Apocalypto

Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    60
    Gibson is a primitive all right, but so were Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith, and somehow we survived their idiocies.
  2. 60
    Neither Mr. Gibson’s fans nor his detractors are likely to accuse him of excessive subtlety, and the effectiveness of Apocalypto is inseparable from its crudity. But the blunt characterizations and the emphatic emotional cues are also evidence of the director’s skill.
  3. 60
    Dextrous with the action-adventure elements but clumsy in its handling of the central message, Apocalypto is a strange but largely entertaining mix of action, bloodletting, chin-rubbing and arthouse trimmings.
  4. It's difficult to imagine the target audience for this film. Gangbangers, perhaps?
  5. With "Braveheart," "Passion" and now Apocalypto, Gibson clearly has established his priorities as a director. History is gore, plus a few hearthside family interludes. The trick is instilling the audience with enough rageful bloodlust to make the story work.
  6. Numerous good things can be said about Apocalypto, the director's foray into the decaying Mayan civilization of the early 1500s, but every last one of them is overshadowed by Gibson's well-established penchant for depictions of stupendous amounts of violence.
  7. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    I could go on about the beautifully detailed production design, the fresh performances from unknown and often nonprofessional actors, blabbety blah. But praising the movie's craftsmanship seems less urgent than communicating the overwhelming experience of watching it: the clammy, claustrophobic dread of being trapped in a torture chamber.
  8. 50
    Gibson sure knows how to shoot a sequence, but he also doesn't know when to stop with the blood, gore and maiming.
  9. Yet Apocalypto has to be respected for the sheer audacity of it, for the commitment and ambition behind it, and for its presentation of a complete other world. It is the furthest thing from a cynical or casual piece of work. It's crazy, and it moves.
  10. 42
    But even those who succumb to his primitive, survivalist vision may resent the way he presents every kind of atrocity at least twice without illuminating any of the exotic details once.
  11. 40
    Not just a walk in the park with Mel and the guys (in this case a large cast of mainly Mexican Indians speaking present- day Yucatec), this lavishly punishing picture is the third panel in Gibson's "Ordeal" triptych. The Martyrdom of the Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ have nothing on The Misadventures of the Jaguar Paw.
  12. 40
    A relentlessly gruesome, visually impressive and ultimately not very interesting movie with some pretensions to seriousness.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 455 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 205
  1. May 8, 2011
    10
    The things you see in this movie are heavy, highly detailed, intense, and exist in a realm that most filmmakers can't go-such as usingThe things you see in this movie are heavy, highly detailed, intense, and exist in a realm that most filmmakers can't go-such as using genocide as a plot device in a non-documentary piece. Very real feelings electrify this movie. Full Review »
  2. Mar 8, 2016
    10
    Truly tremendous in every sense. Mel Gibson made a beautiful movie that can be watched again and again and again.

    It won't be truly honored
    Truly tremendous in every sense. Mel Gibson made a beautiful movie that can be watched again and again and again.

    It won't be truly honored for the classic it is until after his death when he'll be rehabilitated no doubt but that is the way of the world. That aside, this is one of the 10 movies of the century.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 2, 2015
    10
    Mel Gibson es de mis directores favoritos, pues se da tantas libertades que son de lujo, a pesar de que no es el mejor trabajo de Gibson (eseMel Gibson es de mis directores favoritos, pues se da tantas libertades que son de lujo, a pesar de que no es el mejor trabajo de Gibson (ese lugar es para su obra maestra -La Pasión De Cristo-) sin duda alguna es un espectáculo visual cargado de adrenalina pura, secuencias de acción y suspenso hacen que esta pelicula sea entretenimiento puro. La dirección de Gibson como siempre es increíble y admirable, Gibson siempre le pone hasta el mas mínimo detalle en cada aspecto cinematográfico; la música, la fotografía, el sonido, la ambientación son un triunfo. Vuelvo a mencionar, y esto es una petición; pido que Mel Gibson regrese como director, (Yo lo considero mejor director que actor) estoy ansioso por ver su próxima pelicula. 10/10 Full Review »