaces them with a more timely commentary. (Instead of zombies as consumer motif we have shooting undead celebrities. And instead of an outwardly hostile motorcycle gang, we have a more subtle power struggle between the otherwise powerless.)

    The updates honestly work, as a more literal remake would have simply fallen flat. Is Dawn of the Dead better than the original? I won't say. Is it one of the best films of 2004? Yes. Is it better than Romero's own sequel Day of the Dead? Good Lord yes.
  2. May 1, 2011
    As much as I love Romero's 1978 classic, I must agree with fellow movie buffs who say that this particular remake was unfairly prejudiced and slandered upon release. The movie sticks pretty much to the basic plot; a group of people hide out in an abandoned shopping center during a zombie apocalypse. That's all there is to it. The acting was good and some of the comedy moments were actually pretty funny (Hollywood Squares, anyone?). Of course, seeing as it was shot in the modern era of the zombie flick, there is just enough blood and huts to satisfy any gorehound. The zombies looked scary and WERE scary simply due to the fact that they could sprint (a cliche started by 28 Days Later). The heavy metal soundtrack really helped the atmosphere of a zombie invasion and went great with zombie-killing. In sum, an underrated horror movie. Expand
  3. Mar 6, 2011
    This may seem like a b rated movie but it's not it's surprisingly well made movie, truly enjoyable if your into the zombie movie genre like I am, if you are this is a must see.
  4. Mar 3, 2012
    I am not really into gore, but this movie is fantastic in its genre. Beyond the gore, the construction of the characters is good; although, they had some fairly stereotypical ones (that is one of the reasons why I don't give this movie a 10). From a more analytical perspective, it is not just about horror, but also about how in extreme situations our human condition can either betray us, or strengthen us. Fate plays a role in our lives, but we always have a choice, even if there doesn't seem to be one. I definitely recommend it. Expand
  5. Mar 11, 2014
    i love the dawn of the dead remake and the original was even better . these are two movie that were the best remake films i have ever seen in my life
  6. Aug 10, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. best zombies movie ever, don't miss it. i love this movie and i think everyone should watch it. I Promise, you will enjoy it, even if you hate movies with zombies Expand
  7. Sep 27, 2011
    I never watched the original, but what I would recommend for "Dawn of the Dead" is to make a survival horror game rather than a movie. The ideas are fresh and tense, but its displayed using the wrong techniques.
  8. Nov 5, 2011
    YES! This remake of Romero's original film is WAY much better. A perfect cast, with suspense, more zombies, action, and a very fantastic plot. If you like zombies - Watch this film!
  9. May 25, 2014
    One of the best Remakes that has been done and one of the best iv'e ever seen. The opening Ten minutes of the film is great and while it maybe not match the intensity of the original it does it's best to great you right into the action. The movie opens up to Sarah Polley(Ana) wakes up to find her husband being attacked by a zombie child. As she makes her way outside she then sees that the carnage is taking over city with huge explosions, buildings on fire, and helicopters everywhere. From then on out its a fight for survival not only by from zombies but from humans as well. Overall it's a good film i had a fun time watching it's in my top 5 zombie movies of the 2000's

  10. Apr 9, 2012
    One of the better zombie horror efforts of the last few years. It's not as apocalyptic as Romeros original but the storyline works well and the action scenes are good.
  11. Mar 2, 2013
    One of the better zombie films out there and definitely one of the most entertaining with some great character work and solid special effects make-up. It's a remake of Romero's 70's Classic but made fresh for today's audience, and it works perfectly. A nice crop of actors give the characters life plus there's zombies like you've never seen before that really know how to run! It also has the perfect setting in a shopping centre Overall a Horror classic and personal favourite of mine! Expand
  12. Sep 15, 2014
    One of the best modern thrillers, the action is well shot and the scares are fun. A non-stop thriller with skill.
  13. Oct 24, 2010
    Sometimes you wonder whether people even watched this movie or just dismissed it as "lesser" than the favorite Romero-classic from 78 without even giving it a chance. I mean "Paranormal Activity", the worst **** atrocity I've ever seen, has a better metascore. I'm probably one of the most pretentious cinema snobs that you'll ever meet, but I loved this movie. It's miles better than the original, which is revolutionary, sure, but has much flatter characters and lesser development. And don't give me any of the "striking critique of capitalism"-nonsense; that "mall-shoppers are like zombies" is as shallow a symbol as a 14-year-old punk-rocker who just discovered Bill Hicks would come up with. Expand
  14. Nov 19, 2011
    A great remake if you ask me. It was entertaining and interesting through out. Its nice to see a franchise get a much needed reboot and be a sucessful reboot as well. Acting wasnt good though.
  15. Jun 29, 2011
    In order to judge this movie, you must look at it in two ways. First, since it is billed as a remake of the original, and not a re-imagining, one must look at how it holds up to the original. The original is, by far better then this. The remake lacks the overarching criticism of consumerism that the original had. The remake specials effects are obviously better, but that is a given. The original is scarier in the traditional sense. The remake is almost more of a thriller. Many plot points are not carried over into the remake. Both versions deliver what you want, a great zombie movie with lots of zombies kills and suspense. So, when compared to the original, it scores around a 6.5. However, when looking at the film in it's on right, if you saw this before the original, it is much better. The special effects as mentioned are very good. There is a large cast of characters, so there are lots of main character deaths. We seem to be left with only the characters we pity at the end, which is good. When not compared with the original, the plot is refreshing. There are plenty of suspenseful sequences, and a great introduction to what the world has come to through the eyes of the main character. No zombie movie is complete without a great introduction to the zombie ridden world. The remake triumphs the original in that sense, since we already knew what happened in the original, based on events in Night of the Living Dead. The film also does a good job of making the mall seem real, by creating a lot of fake, yet believable brands. So, in it's own right, without looking at the original, the remake of Dawn of the Dead would get an 8.75. So, when averaged with the score of a 6.5 when compared with the original, the remake of Dawn of the Dead would get a 7.625. That rounds up to an 8, which is my score for the remake. That is of course compared to the 10 that I would give the original. Expand
  16. j30
    Nov 27, 2011
    Zombies can run. Oh ****. Zach Snyder is behind the camera for this "better than average" remake of the great Dawn of the Dead. What makes this movie better than other horror remakes is that you actually care about the characters.
  17. Feb 15, 2014
    This remake of the original Dawn of the Dead proves to be a more effective and powerful film than the original. It may not appeal to everyone, but for those who enjoy a good zombie film, this new take will certainly be a good choice.
  18. Sep 20, 2014
    One of my favourite thrillers of 2004.
  19. Dec 28, 2010
    the original dawn of the dead is easily the best zombie movie ever done ... the remake not so much . it does stick to the whole survivors holding out in the mall set up but thats really about it . its not a bad film but doesnt have the magic the original has . the zombie baby how ever was a creepy little thing .
  20. Feb 8, 2012
    Unfortunately, the Dawn of the Dead remake (original was made in 1978) didn't live up to the prior expectations I had placed on the film upon hearing how good it is from my friends. Character development was virtually non-existent as the director instead opted to introduce more unnecessary empty shells as the movie progressed. The blood and gore was fine yet the zombies seemed more human than any recent flick of the same genre that I've seen recently. There's also a few cheesy moments which could have been left out. Expand
  21. Feb 8, 2013
    If there was one zombie movie that really stood out in my head, It would have to be this one. Solid acting by the cast, Story fades as it goes on (the only negative imo), but the entertainment value more then makes up for it imo.
  22. Sep 2, 2014
    Considered by many to be the precursor to the zombie-obsessed lives we live in today, Dawn of the Dead unfortunately is an average survival flick. This one never seemed to grab for me.
  23. Oct 26, 2012
    Okay, first and foremost, the zombies themselves have issues. They DONT behave like zombies. They REACT to injury. Minor injuries can CRIPPLE them. They can PICK UP things and USE things. They can think for crying out loud. They can RUN. And why is the incubation period so erratically different its ridiculous. The protagonist's husband who is bitten at the start of the movie turns like a few seconds whereas another character who I wont mention to avoid spoiling the plot turns after what seems like a WEEK after being bitten. Its ridiculous. Oh and get what, BURNING zombies kills them. I can hear people cutting themselves to that/ Pro tip to those out there who dont know how to the survive the zombie apocalypse: Zombies are DEAD people who are infected with a BLOOD-BORNE virus (though this is debatable in other variations) that kills the host and takes control of their body after they are deceased. They want to feast on ALL living things INCLUDING animals. They are slow and can at best, jog if a prey attracts them. They can grab for things mindlessly but they CANT open doors, use weapons or pick up things, Zack Snyder! Nor can they be CRIPPLE by minor wounds like gunshots - they DONT feel PAIN, they're DEAD. Oh and Mr Snyder, the makeup of the zombies, why do they look like HUMANS instead of badly mauled walking corpses? The lines are horrible at times while at other instances they're brilliantly written. There are some tense moments but in most cases, you'll be just yelling at the screen and be utterly frustrated at how ridiculously naive, dumb and stupid the characters are. Seriously. For instance, stupidity No. 1: NO ONE knew what made the people turn into zombies despite many of them seeing people get bitten and turning e.g the protagonist's husband. Not only until around 1/3 of the way into the movie do the main characters realize "Oh maybe its the bite?" *facepalm* You are tell obviously who's gonna die (and they do) and you'll be cutting yourself at the most stupidass things the characters would do. WHY, WHY would you GO AFTER your DOG amidst the HUNDREDS of zombies that want to EAT you IF you know they WONT hurt your dog? Srsly that thing there, is what caused the plot to climax and end as it did. Had that certain character NOT gone after her dog and stayed with the plan, I am sure NO ONE would've been killed. And WHY do the characters just use **** pistols and shotguns? You have a GUNSTORE for God's sakes, there are things called RIFLES that are MORE accurate and also automatic & semi-automatic weapons all with a crapload of ammo. Why not just clear the streets? Why not use the damn rifles? Seriously the ENTIRE movie, they just stick to horrible horrible pistols (GLOCKS just damn GLOCKS for crying out loud. There must be Desert Eagles and M9's lying around in the store!) and those mediocre cop shotguns. Had they used a M16, M4A1 Carbine, SAW machine gun or hell even a plain old Lee Einfield, I am sure everyone would've survived. This is a movie that you watch drunk with your buddies on a Friday night. You'll probably watch it and forget about it, and probably switch to playing Left 4 Dead. The original 1970's Dawn of the Dead is vastly superior despite the outdated makeup effects. Watch that. Avoid this insult to the zombie canon pile of excrement at all costs. Hell even the ending is lacking. A braindead film that absolutely wont want to feast upon. Expand
  24. Jun 3, 2012
    i like it but only problem is it no remero movie it remake of his classic movie but i prefer the original the zombie in this one are fast ones show in this movie decaying look of zombies. but no matter what i like remero ones
  25. Jan 14, 2013
    Considered on its own merits alone, it's a passable zombie movie with a memorable opening and epilogue and a blandly forgettable everything else. Only one character that the audience knows or cares about fails to pull through, with all the other deaths happening to the cardboard cutouts that pass for 80% of the characters as an excuse to have gore for its own sake. Lots of interesting ideas that become mere filler due to superficial half-treatment. The movie is good for a few scares here and there, but it pales terribly when compared to the original. Gone is Romero's social commentary, replaced by admirable yet insufficient earnestness, and there lies the film's true failing: it takes itself more seriously than it lets the audience take it. Expand
  26. Mar 9, 2013
    At times Dawn of the Dead can be a bit skeptical. But overall it was really horrific and gorey nature which is what most people look for in a good not comedic zombie movie.
  27. Mar 15, 2013
    Dawn of the Dead is horrible. The characters aren't even worthy of mention because all of them are so horrible and one dimensional. The movie tries to be realistic like every other zombie movie, but it doesn't realize that zombies are rotting corpses and can't run (zombies are unrealistic entirely, but that's for another rant.) This movie is terrible, and even watching it with a friend as a joke wouldn't be fun. 1/10 because the effects were pretty good I guess. Expand
  28. Mar 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Terrible. If you're into horribly cliche characters, plot holes and overall unrealistic behavior then this movie is definitely for you! There's little to no reason for an infection, pointless characters that only exist for a plot device and cliche lines from every single character. Unneeded sad parts for characters with no back story whatsoever and to top it's not scary in the slightest; at most it's gross from the tons of fake blood they spent most of their budget on making this. It's the lowest of the low in zombie movies. Expand
  29. Sep 27, 2013
    Why is everyone so stupid? Why did the mall security have guns? Why didn't they just shoot the mall security guards in the face when they had them outgunned and out armed? Why didn't security try to team up with more survivors instead of trying to get rid of them when there are safety in numbers? Why does the power tripping SG not arm anyone while they are out doing objectives? Why does no one know these things are zombies? Why is the ego tripping security guard locking up other survivors other than just to have some random in the movie? Why is he concerned about people stealing stuff in a zombie Apocalypse? Why do people act like wood when they are told that everyone they know is dead?This is my mind running through the fist 20 or so minutes. God help me though this movie...... Expand
  30. Jun 21, 2013
    I've heard in the past that this film is awesome and scary. As a big The Walking Dead fan i can say that this film was not as I expected. Firstly, the characters are lame and boring with no good history. Secondly, The action was not impressive as i expected. You will like it if you are into these kind of films.. *The ending was worse than i expected. I expected everyone would die... too much expectations i guess Expand
  31. Sep 15, 2014
    This Remake hits all the right notes, the actors are great and the action is intense and constant.
  32. Sep 20, 2014
    A remake that expunges the original. This remake is spooky, energetic fun from start to finish.
  33. Sep 15, 2014
    A fantastic remake, this remake is way better than the original. The first movie was hokey, this one is great.
  34. Sep 27, 2014
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  36. Sep 25, 2014
    A remake that is incredibly thrilling, amusing and technically stylish regarding the action scenes.
  37. Sep 20, 2014
    One of the most intense and well acted remakes I have seen.
  38. Sep 27, 2014
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  40. Oct 12, 2014
    Great remake, scary and the story keep catching the viewer until the end. I liked the acting, I don't think that I would change something. That's ok..
  41. Sep 27, 2014

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. Don't leave before the final frame -- if you're still breathing.
  2. Reviewed by: Jim Agnew
    First time director Zack Snyder has done an amazing job of creating a sense of doom and dread while sprinkling it with some wicked humor and amazing music.
  3. Despite a big budget, lots of technical flair and a good cast headed by Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames, it's mostly a bloody mess.