Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    Even as big-budget blockbusters go, this is a hard movie to connect with.
  2. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 19, 2013
    67
    World War Z comes across as a smart and ambitious horror movie, a bio-disaster film along the lines of "Contagion" or "28 Days Later." It’s nail-bitingly tense at times, although these well-executed moments mix with others that are too much of a murky jumble to follow with any precision.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 19, 2013
    75
    World War Z is epically realized entertainment that feeds on our fears of apocalypse, but it’s just fast enough and smart enough — and, more importantly, human enough — to keep an audience on edge from start to finish.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jun 19, 2013
    88
    It’s entertaining as hell.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 20, 2013
    63
    The stakes are high and the excitement's there and the results, as previously stated, are messy but fairly entertaining.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 21, 2013
    67
    Director Marc Forster is very good at amping up the terror, but after a while, we reach zombie overload and we might as well be watching an infestation of Transformers.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Jun 3, 2013
    60
    This nightmarish travelogue is coy about gore, but it’s still an effective thrill-ride. If the sequel happens, let’s hope it delivers some actual combat.
  8. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jun 19, 2013
    91
    It's scary good fun.
  9. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Jun 8, 2013
    78
    An efficient and effectively exciting globe-spanning zombie thriller.
  10. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 18, 2013
    67
    World War Z may wear its intellect proudly, but also consciously translates the zombie premise into a safer context for wider audiences. It's not the smartest zombie movie ever made, but might be the most commercial one.
  11. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 20, 2013
    70
    It's fun to see this kind of familiar material done with intelligence and skill.
  12. 75
    The first 25 minutes or so of this “Contagion” meets “28 Days Later” thriller will leave you breathless. And the rest of it serves up novel and often entertaining solutions to the various “zombie problems” that this over-exposed genre presents.
  13. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 20, 2013
    50
    Although there are some initial feints at using zombies as a metaphor for third-world issues and cultural differences, the picture forgets all that stuff by the final reel. World War Z opens with an undeniable bang. But if this is the way the world ends, we’re going out with a whimper.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 18, 2013
    20
    It is no summer thriller. It’s an anemic actioner that fosters excitement like dead limbs as it lumbers toward a conclusion.
  15. 50
    Without a character, he’s (Pitt) back to that soft, appraising, Robert Redford Jr. stare, his mouth half open as if he’s about to speak but plainly with nothing on his mind apart from, “This is what a movie star looks like without any lines.” The ghouls are having deeper thoughts.
  16. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 18, 2013
    88
    World War Z towers above every other alleged summer blockbuster. It’s the real deal.
  17. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 18, 2013
    50
    So once you figure out the first rule of Zombie Fight Club — nothing too bad can happen to Brad Pitt — the movie is, despite intermittent thrills, rote.
  18. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Jun 21, 2013
    70
    The movie has made it to theaters not dead on arrival, but walking dead, running dead, and — when it's really working — swarming dead.
  19. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    Forster and his team have also mastered the discreet edit, leaving a lot of the blood, gore, and zombie slime to the imagination. (It's still a pretty convincingly creepy affair.)
  20. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jun 20, 2013
    83
    World War Z manages to be scary without descending to in-your-face gore -- it wants to frighten its audience, not disgust them.
  21. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 20, 2013
    63
    The screenplay feels like the culmination of all sorts of things being thrown against a wall to see what sticks. As it turns out, there's not enough.
  22. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 21, 2013
    50
    Just bloody eye and ear candy.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    World War Z is still as smart, shifty and scary as a starving zombie ready to chow down on you, baby, you.
  24. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 20, 2013
    70
    A genuinely exciting thrill ride that only occasionally feels bloated or painfully dumb.
  25. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    Exciting, truly harrowing and smartly directed apocalyptic thriller from Marc Forster ("Monster's Ball"). It's the scariest zombie movie in many years.
  26. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Jun 19, 2013
    25
    The zombies twitch, leap, gnash, and destroy, but the film has all the thrill and surprise of a model U.N. summit.
  27. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 21, 2013
    70
    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 this rushed and slightly muted finale.
  28. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    World War Z, based on a novel by Max Brooks and directed by Marc Forster ("Quantum of Solace"), has a relatively plausible perspective on mass catastrophe. It deserves comparisons to Steven Soderbergh’s brainy “Contagion.”
  29. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 20, 2013
    91
    World War Z presents an abundance of relatively plausible action, smart solutions and one useful piece of information: When the zombiepocalypse comes, the undead are flying coach.
  30. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jun 19, 2013
    58
    World War Z bucks the current trend in summer blockbusters by feeling weirdly understuffed. It’s an episodic adventure without enough episodes.
  31. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    Leave it to Brad Pitt, producer and star of World War Z, to try to put the zip back in zombie.
  32. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Jun 7, 2013
    60
    While some of World War Z is rotten, the whole stands as a punchy, if conventional action thriller.
  33. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 4, 2013
    60
    Brad Pitt delivers a capable performance in an immersive apocalyptic spectacle about a global zombie uprising.
  34. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 20, 2013
    70
    World War Z often feels smaller and quieter than it is, because your attention is drawn to details and moments rather than to showstopping spectacles or self-important themes.
  35. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jun 29, 2013
    80
    World War Z is the most gratifying action spectacle in years, and one reason for its success if the Pitt doesn't play a superhero. [1 July 2013, p.76]
  36. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Jun 7, 2013
    58
    The film can be engaging, well-made, and even a touch more interesting than it has much right to be. But it's also far from a satisfying work as a whole.
  37. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Jun 3, 2013
    40
    What we get is a collection of moderately violent action set-pieces untroubled by humour or broader coherence.
  38. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jun 18, 2013
    70
    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-IQ action picture.
  39. Reviewed by: Cath Clarke
    Jun 15, 2013
    60
    The result looks less like a horror flick and more like a thinking man’s action-thriller – the ‘Newsnight’ of zombie films (you’ll know if that’s your cup of tea).
  40. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jun 18, 2013
    60
    Go big or go home, they say; World War Z picks the wrong choice for its slow fade-out, and, instead of leaving you in fear of being chomped upon as you exit the theater, makes you feel enraged that you’ve been more than a little cheated.
  41. Reviewed by: Paul Bradshaw
    Jun 3, 2013
    60
    Choosing quantity over quality, intensity over tension and big-screen thrills over low-fi shocks – this is probably what the zombie apocalypse will actually look like.
  42. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 20, 2013
    63
    Essentially, it boils down to familiar fare: a well-paced, entertaining, conventional action thriller where a reluctant hero saves the day.
  43. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jun 4, 2013
    70
    Emerges as a surprisingly smart, gripping and imaginative addition to the zombie-movie canon, owing as much to scientific disaster movies like “The China Syndrome” and “Contagion” as it does to undead ur-texts like the collected works of George Romero.
  44. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 17, 2013
    70
    Forster's meticulousness—coupled with ample excuses to blow stuff up—isn't enough to turn World War Z into one of those class-A end-of-everything movies that leaves you feeling just a little bit queasy, momentarily uncertain of your own small place in this unmanageable world.
  45. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 20, 2013
    70
    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.
  46. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 20, 2013
    63
    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.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1044 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 51 out of 302
  1. Jun 24, 2013
    1
    For those who DIDN'T read the book: Go ahead, watch it, give money to a genre that I enjoy.
    For those who DID read the book: Go read the book
    For those who DIDN'T read the book: Go ahead, watch it, give money to a genre that I enjoy.
    For those who DID read the book: Go read the book again, you'll only be sitting in your own anger at the theater. WWZ The Movie is nothing like the book. The movie and the book have exactly 2 things in common: the title and the patient zero hypothesis.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 24, 2013
    9
    This is not a horror film, not really a zombie film either. It's a plague film, and any gore porn fan will be disappointed to find that thisThis is not a horror film, not really a zombie film either. It's a plague film, and any gore porn fan will be disappointed to find that this is not a scary zombie film filled with guts and gore. What you will find is a very good story, a well paced and thrilling romp through the mind of a survivor. The story is solid, and has many harrow and life affirming moments for many of the characters. Brad Pitt does a very good job in this film, and seems less plasticky than he does in some of his other films for me. I really liked the gasps from my fellow audience members, and the fact that I was on the edge of my seat during certain parts. I appreciated the lack of gratuitous gore, as it would have distracted from what this movie is really about, which is the human condition and it's ability to adapt and survive. It certainly made me want to go home and throw together a doomsday backpack of my own. Full Review »
  3. Jun 21, 2013
    4
    So far removed from the original story by Max Brooks that it shouldn't even share the same name, so far from it in fact that i had to try andSo far removed from the original story by Max Brooks that it shouldn't even share the same name, so far from it in fact that i had to try and dissociate it from the book and appreciate it as the movie itself. Standing on its own this movie is a mediocre zombie film with some reasonable acting and effects, but with virtually no story and many stupid and massive plot holes. How could they of possibly spent £130 million on this movie? its ridiculous.

    Overall im very disappointed by this film, being looking forwards to it for ages as im a big fan of the book. I would definitely suggest staying away from this film if you are fan of max brooks or just a zombie movie fan in general.
    Full Review »