Apocalypto

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 444 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 444

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User Reviews

  1. andy
    May 31, 2007
    5
    The problem I have with this film is this: People not knowing that this movie is fictional will think this is exactly what Mayan civilization was like and conclude that Gibson's film is fact (because people are dumb). Gibson should have researched more extensively to give us more of a historical context of the Mayan world and times instead of focusing on an action-chase adventure.The problem I have with this film is this: People not knowing that this movie is fictional will think this is exactly what Mayan civilization was like and conclude that Gibson's film is fact (because people are dumb). Gibson should have researched more extensively to give us more of a historical context of the Mayan world and times instead of focusing on an action-chase adventure. That being said, it was marginally entertaining but overly long. Expand
  2. KevinB
    Dec 31, 2006
    5
    Unfortunately, I have to agree with other reviews when they say it's basically slight remakes of Braveheart and Passion. The only reason I give this a 5 is because of the chase scene. Very well done. Had me on the edge of my seat. But the rest however was just a dull feeling of watching TV on a Sunday night when nothings on.
  3. JavierD.
    Nov 5, 2007
    4
    I expected something more historical, regarding the fall of the great Mayan civilization. Instead I got this Hollywood bloody movie, filled with blood, organs and lots of dead. Yes the cinematography is good, but the plot is just terrible (maybe ok argument for violent 13 year olds, but not a deep movie at all).
  4. JohnB.
    Jun 7, 2007
    6
    First I want to say that I really enjoyed this movie. It is exciting, epic, dramatic and even thought provoking. I can't rate this movie much higher however because at times I felt it was clunky and slow moving. Another thing that I have to point out is that this movie is very limited by the fact that it is done in a not so common language. I think the translations were poorly done First I want to say that I really enjoyed this movie. It is exciting, epic, dramatic and even thought provoking. I can't rate this movie much higher however because at times I felt it was clunky and slow moving. Another thing that I have to point out is that this movie is very limited by the fact that it is done in a not so common language. I think the translations were poorly done as if we are to believe the Mayans spoke in a manner like we do today. I could easily see how a completely different meaning could be obtained if it were translated differently. Other than that though, other criticism includes the lack of real cultural substance which would have made this movie more powerful and unique. Expand
  5. Snowy
    Jan 10, 2007
    6
    Violent and cruel movie ??? I ignore if it is the goal of Mel Gibson, but this movie just reminded me of comics or of primitive frescos. It is a childish and ludicrous movie with all the funny excesses of comics (man whose heart was taken away but still alive and shouting and begging for his life; hero running faster than a panther; sun eclipse saving the hero's life at the lastViolent and cruel movie ??? I ignore if it is the goal of Mel Gibson, but this movie just reminded me of comics or of primitive frescos. It is a childish and ludicrous movie with all the funny excesses of comics (man whose heart was taken away but still alive and shouting and begging for his life; hero running faster than a panther; sun eclipse saving the hero's life at the last moment; fountain of blood so caricatural and aritificial that even the most sensitive soul can only laugh in front of this guignol, etc. If you take that as a cinematographic joke, you can have a good time and fun at watching this movie. It would be better to add to the title of this movie "Apocalypto or the New Adventures of Tintin and Snowy in the Land of the Mayas". One thing is clear to me : Mel Gibson is the most childish filmmaker of his generation with a mental level of a 10 year old boy. Expand
  6. rostokov
    Jan 6, 2007
    6
    The base elements that give this film its appeal were already in place before this idea was a twinkle in Mel's eyes. The truly exotic immediacy of the Mayan culture; its dress, its architecture and, of course, its brutal sacrifices would appeal to most filmmakers. As it is, Mel comes to the culture obsessed with its brutality, which is no bad thing, but unfortunately he does not The base elements that give this film its appeal were already in place before this idea was a twinkle in Mel's eyes. The truly exotic immediacy of the Mayan culture; its dress, its architecture and, of course, its brutal sacrifices would appeal to most filmmakers. As it is, Mel comes to the culture obsessed with its brutality, which is no bad thing, but unfortunately he does not support this interest with any further insight. How has Mayan civilisation progressed to this level of bloodshed? Is it perhaps a natural eventuality of civilisation? How does the hierarchy function to support it? Does power corrupt all? Only one scene, where a village elder ruminates on man's unquenchable greed, attends to these ideas, and it is never followed up. I would have preferred it if more time was spent in the Mayan city, especially with its leader and his court (maybe the eclipse that blesses our hero could have granted him that power). So Mel has fashioned a basic action film, ok. But unfortunately he has only the stomach for it, not the mind. There is little coherence in his shooting style; the film certainly reaches a base level of visceral excitement through its violent excess, but he does not structure his action in a deliberate and instructive way, like Spielberg or Cuaron would. Instead what we often get is a frenetic impressionistic depiction of action. Despite all these criticisms, I still would recommend this film to viewers interested in Mayan culture or those just seeking pure action entertainment. I just know there's a better film in there. Expand
  7. j
    Jan 6, 2007
    4
    oh. my. what a pile of s**t. visually amusing...but the plot? usual mel stuff. man loses (or is threatened to lose) his family. man goes on rampage and faces great adversity, often dying in the process. the end. please watch The Patriot, Braveheart and now this....wonder if it is even historically accurate - find it hard to believe the Mayan culture was soo primitive.
  8. FrankL.
    Feb 3, 2007
    4
    It is about time that history be treated with respect. This film is one dimensional in its overbearing dependence on violence. It is hard to love nature if we look through Gibson's eyes. He is on a mission of conversion and uses all the tools available to him to convince all of us that his history and observations are true. He has failed to make a balanced and poetic vision of the It is about time that history be treated with respect. This film is one dimensional in its overbearing dependence on violence. It is hard to love nature if we look through Gibson's eyes. He is on a mission of conversion and uses all the tools available to him to convince all of us that his history and observations are true. He has failed to make a balanced and poetic vision of the Maya culture. Expand
  9. JohnAchorn
    Dec 12, 2006
    4
    Beautifully shot, great sound track and acting... relentless violence to what end? Another Euro-centric vision of history, totally inaccurate in historical context; much of the action is predicatable... too much stretches one's believability to create another Gibson super man.
  10. JennetPreston
    Sep 9, 2009
    6
    Ignore the rants at both extremes of the scale; most of them says more about the reviewer than the film. For once, the professional reviewers are more perceptive than the amateurs: APOCALYPTO offers magnificent spectacle but so little complexity of plot , characterization, or theme that it eventually grows boring. Gibson and his artistic staff deserve loud accolades for the astonishingIgnore the rants at both extremes of the scale; most of them says more about the reviewer than the film. For once, the professional reviewers are more perceptive than the amateurs: APOCALYPTO offers magnificent spectacle but so little complexity of plot , characterization, or theme that it eventually grows boring. Gibson and his artistic staff deserve loud accolades for the astonishing scenes of late Maya civilization, particularly once the film reaches the depraved city at its center. These scenes are consistent with the Maya aesthetic we know from sculpture and artifacts and, at the same time, completely, overwhelmingly alienating. The effect is dazzling, dizzying, and profound; I felt I could watch the middle section of the film ten times more without beginning to exhaust its riches. The last third of the film, however, is an interminable chase scene, relieved only by quick cuts to two people in a hole. Snooze. After 15 minutes or so, I fast-forwarded through the pursuit, and my only regret is that I hadn't started earlier. As for the infamous violence, I had no problem with it, given what the film was about. I simply felt that it occasionally served as a substitute for real plot development (Story starting to drag? Let's chuck some more spears!). On the whole, I would heartily recommend the film to anyone interested in cultural anthropology, anyone who likes big spectacles with lots of extras in costume, and, of course, anyone who likes spear-chucking. Just don't expect ideas more profound than "dominance fosters cruelty." And it's ok to go out for a beer during the last 40 minutes or so. Expand
  11. GeorgeC.
    Dec 10, 2006
    6
    After disregarding any personal vendettas with Mel Gibson, you can really begin to engulf yourself in Apocalypto, a new film detailing the downfall of the Mayan civilization. Unlike The Passion of the Christ, this film does not include any Mel propaganda or seemingly fanatic opinions. Though highly entertaining, Apocalypto lacks the intriguing storyline and exciting accents which made After disregarding any personal vendettas with Mel Gibson, you can really begin to engulf yourself in Apocalypto, a new film detailing the downfall of the Mayan civilization. Unlike The Passion of the Christ, this film does not include any Mel propaganda or seemingly fanatic opinions. Though highly entertaining, Apocalypto lacks the intriguing storyline and exciting accents which made Braveheart such a great success and big time Oscar winner. And I can assure you that this film will not be taking home the golden statue. Despite an excellent performance by Rudy Youngblood as the brave Jaguar Paw, the dialogue of Apocalypto can be pretty ridiculous at points (even sticking in the famous Expand
  12. Rev.R.
    Dec 18, 2006
    4
    I was watching a remake of the "Naked Prey". The photography was sensational, and the suspense outstanding. I felt Gibson could have done everyone a service with a movie revealing the reasons one of the most sophisticated cultures vanished (yes barbaric, but they must be understood in their historical context) . Instead, the Mayan civilization is portrayed as a blood-thirsty cult, I was watching a remake of the "Naked Prey". The photography was sensational, and the suspense outstanding. I felt Gibson could have done everyone a service with a movie revealing the reasons one of the most sophisticated cultures vanished (yes barbaric, but they must be understood in their historical context) . Instead, the Mayan civilization is portrayed as a blood-thirsty cult, allowing them to be used much as "leather-face's" family is a great backdrop for the violence of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". The priests even smile when participating in the violence. For centuries primitive religions have offered blood to the gods in hope of appeasing them; the Mayans were no different. To use a primitive religious belief to set up a violent thriller is hard, for me, to watch. This movie will make money because Gibson knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. But, it is money that violates the contributions of a people and their heritage who did far more than butcher people. Expand
  13. MarcKrones
    Dec 9, 2006
    4
    As someone who liked "Braveheart" and loved "The Passion...", this film was a big disappointment. Lots of violence, but unlike the other two films, the violence shown here was extremely gratuitous and pointless...i.e., violence for violence sake. I thought the negative reviews for this movie were primarily driven because of so many people who now dislike Mel Gibson. But then I saw theAs someone who liked "Braveheart" and loved "The Passion...", this film was a big disappointment. Lots of violence, but unlike the other two films, the violence shown here was extremely gratuitous and pointless...i.e., violence for violence sake. I thought the negative reviews for this movie were primarily driven because of so many people who now dislike Mel Gibson. But then I saw the movie, and realized this film was judged on it's merits. Either a "4" or a "3" rating...I was in a generous mood giving this a "4." Expand
  14. K.L.
    Jan 21, 2007
    6
    Nice scenery and some genuine fearful moments when the captives are offered for sacrifice and the scrambled to reach the corn field to freedom. Not entirely sure why some lots of people rated the film with 9 and 10s, it wasn't THAT good. [***SPOILER***]Have you not seen John Rambo in First Blood? That's essential what this movie was, a man being hunted down by the bad guys in Nice scenery and some genuine fearful moments when the captives are offered for sacrifice and the scrambled to reach the corn field to freedom. Not entirely sure why some lots of people rated the film with 9 and 10s, it wasn't THAT good. [***SPOILER***]Have you not seen John Rambo in First Blood? That's essential what this movie was, a man being hunted down by the bad guys in the forest and Rambo or Jag Paw, in this case, takes them down one by one, using all his knowledge of the forest to heal his wounds and to make lethal weapons and traps. Another reason I wouldn't over rate the movie were the number of glaringly obvious " that is unlikely to happen" moments. 1) What are the chances that a solar eclipes occurs just as our hero is about to be sacrificed? Several million to one I would guess. 2) What are the chances that our fully fit hero could out run a enraged Jaquar , very slim indeed, so if our hero was injured as he was the chances fall from slim to virtually no chance. 3) For such a skilled and knowledgeable hunter in his own territory how come the location of waterfall came as such a big suprise to him? Surely it wasn't too small for him to have missed before! Even if the waterfall wasn't known to our hero previously then how come he couldn't detect it either from the sound or his previously heightened sense of detection which allows him to sence forest intruders before anyone else? 4) Having survived the waterfall our hero boasts that he is back in his forest now which he knows inside out , then proceeds to walk straight into a pit of quick sand! They must have have put that in whilst he was away! 5) Pits don't fill up THAT quickly with rain water! Even if it did fill up with rain water surely our heroes family would have developed good swimming skills (Living so close to the sea) and would have been able to hold out or even float to the top of the pit. To conclude this movie is worth a watch but has too many farfetched moments to take seriously. Expand
  15. ThomasB.
    Dec 11, 2006
    6
    Everyone's harping on the gore like this is some kind of Tarantino film. There are scenes with realistic violence, but it's nothing beyond any contemporary action or horror film. The acting and cinematography were beautiful, and I thought the chase story was really compelling. It was reminescent of an asian vengeance film (maybe sans vengeance). Just one thing nagged at me, kept Everyone's harping on the gore like this is some kind of Tarantino film. There are scenes with realistic violence, but it's nothing beyond any contemporary action or horror film. The acting and cinematography were beautiful, and I thought the chase story was really compelling. It was reminescent of an asian vengeance film (maybe sans vengeance). Just one thing nagged at me, kept my rating so low. I was appalled at the use of the Durant quote in the beginning, the suggestion apparently that the indigenous peoples of the Americas were somehow asking to be decimated by Europeans. Pretty irresponsible message from a director who should be watching his image a little more carefully these days. Expand
  16. se
    Dec 27, 2006
    5
    Typical gibson gore-fest for 2/3 of the movie. not worth watching. 2 dimensional characters.
  17. Dec 15, 2011
    6
    I enjoyed it. Thought it was a decent film but it felt a little too dragged on and it made me lose interest in the film. While it was solid through out, It just wasnt great.
  18. Jun 2, 2013
    6
    Very good film by Mel Gibson. Good story, but even better action. I absolutely loved the fighting scenes and the chase scenes in particular. The last thirty minutes were so intense. A great movie despite the few historical inaccuracies. I really enjoyed it.
  19. Jun 6, 2015
    6
    A reasonably good effort here from Gibson, the film is set in Central American Mayan culture and offers some impressive visuals at times that can really transport you back to the films time. The film was enjoyable and entertaining to watch but it failed to fully grasp at an engaging story line set in this time period: it felt like Gibson was more interested in having a film showcase someA reasonably good effort here from Gibson, the film is set in Central American Mayan culture and offers some impressive visuals at times that can really transport you back to the films time. The film was enjoyable and entertaining to watch but it failed to fully grasp at an engaging story line set in this time period: it felt like Gibson was more interested in having a film showcase some aspects of Mayan culture rather than wrapping a full story line into it. The first section of the film seems to have a lack of focus, and the film also introduces certain elements into the film but refuses to continue with them. Once arriving at the Mayan city the film does focus more on one plot point, but it is not an exceedingly interesting one. The film also brought an odd mixture of realism and stylistically orientated scenes that felt odd but intriguing to watch. Also, well done for Gibson actually making the effort to not make the Mayans some how speak English. The acting is very hit and miss also, with some scenes feeling overly cheesy and others feeling very forced by the actors, yet it does capture the brutality and savagery of the time period. An enjoyable watch mainly for the sight of a fully realised Mayan culture put to screen but not for an engaging plot or acting. 6.5/10 Expand
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. 88
    Gibson has made a film of blunt provocation and bruising beauty.
  2. The guy knows how to make a heart-pounding movie; he just happens to be a cinematic sadist.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    100
    Mel Gibson is always good for a surprise, and his latest is that Apocalypto is a remarkable film. Set in the waning days of the Mayan civilization, the picture provides a trip to a place one's never been before, offering hitherto unseen sights of exceptional vividness and power.