Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Aug 4, 2011
    100
    As both a simian simile and a wonder of technology, Rise of the Planet of the Apes deserves to be in the company of the great original "Kong." This year's sixth "origins" story of a fantasy franchise (after The Green Hornet, Thor, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern and Captain America: The First Avenger) is also the year's finest action movie.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 4, 2011
    100
    This summer's best popcorn flick.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 4, 2011
    90
    Smart, fun and thoroughly enjoyable, it's a model summer diversion that entertains without insulting your intelligence.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Aug 4, 2011
    90
    Judged, though, as the action extravaganza it means to be, Rise of the Planet of the Apes wins high marks for originality, and takes top honors for spectacle.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Aug 3, 2011
    88
    Audacious, violent and disquieting, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a summer sequel that's better than it has any right to be.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Aug 4, 2011
    83
    It's the rest of the movie, especially a grin-inducing final third, which makes "Apes" rise above the level of a typical sci-fi rehash.
  7. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Aug 29, 2011
    80
    By far the best spectacle movie of the season, and one of the few films to use digital technology for nuanced dramatic effect.
  8. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Aug 8, 2011
    80
    A worthy, exciting, emotional addition to the venerable monkey movie marathon. Apes will rise. Sequels are likely.
  9. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Aug 4, 2011
    80
    As tight as the parallel homo sapiens storylines are lax, Caesar's prison conversion to charismatic pan-ape revolutionist is near-silent filmmaking, with simple and precise images illustrating Caesar's General-like divining of personalities and his organization of a group from chaos to order. All of this is shown in absorbing, propulsive style, as Caesar broodingly bides his time like a king in disguise awaiting restoration.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Aug 4, 2011
    80
    Whereas the original was a work of speculative science fiction - a chin-stroking fable about evolution in the nuclear age - this revisiting of the Planet of the Apes myth is an animal-rights manifesto disguised as a prison-break movie.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Aug 4, 2011
    80
    Strong action, special effects and by far the most credible ape "performances" yet seen will spell box office to inspire chest-thumping in all markets.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Aug 5, 2011
    75
    It's faint praise to say that this is the best of the "Planet of the Apes" movies, because the evolution of special effects and makeup was predictable. But the unexpected strength of the film is its heart.
  13. 75
    The running time is efficient, the direction is clean, the story is simple but resonant, the effects are understated yet impressive, and the near-wordless star of the show puts on an acting clinic. Damned if the risen one doesn't lift us out of our seats.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 4, 2011
    75
    The cautionary tale feels surprisingly fresh and entertaining, given that this is the fifth "Planet of the Apes" film since the 1968 original.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 4, 2011
    75
    The movie rises and, at times, even soars. This is all - and I do mean all - thanks to what human actors in league with computer technology can now achieve to bring the apes to life. No more guys squeezed into monkey suits and talking in posh accents. Performance-capture makes all the difference.
  16. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Aug 4, 2011
    75
    A shamelessly fun B-movie with A-movie effects.
  17. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 4, 2011
    75
    Rise is very consciously a drama about a Simian Spring, and it's close enough in its details to a recent documentary to be thought of as "Project Nim: The Revenge."
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 4, 2011
    75
    While it's effects-heavy, the movie itself does not feel heavy. Consider it a fanciful extension of the recent and very fine documentary "Project Nim."
  19. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Aug 3, 2011
    75
    Wyatt brings a light touch to the potentially grim material - too light when it drops in some groan-inducing references to the original film - but he keeps the action compelling whether focusing on apes as they run amok or as they quietly contemplate their next move.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 3, 2011
    75
    The movie has its pleasures, although human intelligence is not one of them. Caesar, to begin with, is a wonderfully executed character, a product of special effects and a motion-capture performance by Andy Serkis, who earlier gave us Gollum in "Lord of the Rings."
  21. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Aug 4, 2011
    70
    It's good, canny-dumb fun.
  22. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Aug 4, 2011
    70
    Compared to this summer's grab bag of superheros vying for a franchise, the apes rise (pardon the pun) to the challenge of making us care.
  23. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 4, 2011
    70
    I kind of enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes despite its evident silliness and the fact that nobody's likely to remember it three weeks from now.
  24. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Aug 3, 2011
    70
    Thanks to stunning advances in performance capture technology, director Rupert Wyatt successfully ditches the cumbersome makeup appliances of past chapters, building the story around a cast of photoreal CG simians convincing enough to identify with as characters, rather than just special effects.
  25. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 3, 2011
    70
    Once you see that ape, named Caesar, riding a galloping horse in triumph, it's awfully hard not to get sucked in. It's not dumb fun, exactly. It's smart dumb fun.
  26. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 3, 2011
    67
    The movie is zippier than Tim Burton's oddly lifeless 2001 "Planet of the Apes" remake, but unlike good sci-fi, it doesn't signify anything, or really even try to.
  27. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 4, 2011
    63
    The central problem with Rise of the Planet of the Apes is that it feels more like a piece of something larger than a complete motion picture.
  28. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Aug 6, 2011
    60
    To showcase the special effects, the filmmakers reportedly trimmed many of the dialogue-based scenes, thereby dulling the dramatic impact of a strong genre premise.
  29. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 5, 2011
    60
    The middle section of the story is where Rise truly takes off, perhaps in ways that will have viewers forgiving the rest.
  30. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Aug 5, 2011
    60
    Evincing more visible intelligence than any of his human co-stars aside from Lithgow, Caesar is disquietingly lifelike.
  31. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 3, 2011
    58
    Feels like half of a good movie, much of it revealed in admittedly thrilling trailers.
  32. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 5, 2011
    50
    They probably should have called it "Beneath the Dignity of the Planet of the Apes," but Rise of the Planet of the Apes is tolerable if you'll just keep in mind that the original feature was an overachieving B-movie.
  33. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Aug 4, 2011
    50
    It is not what could be fairly called a bad movie, but neither is it fine enough to be a good one, with its lineup of dull characters and a limp story that functions like a conveyor belt.
  34. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Aug 4, 2011
    50
    Now for the bad news. The filmmakers seem to have spent so much attention and, presumably, money on getting the primates right that they completely forgot about the people.
  35. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Aug 4, 2011
    50
    Like the film that constrains him, a prequel to Planet of the Apes, perhaps James Franco understands his performance as something that will one day evolve into something far greater.
  36. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 3, 2011
    50
    James Franco looks more bored and distracted in Rise of the Planet of the Apes than he did when he was hosting the Oscars: Watching the movie, I kept waiting for him to pull out his iPhone, aim it at the camera and take a snapshot while mugging sheepishly. Has there ever been a film with a less engaged protagonist?
  37. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Aug 4, 2011
    45
    Too earnest and dour to be a silly bit of summer fun, but it's not exactly scientifically sound, either.
  38. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 5, 2011
    42
    Since the only really good "Planet of the Apes" movie was the 1968 original with Charlton Heston, I've always wondered why filmmakers can't just leave well enough alone.
  39. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Aug 11, 2011
    40
    Hell, even Heston's performance elicited cheers back in the day. Franco, in a totally, tonally different role, but still the prime human here, is a pale shadow of the ruined future to come.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 685 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 202
  1. Aug 6, 2011
    10
    One of the best movies you'll see this year that isn't about comics!!! 10/10
    the movie is nice, it has some emotional parts, some funny parts,
    not boring at all, the action at the end is spot on. The movie is really great, the dialogue was nice, the characters were likeable except Draco Maulfoy. GO SEE IT NOW! Full Review »
  2. Aug 16, 2011
    7
    This movie was great. Even if you haven't seen the original "Planet of the Apes" series (which you should) this movie is still entertaining. The computer graphics are superb, the actors do a good job, and the movie does what it sets out to do. It delivers in nearly every department, except none of the human characters are interesting. All of them are rather bland or unlikable, but the apes are the center of this film, and you'll be rooting for them the whole movie. The action scenes are riveting and exciting and will keep you on the edge of your seat. This movie is definitely worth seeing and is very good, but not extraordinary. Full Review »
  3. Aug 7, 2011
    2
    Nonsense.
    Just that simple.
    Scene 1: Cesar, a new born chimpanzee needs 8 YEARS to become fully intelligent.
    Scene 2: The rest of the other
    apes takes 4 HOURS to become as smart.

    Scene 1: In the ape`s shelter the cages are hidden and the playground looks innocent and nice.
    Scene 2: The cages now surrounds the playground so Cesar can be encouraged by his similars.

    Scene 1:About 20 apes escapes from the shelter.
    Scene 2: More than 200 apes appears in the hill only few hour latter. (¿mitosis?)

    Scene 1: Tormented scientific resign and claims for the end of ALZ113 development.
    Scene 2: Same scientific has the lethal formula on his fridge.

    An so on...the speaking ape, the stupid police, the gorillas climbing threes...etc.
    NONSENSE.Just that simple.
    Full Review »