“Warm Bodies” is based on a young adult novel by Isaac Marion, but the true source material is over 400 years old — this is “Romeo and Juliet and Zombies” but without the obvious kitsch that would result from having 16th century Verona attacked by reanimated cadavers. The allusions to Shakespeare are subtle enough to give “Warm Bodies” a little more depth, but writer-director Jonathan Levine (“50/50,” “The Wackness”) is more intent on building the romance, layering on the dark humor and letting the considerable chemistry develop between Hoult and Palmer.
This might look like an attempt to pull a teen-romance phenomenon out of the zombie genre, but “Warm Bodies” is a far better movie than any of the “Twilight Saga” adaptations. And considering the steep difficulty of getting over the intrinsic grossness of rotting bodies, it's a welcome surprise.
— George Lang