Brad Pitt takes on a globe full of screeching, flailing undead creatures in World War Z, a film that's as excellent as is it terrifying. Pitt is a great dramatic actor, and it's fun to see him use those skills while also shooting zombies. He's mesmerizing here as Gerry Lane, a retired UN investigator. Gerry's chasing the source of a virus that is rapidly turning the world's population into flesh-eating zombies — and all the while, he's being chased by said relentless creatures. The country needs Gerry's expertise, and getting out of Pittsburgh with his wife (Mireille Enos) and two young daughters is just the beginning. He's got a long and intense journey in front of him battling not only the dead, but also the living, whose overwhelming fear has turned them into the worst kind of humans.
Though we don't get much time to see Pitt in pancake-making, stay-at-home-dad mode, it's endearing to see him play doting father to his two girls. Minutes into the film, the zombies have ascended with a vengeance, and suddenly Gerry goes into survival mode. It's a subtle change, but Pitt strikes a spot-on balance between scared citizen, protective father, and skilled detective. We never lose sight of his paternal side; even when he leaves his family in the care of a special forces ship to track down the virus's source, he checks in with his wife daily. Find out what other strengths I appreciated in the film after the jump.