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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 989 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 — 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: 23 out of 253
  1. Jul 24, 2014
    10
    Absolutely phenomenal, the first thing to be noted about this film is just how good the visual effects are. To be honest after the initial wowAbsolutely phenomenal, the first thing to be noted about this film is just how good the visual effects are. To be honest after the initial wow factor you completely forget that the apes aren't really actors. They look fantastic in the different weather scenarios. Only when you see an animated bear and an animated monkey do you feel like you are watching some moving pixels. The story itself is extremely gripping, an emotional roller-coaster which could be deemed a little predictable but at the same time has enough about it in terms of imagery and great directing to get away with any obvious twists or turns. A wonderful movie which might be hard to top in the next instalment. Expand
  2. Jul 14, 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.
    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. Dec 9, 2014
    8
    THIS is what the remakes should have been from the start! It brings a very dark and post-apocalypse vibe that recent movies have gotten usTHIS is what the remakes should have been from the start! It brings a very dark and post-apocalypse vibe that recent movies have gotten us used to with the real struggle that the original film series brought us. The action is great, the CG is looks pretty good and the story is great enough to keep everyone on edge. A huge plus is that you really wouldn't have had to of seen the previous films to enjoy this one since there aren't too many references to them or their characters. Easily worth the time and price of renting! Expand
  6. Jul 11, 2014
    7
    Comes February, 2015, an ape may win the Best Actor Oscar as Andy Serkis gets first billing as Caesar deservedly if nothing else but for theComes February, 2015, an ape may win the Best Actor Oscar as Andy Serkis gets first billing as Caesar deservedly if nothing else but for the acting he does with his eye. Very close behind him is Toby Kebbell as Koba, another ape. None of the actors playing humans such as Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee stand a chance when they are on screen with the aforementioned apes or the other ape actors like Judy Greer, Karim Konoval and Nick Thurston.

    First and foremost I must emphasize that “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” must be seen on the BIG movie screen just as “Gravity” had to be seen in a movie theatre to really be appreciated.

    The only other ‘Ape” movie I have seen was the very first in 1968 and just the production values from makeup to costumes to special effects since then is a show in itself. It is beyond my comprehension how visual effects supervisors Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon achieved what they do in this movie.

    The direction gets the strong hand that it needs from Matt Reeves. The script writers Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver follow the trend and true westerns of the past with bad guys and apes versus good guys and apes, including a high noon shoot out and a major draw dropping fight out between the hero and villain--no, not who you think!

    The bottom line is that “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” has to be seen in a movie house on the large or it will be just another meaningless movie. Get ready for an ape to win the major acting prizes!
    Expand
  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 253 User Reviews

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