'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' Review Roundup: Critics Give Sequel Top Marks
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel directed by Matt Reeves, revisits the ruins of San Francisco, where the humans and the apes are on the brink of war after 10 years of civilization building and relative peace.
Led by Caeser (Andy Serkis), a nation of genetically evolved apes has created something of a society. Everything that they’ve built, however, becomes threatened by a group of humans who survived the virus unleashed in the last Apes film. A war ensues between the clashing species, with each trying to overtake the other for the position of Earth’s reigning species.
Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke and Judy Greer are among the all-star cast in the blockbuster directed from a script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Reviews
Critics have dubbed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the best in the franchise’s storied history, which began with the 1968 original starring Charleton Heston and Roddy McDowall. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has also, not surprisingly, been named the best studio blockbuster of the season – far exceeding its fellows with the strength of its narrative and the purpose of its action sequences and stunning visuals.
“Yes, this may be the best movie about talking apes ever made.… The battle scenes here are appropriately astonishing, and the metaphors and questions raised by the decades-long ongoing story hold true — what makes a civilization? What makes a man? But the visual look of the apes themselves is what brings it all home. Seeing is believing, and the magic of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is that it is so easy to believe.” – Tom Long, Detroit News
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an extremely high-functioning sci-fi thriller about extremely high-functioning apes. Some of it may seem silly in the recounting, or in the trailer, but it doesn't feel silly in the theater. Far from it, 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.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes wisely weaves a tale of the flaws in human and simian natures. It also manages to say a thing or two about the hollowness of most summer blockbusters. Maybe it’s best to just forget about the rule and enjoy this exception. Dawn plays like an interspecies wartime Shakespearean tragedy, complete with fragile alliances, betrayals of trust and deadly hubris on both sides. It’s not afraid to build slowly, to let you feel its texture and absorb the stakes. That way, when the combat begins, it really means something.” – Chris Vognar, Dallas News
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [is] the best of this summer’s large-scale, big-studio franchise movies. Granted, this isn’t a very high bar to clear: better than Transformers 4 barely counts as praise, even with an exclamation mark. But unlike that toy-smashing extravaganza — and unlike 2014’s visitations from the Spider-Man, X-Men and Godzilla money trains — Dawn is more than a bunch of occasionally thrilling action sequences, emotional gut punches and throwaway jokes arranged in predictable sequence. It is technically impressive and viscerally exciting, for sure, but it also gives you a lot to think, and even to care, about.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is currently in wide release.