A thinking person's zombie movie

Surprisingly entertaining, even fitfully exciting, "World War Z" is primarily an exercise in expectation ­management.

Forget those trailers suggesting a rock-'em, sock-'em, blow-it-all-up extravaganza or a Grand Guignol of cannibalistic, face-eating zombies. Instead, be prepared for a relatively grown-up, modestly intelligent and refreshingly un-bombastic thriller that owes as much to medical tick-tocks such as "Outbreak" and "Contagion" as it does to "28 Days Later" and the seminal works of George Romero.

Anchored by a solid lead performance from Brad Pitt, who plays a happy Philadelphia househusband pulled back into his old profession of U.N. investigator when a zombie apocalypse threatens to destroy the world, "World War Z" might not break ground in either of the genres it straddles. But it deserves a certain amount of credit for refusing to buy into the current cinematic arms race in Biggest, Loudest and Dumbest.

The DVD and Blu-ray (Paramount, $30-$55) include an unrated cut and featurettes.

Washington Post

Colin Covert says: With its megastar leading man, globe-spanning locations, state-of-the-art special effects and stratospheric budget, "World War Z" is the most ambitious, extravagant portrayal of holocaust horror to date.

Also out Tuesday

Movies: "Bless Me, Ultima," "The Bling Ring," "Disconnect," "The East."

TV: "Arrow" (Season 1), "Bates Motel" (Season 1), "Behind the Candelabra," "CSI" (Season 13), "Grimm" (Season 2), "Harbor Command" (full series), "The Hollow Crown" (full series), "Leverage" (Season 5), "The Mentalist" (Season 5), "Nashville" (Season 1), "Vegas" (full series).

Blu-ray debuts: "The Atomic City," "Autumn Sonata," "Day of the Dead" (special edition), "The Devil Bat," "Dracula: Prince of Darkness," "A Letter to Three Wives."