The Dead Don't Die ★★★

Jim Jarmusch’s recent preoccupation with life at the end of the world (and the cultural decay that comes with it) arrives at an amusingly literal conclusion in “The Dead Don’t Die,” a sluggish but knowing zombie comedy that rearranges the bones of “The Night of the Living Dead” into a resigned lament for a society on the brink of collapse. And while exhuming George Romero’s metaphor-heavy corpus might seem like too obvious a choice in our current age of smart phones and stupid presidents, this (un)deadpan apocalypse makes that obviousness the point.

We all know — to quote a line from the film — that “Nothing is happening normally right now,” but it’s hard not to be paralyzed by the absurdity of it all. If Jarmusch’s latest often feels as though it lacks a pulse, this star-studded parable is held together by one consistent truth: When Hell is full, the dead will walk the Earth. And when the Earth is fucked, the living will do whatever they can to sleepwalk through the nightmare.

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