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Shaun of the Dead (2004)

tomatometer

91

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 189
Fresh: 172 | Rotten: 17

Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.

93

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 3

Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.

audience

93

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 492,136

My Rating

Movie Info

It's often said that the true character of a man is only revealed in times of dire crisis, and for likable, lovelorn loser Shaun (Simon Pegg), that moment of reckoning came when the dead rose from their slumber to feast on the flesh of the living. A hapless electronics store employee who spends most of his spare time downing pints at the local pub with his roommate, Ed (Nick Frost), Shaun's life seems to fall apart when he is dumped by his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), and his obnoxious

Dec 21, 2004

$13.5M

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All Critics (189) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (172) | Rotten (17) | DVD (50)

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.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The pasty, scruffy Pegg shows a surprising amount of range for the unlikely hero of a zombie flick.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie bogs down and the humor seems to dry up, though the blood continues to well, spurt and spew.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

October 6, 2004 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...the second half of the film is just a standard horror movie showdown with a few mildly amusing gags.

September 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper | Comments (11)
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For everyone who likes good acting and great writing, it's a bloody fun time and a wonderful display of how parody should be done.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

If you like Pegg and director Edgar Wright's cult Channel 4 series Spaced, you'll enjoy this deadpan blend of undergraduate humour and hardcore horror, which ransacks George A Romero's Dead saga and virtually every Italian zombie flick for inspiration.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Pegg, who cowrote Shaun with director Edgar Wright, shows off expert timing, whacking punchlines and zombies with equal panache.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Enough of a pointed study of character that it's more than just a collection of some of the best and most ridiculous jokes in a generation.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Smart, likeable and consistently funny, Shaun Of The Dead is one of the most popular British comedies of the last few decades, and deservedly so.

August 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

Like Romero's best efforts, the movie is motored by a keen observational reality, cleverly twisting the characters' mundane world inch by inch until the real nightmare dawns on them.

October 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Some funny moments, but for adults only.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (5)
Common Sense Media

Pedestrian direction and script sap what anarchic fun this movie could've been

September 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer | Comments (9)
Cinema Writer

Shaun of the Dead is not only one of the single best zombie movies ever made, but it's also as close to perfect as a film can get.

September 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Dread Central | Comment (1)

A modern masterpiece, this is probably altogether the funniest and scariest film I've seen in years...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Comedy and horror are real life partners, of course, and who better to bring all this to life in a zombie movie than the Brits?

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Extremely well made but only sporadically engaging...

April 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

I think the movie is one of the most hilarious I've ever seen ... But the symbolism and depth of the movie make me appreciate it as a masterpiece.

October 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

In this most apocalyptic of genres, Shaun of the Dead is not unlike a ray of unexpected sunshine - even if it has a little red on it.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

...not only a loving, teasing homage to the Romero Dead films. It's also a superb zombie film in its own right...

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

A romantic zombie comedy that tips its hat to George Romero and mines one very funny spoof that doesn't ignore the rules of the zombie horror genre--though it does tamper with them.

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Shaun is able to balance the comedy and the gore in a way that will satisfy both zombie genre fans and less bloodthirsty viewers.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Audience Reviews for Shaun of the Dead

Ambition-free retail manager Shaun thinks that being dumped by his girlfriend is the end of the world, until next morning when he wakes up to find that the dead are walking the earth. Brought to you by the same team who brought you Spaced, Shaun Of The Dead is a knowing homage to George Romero's Dead trilogy in which a zombie holocaust is seen through the eyes of a London slacker. Much beloved by many, this film is a bit of a case of rose-tinted memories; the highlights are actually hilarious, but there are rather less of them than you'd think. In fact most of the really funny lines happen in the first half hour, before the bulk of the zombie action when the Pegg and Frost double act are in full effect. The idea does run out of steam somewhat for the final half hour but when it's funny, it's very funny and it's actually rather better made than a lot of horror films that are meant to be taken seriously. Definitely worth seeing for the best bits, but perhaps not the masterpiece it's made out to be.
February 5, 2014
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Edgar Wright's comedic zombie-fest provides a great blend of frights and laughs and a hint of drama in between. Simon Pegg's performance was nearly flawless along with Wright's swift direction, making Shaun of the Dead a bloody brilliant film. 4.5/5
November 27, 2013
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

The first film in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, this being the red strawberry flavour Cornetto to represent the blood and gore of the horror genre. Yep the ragtag bunch of scruffy oddball Brits from the TV show 'Spaced' are here with more outlandish comedy the likes of which the Americans can only dream of.

Put simply, a regular working stiff must contend with his everyday mundane life that includes various family problems and girlfriend issues. Oh and at the same time there's that zombie apocalypse thing to deal with also, geez some days you just can't catch a break huh.

Now I will admit I'm not a zombie fan, I'm more of a vampire and werewolf person, my reasons? simply because all zombie flicks are almost identical. This comedy/parody/homage is again no difference from the myriad of other zombie flicks out there accept its funny. There is no real explanation for the zombie outbreak, it just happens, but that's not important, this is simply an amusing sketch that has been stretched out into a film.

That's not to say it doesn't work as it does, but its not as good as many rave on about in my personal opinion. I didn't really get on with the film when I saw it the first time round and this time I can still see why. The start of the film is great fun, I really enjoyed watching'Shaun' flounder in his dead end job with his young teenage staff that don't give a shit...a typical British trait that I've seen in reality. I liked to watch him and his best mate 'Ed' in their trashy rented accommodation that is easily a 'Men Behaving Badly/Bottom' type scenario that we Brits do so well.

The set up for the film is perfect, a slobby male couple who seem to crawl through life having work/girlfriend issues but plenty of time for drinking and Playstation. Nick Frost is the perfect pub dwelling, overweight, student-like representation and Pegg is the perfect down trodden bloke dreaming of better things. As the zombie outbreak starts to flare up I loved how these two guys don't really notice and when they do it still takes time for it to sink in (as it would). Small sequences where they attack zombies, try to work out what's going on by sitting on the couch, having a drink and watching TV and then trying to get to Shaun's mums house are the best moments early on in the film.

I guess what I don't like about the film is the fact it turns into a semi serious weepy/drama...almost. As the film progresses and the small band of survivors haul up in a pub (how typically British), the film does tend to get quite emotional in parts, little moments that do actually put a lump in your throat (when Shaun's mum dies). Its these points that make me wonder what the film actually wants to be. Essentially the film splits and takes on a whole new approach, first half is a funny sight gag parody, second half becomes a more serious action thriller with emotional deaths, I'm just not sure that I liked that decision.

Its certainly an amusing jaunt that adheres to the old school original zombie school of thought...or laws. In that I mean the zombies are slow moving, lurching creatures that groan a lot and stagger around arms outstretched in a cliched manner. They don't run or think or assist each other, they just stumble around and eat whatever happens to fall in their path, oh and there are are plenty of little tributes to various other zombie classics of course. Think of it along the lines of 'An American Werewolf in London' but not as dark or adult, but as I've said in my other reviews this could so easily be the next Monty Python flick.

Plenty of offensive British language which we all love so much, toilet humour, gore and pop culture references galore. The cast are excellent, the whole film looks good in that quirky little England type of way (good old North London eh) and the dialog is sharp...but I still think 'Hot Fuzz' is the superior of the trilogy.
October 3, 2013
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

A must watch for Zombie fans, especially those who know references to George A.Romero's films Edgar Wright more than successfully proves that both the Zombie and Comedy genres can form a superb film. With some great performances from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this is also worth a try from comedy fans.
NOTE: Keep an eye out for Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright when you watch George A.Romero's Land Of The Dead
July 24, 2013
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

    1. Pete: And the front door is open AGAIN!
    – Submitted by Eduardo L (3 months ago)
    1. Pete: And the front door is open AGAIN!
    – Submitted by Eduardo L (3 months ago)
    1. David: What?
    2. Dianne: I know you only hung out with me to get close to Liz and when she knocked you back, I was there to pick up the pieces. I've come to terms with that, Daffs, why can't you?
    3. David: Lizzie, I want you to know that my feelings for you...
    4. Dianne: David! There are slightly more pressing matters at hand here.
    – Submitted by Victor M (13 months ago)
    1. Dianne: You've never thought I was good enough.
    2. David: What?
    3. Dianne: We all know you're in love with Liz.
    4. David: That is not true.
    5. Shaun: Yes it is!
    6. David: That is not true.
    7. Dianne: Yes it is.
    – Submitted by Victor M (13 months ago)
    1. Ed: He's gonna be dead either way.
    – Submitted by Victor M (13 months ago)
    1. Pete: All he ever does is hold you back. Or is it easier having someone around who's more of a loser than you?
    2. Shaun: What's that supposed to mean?
    3. Pete: You know what I mean.
    – Submitted by Victor M (13 months ago)
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