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The 10 Best Zombie Movies, Ranked

Whether it’s for the thrills or the chills, sometimes throwing on a classic horror movie or a suspenseful thriller can be what you need after a long day. Zombie movies can be a fun and sometimes hilarious way to blow off steam. Throughout pop culture and films since the early 1960s, zombies have been present. Horror is a good genre for young, aspiring filmmakers, but zombie horror flicks have been known to bring low-budget films great returns and great recognition as resourceful and creative. This is, of course, not always the case as zombie movies have been jacked up and popularized by the many cult fans that imagine how they might survive the zombie apocalypse, were it ever to happen.

Whatever kind of zombie is your favorite, all types are represented in our list today: fast zombies, angry zombies, dumb zombies, subaquatic zombies, you name it, we got it. So board up your windows and doors, get your best Louisville Slugger handy, and strap in for the best zombie movies ranked.

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10. Land of the Dead (2005)

The zombies from Land of the Dead walk out of the water.
The zombies from Land of the Dead walk out of the water.

To start off our list from what is nowhere near George A. Romero’s finest, Land of the Dead has some of the most ridiculous lines as well as zombie tendencies of all zombie films — ever. Not to discredit the bombastic fun of the movie, it’s still one of the necessities in the Romero zombie movie collection but takes it a bit too far. It’s not really a spoiler — since it’s in the trailer — to mention that these zombies get way smarter, utilizing their newfound abilities to wield guns, drive cars, and march along the ocean floor.

Director: George A. Romero
Main Cast: John Leguizamo, Asia Argento, Simon Baker
Runtime: 93 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.2

Buy/Rent on Amazon

9. Little Monsters (2019)

Lupita Nyong'o wields a shovel against zombies in Little Monsters.
Lupita Nyong’o wields a shovel against zombies in Little Monsters.

A rare perspective in the zombie movie universe, Little Monsters follows a group of children on a field trip with their resilient school teacher who goes to incredible lengths to preserve their innocence. Since the camp they go to is right next door to a military testing site, they are the first to be subject to the outbreak. While these zombies are pretty mindless (children are able to fairly easily evade them), the concepts and themes present are quite endearing, encouraging the power of the human spirit to endure no matter the odds.

Director: Abe Forsythe
Main Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gad
Runtime: 93 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.3

Watch on Hulu

8. Resident Evil (2002)

Milla Jovovich wields a handgun in Resident Evil.
Milla Jovovich wields a handgun in Resident Evil.

An all-out action fest and the beginning of a film franchise that would continue for what seems like forever, Resident Evil is a zombie movie that turns humans and animals into all sorts of undead creatures. While it’s a fun and explosive adventure all the way through, Milla Jovovich is the guiding light who keeps these films alive with her incredible badassery. Yes, there are many zombies in this movie series, but a lot of the time they completely change their shape/size/bone structure to more accurately follow the video game series on which they are based.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Main Cast: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Ryan McCluskey
Runtime: 100 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.7

Buy/Rent on Amazon

7. Zombieland (2009)

Jesse Eisenberg (left) and Woody Harrelson (right) survive again in Zombieland.
Jesse Eisenberg (left) and Woody Harrelson (right) survive again in Zombieland.

Adding utter gore with comedy sometimes has some great outcomes, this is one of those times. In Zombieland, not only do we get all the zombie action we are looking for, but we also get a fun cast of characters that make the zombie apocalypse almost look kinda fun and survivable. Counting down his list of rules to stay alive, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a neurotic and logical example of someone who uses smarts to stay alive, while Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is a skilled and excited zombie killer who does it for sport.

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Main Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson
Runtime: 88 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.6

Buy/Rent on Amazon

6. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

A group of zombies in Dawn of the Dead.
A group of zombies in Dawn of the Dead.

In Zack Snyder’s modern-day reboot of the 1978 classic, Dawn of the Dead makes its zombies faster, stronger, and scarier than ever. Based in the same setting as the original, a group of survivors holes up in a shopping mall surrounded by a ridiculously large horde of the undead. While it doesn’t quite match up to the quality of the original, it stays true to it while exploring new fields of interest.

Director: Zack Snyder
Main Cast: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Mekhi Phifer
Runtime: 101 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.3

Buy/Rent on Amazon

5. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Kate Ashfield (left), Simon Pegg (center), and Lucy Davis (right) in Shaun of the Dead.
From left, Kate Ashfield, Simon Pegg, and Lucy Davis in Shaun of the Dead.

The first-ever zom-rom-com to hit was the incredible Edgar Wright feature Shaun of the Dead, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to make the dialogue and narrative a dryly hilarious adventure. Inspired to save his girlfriend when the zombie apocalypse hits (even though she just broke up with him), Shaun (Simon Pegg) ultimately just wants to get to his favorite pub and wait for the whole thing to blow over. While the zombies in this movie are painfully slow and dim, it adds to the humor of the film, especially when they are able to navigate a crowd of them simply by acting like a zombie.

Director: Edgar Wright
Main Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield
Runtime: 99 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.9

Buy/Rent on Amazon

4. Train to Busan (2016)

Sohee struggles to escape the cabin in Train to Busan.
Sohee struggles to escape the cabin in Train to Busan.

One of the most intense and claustrophobic zombie movies ever made, Train to Busan is an incredible Korean zombie movie by director Sang-ho Yeon. Riddled with well-established backstories to multiple characters and great performances to boot, they all must survive on a train to the supposed last safe zone from the zombie outbreak. The zombies are fast, they are vicious, and the virus turns them pretty quickly. The creativity and originality of the plot is enough to give it a watch, but it turns out so much better than it sounds.

Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Main Cast: Gong Yoo, Yu-mi Jung, Ma Don-seok
Runtime: 118 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.6

Watch on Hulu

3. 28 Days Later (2002)

Cillian Murphy wanders the streets of London in 28 Days Later.
Cillian Murphy wanders the streets of London in 28 Days Later.

From director Danny Boyle comes 28 Days Later, the fast-paced and terrifying zombie thriller that revamped the genre into the next generation. An animal rights activist group decides to break into a research facility and free some monkeys, one of which is carrying a “rage virus” that spreads like wildfire throughout the U.K. The zombies are fast, fierce, and make some terrifying sounds to boot. The scariest part about this movie’s virus is that it is the most realistic concept for a zombie apocalypse yet, in which the host of the virus can still starve to death but is driven by the virus to do one thing: spread.

Director: Danny Boyle
Main Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston
Runtime: 113 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.6

Watch on Hulu

2. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

A group of zombies attack the elevator-goers in Dawn of the Dead.
A group of zombies attack the elevator-goers in Dawn of the Dead.

Considered to be the modern awakening of the zombie movie, George A. Romero is at it with Dawn of the Dead — the original and better version. Including some very interesting commentary on society and what we have become, the zombies are slow-moving and less threatening but serve more as a symbolic tool for Romero. Hailed for its practical effects and riveting story, this is easily one of the best zombie movies of all time. It should be noted that, due to licensing issues, this movie cannot be streamed online anywhere. So we’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way.

Director: George A. Romero
Main Cast: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger
Runtime: 127 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.9

Buy DVD on Amazon

1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

A group of undead slowly trudges forward in Night of the Living Dead.
A group of undead slowly trudges forward in Night of the Living Dead.

In what is considered to be the first and best zombie movie of all time, George A. Romero helms this revered horror classic. Praised for its editing, practical effects, and — of course — a smart political commentary, Night of the Living Dead is the debut film from Romero that was exceptional in so many ways. It was even praised for being the first horror film to feature a Black lead character played by Duane Jones, which adds to the incredible and revolutionary — societal and theatrical — steps that Romero has taken well before many others.

Director: George A. Romero
Main Cast: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman
Runtime: 96 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.9

Watch on HBO Max

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