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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 945 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who willA growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 10, 2014
    100
    The film forges ahead, in vivid 3-D, with such energy, expertise and thunderous conviction that you readily accept its basic premise — the pell-mell emergence of great intelligence, plus moral awareness, in primitive bodies — and find yourself exactly where the filmmakers want you to be, swinging giddily between sympathy for the apes and the humans in what threatens to become all-out war.
  2. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jul 10, 2014
    91
    Director Matt Reeves, working from a script by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Mark Bomback, elevates the apes to primary importance in this intelligent thriller.
  3. Reviewed by: Dave McGinn
    Jul 10, 2014
    88
    Good news – it’s incredible. It sets the standard for blockbuster action movies, and manages to be even better than its predecessor.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 9, 2014
    80
    Eschewing a tidy wrap-up, Reeves doesn't leave us feeling manipulated, as so often happens in films like this. Instead, we want to know where the story goes from here, and that's no small accomplishment.
  5. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jul 9, 2014
    78
    The narrative and its attendant lessons about how one rotten ape and/or human can spoil the bunch are engaging, although I found myself drifting during the battle sequences.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 9, 2014
    75
    Dawn is dynamite entertainment, especially in the rousing first hour.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 10, 2014
    40
    Any film that begins with one of those fake-news montages, where snippets of genuine CNN footage are stitched together to concoct a feeling of semi-urgency around its hackneyed apocalypse, already sucks even before it gets started.

See all 48 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 241
  1. Aug 6, 2014
    10
    This movie was amazing from start to finish, with it's well done story, beautifully crafted message about war and there's no superior race noThis movie was amazing from start to finish, with it's well done story, beautifully crafted message about war and there's no superior race no matter what you think, and the amazing visuals, seriously, I kept forgetting these aren't really apes, well done Matt Reeves, can't wait for the third one. Expand
  2. Jul 18, 2014
    10
    I will make this short and sweet. Excellent movie. Has a little of everything in it. The acting is good especially what it takes to bringI will make this short and sweet. Excellent movie. Has a little of everything in it. The acting is good especially what it takes to bring Caesar to life. After watching the making of Rise OPOA I realized how much went into creating a movie like this. However, it's not just the incredible technology that brings this to life, it is the excellent story. Very touching, moving and thought provoking. Expand
  3. Jul 11, 2014
    10
    Nothing, absolutely nothing, in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes falls short of being amazing. An emotionally heavy and truly moving film, DawnNothing, absolutely nothing, in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes falls short of being amazing. An emotionally heavy and truly moving film, Dawn is an absolute marvel of modern science fiction, building upon the strong and unmovable foundations Rise of the Planet of the Apes had left earlier. With a plethora of solid characters from both ends of the tale, an explosive sequence of events and a rather poetic script, Dawn raises the bar for the Planet of the Apes franchise and other big-budget philosophical productions of it's caliber. Dawn really is something that deserves appreciation; few films in our day can only dream of achieving what Dawn has. A film that truly touches it's audience with heartfelt passion and remorse for humanity, Dawn is the kind of film that films as an art form and the film industry needs in general.

    Both Rise and Dawn are thought provoking; films that challenge our perception of our very own species through another. However, Dawn triumphs more spectacularly in a way few films before it had done so; through unsolicited and unforced emotion and depth that makes Dawn a true modern science fiction classic, something that the original creators of Planet of the Apes would be very proud of.
    Expand
  4. Jul 28, 2014
    9
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is incredible just shy of CG Nirvana. Its great plot twisting story keeps you on the edge of your seat most ofDawn of the Planet of the Apes is incredible just shy of CG Nirvana. Its great plot twisting story keeps you on the edge of your seat most of the time. Expand
  5. Dec 14, 2014
    8
    It's a brilliant achievement. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes manages to create anticipation very early on, within a story that is soIt's a brilliant achievement. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes manages to create anticipation very early on, within a story that is so emotionally satisfying we can't help but feel that urge to cry. The action sequences are exponentially caught, the characters involved draw admiration on all levels, and the ending is one that is extensively heartfelt. The music grips you and makes you care even more about Caesar's, and Maurice's fate. Where it really thrives though, is on the emotional level. You don't know who you should root for, to the point where even as the viewer, you want peace over war. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a great film. It is an emotional roller coaster that plays on the heartstrings through uncertain fates and the viewer's own, uncertain allegiance. Expand
  6. Jul 13, 2014
    7
    If you are looking for an action picture that is not totally mindless, this movie is a good choice. It’s a little too long and generates moreIf you are looking for an action picture that is not totally mindless, this movie is a good choice. It’s a little too long and generates more cloying sentimentality than genuine emotion. Still it has enough action in a sturdy enough plot to keep the audience quiet. This was the first time CGI really annoyed me (has it reached its limits?) since the swarming apes, always shot from above, looked like swarming ants with identical ape decals pasted over them. On the other hand, digital makeup has improved enormously, or Andy Serkis is simply a genius at acting under these conditions. In the end, I couldn’t decide if the pessimistic philosophy that war is inevitable and neither humans nor movie apes will improve (exemplified by the selfish “apes” who must go out for popcorn refills in the middle of a movie in a packed theater) or whether this philosophy was just a cynical excuse for another sequel. Expand
  7. Nov 9, 2014
    0
    terribly boring movie. many stupid fights and shooting. plot is primitive. the characters are flat and uninteresting. I could watch this movieterribly boring movie. many stupid fights and shooting. plot is primitive. the characters are flat and uninteresting. I could watch this movie only on fast forward Expand

See all 241 User Reviews

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