Advertisement

32 Movies About Zombies Ranked By Their Rotten Tomatoes Score

 Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later.
Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later.

Zombie movies have become one of the most beloved genres of films today. With hit shows like The Walking Dead dominating the ratings in recent years, it's no surprise that the genre has an enduring legacy that goes back decades. Rotten Tomatoes is a great resource for finding out what the critics think, but we've added our own flavor to this list of the best zombies out there.

The Straw Hat Pirates
The Straw Hat Pirates

One Cut Of The Dead (2017)

It's a little bit of a surprise to see One Cut of the Dead at #1 on the list, but that's not because it's bad. It's a great movie, a very meta movie. It's a low-budget movie from Japan about the cast and crew filming a low-budget zombie. As the crew starts to turn, they decide to use the "real" zombies for the film. It's a great commentary on the genre and landing at #1 shows just how well done it is, despite the minuscule budget.

Zombies from Night of the Living Dead
Zombies from Night of the Living Dead

Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

You can't argue with a classic, and there isn't a more classic zombie movie, or indeed, horror movie, than George A. Romero's Night Of The Living Dead. It's the movie that really invented the modern genres. It may have been controversial in its day, but there is nothing controversial about calling it one of the best of all time today.

Gong Yoo in Train to Busan
Gong Yoo in Train to Busan

Train To Busan (2017)

In what has to be one of the deadliest zombie movies of all time, the Korean movie Train to Busan comes in at #3 on the list of Rotten Tomatoes' best zombie movies. The entire movie takes place on a train as the zombie apocalypse breaks out. It adds an element of claustrophobia to the already terrifying situation and it's remarkably effective, as are the zombies.

Jeffrey Combs in Re-Animator
Jeffrey Combs in Re-Animator

Re-Animator (1985)

1985's Re-Animator is a stone-cold classic when it comes to low-budget horror. It's had an enduring legacy, including sequels and spinoffs in other media. It's funny, and gory in the best ways. It fits right in with movies like Evil Dead and The Toxic Avenger from the same era and should considered a must-see for fans of zombie flicks.

Gaylen Ross in Dawn of the Dead
Gaylen Ross in Dawn of the Dead

Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

George A Romero is the godfather of the zombie genre, and his follow-up to Night of the Living Dead is an excellent example of why. It took him ten years to get the sequel made, but it was worth the wait, as it's at least as good, if not better than the first movie in the series.

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead

Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

As much a love letter to George A. Romero and a comedy as it is a zombie movie, Shaun of the Dead became an instant classic when it was released. It's not about being scared, it's about a deep appreciation for the genre and how funny it can be when presented in the abstract. Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the movie with director Edgar Wright, stars alongside his pal Nick Frost in a movie sure to have you rolling on the floor, laughing.

The Return of the Living Dead cast
The Return of the Living Dead cast

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

The Return of the Living Dead is notable for lots of reasons, but the biggest one has to be that it's the first to introduce what has since become a classic trope – brain-eating zombies. Believe it or not, it's considered the first to introduce the idea that has become standard fare for the genre, and even if it wasn't as funny and as cool as it is, it would be on any list of the best.

Michael Greyeyes in Blood Quantum
Michael Greyeyes in Blood Quantum

Blood Quantum (2019)

It's rare for zombie movies to mix in political messages, but Blood Quantum does it, and does it well. Set in Canada, Blood Quantum's twist is that the indigenous First Nations people are immune to the disease that causes the zombie outbreak, so while there is plenty of good zombie action, there is an underlying message that sets it apart from much of its brethren.

Screenshot from Rec
Screenshot from Rec

Rec (2007)

Zombie movies aren't just a North American thing, of course. From Spain comes 2007's Rec which uses the idea of "found footage" much like The Blair Witch Project. It's pretty much all contained in one apartment complex in Barcelona, Spain and is full of jump scares and thrilling moments.

Bill Murray in Zombieland
Bill Murray in Zombieland

Zombieland (2009)

Director Ruben Fleischer hit one out of the (amusement) park with his debut film Zombieland. Not only is the movie a hilarious take on the genre, but it features one of the most out-of-blue appearances by Bill Murray, playing a zombified version of himself. Without Murray it's an A+ movie, with him, it's simply out of this world.

Timothy Balme in Dead Alive
Timothy Balme in Dead Alive

Dead Alive (1992)

Right before director Peter Jackson hit the big time with Heavenly Creatures in 1994, he directed the low-budget zombie flick Dead Alive, which was originally called Braindead in his native New Zealand. The movie bombed at the box office but has since gained a huge cult following, hence its inclusion on this list.

Cillian Murphy stands in front of a desolate London in 28 Days Later.
Cillian Murphy stands in front of a desolate London in 28 Days Later.

28 Days Later (2002)

If you are director Danny Boyle, how do you follow-up to Trainspotting and The Beach? With a zombie movie, naturally.  28 Days Later is a terrifying movie, starring a young Cillian Murphy as one of the few survivors of the zombie apocalypse in London. The deserted streets of London were as spooky as anything ever done on film.

Sennia Nanua in The Girl with All the Gifts
Sennia Nanua in The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)

One thing you have to love about a good zombie movie is what they call the zombies. In The Girl with All the Gifts, they are called "hungries" which has to be one of the best names ever. The other cool twist is that a zombie is also a savior, one that can save the world, or destroy it.

A scene from The Autopsy Of Jane Doe
A scene from The Autopsy Of Jane Doe

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (2016)

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is unique for zombie movies in that it's almost completely contained in one place, and really just one zombie, Jane Doe, who has been a zombie for centuries, presumably taking regular people out for all that time, including the two protagonists here, doing the autopsy.

Lori Cardille in Day of the Dead
Lori Cardille in Day of the Dead

Day Of The Dead (1985)

When it comes to zombie movies, George A. Romeo's movies still remain the king, even Day of the Dead, which is generally considered one of the "weaker" movies in his zombie series but is still one of the best of the genre. There is nothing weak about it when you aren't comparing it to some of his other masterpieces.

A scene from I Walked with a Zombie
A scene from I Walked with a Zombie

I Walked With A Zombie (1943)

Taking it way back, I Walked with a Zombie, is one of the earliest zombie movies out of Hollywood. The low-budget horror flick wasn't appreciated in its day but has since been regarded as a pioneer in the genre. The zombies come from voodoo rituals, rather than the more recent tradition of a disease or something more sci-fi-based, but that only makes it scarier in a way.

Teresa Palmer and Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies.
Teresa Palmer and Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies.

Warm Bodies (2013)

Warm Bodies has two of the best twists on the zombie genre we've ever seen. First, it's from the zombie's perspective, and two, the zombie heals and becomes more human. R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie who falls in love with Julia (Teresa Palmer) and after saving her, they begin a romance, humanizing R along the way. A zombie love story, if you will.

Lupita Nyong'o and Alexander England singing Shake It Off in Little Monsters
Lupita Nyong'o and Alexander England singing Shake It Off in Little Monsters

Little Monsters (2019)

There might be a little recency bias with the Rotten Tomato ranking of Little Monsters. It's a fun movie, no doubt, and it's funny, but it's not bringing a lot of new ideas to the genre. Lupita Nyong'o and Josh Gad are great, no question, and mixing rom-com tropes into a zombie movie is interesting, but it's not as good as some of the others on this list if you love zombie movies.

Zombies in Dawn of the Dead
Zombies in Dawn of the Dead

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

Remakes are always a little hit or miss. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. For the 2004 remake of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, first-time director Zach Snyder teamed up with James Gunn to make one heck of a good remake. It's not quite as classic as the original, but it's still well worth any fan of the genre's time.

A scene from Wild Zero
A scene from Wild Zero

Wild Zero (1999)

The Japanese film Wild Zero is, frankly, wild, as the name implies. The zombie part kind of comes out of nowhere, and while it fits in the madness of the movie, it adds a strange dimension to it. Rock 'n Roll zombies will save the world.

A scene from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
A scene from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is easily the most innocent and kid-friendly entry on this list. That said, it's a little different than traditional Scooby fare, as there are actual monsters, or zombies, not just the old man living in the abandoned amusement park. It's also notable and it kicked off the new era of Scooby movies and shows that have continued to this day.

A scene from Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
A scene from Let Sleeping Corpses Lie

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a classic that many fans of the zombie genre may have overlooked. The Italian film, set in England was released in 1974 and has a very European take on the genre. The unique spin here is that it's essentially set up as a murder mystery, with the undead as the murderers, not the innocent living who are suspected.

A scene from Deathdream
A scene from Deathdream

Deathdream (1974)

Deathdream is unique in that it's a zombie movie with a political message. Released in 1974 towards the end of the Vietnam War, the movie is about an undead son who is struck down in Vietnam but returns home, seemingly ok. He's not ok, but it takes some time for his family to realize it.

Alexis Díaz de Villegas in Juan of the Dead
Alexis Díaz de Villegas in Juan of the Dead

Juan Of The Dead (2010)

Great zombie movies can come from just about anywhere, including Cuba, as is the case of Juan of the Dead. It follows two men who discover the first walking dead while fishing, but not the last, as a zombie apocalypse breaks out on the island, mirroring in some ways the past revolution, as they see it, anyway.

Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart in Night of the Comet
Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart in Night of the Comet

Night Of The Comet (1984)

Anyone who grew up with cable TV in the 1980s knows, and probably loves, Night of the Comet. The movie aired on cable all the time and while it was a huge box office hit, it really found its stride later, when it became a cult classic. It tells the story of the last few survivors of an apocalyptic event when Earth passes through the tail of a comet, rendering most of the world's population dead or undead.

Josh Brolin in Planet Terror
Josh Brolin in Planet Terror

Planet Terror (2007)

Robert Rodriguez's take on zombies, Planet Terror, is exactly what you would expect from the From Dusk Till Dawn director. It's funny and full of wild, over-the-top action. Released as a double feature with Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, it is sublimely silly and action-packed.

A scene from Night Of The Creeps
A scene from Night Of The Creeps

Night Of The Creeps (1986)

The best thing about Night of the Creeps is that it doesn't try to be something more than it is. It's a first-rate B movie that doesn't pretend to be anything different. It's the directorial debut of one of the best horror creators of his generation, Fred Dekker, and is worth seeking out if you love campy B movies.

A scene from Versus
A scene from Versus

Versus (2000)

Japan has produced some great, campy zombie movies, like 2000's Versus. It combines the best of horror and king fu movies, resulting in a cult classic that has stood the test of time.

Imogen Poots in 28 Weeks Later
Imogen Poots in 28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later (2007)

Normally, when a sequel comes around that doesn't include the creators of the original, it's best to steer clear. 28 Weeks Later is an exception to that rule, though. Even though Danny Boyle doesn't direct it, and Cillian Murphy doesn't star in it, the sequel to 28 Days Later brings all the same vibes and scares that the original does.

A scene from Final Cut
A scene from Final Cut

Final Cut (2022)

Final Cut is a remake of a movie, in which a movie crew is remaking a movie of the fictional movie that the crew in the original was making. Got it? Very meta, right? This French remake of the Japanese zombie film One Cut of the Dead isn't as good as the original, but it's still really funny.

Woody Harrelson in Zombieland: Double Tap
Woody Harrelson in Zombieland: Double Tap

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Zombieland: Double Tap is about what you would expect from a sequel of this kind. It's not as good as the original Zombieland, it doesn't quite have the charm, nor the originality, but it's a worthy successor in the series. Is it a must-see? Only if you really love the first one.

Nathalie Emmanuel stands confidently in front of Stuart Martin and Ruby O. Fee in Army Of Thieves.
Nathalie Emmanuel stands confidently in front of Stuart Martin and Ruby O. Fee in Army Of Thieves.

Army Of Thieves (2021)

Critics of Army of Thieves called the film's plot unoriginal, and that's fair. It's not the unique zombie flick on this list, nor is close to the best. It's a prequel to Army of the Dead directed by, and starring, Matthias Schweighöfer, alongside Nathalie Emmanuel. They both do a great job with it, and it's worth watching if you love zombie movies, but it doesn't need to be at the top of anyone's list.

It's a little surprising that some of the more well-known zombie movies like Army of the Dead, World War Z, and Resident Evil don't make this list, but then again, there are a lot of great zombie movies out there.