Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Image
Metascore
79

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

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 1056 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

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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 259
  1. Aug 3, 2014
    10
    HOLY ****, you must see this movie. It's the blockbuster of the decade. The effects, acting, cgi, are all outstanding. If you haven't seenHOLY ****, you must see this movie. It's the blockbuster of the decade. The effects, acting, cgi, are all outstanding. If you haven't seen this movie yet. STOP what you are doing and find it now! Expand
  2. Jul 12, 2014
    10
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a riveting, well-layered, intelligent and emotional film that will please fans and audiences looking for anDawn of the Planet of the Apes is a riveting, well-layered, intelligent and emotional film that will please fans and audiences looking for an evening's entertainment. Easily it's one of the best of the year, and not just a summer year. 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.
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  4. Jul 23, 2014
    9
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes occurs a decade after the events of the first film (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and follows a band ofDawn of the Planet of the Apes occurs a decade after the events of the first film (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and follows a band of survivors of who have endured a deadly viral outbreak. It chronicles the relationship between the human survivors and a group of genetically modified apes led by Caesar. Through the evolution of the narrative events occur that leave the human survivors and the apes on the brink of war.

    The cast includes Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, and the wonderful returning Andy Serkis as Caesar. The acting is in all regard good, but where it truly shines is in the scenes where Clarke's character is interacting with Caesar. The chemistry between the two leads is compelling, thrilling, and aw inspiring. Particularly due to Andy Serkin's phenomenal video capture work. Gary Oldman is also fantastic, (per usual) and no actor's presence seems to detract from the film.

    Director Matt Reeves is one of the undeniable factors that makes 'Dawn' so great. Reeves direction is smart, intuitive, and filled with dozens of engaging shots. Reeves hits the mark with almost every frame and this greatly affects the overall intensity and emotion of the film. The screenplay is also admirable for creating memorable dialogue even if some of it fells like exposition.

    'Dawn' also exceeds in exhibiting interesting social commentary throughout. The film presents themes of racial tension in intellectual ways and this is greatly appreciated due to the much-needed depth it adds. These social messages help to create a great deal social relevancy propelling the film past just great Si-Fi.

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes improves over its predecessor in almost every way. From the stellar direction to the social commentary, 'Dawn" exceeds the summer blockbuster template to construct a film that is truly relevant while also being extremely entertaining.
    Expand
  5. Jan 10, 2015
    8
    Great movie, easily the very best of the Planet of the Apes series. All the characters were believable, probably more so the apes, withGreat movie, easily the very best of the Planet of the Apes series. All the characters were believable, probably more so the apes, with beautifully rendered facial expressions and emotions. A fantastically impressive surprise! 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.
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  7. May 19, 2015
    0
    Clearly the apes have won and are marking up this movie. An epically bad script and plot. Next we'll be making the daleks touchy feely withClearly the apes have won and are marking up this movie. An epically bad script and plot. Next we'll be making the daleks touchy feely with smiley faces full of trite human emotions. The monkeys on PG tips were far more entertaining. Avoid. Expand

See all 259 User Reviews

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