A search for evidence of particle dark matter (DM) and unparticle production at the LHC has been performed using events containing two charged leptons, consistent with the decay of a Z boson, and large missing transverse momentum. This study is based on data collected with the CMS detector corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 19.7 fb-1 of pp collisions at the LHC at a center-of-mass energy of 8 TeV. No significant excess of events is observed above the number expected from the standard model contributions. The results are interpreted in terms of 90% confidence level limits on the DM-nucleon scattering cross section, as a function of the DM particle mass, for both spin-dependent and spin-independent scenarios. Limits are set on the effective cutoff scale Λ, and on the annihilation rate for DM particles, assuming that their branching fraction to quarks is 100%. Additionally, the most stringent 95% confidence level limits to date on the unparticle model parameters are obtained.