Metascore
79

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

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 749 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 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 — 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: 15 out of 202
  1. Sep 2, 2014
    10
    Matt Reeves has done it again. I can't believe this movie was as good as it was! It was action-packed, emotional, and enjoyable. It doesn't just focus on the impending war between the apes and the humans, but it focuses on the interactions between the humans and apes, which results in a very emotionally intense film. It also had great acting from everyone (apes included) and some beautiful cinematography. Expand
  2. Jul 14, 2014
    10
    The visual effects were breathtakingly spectacular as you see the sweat dropping off the hair bristles of these intelligent apes. You learn something here about human nature and survival through these apes, and the end results will have you already anticipating the third installment. 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, 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. Oct 20, 2014
    9
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes falters just inches from perfection, mainly because it's somewhat predictable and convenient at times.

    Yet,
    to make things simple. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is not only a fantastic movie filled with great action and emotion. It's also responsible for giving us a powerful sci-fi character to go side by side with the greatest in history like Darth Vader and Spock. That character is Caesar, who was already great in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however in this movie we see his new phase in the evolution. We get to see what is in my opinion the most compelling character in a sci-fi int he past decade develop himself as a leader.

    On top of that, we also get Koba, another fantastic ape that you're bound to keep in your mind for years to come.

    Finally, I was super happy and surprise with how solid the human side of the story is. The movie never forgets that is about the apes, but it still manages to give us an interesting and well developed human story on the side.

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is FANTASTIC.
    Expand
  5. Jul 27, 2014
    8
    Set a decade after the first film with the world’s population decimated by the virus designed to help cure Alzheimer’s, this sequel focuses largely on Caesar, the super intelligent ape from the original movie, and his tribe.

    First and foremost Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a remarkable technical achievement setting a new benchmark for CGI acting and the emotion conveyed on the faces of the apes is quite frankly unbelievable. Fortunately there is an entertaining plot to match making for an excellent all round watch.
    Expand
  6. Jul 31, 2014
    8
    While being predictable in some fragments, and, in my opinion, having a less articulated plot than it's 20th century predecessors, the new installment of The Planet of The Apes is clearly a sci-fi that obscures most of it's competitors. It's a brilliant story, it has great actors (Gary Oldman, for one), it has a magnificent use of Motion Capture and it has some breathtaking shots; what more could you ask? Sure, don't expect no 10/10 History Of Cinema Masterpiece, but in these days, a product this well polished is simply heart-warming. Expand
  7. Aug 24, 2014
    0
    A spectacularly dull film, noteworthy only for the fact that, despite clocking in at just over two hours, it felt like it had sucked four hours of my life away. The characters are flat, uninteresting and utterly forgettable, the visuals are mediocre at best and the entire film seems to merely be an opportunity to show two apes fighting each other in a construction site. And even that supposedly climatic scene managed to be uninteresting, because there is no reason to care about any of the characters in this movie, and the fight itself is not interesting enough to hold ones attention on its own. Even the film's message of interspecies (or inter-cultural) cooperation and communication falls flat, offering nothing new or interesting on the topic but preferring to fall back on the stock idea of "they're just like us!", something that has been covered dozens of times before by far better film makers than Matt Reeves and co could ever hope to be. A worthless, brain dead bit of cinema. Expand

See all 202 User Reviews

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