Shaun of the Dead

2004

Shaun of the Dead

Critics Consensus

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

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 205

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 498,026
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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 stepfather, Philip (Bill Nighy), shows up to berate him for not being more attentive to his caring mother Barbara (Penelope Wilton) -- especially since he forgot to send flowers for her birthday. Things take a turn for the worse when the dead return to stake their claim on the Earth, and though the chaos that follows threatens to swallow up all of England, it's up to Shaun to keep his cool and prove himself once and for all by successfully rescuing Liz and his mother. With his trusty roommate by his side, nothing -- not even the living dead -- can stand between Shaun and the two most important women in his life. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Shaun of the Dead

All Critics (205) | Top Critics (45)

  • Shaun of the Dead is a cute, successful zombie spoof built on a central joke: if the undead actually came to London, supposedly turned-on town of nattering youth, no one would really notice.

    Dec 18, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Some scenes are too talky, too much like a sitcom, but whenever that threatens to sink the film, the zombies appear and save the day (if you see what I mean).

    Oct 7, 2014 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 6, 2013

    Keith Phipps

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • The pasty, scruffy Pegg shows a surprising amount of range for the unlikely hero of a zombie flick.

    Oct 6, 2013 | Full Review…
  • The movie bogs down and the humor seems to dry up, though the blood continues to well, spurt and spew.

    Oct 6, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Claudia Puig

    USA Today
    Top 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.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Nick Bradshaw

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Shaun of the Dead

  • Sep 19, 2016
    Sometimes a director's style can overtake the story so much that the film suffers for it, and that was the case with the more recent The World's End, in my opinion. But Shaun of the Dead is just too dang fun and filled with cliché bending humor that Wright's style proves to be the best thing about this Horror-Comedy. The first of the Cornetto or "Three Flavor's" trilogy focuses on a world in the midst of a zombie outbreak, and two loser friends who don't really do anything with their lives. Buddies Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play the duo, and brilliantly so. I much preferred their bro-mance to the romance between Pegg and Kate Ashfield, who plays his girlfriend Liz. The enjoyment here is clearly with the fact that if a zombie outbreak ever did happen, I would act exactly how these characters did. I don't watch the news and rarely care to people watch when running to the store, so I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't realize there was a Zombie-apocalypse going on either. Or even the gag where Pegg struggles to shoot a shotgun. These are all real-life scenarios put into a horror film, and thus the comedy works better than expected. It doesn't feature an Oscar winning script or world class actors, but it is loads of fun with a kicka** soundtrack paired with amazingly timed physical gags. Shaun of the Dead was and always will be a refreshing take on the Zombie sub-genre of horror. +Soundtrack +The laughs hit +Relatable lead characters 7.9/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2016
    Shaun of the Dead stars Simon Pegg as Shaun, a boring man with a dead-end job and repetitive lifestyle which includes nightly trips to the bar with his fiance, Liz (Kate Ashfield), and best friend, Ed (Nick Frost). After a bad day ends with a wild night at the bars, Shaun and Ed wake up to find the world infested with zombies, and they join forces with others to overcome the threat. This British film is a bloody good time, mates. The dialogue is quick and witty, the chemistry is strong (especially between Pegg and Frost), and the film delivers both in an action and comedic sense. Even the morbid ending had some humor! Edgar Wright has always been a solid filmmaker, and this first installment in the "Cornetto Trilogy" stands as his rise to fame. His cinematography is very solid here as well; the sequences without any cuts to a second or third camera really stand out, especially when it comes to watching Shaun's two trips to the mart - one when everything is boring and fine, and another the morning of the zombie infestation. The editing (or lack thereof) really shines through the muck of zombie guts. For a comedy, there's a lot of heart to this movie as well. The character development of Shaun and company really hits home, and there are some interactions that really tug at the heartstrings (Shaun and his step-dad's exchange in particular stood out). Of course, this lends to the theme of dead and lifeless creatures resulting in Shaun "coming to life" in a sense, but that's a pretty easy idea to spot. The action isn't horrible here, either. There's a scene in the bar involving Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" that I'll always cherish as cinema gold in a hysterical way. Folks, if you miss the days when comedies weren't super-delayed sequels nobody asked for, go give Shaun of the Dead a watch. It's slow at first (rightfully so), but you'll be in love with these characters come the end credits. Final grade: A-
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2015
    A fantastic film which is able to mix multiple genres together to create one of the funniest horror films of all time. With intense zombie scenes but filled with jokes which you might not hear the first time. Great acting by the whole cast but the chemistry between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is uncanny. I give this film 10/10.
    Sonny H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 14, 2015
    "How To Do Comedy : A Visual Example by Edgar Wright." would be another appropriate title. Even if the brand of humor displayed in Shaun of the Dead isn't your style, there's a lot to be appreciated in the fact that this movie puts in effort to use the medium to it's full capabilities rather than you average Apatow flick, which is nothing more than people talking shot in the safest way imaginable. Where other comedies would lose almost nothing if they were CDs rather than movies, Shaun of the Dead could be hilarious with audio alone, and it's brought to a whole extra level with the visual cues presented.
    John K Super Reviewer

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