A lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn't get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.
Zoe, Zack and Jack drive a Pontiac LeMans. This is the exact same make and model driven by Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and Johnny (Russell Streiner) in the prologue of the original Night of the Living Dead (1968). See more »
When Officer Morrison decides she doesn't want to remain in the car, she opens the back door. Police cars do not have doors in the back that open from the inside. This keeps those that have been arrested from any attempts to exit the vehicle. See more »
First off I gave this movie 6/10 because the cast is great, as is the overall production value. The movie also has a plot that begins and ends (something a shocking number of movies don't have). That alone warrants 6/10 in my book.
After Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) and Paterson (2016), both films I absolutely LOVE, Jarmusch seems to want to move in a less philosophical and goofier direction. Both those films are quiet, thought-provoking, and uneventful but not in a bad way.
The Dead Don't Die feels like Jarmusch trying to make an event film, as well as a statement on American sociopolitical culture today, on Hollywood today, as well as pay homage to classic zombie films. With so many characters and so much disconnect between them, as well as so little attention given to the themes, the film ultimately is... a mess. There is a meta framing device that doesn't really work too.
In trying to touch on all these things and their great complexities, Jarmusch winds up effectively analyzing none of them. Themes are lightly addressed before quickly being swept away and replaced with something else. Same could be said for the characters and subplots. There is fun to be had if you enjoy weird and offbeat movies, but this is sadly a weak outing for Jarmusch. I'd much sooner recommend other zombie comedies such as Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, and Return of the Living Dead before this one.
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