28 Days Later (2003)



Critic Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.

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Movie Info

After breaking into a primate research facility, a group of animal rights activists discover caged chimps chained up before banks of screens displaying horrifying, violent images. Ignoring the warnings of the terrified researcher who maintains that the chimps are infected, they begin to free the animals and are immediately subjected to a bloody attack from the enraged creatures. Twenty-eight days later, Cycle courier Jim awakes from a coma in the deserted intensive care unit of a London hospital. He wanders out into a church where he finds dead bodies piled in heaps on the chapel floor. A sudden explosion from a makeshift bomb heralds the arrival of fellow "survivors" Selina and Mark. They take Jim to safety and explain to him that this infection is transmitted by blood and overwhelms the infected victim with a murderous rage within seconds. Britain has been overrun, and they have no way of knowing if it has spread worldwide. Their only hope of survival may lie in the hands of a Manchester group of soldiers, as they claim to have the "answer" to infection and invite any survivors to join them at their blockade. Faced with no practical alternative, the group sets out northwards, unaware that the worst is yet to come.
R (for strong violence and gore, language and nudity)
Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Naomie Harris
as Selena
Megan Burns
as Hannah
Christopher Eccleston
as Maj. Henry West
Luke Mably
as Pvt. Clifton
Stuart McQuarrie
as Sgt. Farrell
Ricci Harnett
as Cpl. Mitchell
Leo Bill
as Pvt. Jones
Junior Laniyan
as Pvt. Bell
Ray Panthaki
as Private Bedford
Sanjay Rambaruth
as Private Davis
Marvin Campbell
as Private Mailer
Alex Palmer
as Activist
Jukka Hiltunen
as Activist
David Schneider
as Scientist
Toby Sedgwick
as Infected Priest
Christopher Dunne
as Jim's Father
Emma Hitching
as Jim's Mother
Alexander Delamere
as Mr. Bridges
Kim McGarrity
as Mr. Bridges Daughter
Justin Hackney
as Infected Kid
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Critic Reviews for 28 Days Later

All Critics (219) | Top Critics (49)

The movie's craft makes the dread of a killer virus contagious: viewers may feel they have come down with a case of secondhand SARS or sympathetic monkeypox.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Heedlessly derivative though it may be, 28 Days Later does what it sets out to do and then some -- scare us out of our wits, then get us to apply those wits to an uncommonly intelligent and provocative zombie flick.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Later does a lot of things right, which makes its third-act missteps even more frustrating.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

The picture is twitchy and annoying, flecked with blood and half-digested ideas, and too much is left unexplained.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Danny Boyle's purposeful direction and Mark Tildesley's imaginative and resourceful production design keep this fresh and edgy; the images of a wasted London and the details of a paramilitary organization in the countryside are both creepy and persuasive.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

What also makes 28 Days Later effective, and sets it apart from other thrillers, is that it makes you care about the characters.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
Associated Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for 28 Days Later

Early neo-zombie flick is chilling in its unapologetic depiction of our fierce will to survive and the inhuman violence in humanity...and vice versa. Cillian Murphy is a bit bland at first, but then he gets balls-to-the-wall psycho. Naomie Harris (whom I erroneously thought was a recent ingenue) is bold and tough as the pitiless then maternal Selena, and the little bits of humor and camaraderie in this ragtag family are heartwarming. "The Walking Dead" seems to have taken its entire premise from this movie.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


A good zombie movie but also more notably a good political allegory, '28 Days Later' works off its' innovative director, even if it is not as quick paced as one might hope from a zombie flick.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

"28 Days Later" came out in June 2003 at a time when zombies were considered "old news". They just weren't making good zombie flicks anymore, and then BAM! This came out of no where. Now this isn't so much a zombie movie, as it is an infected people, biting other people movie. This introduced "fast zombies", which seemed awesome, but faded pretty quick, as most people(myself included), like their zombies slow. If you haven't seen this, London has pretty much been destroyed and over run by a virus called Rage, which turns people into fast zombies. Jim(Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a hospital(Walking Dead stole this), alone with no idea what is going on. He then meets a couple people, and they try to get to safety. Along the way they battle priest zombies, a group of soldiers, and more zombies. It's slow, suspenseful, and has a few really great scary moments. Fans of horror/zombie movies should enjoy this even if it is a step below quite a few other classic zombie films.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

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