CATEGORIES Reviews
There are movies that suffer from a title too confusing or vague ('Mystic Pizza,' anyone?). The new thriller 'The Crazies' doesn't have that problem. Breck Eisner's film centers on a small town whose reservoir is contaminated. The toxin makes the residents go stark, raving crazy.

The town sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) must be a bottled water drinker, because he virtually stands alone between order and chaos. Olyphant also plays a lawman in FX's upcoming series 'Justified.'

The original 'Crazies' was an early-70s creation of George A. Romero, better known for 'Night of the Living Dead.' This week's release is the latest directorial effort from Eisner, the son of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Breck Eisner's last film was 'Sahara' starring Matthew McConaughey and a pre-Oscar Penelope Cruz.

Romero's work was thought to be a meditation on U.S. involvement in Vietnam. There doesn't seem to be a consensus about what drives the new 'Crazies.' Is it tapping into everyone's fear of a pandemic? Is it just good, germ-y fun? The reviewers do find common ground in their opinion of Eisner's skill behind the camera. Here are some excerpts from this week's reviews: There are movies that suffer from a title too confusing or vague ('Mystic Pizza,' anyone?). The new thriller 'The Crazies' doesn't have that problem. Breck Eisner's film centers on a small town whose reservoir is contaminated. The toxin makes the residents go stark, raving crazy.

The town sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) must be a bottled water drinker, because he virtually stands alone between order and chaos. Olyphant also plays a lawman in FX's upcoming series 'Justified.'

The original 'Crazies' was an early-70s creation of George A. Romero, better known for 'Night of the Living Dead.' This week's release is the latest directorial effort from Eisner, the son of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Breck Eisner's last film was 'Sahara' starring Matthew McConaughey and a pre-Oscar Penelope Cruz.

Romero's work was thought to be a meditation on U.S. involvement in Vietnam. There doesn't seem to be a consensus about what drives the new 'Crazies.' Is it tapping into everyone's fear of a pandemic? Is it just good, germ-y fun? The reviewers do find common ground in their opinion of Eisner's skill behind the camera. Here are some excerpts from this week's reviews:

The Hollywood Reporter: "Part zombie movie, part apocalyptic bioterror, part military conspiracy thriller, the refit hybrid doesn't stint on the visceral kicks demanded by contemporary audiences while remaining reasonably true to those Romero roots."

The Miami Herald: "The result is a terrific little B-movie in which the deaths of characters carry a real sting, the gore is used sparingly but to disturbing effect and the editing has been paced at a speed that allows you to follow the action transpiring onscreen. Given the current state of the horror genre, these qualities are not to be taken for granted. You may not remember 'The Crazies' in a month, but you'll have a grand time watching it."

'The Crazies' Trailer


Associated Press: "What "The Crazies" really taps into is our pervasive unease over disease, that moment when the person sitting next to you on the subway or airplane or, yes, the movie theater sneezes or breaks into a coughing fit and you realize you're unarmed."

Roger Ebert: "I'm thinking, so what? The last thing I need is another Jump Out/ Loud Noise/Alarming Chord Movie. Even a well-made one -- like this one .. "

Slant Magazine: "At any moment, the rote nature of the film's story could've ruined the film's delicate atmosphere, but that never happens -- not when everywhere in the town, from barns to car washes, is retooled as a site for the next confrontation. There's no safe place and no place safe here, making the final shot of Dutton and his wife standing in awe of a blooming mushroom cloud an awesome reminder of the paranoiac shock a competent fantasy can instill."

Orlando Sentinel: "Chilling set pieces in a car wash and in the high school that's been turned into a triage center pay off with genuine chills. Eisner discovered the spine-tingle of knives and pitchforks dragged along concrete, of a whirring bone-saw clattering across a tile floor. [...] But after 'Zombieland," 'The Crazies' struggles to find novelty and laughs, and must battle the overwhelming sense that we've been here, seen this too often and too recently to experience any real surprises."