King Kong

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1346 Ratings

User score distribution:

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User Reviews

  1. Jay
    Dec 15, 2005
    10
    Amazing movie, suspended belief is required for 99% of movies and it seems some reviewers here haven't quite grasped that concept yet. The first hour is long, but the rest of the movie is well worth the wait and long running time. Kong is amazing and the movie as a whole is inspiring and amazingly well done.
  2. TaylorS.
    Dec 16, 2005
    9
    I saw this and my friends were amazed. I thought it was good, but something was missing. I couldn't put my finger on it, until reading other reviews. The movie was out of propotion: the ship scene was way too long, and not enough time was spent in the end at New York.
  3. ConradS.
    Dec 16, 2005
    10
    Ignore all the criticism, Peter Jackson might just walk away with another couple of Oscars.
  4. DanielT.
    Dec 17, 2005
    10
    Ignore the po-faces who use words like "excessive", "indulgent" and "clunky", do these people even like movies? King Kong is a spectacular mega-event movie that should not be missed on the big screen. With over three hours of thrills, action, comedy and compassion, it's the perfect antidote to the banality of modern cinema.
  5. BudS.
    Dec 17, 2005
    7
    The original King Kong is the motion picture equivalent of the cotton gin: a groundbreaking, technical marvel in its time that's now an obsolete relic. With that in mind, I wasn't excited about a remake, but this exceeded my expectations. Frank O. is right, the first act is slow, "Jurassic Park" is a unimaginative knock-off of Kong...but I think this new Kong is really uneven. The original King Kong is the motion picture equivalent of the cotton gin: a groundbreaking, technical marvel in its time that's now an obsolete relic. With that in mind, I wasn't excited about a remake, but this exceeded my expectations. Frank O. is right, the first act is slow, "Jurassic Park" is a unimaginative knock-off of Kong...but I think this new Kong is really uneven. The second act just pounds you senseless with overkill (let's have one...no two...no three...no FOUR dinosaurs!...and before that a STAMPEDE!...) The third act, when Kong gets loose, that's the best part. The action is more impressive, there's some very graceful filmmaking (particularly the quiet moments and the way they're interrupted), and the look of 1930's New York during December is GORGEOUS. (Naomi Watts has also never looked better.) Jackson also does a good job of recreating the memorable climax - justifiably the most famous part of the original Kong. Jackson even achieves more emotion and some deep pathos in this remake. The movie's still hokey in a lot of spots and I'm no fan of cheese. In fact, the movie's final line is taken straight from the original, and half the theater groaned when they heard it. Not a great picture, but the third act saved it for me. Expand
  6. JohnK.
    Dec 17, 2005
    10
    Before rating this movie, I tried something that Metacritic voters usually don't try...I saw the movie. [Ed: Hey now...] It was great, honestly, and if you can't take the length, skip it; while you're at it, skip The Godfather and The Aviator and every other great movie that bulldozed past 2 hours. This is an action classic. The CGI was fantastic, the script was great Before rating this movie, I tried something that Metacritic voters usually don't try...I saw the movie. [Ed: Hey now...] It was great, honestly, and if you can't take the length, skip it; while you're at it, skip The Godfather and The Aviator and every other great movie that bulldozed past 2 hours. This is an action classic. The CGI was fantastic, the script was great (besides a few missteps early on). Bad reviewers, have fun being a niche and a trendster. Everyone thinks you're smart because you can't have a good time. Enjoy the self importance. We'll be over here on the rollercoaster. Expand
  7. MCDB
    Dec 19, 2005
    9
    This film is is just great. The effects are incredible, the acting great. Serkis was brilliant as a gorrila and Black balanced funny and serious perfectly. However I do think it is racist. The view of "The native" dates back to the time of the book Robinson Crusoe, the idea was that if you were not Christian, you were some horrible cannableistic savage. However I do think it is possible This film is is just great. The effects are incredible, the acting great. Serkis was brilliant as a gorrila and Black balanced funny and serious perfectly. However I do think it is racist. The view of "The native" dates back to the time of the book Robinson Crusoe, the idea was that if you were not Christian, you were some horrible cannableistic savage. However I do think it is possible that it was less a race thing, just the idea that this was a world still in the past, and it could be more era-bashing as opposed to racism. Apart from that, great. Expand
  8. Netrace
    Dec 19, 2005
    10
    Great flick. I was riveted the entire time. I am able to do something called suspension of disbelief, so I didn't have the problem that most of the folks giving low ratings had. Thank you Mr. Jackson. And on a side note. I am not a racist, nor did I notice any racist undertones. I would have to agree with the other poster that mentioned something to the effect that if you can see Great flick. I was riveted the entire time. I am able to do something called suspension of disbelief, so I didn't have the problem that most of the folks giving low ratings had. Thank you Mr. Jackson. And on a side note. I am not a racist, nor did I notice any racist undertones. I would have to agree with the other poster that mentioned something to the effect that if you can see racism where it is not, then you are a racist. An ape is an ape. How often have you seen a white ape? Mr. Jackson could have changed it to a white ape and then made it King Abominable Snowman instead of King Kong. That would have made everything better right? You people crack me up. Expand
  9. BenG.
    Dec 19, 2005
    9
    Okay, if you think that this movie is unrealistic, why did you go see it? You already know what it is about! If you look past the fact that it is unrealistic and the fact that it is too long, you'll see that the acting is awesome and the effects rock! I loved this movie!
  10. BennyB.
    Dec 21, 2005
    7
    A great movie that is perhaps a bit too drawn out. All the Skull Island sections are strong, the build-up sections in NY are good, but the NY sections with Kong at the end are a bit weak at times and felt drawn out. 3/4 of an hour could have been shaved off this.
  11. RaulJ.
    Dec 21, 2005
    8
    Old fashioned blockbuster entertainment. Yes, it may be a bit over-done in certain ways, but this does not hurt the movie. I do sypathize with those who say there are too many effects and too little heart. I would revise that to say over the top effects and marginal character development. Overall, very good entertainment.
  12. GarethD.
    Dec 22, 2005
    8
    Didn't seem like 3 hours.....entertaining viewing.
  13. CKong
    Dec 22, 2005
    8
    Very entertaining movie experience - some parts better then others - but well worth the money - Peter Jackson could make a movie about a lump of poo interesting.
  14. WilliamT.
    Dec 23, 2005
    10
    The new David Lean has arrived. What a movie... greatest love story since Dr Zhivago.
  15. ScottH.
    Dec 23, 2005
    8
    Great story and effects, just TOO long!
  16. JayF.
    Dec 24, 2005
    10
    Peter Jackson pulls off yet another epic although this isn't a fantasy world with wizards and hobbits but with prehistoric creatures and a mysterious island. Jackson really does deliver his promise that he had always wanted to remake the original film ever since he was a kid and he did a great job with it. Naomi Watts handles the character very well. Adrien Brody turns the rugged Peter Jackson pulls off yet another epic although this isn't a fantasy world with wizards and hobbits but with prehistoric creatures and a mysterious island. Jackson really does deliver his promise that he had always wanted to remake the original film ever since he was a kid and he did a great job with it. Naomi Watts handles the character very well. Adrien Brody turns the rugged sailor Jack Driscoll and makes him into an unlikely hero, a simple playwrite. Jack Black is not a funnyman in this picture but a filmmaker gone rouge instead of an adventurer like in the original. The natives of Skull Island are not the natives from jungle movies of the 30s but something out of a modern day zombie film! Of course, what would the film be without its title character Kong. Kong is very ferocious on one side but on another he is a very emotional beast. Peter Jackson and WETA have breathed life back into one of the most influential monster films of all. Had there not been any King Kong to begin with we wouldn't had monsters like Godzilla or Jaws. So thank you Peter Jackson for remaking a classic monster film and remaking it right and lets hope other filmmakers will remember this movie when they have to remake another classic movie monster. Expand
  17. ElleR.
    Dec 24, 2005
    10
    This is without a doubt the best film of the year. It is terrific, will have you on the edge of your seat, has a magnificent cast- naomi Watts, for example is in deserving of an oscar with her take on Ann darrow. It was just fabulous.
  18. RahulP.
    Dec 20, 2005
    7
    This is no Titanic or even compares to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Peter Jackson's last directorial effort. However, as a stand alone, ambitious project that it was, it nearly delivers. Some plot holes are exposed, but then again, with a Gorilla as the main character, that's a given. The sets, production design and the cinematography are amazing. Kong on top of the Empire This is no Titanic or even compares to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Peter Jackson's last directorial effort. However, as a stand alone, ambitious project that it was, it nearly delivers. Some plot holes are exposed, but then again, with a Gorilla as the main character, that's a given. The sets, production design and the cinematography are amazing. Kong on top of the Empire State Building is an amazing scene...King Kong itself is realized in amazing detail, however, the dinosaurs and the bugs and creatures of Skull Island I didn't see the reason for. The Captain of the ship, the stowaway kid and the first mate all had character development in the first hour, but you didn't really care and then I think PJ forgot about them as well :-) Naomi Watts was good, Jack Black was amazing as a mad director willing to stake everything on the line and Adrien Brody might as well have sleep-walked through the movie. Some silly sequences, notably the fight with the dinosaurs and the ice-skating scene! In the end, I compare this to Titanic and you realize that the reason Titanic was such a monster hit was because you cared for the characters and CGI/special effects were part of the movie, not the stars. King Kong was spectacular in the CGI/special effects, but lacked credibility in story realization and the character development. I didn't really care about King Kong in the end as he plunges to his death as I cared for what happened to Jack and Rose on the Titanic... Expand
  19. Zoe
    Dec 25, 2005
    7
    The first hour was great; perfect for getting us hooked into the time period, the characters and their motivations. Unlike "War of the Worlds," which gave us no connection to the characters, the fact that Jackson gives us this time is laudable, although I could have done without the "Heart of Darkness" duo. Doesn't Jackson know that in an action flick like this you only have time to The first hour was great; perfect for getting us hooked into the time period, the characters and their motivations. Unlike "War of the Worlds," which gave us no connection to the characters, the fact that Jackson gives us this time is laudable, although I could have done without the "Heart of Darkness" duo. Doesn't Jackson know that in an action flick like this you only have time to care about a couple of characters? Trying to force in more "heart" always feels...er...forced. Ironically, as the action speeds up in the second third, my interest fell. Some fabulous action scenes are overshadowed by some gratuitous action scenes. I wish there had been more time spent here developing the chemistry between Anne and Kong rather than throwing in every cool effect they could think of. The final third was brilliant. Loved it. In the end, this movie is flawed simply because as an audience we're not naive enough to appreciate the whole vision. But, don't wait for home video. This one is definitely worth seeing on the big screen. Expand
  20. JamesM.
    Dec 20, 2005
    10
    To say that this film is a masterpiece is an understatement. King Kong has a sense of majesty and wonder that you will not experience for a very long time, so make sure you see it. Also, all of those people who are saying it is too long obviously have attention spans that are far too short. These are probably the same people that said Pulp Fiction had too much talking or The Godfather To say that this film is a masterpiece is an understatement. King Kong has a sense of majesty and wonder that you will not experience for a very long time, so make sure you see it. Also, all of those people who are saying it is too long obviously have attention spans that are far too short. These are probably the same people that said Pulp Fiction had too much talking or The Godfather didn't have enough action. Expand
  21. NickK.
    Dec 26, 2005
    9
    A solidly entertaining movie. Although a little long for my taste, every epic movie has to break the two hour time limit. For those of you who think it's crap, you need to learn to sit back and take it for what it is: entertainment.
  22. JonathanL.
    Dec 27, 2005
    10
    I agree that there can be some editing, but for everyone who overly critizes Kong's length what particular scenes should be left out? Although flawed watching King Kong can be the greatest movie experience of all time. Even if the movie didn't have any storyline the visual and detailed 1930s New York street scenes are worth the admission ticket. Anyone who is bored by King Kong, I agree that there can be some editing, but for everyone who overly critizes Kong's length what particular scenes should be left out? Although flawed watching King Kong can be the greatest movie experience of all time. Even if the movie didn't have any storyline the visual and detailed 1930s New York street scenes are worth the admission ticket. Anyone who is bored by King Kong, and can't find anything to draw their attention too, probably shouldn't be wasting their time watching any movie. King Kong is the reason movies are made and Peter Jackson is the King of big budget movies Expand
  23. RossN.
    Dec 27, 2005
    9
    Interesting to see such a broad range of opinions and ratings. Some of those who've dismissed it I believe are missing the point and probably need to relax a little more. I was enthralled and thought it was wonderful escapism - I thought Kong delivered far more depth of character than I would have expected and I didn't have a problem with the characterisations generally. My Interesting to see such a broad range of opinions and ratings. Some of those who've dismissed it I believe are missing the point and probably need to relax a little more. I was enthralled and thought it was wonderful escapism - I thought Kong delivered far more depth of character than I would have expected and I didn't have a problem with the characterisations generally. My expectation was that this would be big, over the top and a thrill and I was satisfied on all counts. Great stuff. Expand
  24. OLGUNS.
    Dec 28, 2005
    10
    Wonder.
  25. Warmonger
    Dec 20, 2005
    10
    A very impressive and totally enjoyable experience!!... if you are in any way a fan of the classic King Kong, then you will appreciate this version as well. It elaborates on so many aspects of the originall...Don't listen to the nay sayers who probably liked the original about as much as they liked this version!!! it's a great flim, destined to become another King Kong classic!
  26. TomB.
    Dec 20, 2005
    9
    This could have easily been a big disappointment for me as I am such a big fan of the original 1933 film. Face it; When you go remaking such a classic you are playing with fire. Peter Jackson has cited the original Kong as a major inspiration to him one which lead him into film making and has stated that he wanted to bring the beloved story to the younger generation which is reluctant to This could have easily been a big disappointment for me as I am such a big fan of the original 1933 film. Face it; When you go remaking such a classic you are playing with fire. Peter Jackson has cited the original Kong as a major inspiration to him one which lead him into film making and has stated that he wanted to bring the beloved story to the younger generation which is reluctant to watch old movies. He has said that he wanted to use modern effects and technology to tell the story and bring some freshness to it while retaining spirit of the original. I think he succeeded. I want to say right up front that the ads and trailers for the movie really don't do the CGI effects justice. I really expected the giant gorilla to look a bit like a character from a video game ala Jar Jar Binks or The Hulk but the effects are very believable and really do set a new standard in terms of intermixing computer generated characters with live ones. The few changes Jackson made don't take away from the original characters or the plot at all, in fact, they enhance them; The heroine, Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), and the fast talking Carl Denham (Jack Black) are given back stories which explain some of their motivations and I felt they were nice touches. I only have a few very small criticisms of the film and they primarily revolve around scenes that are either too long or unnecessary. Jackson could have easily trimmed 20 minutes or so out of the 3+ hours and I think the movie would have been better for it. Still, this is as good of a remake as I've ever seen. As with Sam Raimi and the Spiderman films, Peter Jackson has demonstrated what a difference it makes when director has a true love of the source material he is working from. Expand
  27. GabrielD.
    Dec 30, 2005
    10
    This movie was great!! I dont see how anyone could give it a zero!!
  28. Filmbufs
    Jan 11, 2006
    7
    Sometimes, even in epic adventures, it is the subtle moments that stand out. Although the efx are outstanding (for the most part) it is the relationship between Kong and Anne Darrow that remain memorable. When dialogue occurs, however, we see Kevin Jackson's unmistakable weakness. He can direct special efx sequences but appears to have difficulty with actors. Thankfully, there are Sometimes, even in epic adventures, it is the subtle moments that stand out. Although the efx are outstanding (for the most part) it is the relationship between Kong and Anne Darrow that remain memorable. When dialogue occurs, however, we see Kevin Jackson's unmistakable weakness. He can direct special efx sequences but appears to have difficulty with actors. Thankfully, there are many, many moments that rely on unspoken emotions and all of them between Kong and Darrow. The movie is bearable during the first hour as they attempt to give motivation for going on a boat trip to an uncharted isle. This three hour tour does get rough as plot points and characters are essentially sketched in but we all know what's in store. Thankfully, there is a noticeable shift as the second hour begins. The creepy fog settling on the boat cleanes our palate as we approach Skull Island. We're not in Kansas anymore, nor are we in the technicolor, dilluted, depression-era NY where overacting reins king. The adventure finally begins and never eases up. King Kong is not without flaws, even in the special efx department, but overall everything is forgiven as we gladly latch on to a ride for the remaining two-thirds of the movie. Some plot points are laughable, more than a few characters are on-screen without proper motivation (a huge, consistent problem with Jackson's movies) and some of the efx look unbelievable or unfinished. But it's the quiet moments as we see the expressions revealed in Kong's eyes that drive the story and make us believe. Andy Serkis once again provides more emotion and depth in digital form than several of the live actors. It's a sad statement really, but quite the accomplishment for Mr. Serkis. King Kong lives up to the hype and you should definitely see this on the big screen. At least the last two-thirds. Expand
  29. SammyZee
    Jan 1, 2006
    9
    Pretty damn good. no wonder it was one of the most expensive moves ever made. one word: Wow.
  30. KondaR.
    Jan 11, 2006
    10
    This movie needs 10...It has action, mystery with adventure,emotinal turnout Though a sad ending my score is 10 For this epic.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Devin Gordon
    90
    A surprisingly tender, even heartbreaking, film. Like the original, it's a tragic tale of beauty and the beast.
  2. What a movie! This is how the medium seduced us originally.
  3. One of the wonders of the holiday season.