Critics are eating up Zack Snyder’s Army of the Deadwhich was described by The Hollywood Reporter as a “deliriously enjoyable return to zombie mayhem.” The Dave Bautista-led action flick opens in theaters in just a few short days, and then on Netflix a week later. Based on the first reviews, Snyder pulls the best elements from Dawn of the Dead, combining them with a modern zeitgeist to create a movie that has something for everyone.

Army of the Dead is Snyder’s first non-DCEU film since 2011’s Sucker Punch. With a reportedly lighter tone than his past forays into comic book territory, this movie focuses on having a rollicking good time blasting the undead brains out of zombies. Overall, critics lauded the zombie-heist film for being a truly fun experience. While it might not have much sparkling wit or profound character development, Army of the Dead more than makes up for it with its blood-spattering action.

Here's what reviewers are saying about Army of the Dead:

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter:

At 2½ hours, this is a lot of furious flesh-eating for one meal. But the screenplay by Snyder, Shay Hatten and Joby Harold strikes a satisfying balance between accelerated action — fountains of blood, splatter, gore and punishing fight sequences — and quieter character-driven interludes that succeed in making us care about the motley crew tackling the zombie menace.

Pete Hammond, Deadline:

Snyder proves here that with the right material and attitude he is an artist in control and hitting his own zeitgeist again. Funnily enough, it apparently took a trip to Netflix to do it for him, and ironically he has lightened things up with a film that almost demands to be seen on the big screen; it’s not really a streaming kind of attraction in terms of full power... No matter how you see it, see it.

Chris Evangelista, /Film:

Those familiar with Snyder’s work will spot all his trademarks here – the rippling muscles, the slow-motion action, the burning-bright explosions, the on-the-nose needle drops (does he put The Cranberries song “Zombie” in this zombie movie? You know he does).


Owen Gleiberman, Variety:

It’s two hours and 28 minutes of packed-to-the-gills video-game-meets-21st-century-Western-meets-day-of-the-living-dead fun, all staged by Snyder with a jaunty spirit of gung-ho classicism. A viewer might be tempted to ask: What’s not to like?

Eric Kohn, IndieWire:

It’s a blockbuster that funnels the appeal of big-budget action and horror with an almost sacred reverence for the material. That’s absurd, but Snyder’s a true believer in go-for-broke escapism and at its best, the mayhem in “Army of the Dead” is an infectious zombie bite of its own.

Charlie Ridgely,

With the creative freedom afforded by Netflix, Snyder returns to the genre that he's clearly best at with an exciting original story, bringing with him all of the lessons and techniques he learned from his stint with DC and a cast that feels down for just about anything. The film is a triumph for a director whose career has been mired by polarizing opinions, and it's easily the most exciting zombie film in years.

Army of the Dead arrives in theaters on May 14, and is available on Netflix beginning May 21.

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