Box art for Rise Of The Planet of the Apes

Rise Of The Planet of the Apes

action & adventure, sci-fi & fantasy

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is a revolution; an action-packed epic featuring stunning visual effects and creatures unlike anything ever seen before.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Occasionally violent origin story is surprisingly good.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this origin story is less sci-fi and more relationship drama, making it a surprisingly equal-opportunity choice for teens and parents. There's not much language, sexuality, or drinking, but the animal-human violence gets intense in the second half of the movie. Humans are afraid of the apes, so they shoot and poke them, and the threatened apes react defensively by smashing cars, throwing spears, pushing police officers off a bridge, and generally wreaking havoc on the Bay Area. There are a few pivotal death scenes for both species, but the movie's focus is less on the action and more on the nuanced question of how animals and humans can co-exist once there's no intelligence barrier.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the ongoing popularity of remaking classic older films. What are some series that have outdone their predecessors? Which originals should never have been reimagined?
  • How does the violence in this movie compare to other action/sci-fi movies you've seen? Does the fact that it involves animals give it more or less impact?
  • Animals are usually depicted as our friends, but what do the apes want -- to rule the world, or just to be free from cages? How does the filmmaker portray Caesar and Will's relationship? Is Caesar a pet, a child, or something in between?
  • For those familiar with the Planet of the Apes series, how does this compare to the original storyline? Do the changes make sense, considering technological developments since the '70s? Do you think there should be more?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The action scenes (particularly a battle between humans and apes on the Golden Gate Bridge) are inventively spectacular, and the story at the movie's core is evocative and engaging.

- Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Monday, August 22, 2011

Fresh: Conjured through the ever-expanding magic of performance-capture technology, the apes are easily the most compelling elements of Apes.

- Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News, Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rotten: H]alf good and half bad, and the primary dividing line is by genus.

- Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, Friday, August 5, 2011

Audience Reviews

3 stars

The best showcase of special effects and motion capture technology since Peter Jackson's Kong, and again it features Andy Serkis (the go-to motion capture actor, and for good reason) as an ape. The best moments in the film- the most touching, dramatic and memorable- are those between apes, unavoidably brushing the human relationships to one side, leaving them a little wan and wanting. That said, they provide a very solid framework for the story, which is both memorable and suitably epic.

- fb1686480544, Sunday, October 28, 2012

4 stars

Caesar the chimpanzee is the genetically altered product of medical research and when he becomes the victim of the mistreatment afforded to all research animals he uses his superior intelligence to escape captivity. Well it seems that finally, after 43 years, the classic Planet Of The Apes has a worthy sequel! The latest instalment of the simian franchise takes the basic principle of the well meaning but weakly executed Conquest and combines it with elements of Greystoke to create an interesting animal orientated character study of a creature that's neither man nor ape. Once again Andy Sirkis proves his incredible skill in breathing life into animated creations and although the cast of homo sapiens acquit themselves admirably, they all take a back seat to man's best computer generated friend. It's also very nice to see a film in which the special effects actually facilitate the story instead of replacing it and as a result, Rise is one of the most intelligent and best sci-fis of recent years. I hope that this is a sign of things to come. Well, not the apes taking over the world bit, obviously...

- garyX, Tuesday, October 1, 2013

3 stars

I really wanted to enjoy this "prequel" to the 1968 Charlton Hesston film, as that original film, seen when I was 12, made a huge impression on me; but try as I might, and in spite of some nice moments during the first half of the film, this one left me shaking my head over what could have been. There is a certain shorthand to filmmaking; a way in which a certain character is portrayed so that you know instantly, without much dialog, who that person is and how he plays into the script. The secret to a good film is masking this shorthand so that, while we understand what we need to know we aren't hit over the head with the signs and portents. Sadly, the shorthand is all too obvious here - from the money grabbing company exec to the "bad example of humanity" dude who mistreats the apes in his charge. We've seen it all before and yes it gets the point across, but you get the feeling that the writers were taking that easy shortcut. Same thing with the female/love interest - a totally superfluous part that only adds irritation - boy meets girl, boy of course has relationship with girl - all film shorthand. But then there's the real story - that of an experiment that goes sideways, leading to apes with increased intelligence. I'm not going to reveal all that goes on, but I will say that this part of the film is true and realistic, and the CGI, especially where it involves Gollum is well done, it's just unfortunate that the film spins off the rails in the last 3rd, becoming the huge spectacle that I'm sure the studio bosses asked for. Too bad, for there was a nice little morality tale before all the violence and confrontation, and frankly, a quite silly ending where the hero (a luke warm Franco) follows the apes to Muir Woods (ok kiddies, I grew up in SF, and hey, it's like a 30 minute drive from GG Bridge to Muir Woods), just so there can be this odd moment that sets up a really bad bit of CGI (not that there wasn't bad CGI from the point that the film switched gears and went all battlemania on us). It was a nice touch that the action took place in and around SF, but there were quite a few liberties taken as well as a huge gaff in the continuity department. The young ape, Caesar, has a birthmark on his left shoulder - for the last half of the film that birthmark is on his right shoulder - oopsy. I did enjoy the dovetailing reverences to the original film (including calling one ape "bright eyes"), however the film never resolves the issue presented in the first film, where all the buildings are gone except for the statue of liberty, which is now across dry land instead of in the middle of the New York waterway - so, while explaining much of what "could have happened", they chose to ignore this one, as there was no way to make the post apocryphal message of the first film fit into this genetic engineering gone bad premise.

- paulsandberg, Sunday, September 2, 2012