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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 923 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 β€” the pell-mell emergence of great intelligence, plus moral awareness, in primitive bodies β€” 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 237
  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 24, 2014
    9
    The opening looks like "World War Z" promising thing. Then, it turns out the flu thing was not the main of the movie. The CGI monkeys wereThe opening looks like "World War Z" promising thing. Then, it turns out the flu thing was not the main of the movie. The CGI monkeys were amazing. I wish the future Jurassic World #upcoming will learn from this movie. The drama plot is really move my heart. It's a breath-taking. Until the end, me and my bf still wonders who's the name of Caesar first son. Which means, the plot was made enchant us. It's an epic story and so many moral views I discovered. There were kids just went out from previous showtime before me, and they just had this remarkable 'deep conversation' of this movie. These kids learned well. Or, the movie gave them a flawless show. Two story-sides in the whole one time show, and the ending was showing the 'pretty much' misunderstanding reason of world war could began. How original... but, still it's a fact from reality situation of our world war, now. It really has the same great quality with the first movie. I mean, come on, people, this second movie even gives us the details and new stuffs. New and best stuffs. While in the middle of the screen, I got this feeling, "It feels like I watch LOTR:The Two Towers. I found amazing CGI and amazing new storyline." THAT's WHAT WE NEED FROM SEQUEL QUALITY!!!!

    As I said before, if you guys think this movie lack of something, it must be the thrilling of human being chased by the monkeys, right? My favorite part was the building hide and seek, but as I said before, too short scene. If there still flu victims who still struggle to be alive, I bet this movie could get 10 points from me. But, those my wild-mind plot got paid by Gary Oldman heart-breaking crying scene. :'"((((

    GIVE GARY OLDMAN AN OSCAR!!!!
    Expand
  5. Nov 17, 2014
    8
    I enjoyed watching every bit of it. Awesome action sequences, especially when the apes attacked San Francisco at night, had great intenseI enjoyed watching every bit of it. Awesome action sequences, especially when the apes attacked San Francisco at night, had great intense moments and top notch CGI. Expand
  6. Jul 11, 2014
    7
    Although the plot is predictable, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes combines great visual effect and refined motion-capture acting into anAlthough the plot is predictable, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes combines great visual effect and refined motion-capture acting into an emotional spectacle. Much of the novel factor of Planet of the Ape franchise is how believably humane the apes can be, it's also a measure bar as comparing the movies of this franchise in order serves as prove of technology advancement. Andy Serkis has perfected a masterful interpretation of the ape-human mime hybrid. It's not an overstatement that the apes fare better and more convincing than the human counterpart.

    Visual is splendid and aesthetically pleasing. It's not as extravagant as other blockbusters in recent time, but the art direction offers a unique appeal. Different than most grayish dire post-apocalypse setting, the movie turns to a more organic setting, a lustful return-to-nature background while some of civilization remains still stand tattered. Glossy urban areas have now coated with rustic flavor while the apes territory is leaning towards early civilization settlement. One is deteriorating while the other contrastingly and gradually improves.

    The movie has one of the best uses of motion capture lately. Apes moves with fluid almost humanized motion even though some of the hunchback traits still persist. It's interesting to see such varied range of emotion that can be conveyed by the apes' while most of them only communicate with body language. Action sequences are well done; a couple of scenes are shot in very interesting point of view or continuous shot. It's a little heavier on action than the prequel.

    However, the humans aren't nearly as intriguing. Jason Clarke as Malcolm, the engineer and leader figure does a decent job, but he's eclipsed by Andy Serkis' Caesar. He's not really an engaging lead role as James Franco was, and it's a bit underwhelming when the movie tries to compare the two together. Gary Oldman as Dreyfus works with what he has. Being a man with practically a thousand faces, he can pull off any role, but here his character is rather unexceptional.

    The plot is a bit overused though; those who have seen Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas or Avatar will find little surprise. Granted, there's only so much this "two civilizations" premise could go and the movie does go for more mature outlook, but a lot of the scenes foreshadow any twist the movie could've had, even more so for those knowledgeable of the franchise. In the end Dawn of the Planet of the Apes does any movie strive to, it immerses the audience and makes them invest in the character's struggle. With the pace it's going the apes are here to stay.
    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 237 User Reviews

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