The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) Poster

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7/10
Nothing predictable about this, nothing whatsoever..
A_Different_Drummer2 January 2017
As a prolific reviewer, you tend to often discuss a film in terms of traditional arcs, and riffs off those same arcs.

Which is why it is always a treat when a film comes along that throws the script template out the window and forges its own path.

This is such a film. It reminded me of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN 1957, the first legitimate A-list sci-fi that, like this film, started off in what seemed a traditional manner -- and then went down a plot superhiway that no one had ever seen before.

It is not a perfect film. It has some flaws. For example, the first 30 minutes are better (more impact, more empathy, more entertaining) than the last 60 minutes. Which is not to suggest that the last hour is bad, merely that the first half-hour is drop-dead stunning and unforgettable.

And the director often seems confused about who the real star is? Ditto for the PR dept of the studio. If you check the IMDb reference, you will see that the young girl so brilliantly played by Sennia Nanua is given billing lower down on the cast list. That's an error. Sennia IS the film -- she practically picks it up and carries it to the finish line. The scenes without her are weak, the scenes with her are wonderful.

Nice iteration of a "really smart" zombie film. Recommended.
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8/10
Stands out from the pack
ganason10 May 2017
Let me say first that I am not a fan of zombie movies. Since George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead", most have been derivative. There have been some better than others (so I've been told) but none that really stand out from the pack. I think, though, that "The Girl with All the GIfts" is one that does stand out in this genre. I read about it and decided to take a chance on it...I figured if I didn't like it that I would just fast forward it and be done with it in about 15 minutes. So I took it out from my local library. Well, I got hooked from the beginning. I would recommend that if you want an interesting, unexpectedly well done movie then give this movie a chance
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Film as Virus to Fight Us
tedg19 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Zombie films have always been about social analogy: AIDS, immigration, Islam!, climate change, AI revolt.

Regardless, it is always followed the western form of good guys, bad guys. Always. This one twists that from the very first moments which focuses on an appealing preadolescent girl in a hostile environment.

It helps to know — as I did not — that the disorder here is based on a real insect fungus.

What worked:

— The girl actress is fragile, grabbing all our native sympathetic pulls. Why this works is because of many shameful assumptions we carry: slight, submissive but sunny girl of color. A cooperating captive where the captive dynamics align with our strongest demons.

— The Emma Atherton character as teacher is similar captive, unable to escape because of her emotional connection to what we know she thinks are the accidentally oppressed. The chemistry between these two is strong, evoking imagined backstories.

— The sound/score is amazingly effective.

— The surrounding chaos when attacked was well choreographed.

— The twist at the end grabbed me viscerally. The trick isn't new of course, using a film to reinforce an identity the viewer grasps, then subverting that alliance. What made this is so effective is that the genre has such strong momentum, and that the identity we had pulled from us was so fundamental. It isn't our membership in a tribe that is stolen, but our excuse for living at all.

What did not work for me:

— Amazingly, it was the Glen Close character. She has the job we find in uncinematic scifi films where she has to explain things. As a character, she seemed superfluous; so her role as explainer really is obvious and off-putting because she isn't in the story so much as between it and us.

— The sets. Here's the thing. Its been ten years — we assume — since the pandemic. I know that the tendency is to show desolation visually, with extreme degradation, but the most effective scenes for me were those with ordinary environments and no ordinary motion.

— The makeup. Someone decided to use the fungal notion but reference the old zombie tradition of rotting flesh. Can't have both.

— The one joke: "I already had a cat." When you pull something like this, you acknowledge that there is a viewer to get the joke, and that you are invested in being playful with him/her. The character is taken out of the story and redefined as an entertainer for your pleasure. It breaks the story when it has the intent of this one.

— The eating. If you decide to show a human fighting being devoured by beasts, then it should be as terrifying as the victim has it. This was almost a puppet show with carefully daubed chinblood shown afterward. I know it is a trope of the genre, like a Hong Kong martial arts fight where a single hit of a sword bloodlessly makes the bad guy fall dead instantly. But it works against the collective terror of the end.
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8/10
Highly recommended, and vastly superior to most of the genre.
Artless_Dodger27 September 2016
Excellent performances and interesting source material (MR Carey adapting his own novel), plus imaginative direction (Scottish director Colm McCarthy), create a chilling sci-fi tale of hungries (zombies) versus humanity.

The opening sequence sets the tone. Melanie, a young, polite, and courteous girl manacles herself into a wheel chair. She seems entirely innocent and harmless, yet her captors fear otherwise. She and other children, each similarly restrained, are given an armed escort to a classroom. It's an arresting start and it grabs our attention. Sennia Nanua plays Melanie and the story revolves around her. We watch society collapsing through her eyes, see her threatened by the human beings around her, and fear for her. We watch her do terrible things, and yet we root for her. Everything is uncertain. Nothing is as it seems. It's a brilliant performance from a new talent, and it serves the film perfectly.

Melanie is surrounded by contrasting emotions from those nearest to her. Gemma Arterton is excellent as protective and caring psychologist/teacher Helen Justineau, fiercely defending Melanie against the machinations of Dr Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close) who sees Melanie as a specimen to be dissected. Paddy Considine convinces as Sergeant Eddie Parks, a tough, no- nonsense soldier fighting a losing battle.

Colm McCarthy brings this all together superbly, belying the film's modest budget. Striking visuals and frenetic action are never allowed to overwhelm the characters, who take centre stage. And at it's heart is Melanie. Confusing, ambivalent, terrifying, lovable Melanie. It's a wonderful turn from Sennia Nanua.

Highly recommended, and vastly superior to most of the genre.
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8/10
A Surprisingly Fresh Addition to the Zombie Genre
PyroSikTh28 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The film opens with Melanie, a very polite young girl, strapping herself into a wheelchair at gunpoint. She and many other children are wheeled off to a makeshift classroom where they're taught the periodic table and Greek mythology, before they're each returned to their individual cells. Melanie also gets little logic problems from one of the doctors. She's treated with fear, curiosity, and love from various different military personel. It's not long before her curiosity gets the better of her and she finds herself topside in a military base surrounded by hungry hordes, strapped to an examination table. Who she is, why she's important, and why she's treated the way she is is left mysterious for quite some time.

The zombies themselves take a leaf out of The Last of Us. They're caused by a fungal infection that completely takes over the brain and replaces it with the insatiable need to eat. Their primary sense is smell, allowing the soldiers to mask themselves with a blocking gel and enabling them to carefully navigate through the hordes without being detected. Being a fungal infection though, there's more than just one stage, and the next stage holds the potential for the end of humanity. As zombie concepts go, this one is certainly one of the creepiest, and actually has a precedent in nature as well.

I was hugely surprised by the visual sufficiency of The Girl with All the Gifts. I figured it would just be another low-budget English production. Okay, that's exactly what it is, but it doesn't mean they scrimped out on the film's visual quality. The CGI present is subtle and sparingly used, preferring to use and merge in-camera footage instead. The apocalyptic landscape on display is one of the most convincing apocalyptic landscapes I've seen, created by putting the overgrown scenery of Chernobyl across London's skyline. It's obviously been a number of years since the initial outbreak, so the city is overrun with trees and shrubbery. The cinematography is great as well though, with some inspiring imagery created with interesting uses of composition and lighting. I wouldn't go so far as to say it looks particularly artistic, but it certainly has a good go at it. For such a bleak story in such a bleak setting, the movie looks really good (in such a bleak kind of way).

The music as well goes a long way to setting the scene, driven by haunting theremins as they swell and slide, backed by a simplistic orchestral arrangement. It's unlike any soundtrack I've heard before, but fits the movie so well. I was actually disappointed that I couldn't find it to listen to while I wrote this review. It knows when it be unsettling and when to be emotional, and at times even uses what you wouldn't expect to give a different angle to the scene in question.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a solid movie in it's own right, but it stands amongst the very best zombie movies. It certainly gives 28 Days Later... a run for its money, both in it's use of it's low- budget and it's re-invention of the zombie trope. It's another fresh new take on a genre perpetually at risk of going stale, but finding itself constantly injected with more creativity and imagination. I give The Girl with All the Gifts a solid 8/10, and would absolutely recommend it.
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9/10
Great zombie movie that's not really about zombies
moviebuffchick13 May 2017
I'm really aggravated by people who think this was a "boring zombie movie" that "wasn't scary." Look... the movie is called THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS. It's a movie about a girl... who happens to be a zombie... and her desire to come to terms with who she is, and her right to live in spite of it. NO it's not full of scares and gory zombie kills... that's not what it's about. If you can appreciate a good story about a little girl who happens to be a zombie then you'll see the beauty in this film. There still GREAT zombie action though... It was very well done, had an excellent cast, and Sennia Nanua shined.

Full commentary WITH spoilers on YouTube/Twitter @moviebuffchick1

https://youtu.be/wwm1nWFOwBI
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9/10
This Grim And Gritty Gift Of A Movie Doesn't Disappoint
Theo Robertson1 January 2017
One film I was looking forward to in 2016 was THE PURGE ELECTION NIGHT but that ended up as a predictable disappointment . There was nothing else cinema wise that was on the horizon until I caught Mark Kermode's movie review on the BBC where he raved about a low budget British horror movie THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS . Catching a couple of short clips I was instantly intrigued and thought to myself how similar it was to Danny Boyle's 28 DAYS LATER . Despite Kermode's praise it's a film that seemed to disappear very quickly with little acclaim . Despite this I made a point of catching it first opportunity I got so what better way to celebrate the start of 2017 by watching the film that wins my award of the best film of 2016

Yes you read that right a low budget British zombie apocalypse movie is my favourite movie of 2016 . I know I didn't see too many films last year but even so this doesn't negate TGWATG in any way shape or form . It's only a zombie film on the surface and scratch away the wafer thin surface and you've something totally compelling and multi-layered

Okay let's get the very few negatives out of the way first . First thing is the central character Melanie is just far too knowing to be entirely convincing as a child , but I guess that's narrative convention . Secondly the first 15 minutes of the film builds up a lot of mystery as to who Melanie and the other children might be , but this mystery becomes totally redundant if you know what type of sub-genre you're watching . Thirdly the army unit is more cosmopolitan than the united colours of Benneton . For some reason every TV show and film has the British army being more racially diverse than Daesh/ISIS

Positives ? I'd just tell you watch the movie but that'd be too easy . If you're expecting a relatively straight forward take on 28 DAYS LATER you'll be very surprised because nearly everything here surpasses Boyle's film especially the story details . The quasi zombies nicknamed "Hungries" have suffered their condition due to a fungal infection and the fungus adds another obstacle for the human survivors to worry about. Some scenes are genuinely disturbing but the most chilling scene involves Dr Caroline Caldwell describe an incident in a maternity ward . Let's just say if you know anyone who is pregnant don't let them see this movie . Yeah it's only a movie but it's so intense and convincing that I'm glad I'll never get pregnant . In fact I'm glad of there being little chance of me getting anyone pregnant

With a budget of £4.000.000 director Colm McCarthy works miracles and the two best aspects are using an amorphous soundtrack by Cristobal Tapia de Veer which is oppressive and atmospheric in equal measure and McCarthy - "British foreign legion" aside - casts well . Gemma Arterton proves she's more than a pretty face , Close and Considene are better than usual and the real revelation is Sennia Nanua as Melanie who makes her feature film debut and this will certainly not be the last we'll be hearing from her

I don't want to over hype TGWATG but I was looking forward to seeing it and all expectations were surpassed by a very long margin . I should guard my back somewhat by stating once again by stating this is a grim . gritty but great apocalyptic thriller . I like these type of stories but even so I'm going to have trouble sleeping for a long time . It's undoubtedly the best horror film I've seen since THE MIST from ten years ago and just simply the best and most powerful movie I've seen in a long time
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8/10
A gift for zombie fans.
BA_Harrison3 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The Girl With All The Gifts is yet another entry in the ever popular yet often uninspired infected/zombie genre, but it's one that actually manages to be refreshingly original, refusing to follow many of the rules established since Romero brought us Night of the Living Dead.

The film opens in an underground military facility where a group of children are being detained, locked in cells during the night, and strapped into wheelchairs to be educated during the day by teacher Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton). But these are no ordinary kids: they are infected with a pathogen that causes them to crave human flesh; despite this fact, however, they are still capable of rational thought, with Melanie (Sennia Nanua) being a particularly bright student.

Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close) believes that the children can be used to create an anti-virus for the disease that has ravaged mankind, but before she gets a chance to prove her theories, the base is over-run by 'hungries' (as the infected are known). Justineau, Caldwell, and Melanie narrowly escape the ravenous hordes, joining forces with Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine) and his men on a hazardous journey to safety.

With its cognisant second-generation zombie kids, born of infected mothers, this film quickly distances itself from the countless zombie films out there, but the film also has several other cool ideas that mark it as different: the humans can make themselves invisible to the hungries through the use of a special gel that disguises their scent; the pathogen mutates, turning the zombies into huge plant-like structures bearing seed pods that, if opened, will make the virus airborne; the humans are attacked by feral second-generation children who can use weapons and lay traps.

Best of all, the ending of the film questions humanity's right to survival, and whether, when the time comes, we should accept our fate and allow a new race to take our place. It's a thought provoking way to wrap up a neat little film.
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6/10
Ranges Frome Well Done to Bad
Tweetienator3 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The Girl with All the Gifts is a good movie of the walker/infected genre - a fungus spreads out in the world and transforms the humans to flesh craving numb-heads. We follow some scientists, a girl who has maybe the potential to cure the world and some soldiers in a world out of control. Well done are some scenes and settings which depict the feel of a desolated world very good, also we get some iconic scenes with the transforming crazies. What else!? Gemma Arterton and Glen Close can't act bad.

But I have to say the last quarter of the movie including the solution was a little bit too much of a let down to me. For example the scene where the little girl defends Gemma and a soldier against a horde of hungry crazy kids is so out of place and bad executed I couldn't help myself and felt embarrassed for the cast, for the director, for my self - this scene (I guess you will understand me if you watch/watched the movie) is laughable, a total mess and it shows harsh the other weak point of the movie - the abilities of the girl actor are too restricted and if she got for a longer time into the focus of the play/camera it shows hard (as the girl grunted against the other kids I didn't know if I should laugh or cry out for mercy - it is even more bad as some of that kiddo stuff in Mad Max III). So The Girl with All the Gifts is a good movie regarding the first three quarters, after that the movie loses its quality - rapidly.

So 28 Days Later is still the supreme master of the fast-running-whatever-flesh-craving-maniacs-genre. This one is a nice try, but not more. First 3 quarters get a 7-8 from me, the last quarter only 3 makes 6 in my own math.
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10/10
An Adam's Apple for Teacher
bob-the-movie-man28 September 2016
I remember once having a ridiculous drunken dispute at a works Christmas party many year's ago that went along the lines of "if you had the chance to save the world, but had to kill your child to do it, what would you do". There's a variant of this conundrum at the heart of this brilliant new film from Colm McCarthy, best know for his TV work on shows like "Peaky Blinders", "Sherlock" and "Dr Who".

As most people already realize, this is a 'Zombie film' (cue, a number of other single blokes in the cinema) and illustrates the dangers of not treating that Athlete's Foot as soon as it appears! I would normally provide a quick synopsis here, but I really think this is a case in point where it is best to go into the film as blind as possible to the story and let it envelop you. (This includes not watching the whole trailer if possible.) To merely set the scene, we open with a morning school ritual like none you've seen before: children strapped to wheelchairs by heavily armed military in their cells; wheeled to an underground classroom; then made to sit in serried rows being taught by their teacher Helen Justineau (a deliciously un-made-up and natural Gemma Arterton). What IS going on? Who ARE these children? WHY are the soldiers so scared and dismissive of them? The ever-great Paddy Considine ("Pride") plays army Sergeant Parks (who also has a bit of a crush on Helen) and Glenn Close plays Dr Caroline Caldwell, who is studying the children in more ways than one.

This trio of stars, supported notably later in the film by Fisayo Akinade as the trooper Kieran, turn in what is a superb ensemble performance. As for Glenn Close, I have never quite been able to shake her awful "silk blouse" performance in "Air Force One" from my mind, but here she is quite mesmerizing in the role of the Doctor on a mission: I would suggest a career best. Her final scene reflects such a complex range of emotions, and is brilliantly executed. And Gemma Arterton pulls out all the emotional stops in what is also one of the performances of the year.

But good as these performances are, they would be nothing without the central performance of young Sennia Nanua as the titular "Girl". I have made the point before that there should be an Oscar category for "Young Actors" rather than pitch them into the adult categories like Quvenzhane Wallis and Anna Paquin were (successfully). Here in her debut feature performance Sennia is just mesmerising and (provided this film gets the recognition it justly deserves) she should be a shoe-in for the BAFTA Rising Star award next year, if not an Actress nomination. A young lady most definitely to watch.

Also assuming a starring role is Chilean-born composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer's astonishingly effective music which drives up the tension superbly. This is his feature film debut and another name to watch.

The screenplay by Mike Carey from his original novel is beautifully crafted, with some great one liners dropped in to ease the tension a notch. And the story adds a level of emotional depth and angst that surpasses other films of this genre, at least as far back as the "28 Days" films.

Astonishingly, the film was made on a budget of 4 (FOUR!) Million Pounds, giving it a 'BvS quotient' (see bob-the-movie-man.com!) of 2.1%!! Every penny of that budget is up on the screen, and whilst you might like to pick at a few of the matte paintings and effects, it is a remarkably achievement in special effects (Nick Rideout is the SF supervisor) and production value.

So, its great! Go see it... but with a few caveats: it is a zombie film, and it ranks about an 8.9 on the splattometer scale, which might not be to some tastes; definitely don't go to see it if you are pregnant (though I am constantly reminded how I took my heavily pregnant wife in 1989 to see "A really great film called 'Alien'"); and you might want to avoid it if you are a great cat or dog lover, or indeed a pigeon-fancier. Other than that, get yourself down to a multiplex and see this great British film: surely a classic to be recognized for years to come.

(You can read the full graphical version of this review on bob-the-movie-man.com. Agree? Then please visit and leave a comment. Thanks.)
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Good movie, not your usual Zombie story. A Pandora influence.
TxMike25 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
My wife and I watched this at home on DVD from our public library. While it has a main theme related to citizens becoming Zombies, searching for human flesh to eat, the actual story is more about those who are seeking to avoid the Zombies or find a cure to save humanity.

The featured character is played by feature-film newcomer Sennia Nanua, maybe 11 or 12, as Melanie. As the movie opens we see her and a number of other similar aged children in a classroom setting. But the unusual thing is they are all in wheel chairs and handcuffed with heads held in place by a strap. This seems very normal to them, apparently they were raised this way.

But the sad secret is they are all Zombies and this is the only way to protect the teacher and those in charge of wheeling them to their class each day from their locked rooms. A doctor there is working to find a cure, perhaps by using the blood of Melanie.

Within the movie is a brief story told of the legend of Pandora, opening her jar (or box) to release all the evils of humanity. Pandora was referred to as "the girl with all the gifts", the title of this movie. As we follow the story we start to suspect that Melanie is the modern equivalent of the mythical Pandora.

Interesting story of human and Zombie interests and interactions.

SPOILERS: In the beginning of this story the unaffected humans are in charge, the Zombie kids are the captives. At the end we see it has been reversed by the cunning of Melanie. Throughout as they hunted for food Melanie assured them she was on their side, trying to help them survive. But when the doctor explained to her that the pods on a growth would release the virus or fungus to infect the whole of humanity Melanie went back and set it on fire to release the agent. She and others like her would be the primary species on Earth.
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9/10
Interesting & different, I really enjoyed it!
JustSarahB4 January 2017
I've been looking forward to watching this movie and it didn't disappoint! I am a big horror/thriller/drama fan, and I do love zombie movies, and this was a completely new variation that focused more on the human story, which I also love, but the story behind it all is unlike other films I've seen. I'd say this is more of a drama with thriller/horror aspects mainly due to the situation the characters are in, and I'd encourage everyone to give it a watch! The acting is great, the story is unique and interesting and It was not predictable at all. I haven't read the book but I'm going to do so next. I really enjoyed this movie!
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8/10
The Girl with all the Gifts Review.
Ben-Hibburd13 August 2017
The Girl with all the Gifts is an eerie, strange, somewhat under-seen gem from director Colm Mccarthy. The film opens incredibly strong, I went into this film knowing absolutely nothing about it, which is the best way to approach this film. It starts with a British school teacher Helen(Gemma Arterton) who is teaching a classroom full of chained up children in an underground bunker. The audience is given next to no information as to whats happening, which is very effective and makes us sympathetic towards the children's situation. It's made even more effective when children are sent to the base doctor, Dr. Caldwell(Glenn Close) in which they are never seen again.

When the film finally reveals it's hand sympathies flip, and it becomes evident as to why the soldiers and medical staff are so afraid of the kids. This goes doubly for the girl with all the gifts Melanie(Sennia Nanua) who displays incredible abilities, along side brutal savagery. During the course of the film she develops a connection to Helen, so when she's next to be experimented on it's up to Helen to save her. As this happens the base becomes compromised and it's down to Helen, Melanie, Dr. Caldwell and Sgt. Parks(Paddy Considine) to navigate through the hostile, dilapidated ruins of Britain to join up with other survivors and try and find a cure to a fungal disease that has ravaged the planet.

The first thing I have to mention is the hauntingly creepy, ethereal score by Cristoba Tapia de Veer. It's an uncanny, eerie piece of work that is unnerving and adds extra layers upon the tone and atmosphere of the film. The direction of the film is just as strong, seeing familiar sites being reclaimed by nature is stunning to look at, and reminded me a lot of The Last of Us video game. The only negative aspect to the cinematography was that a-lot of scenes were a bit too washed out with greys and browns, which felt a bit dull during the forest scenes in the film. The film also boasts strong performances across the board, with the standout being Sennia Nanua as the young girl Melanie. She managed to not only hold her own against veteran actors, but delivered a phenomenal performance despite this being her debut feature.

My only real complaint I had with the film is one that is inherent in the Zombie/infected genre itself. It treads a-lot of the same ground that these types of films have done before, So at times it feels like you are going over same beats of previous films. What separates this film from the sea of recent infected films is its incredible soundtrack, beautiful floral cinematography, and its focus on its characters rather then action set pieces. The film has no problem taking a few minutes to slow down and explore its characters.
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9/10
A truly outstanding effort. One of the best in the genre, for quite some time
latinfineart19 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
If you like an intelligent, well thought out zombie film, this one is for you. I was quite surprised at how well this film was put together. An outstanding film, considering it's relative modest budget, and some convincing performances, well assured direction, and great production values.

The credit goes to screenwriter Mike Carey, who has adapted his novel of the same name with abundant craft and attention to his story's every detail. The film is, essentially, about a zombie apocalypse, and at this point, some of you will have raised your guard. Yes, it's another zombie movie, in which characters try to survive in an urban landscape that has become a nightmarish place, where hordes of the shambling undead—in this case, people infected with a brain fungus —are around every corner.

Ignore that. Carey certainly does in the opening act of the film, which, in retrospect, serves as something of a self-contained distraction from the plot line at which the story finally arrives.

One should also ignore those preconceptions because this isn't some run-of-the-mill zombie movie. It's one that possesses clearly defined characters, cares about the ideas they both state and represent, and has a few vital things to say—about human nature and, in a way that doesn't become clear until the climax, about the very notion of what a story about zombies means.

The opening section begins with Melanie (newcomer Sennia Nanua, who plays a difficult, ambiguous role with wisdom and maturity), a girl who is locked in a cell. In the morning, two soldiers enter through the metal door to her room, with their assault rifles aimed at her. They strap her into a wheelchair and roll her down a long hall with similar doors leading to other cells. She is accompanied by other kids in the same state of restraint. They're brought to a room, where painted boxes and numbers on the floor line up with their cell assignments. Their teacher is Helen Justineau (a compassionate but tough Gemma Arterton), whose genuine concern for these kids—and especially for Melanie—is an anomaly in this place.

The remainder of the central cast of characters is made up of Dr. Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close), the lead scientist at the facility, and Sgt. Eddie Parks (Paddy Considine), the head of military personnel on site. Each of the three characters—the teacher, the scientist, and the soldier—has a specific role to play in Melanie's life. Justineau indulges the girl's desire to hear stories, with the tale of Pandora and that mystical box being of particular interest to Melanie. Caldwell offers her logic puzzles to solve, and Melanie finds a unique solution to the riddle of the cat that may be alive or dead inside a box. Parks has seen what kids like Melanie are capable of doing, and while he keeps his distance with stoic professionalism, the girl is kind to the soldiers at the facility—even when they have their rifles aimed at her head.

Melanie, as should be obvious by now, is special, although not necessarily unique among her peers. To say more in terms of specifics about the character would be unfair, but suffice it to say, she and the trio of diversely-minded caretakers soon find themselves out in the wider world, after a devastating assault on the compound (Director Colm McCarthy follows Melanie through the ensuing carnage in a sequence that is impressively staged and serves as a way to see what the girl is truly capable of doing—whether she likes it or not).

They make their way to a ravaged, now nearly forest-like, and, obviously, zombie-infested London (after a stop in a forest—another solid action sequence, punctuated by Parks showing what he's willing to do—that whittles down the number of ancillary characters accompanying the party). The goal is find sanctuary in another facility, which may or may not be safe.

McCarthy's screenplay is treading familiar terrain, especially as the party makes its way through the city, yet it has a distinct focus on these characters that is both simple and revealing. In the world beyond the facility, the roles essentially remain the same, although now there is a final goal for each of the three caretakers. Justineau wants Melanie to be free. Caldwell wants her for science. Parks believes it is best to kill her. In a way, the conflict is not between these ideas of what to do with the girl. It's in the fact that none of them takes into account what Melanie actually wants for herself.

Consadine, Close, Nadua, Arterton, and Akinade are all superb in their performances, and the acting is a lot of what makes this film shine. But, along with that comes good writing, excellent direction, and the kind of production you often do not see in films of this type.
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7/10
The first step towards the new order after a great disaster.
Reno-Rangan24 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A dystopian British film. Zombie theme based on the book of the same name. The story of a few survivours, but all the focus was on the little girl. Thematically a very familiar film, but the storyline from the characters' perspective makes it unique. Nice cast, but it was not about Gemma Arterton. Her part was small, despite she can be seen in the film's entire stretch.

At the beginning, I did not know what's happening. Only after the second stage of the story commence, most of the doubts were cleared. But again, till the final scene, the film holds us with the strong progression. In some parts, it looks silly, but makes sense on the basis of its all the developments.

After their enclosure was broke, a group of survivours roams around the London looking for the food and the safe place. They manage to get away in some of the close encounters with the running deads. But how long it goes like that becomes the question. Besides, they divide when the girl comes into their topic. How the story ends was with a small twist.

There were some good zombie films in the last two years. This is one of those. If you like zombie theme, you might find it a refreshing. Not the storywise, but the characters. The little kid was so good. They have picked the right one for that role. Looks like it could be a cult film. Ends high, but I don't think there will be any sequel or prequel in the future. Definitely worth a try.

7/10
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5/10
But it started out so great...
paul_haakonsen15 April 2017
I had been warmly recommended that I watch "The Girl with All the Gifts" given my love for the zombie genre, and it was a movie that had somewhat managed to fly under my radar, for some reason.

So I took the advice to heart and sat down to watch the movie. And I will say that the movie does start out quite alright, especially because the audience is sort of kept in the dark as director Colm McCarthy slowly and steadily builds up the story. And that uncertainty and only speculating at what is going on really helps to add drama to the movie.

Then the movie takes a turn into a zombie movie with the outbreak and overrunning of the military compound. And this is where the movie really picked up pace for me and where it was the most interesting.

However, it all came crashing down so hard, so very, very hard. And it came at the point where the children from "Beyond Thunderdome" made an appearance. That was just idiotic and such a poor turn of events to the story. And that totally left the movie in shattered pieces, and it never recovered from that blow. From that point on and to the end of the movie, it was just a slippery downhill slope that the movie had no chance of getting back up from.

Now, for a zombie movie, then "The Girl with All the Gifts" was sort of testing the waters with new ideas, and for most parts it did manage to prove potential and would have pulled it off, except that the movie took a critical hit and never recovered from it.

The special effects were good, and they did carry the movie a good long way. That is a given for a zombie movie, because special effects and whether or not they are believable or impressive is a make or break thing for the zombie genre, as it is less forgiving than most other genres.

"The Girl with All the Gifts" started out with lots of potential and was fast on the climb, but then it was all too soon and too tragically cut short by some laughable and idiotic turn of events and ill-thought ideas that were brought to the script. I can only imagine that they were concocted through some fever-stricken haze.

And the end of the movie, well I will not even comment on that. It was just so idiotic that it doesn't even deserve the time or effort.

This 2016 movie ends up with a barely mediocre rating in my opinion, narrowly managing to climb up to a, and I am being more than generous here, 5 out of 10 star rating.
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10/10
Gifted Girl
coreyjdenford23 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is my review of The Girl With All The Gifts (spoiler free)

***** (5/5)

THE GIRL WITH all the gifts opens with Melanie (Sennia Nanua) in a boxed jail cell counting in her head, until a hockey-like siren sounds and two heavily soldiers come to the door and wheel her to a classroom full of other infected children who become frenzied when they smell uninfected blood and they learn some lessons with their teacher Miss. Justineau (Gemma Arterton). Each day is like this until she is put under the microscope with Dr. Caldwell and her desperate attempt to find a vaccine and she thinks that Melanie is the answer out of their struggle. The base where they are hiding out is then attacked by a whole horde of un-dead and Melanie along with everybody else must escape alongside Sergeant Parks (Paddy Considine) and their fight for survival has begun as the team is always weary of their safety. Sergeant Parks is a marine type soldier who despises the disease and believes that every single infected must die including Melanie, he doesn't see Melanie and her gifts he just sees a monster, and he just wants her dead. Melanie is unlike any other Hungry she doesn't feel the need to feed on human flesh well not the flesh of Miss Justineau anyway.

Melanie is just a child with an extraordinary gift of immunity to a mysterious fungal disease which as the film goes on we learn what that disease can do. Adapted from the 2014 British best-selling novel by Mike Carey who also helped write the screenplay alongside director Colm McCarthy in only his second feature this is a haunting tale of survival and love and Nanua was just the perfect discovery to play the role of Melanie. Unlike other zombie-ish movies out there instead this is very clever with a lot of drama and scares rolling through it, in this the infected called Hungries hunt in packs and they are a clever mix-up of between the sprinting infected in 28 Days Later and the fungus covered infected from The Last of Us but they also do the most unique thing a part that nobody has seen in a zombie movie before these infected fall asleep, and when the team of survivors must walk quietly between an entire horde of sleeping un-dead. Plus this movie learns the lesson that guns are loud and when you shoot a gun you can get an entire horde on you, also the mass hordes of un-dead don't hang around in buildings they just loom on the streets of London.

As the story goes on the female characters Miss Justineau and Dr. Caldwell even during her desperate attempt to make a vaccine, start to fall in love with Melanie, they start to see that she is a wonderful character who doesn't have the desire to eat them. However Miss Justineau saves Melanie after she eats two soldiers who turn on her and after that Melanie tries everything to stop a frenzied horde attacking her. Not just the female's fall in love with her as the story goes on the she grows on the two men even Sergeant Parks who is in a desperate fight for survival starts to see that she is much more than a monster, she even helps them get rid of the mass hordes but not by killing them instead she lures them away with an animal or another living being. The story is brilliantly complex and very moving as it goes on there are some very tender moments surrounded by some dark laughs and intense scares throughout. Melanie starts to feel like a normal child again and she sees Miss. Justineau as a motherly figure to her. The third act gets even more complex as we learn about these pods which if they are opened they will end civilization as they no it, because the infected will be airborne and anybody who breathes it will turn into an angry monster. Melanie grows on another soldier named Kieran (Fisayo Akinade) but there is one moment that we feel for that character as he ends up like the other characters in many other movies like this, you know exactly how that is.

Along the way the team of survivors and a monster not seen as a full monster find another answer to survival and this is where Dr. Caldwell begins to turn on Melanie as she is worried about the damnation of human life, in a plan that wasn't quite thought out. Although Dr. Caldwell still loves Melanie she just wants the best for her and, as the third act goes on the story gets upsetting as these characters are in total danger, and Melanie does something to save her soul and to save Miss. Justineau in the saddest ending ever that may even make you cry the finale is powerful and moving and very upsetting at first we see a girl whose smart, beautiful and strong and this is shown throughout the film there is one moment when she shows her strong side in a move that's a bit brutish but still quite engaging to see. Despite the camaraderie during the finale it's very powerful, moving and extremely beautiful and the story ends the way it started, this is an immaculate zombie-ish movie that isn't just the best British zombie film but it's the best zombie film ever.

VERDICT: The best zombie-ish movie ever. Sennia Nanua major discovery, but it's the dense social commentary and moral dilemmas ahead that will haunt you.

10/10 Brilliant
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7/10
Hungries
ThomasDrufke19 November 2017
Before The Waking Dead came along, people thought the zombie subgenre was dead in the water. The zombie films for the most part just weren't able to capture the right tone and essence. So even though there's been a million of them and most of them are much of the same thing, I always appreciate the ones that bring something new and fresh to the genre. The Girl With All the Gifts does just that.

The British post-apocalyptic film takes place after most of the world has been decimated to due to an unknown fungal disease, with only a few military bases left. The twist here is that on this military base is a group of second generation children who are infected with the disease but are under control of their senses for the most part. That is, when they aren't smelling human flesh.

After several life threatening sequences, a few soldiers, a teacher, and one of those second generation children (named Melanie) embark on a trek to get to the next safe zone, with their base being overrun by zombies (or hungries as they call them). Melanie, a seemingly more intelligent and aware child, forms a special bond with the teacher, named Helen Justineau and played by Gemma Arterton. This is the one human connection that I think is worth caring about. Since you don't get much backstory on the soldiers, including one played well by Paddy Considine, you are almost forced into caring for the two. And that's the one thing I was constantly hoping we would get more of, character depth and backstory. It just becomes difficult to figure out who you're going to root for when you don't have much in way of their backstory to think about.

With that said, I appreciated that this film involved a different approach to the zombie genre. Yes, there is the subplot involving someone looking for a cure (which is always something that comes up) but the more calculated approach to the pacing, and reserved display of gore, The Girl With All the Gifts feels like a fresh entry into the genre. Heck, have we ever had our lead character be an second generation infected child? Just by those standards this was something original.

7.1/10
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4/10
Reason for DVD release
rsj_13127 April 2017
If you're like me and base a lot off of previews then you'd know this looked great regardless of mixed reviews. Well, this one is an example of what could have been great. Plot was going well and so was intensity until the last 20 minutes, where the film fell completely flat. Like they ran out of time and script. What were they thinking?! Last portion of the film was a mix of walking dead, Peter Pan , and just a blob of crap. It was random and senseless in the last 10 minutes. Just stupid. And the very last scene tried to transfer the over all feel of the film from horror/thriller to happily ever after. Felt more like a long, dark episode of Saturday night live
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3/10
This movie took a grand theme and turned it into a small, squalid cliché.
riiverofdreams23 July 2017
If you've read the book you'll find that the movie is, at heart, a completely different story. And I don't mean minor changes like reversing the races of Melanie and Miss Justineau. I mean deep, fundamental changes that alter the entire message of the story; changes that turn the hero into the villain and the villain into a pathetic tragic hero, and turn a story about hope coming in strange packages into something entirely different.

The book is--in spite of its setting and genre--a deep and thought-provoking look at what it really means to be human. The movie is not. It's just another zombie movie with a (not even too surprising, in the context of the movie) twist.

This movie wastes the abilities of a very talented group of actors. Melanie and Miss Justineau have a bit more depth than the other characters, but Seargent Parks--who is very deep and well-drawn in the book--is reduced to a cardboard-cutout of a soldier. Gallagher--also a multi-faceted character with his own moral message in the novel--becomes nothing more than a means of bringing us to the movie's climax which itself is wildly different than the book. Dr. Carter is humanized in ways totally at odds with the book, and in fact becomes the "hero" of the story, if you can call anyone a hero. And Melanie...well, in the end Melanie is cast as the villain, performing roughly the same actions as she did in the book but with totally different motivations.

All in all, it was a huge disappointment. I was willing to deal with many major plot cuts--I understand that movies simply cannot fit all the material of novel-length works into their time-frame. What I was not willing to accept was the complete reversal of the message of the book...which was this: Pandora opened the box containing all the ills of the world. But she didn't do it as vengeance or out of a feeling of moral superiority...she did it out of pure curiosity. And the result was horrific. She unleashed plague. She unleashed and pestilence and death and destruction. But...she also released hope.

This movie took a grand theme and turned it into a small, squalid cliché. If you loved the book, don't bother. (But do look for the cast, who did an amazing job with the little they had to work with--in other roles.)
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Tense horror; plot holes perhaps, but covered by a raft of strong performances (SPOILERS)
bob the moo8 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't know a great deal about this film before watching; I knew it was some form of zombie horror and that it was not a 'normal' genre film. The film reveals this in the first 15 minutes, with an element of mystery before the nature of the children is revealed. Not long after that the military base is overrun (everything is in these films), and a strong group head out with one of the children in their care. As they try to get to another point of safety, the child tries to come to terms with who she is.

The film is good in many ways, and indeed as Theo noted in his review there has been a lot of hype around this, even if it did not translate into success at the box office. The film is an odd mix; on one hand we have the usual zombie situations, but then on the other we have interesting moral situations and items for thought regarding the interactions of the group, and the role of Melanie. To deal with the zombie movie element, it is effective but yet also very familiar for the most part. The scenes are tense, horrific, and effective – although it is a bit erratic in the 'rules' for its zombies, and it doesn't really do anything too different until near the end. The use of locations is really good – well selected and dressed (although depressing to note that one of them is in Stoke, not too far from where I live!).

The more interesting elements of the film involve the idea of the children being infected but yet able to talk and operate as 'humans'. Melanie engages as a character and adds an emotional element for the viewer and the other characters. The film goes to an interesting place in some ways, but then at the same time does not totally make the most of the ideas and potential allegories. What makes the film work despite these weaknesses, is the quality of the delivery. The direction, use of location, and creation of tension, is generally very good. The choice of composer was a mixed bag for me; it is effectively creepy, but at the same time it distracted me a little by how similar it was to that used in Channel 4's Utopia (for good reason, it is the same guy).

The performances are where the strength lies. With the talent in the cast it is even more impressive that it is the child actress Nanua that stands out. Okay her character is perhaps a bit too knowing and sharp, but this does not take away from how good she is. There is a lot of feeling and understanding in her performance, even more impressive to know she is 12 years old. Close is equally as good as the flipside of the character coin; very cold but giving the viewer enough to understand why. Arterton is good even if her character is a bit too clean cut; Considine is quality as ever.

Overall it is an effective horror even if it has genre clichés and plot holes along the way. The delivery and performances go a long way to making these less impacting.
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10/10
Masterpiece
bigbyrd-8396628 June 2017
The Girl with all the Gifts is as refreshingly original and comprehensive as a movie can get about zombies. I loved it so much that it prompted me to join IMDb so I could give it a 10 star stellar review.

From the very beginning the movie creates intrigue. I could go on and on about how great this movie is, but will just suffice to say it's never slow and never predictable. It blew my mind. It's a fast hour and 51 minutes and it is terrific. It is dark, bleak and the visual effects of a destroyed London will stay in my mind for quite a while. The performances are very good. The little girl has great screen presence. I cared about what happened to the characters throughout and I didn't spend a second of this movie bored.

If you are a fan of thriller movies you should see it. You have to.
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5/10
It's OK, I guess.
springs379231 January 2017
I don't really know what to write other than this is another zombie flesh eaters flick that's only mediocre. I don't get the other reviews that say it's so "brilliant".

I, myself, think it's slow moving and boring. There are no good special effects and it just seems low budget. It's not a bad movie, just not a very good one IMO. We have our own tastes so YMMV.

Also, the person who said this is the best movie since 28 days later... Makes me wonder what movie they were watching. This has nothing on that movie.

I gave this a 5/10. If you're bored and want to kill some time watching a movie of this genera, then by all means go for it. It's worth a watch, but IMO it's nothing special at all.
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1/10
Complete Rip Off
zach030817 January 2017
I know many of you reading this probably won't care, because of the praise this movie is getting, but this is one of the most blatant rip offs I have seen in recent memory.

Let me recap: The story involves a post apocalyptic setting where a strain of Cordyceps fungus has mutated. Infecting most of the population, turning them into violent mutated zombie like humans who attack and eat anyone and anything. The fungus is transmitted through bites, but the longer humans are infected they can begin to spread the disease by becoming immobile and beginning sprouting pods that shoot spores into the air, spreading the fungi even more. But years after the infection begins we find a girl. A special girl who is immune to the effects of the fungus. A group searching for a cure learns of the girl and wants to bring her to a center/base to use her to create the cure. She has a protector that starts off looking after her as just a job, but begins to care for her. But then her protector learns that creating the cure with the help of this special girl involves killing her. Now they have to decide if they can live with sacrificing her to save the world. And now you have the full plot of The Last of Us. A critically acclaimed and award winning video game that came out in the summer of 2013. A full YEAR before the book was even published.

Could this be a coincidence? Sure. Maybe. But come on...

This gets a 1 star for being a complete rip off and doing it worse than the video game. If it wasn't a rip off it would be an OK movie at best.
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5/10
Mediocre
vengeance201 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I heard about this film & went to see it. When I saw it was a horror I was a bit surprised & more wanting to see it after viewing trailers, which I funnily enough can't remember seeing. To add more weirdness in, I had it typed down on my phone as the next film to watch. Either it wasn't that interesting or something else, I don't know.

Anyway, the film is about a zombie apocalypse with the infected children in the military base & outsiders being named, "The Hungries", so the film is not too dissimilar to The Crazies (2010), only that film is miles better than this sadly. But yeah, there's this girl who is intelligent but still a Hungry & she & this group of doctors & military personnel go in search for a cure in Chernobyl style town with Hungries lurking about.

The film was gory & bloody in areas & actually humorous in some weird ways. But the film felt dull & too gloomy a lot of the time. Furthermore, it felt dragged on in parts & a bit depressing. The description of the film alone stated that the girl & crew were looking for a so called "cure", & hey presto, they never found one & in fact didn't even seem to bother as the film neared & came to the end.

I mean how? The film itself just was too dreary & dead. I wouldn't put it down entirely, bur really, it lacked in a few areas & was too gloomy & generally felt dead & floppy, like that of a dead fish with f*ck all life in it!

There were some good graphics here & there but it just didn't work enough to save it or make me give it a higher rating.

5/10 it was OK...
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