'World War Z': What the Critics Are Saying

World War Z Poster - P 2013

World War Z Poster - P 2013

Brad Pitt's zombie apocalypse film hits theaters nationwide on June 21.

World War Z seems to have surpassed many industry insiders' low expectations.

The film, production of which was plagued with budget issues and re-shoots, currently boasts a 74 percent fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

World War Z is loosely based on Max Brooks' science fiction novel, and follows United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), who is forced to traverse the globe in an attempt to stop a zombie pandemic that threatens all of humanity.

Directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) and produced by Pitt, the apocalyptic thriller features a slew of computer generated zombies that, unlike the undead of yesteryear, do not slowly meander but instead swiftly move in packs in a sort of tidal wave of rotting flesh.

The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy calls the movie an "immersive apocalyptic spectacle that tosses the viewer into the deep end of a global zombie uprising and doesn't let up until close to the end."

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See what other critics have to say below.

In his review for TIME, Richard Corliss lauds the film for being an uncharacteristically smart summer blockbuster.

"And 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. The movie hurtles authoritatively from Philly to Newark to an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic to South Korea to Israel to Wales, like Richard Engel on a worldwide assignment."

Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman praises the film for its expert control in spite of its audacious size.

"World War Z is epically scaled, but it's not a messy, noisy, CGI-bogus, throw-everything-at-the-audience sort of blockbuster. It's thrillingly controlled, and it builds in impact."

He goes onto to commend Pitt for his performance saying, "As Gerry, Pitt is cool, fearless, tense, compassionate, and brutally tough (at one point, he chops off the hand of a soldier to save her from going zombie). He's feral grace under pressure."

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The film did not appease everyone, though. Forbes' Scott Mendelson isn't afraid to voice his overwhelmingly negative opinion about the zombie thriller.

"World War Z is an interesting idea hamstrung by a generic narrative format, with a leading man given nothing to do surrounded by characters too thin to resonate, along with a flurry of action beats too chaotically cut to follow and too emotionally hollow to care." 

He even goes onto to bash the film's use of 3D technologies, saying, "Even the film’s worthwhile technical credits are undone by choppy editing and a 3D conversion that robs the film of any visual splendor."

Michael Phillips , who applauds Pitt's performance, writes in The Chicago Tribune that the Forster's direction detracts from the film's narrative and technical prowess.

"World War Z, the messy, fairly entertaining Brad Pitt zombie picture directed by Marc Forster (Monster's Ball, Quantum of Solace), barely hangs together in story terms, and Forster's direction is more about nervous traffic management than tonal certainty or action finesse."

In her review for The Huffington Post, Jocelyn Noveck admits that the film is not going to win awards for it's artistic prowess, but it does fulfill all the requirements of a summer action film.

"But in the end, it's pretty much what you'd want in a summer blockbuster: scary but not-too-gross zombies, a fast-paced journey to exotic locales, a few quite thrilling action scenes, and did we mention Brad Pitt?"

World War Z opens nationwide on June 21, with select theaters showing the film on the evening of July 20.