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Dawn of the Dead (2004)

1:31 | Clip
A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.


Zack Snyder


George A. Romero, James Gunn (screenplay)
209 ( 603)
1 win & 17 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Polley ... Ana
Ving Rhames ... Kenneth
Jake Weber ... Michael
Mekhi Phifer ... Andre
Ty Burrell ... Steve
Michael Kelly ... CJ
Kevin Zegers ... Terry
Michael Barry Michael Barry ... Bart
Lindy Booth ... Nicole
Jayne Eastwood ... Norma
Boyd Banks ... Tucker
Inna Korobkina ... Luda
R.D. Reid R.D. Reid ... Glen
Kim Poirier ... Monica
Matt Frewer ... Frank


Ana goes home to her peaceful suburban residence, but she is unpleasantly surprised the morning that follows when her husband is brutally attacked by her zombified neighbor. In the chaos of her once picturesque neighborhood, Ana flees and stumbles upon a police officer named Kenneth, along with more survivors who decide that their best chances of survival would be found in the deserted Crossroads Shopping Mall. When supplies begin running low and other trapped survivors need help, the group comes to the realization that they cannot stay put forever at the Shopping Mall and devise a plan to escape. Written by Will

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


36 billion people have died since the reign of humanity. For the new Dawn, there's a reunion... See more »


Action | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong horror violence and gore, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


According to the director, Zack Snyder, on the DVD commentary he states that Scott Frank and Michael Tolkin both did uncredited rewrites on the script. See more »


When Ana walks into her room, she is talking to her husband. We see the side of her face and her mouth is not moving. See more »


Kenneth: [pointing a gun at Ana] Say something.
Ana: Please...
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, intercut with the closeup clips of zombies, there is a very brief clip similar to the infamous Paris Hilton tape, with its telltale green "nightvison" effect. See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical R-rated cut of the film is 100 minutes long. However, an unrated "Director's Cut" has been released on home video alongside the R-rated theatrical print timed at 110 min and contains more character development and gore. Some releases added digital blood to cover up a naked lady stepping out of a bus. See more »


Featured in Revenge of the Sith Review (2010) See more »


You Light Up My Life
Written by Joseph Brooks (as Joe Brooks)
Performed by Tree Adams
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User Reviews

A Non-Stop Thrill Ride With Pitch-Black Humor, A Great Cast And Excellent Makeup Effects
11 May 2020 | by gogoschka-1See all my reviews

I'm a Romero nut (for those among you who don't know the name George A. Romero: that was the genius writer/director who single-handedly created the modern zombie film and who also wrote and directed the original 'Dawn of the Dead' in '78), so you may believe me when I say I wasn't impressed when I heard there would be a remake of the zombie maestro's famed horror classic. Truth be told, I was absolutely determined to hate this new film when it came out - but boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise!

As it turned out, Zack Snyder's remake isn't just a re-hash of Romero's film but offers a very different take on the material and deserves to be recognized based on its own merits as one of the most entertaining entries in the particular horror sub-genre that is the zombie film. The James Gunn script is hilariously funny throughout - in a pitch black kind of way - and there is simply not a dull moment in it.

Furthermore, the cast consists of great character actors who are totally game (Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Michael Kelly and Ty Burrell among others); the gore effects are insane and the zombie makeup is the best pre-'Walking Dead' in any zombie movie by far. I'm inclined to believe that had this film been made by a less divisive director than Snyder, it would have since gone on to be regarded a B-movie horror classic for the ages.

It's true that the scathing social commentary which elevated the original "Dead Trilogy" above simple gore-fests is largely absent from the remake, but I don't see this as a flaw in the new film. The political subtext in Romero's films was effective in part because it was so subversive at the time; a remake repeating those same beats more than two decades later simply wouldn't have the same impact (which Romero himself actually went on to prove with his far from bad but oddly dated "New Dead trilogy" consisting of 'Land of the Dead' (2005), 'Diary of the Dead' (2007) and 'Survival of the Dead' (2009) ).

What 'Dawn of the Dead (2004) does brilliantly instead is focus on the characters. Every single player in the remake is fun to watch; even the supporting characters are colorful and more than "one-note" and have their own arcs. I would also like to point out that while Gunn's script is lighter on social commentary than Romero's, it's far from dumb, and the story beats are interesting and unpredictable enough to keep you invested throughout.

To sum it all up: While I love Romero's film for its clever subtext and critique of consumerism, its impact on the horror genre and its entertainment value, I love Snyder's version for the pitch black humor, the great cast as well as the pure spectacle and non-stop thrill-ride it provides. As far as action-horror films go, it actually doesn't get much better than this: Dawn Of The Dead '04 is simply an A+ genre flick that deserves to get more recognition.

About this review: tastes in film obviously vary greatly, so if you want to get a better reference if mine generally aligns somewhat with yours, I created a list of my 50 favorite films on my imdb page which should leave you in no doubt about what kind of stuff I'm into (just click on my name if you're interested).

18 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Release Date:

19 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »


Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,722,575, 21 March 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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