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Planet of the Apes (1968)


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 42
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: Planet of the Apes raises thought-provoking questions about our culture without letting social commentary get in the way of the drama and action.

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 4
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: Planet of the Apes raises thought-provoking questions about our culture without letting social commentary get in the way of the drama and action.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 117,223



Movie Info

Originally intended as a project for Blake Edwards, the film version of Pierre Boule's semisatiric sci-fi novel came to the screen in 1968 under the directorial guidance of Franklin J. Schaffner. Charlton Heston is George Taylor, one of several astronauts on a long, long space mission whose spaceship crash-lands on a remote planet, seemingly devoid of intelligent life. Soon the astronaut learns that this planet is ruled by a race of talking, thinking, reasoning apes who hold court over a … More

Classics , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
May 1, 2001
20th Century Fox


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Critic Reviews for Planet of the Apes

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (5) | DVD (4)

As illuminatingly bleak a statement on human hubris as a Hollywood superproduction has given us.

Full Review… | July 6, 2011
Time Out New York
Top Critic

Planet of the Apes is an amazing film.

Full Review… | April 7, 2008
Top Critic

Planet of the Apes is one of those rare films whose historical impact outweighs its quality. It's a good film, but not a classic.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Top Critic

Dismal SF deep think (1968) that gave birth to an equally dismal string of sequels and TV series spin-offs.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It is quickly paced, completely entertaining, and its philosophical pretensions don't get in the way.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A dreadful film, a compendium of clumsy dialogue, one-dimensional characters, risible plot turns and long silences broken by incomprehensible meaningful looks.

Full Review… | August 16, 2001
Top Critic

Somehow this melding of clever science fiction ideas with old-fashioned popcorn thrills just clicked.

Full Review… | July 6, 2012
Common Sense Media

Back in 1968, this sci-fi, directed by Schaffner and penned by Wilson and Serling, was original, quite intelligent , and well executed, garnering a special Oscar for makeup.

Full Review… | July 30, 2011

This generational touchstone remains a playful widescreen fable of the bestiality that defines and destroys cultures.

Full Review… | July 3, 2011
Slant Magazine

Signifying Monkeys

Full Review… | September 1, 2009

It's all about the closing scene. Cool!

November 7, 2008

A modern science fiction classic.

Full Review… | November 2, 2008
Sci-Fi Movie Page

A film rich with unforgettable imagery, killer lines and physical thrills.

Full Review… | April 7, 2008
Empire Magazine

Seminal simian sci-fi that blends satire with the drive and pace of an adventure story.

Full Review… | April 7, 2008

one of my all time favourites

February 28, 2008

A sci-fi classic that still holds up today and far surpasses Tim Burton's remake.

January 17, 2008

Massive marketing notwithstanding, the original film is still quite an achievement.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Dated now, but a lot of fun and the ending was a shocker - the first time you saw it. Science fiction and social commentary blended nicely.

January 27, 2006
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

edgy, intense and surprising

November 8, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Basically a feature-length 'Twilight Zone' episode, with all that that implies for good and ill... flawed but worthwhile.

Full Review… | March 22, 2004
Decent Films Guide

If you need to see any of the Apes' films, this is the one to take in.

Full Review… | March 13, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Planet of the Apes


As three scientists crash land on an unknown planet, they search for any living organism they can find in order to survive. However, they stumble upon something this is beyond anything they can imagine. They are now living among apes, who treat humans like humans treat animals. As ridiculous as the concept may seem, it feels real, due to Charlton Heston's great performance. This film is more of a realization and adventure film rather than an all out ape war with the title implies. I loved this film from beginning to end for not giving us gimmicks and sticking to a fantastically toned storyline. It's slow moving but extremely engaging and will have you on the edge of your seat at what is going to happen next. From action to adventure, from drama to science fiction, Planet of the Apes is an amazing film for it's time and should be remembered by everyone. This is a wonderful picture!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


A classic that, unfortunately, does show its age, Planet of the Apes trucks with the big satires - think: Animal Farm - and is really about paradigm shifts and epistemological derivation of power in a society. It brings to mind especially the evolution vs. creation debates that some U.S. school boards are (somehow) still having. Charlton Heston borders on the ridiculous, but in another sense, this is an epic, like his other works - Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments - and so it requires that "big" approach. The ending is corny, but for the most part this is a well thought-out and valuable piece of speculative fiction, and a film I liked much more than its remake, which (unfortunately), I must now make myself rewatch.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


Planet Of The Apes is a true science fiction movie classic that's intriguing political objection and interesting social commentary doesn't get in the way of engrossing drama and visually arresting action sequences. It never attacks you with it's debate or assault you with noisy gun fights, it's slow pacing and laid back attitude is the most likely cause of this but it's true purpose is to entertain and despite the pacing it never gets boring no matter how many times you see it.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

An interesting critique of "civilized society" and one hell of an imaginative film with a great ending. But sadly, unable to really soar above Heston's gag-inducing expository monologues.

Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Planet of the Apes Quotes

Dr. Zaius, would an ape make a human doll....that talks?
– Submitted by Bernard R (9 months ago)
Why did you do that? Scrape off your hair?
It makes you look somehow less intelligent.
– Submitted by Ram C (17 months ago)
They blew it up! God, damn you! Damn you all to hell!!!
– Submitted by Dutch E (19 months ago)
The Forbiddon Zone was once a paradise. Your kind made a wasteland of it, ages ago.
– Submitted by Aaron S (22 months ago)
You maniacs! You blew it up!
– Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
[reading from the sacred scroll] Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport, or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him. Drive him back into his jungle liar, for he is the harbinger of death.
– Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)

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