On Tuesday, before T3 and the other holiday films got into the theaters, we went to see 28 Days Later. Any film that is described as a "zombie movie" starts out with big question marks, but this film stands out in the genre as having some real thought put into it.
Unlike many of the Zombie films, this one starts with an interesting (but mostly implausible) premise. It's not glossed-over like the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead or its sequels. Instead, it comes up with something that you can look at and say "not really, but just maybe..."
From this premise, the cast and crew take us on a relatively low-tech study in survival, stress, and the meaning of life. There is plenty of violence, gore, pain, and sorrow in this film, but it is tempered by a human quest to find meaning in an insane environment.
The plot has some predictable points, but also includes a good number of "jumps" (places where you need to regain your seat) and "ah-has" (where you need to change your guess as to the plot).
If you can stomach a zombie film (with its associated violence and gore), this film is a must-see. The human side of the equation is handled in a fashion that is both tender and disturbing and represents many of the questions that visit civilization when it breaks down.