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Apocalypto (2006)


Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 196
Fresh: 128
Rotten: 68

Critics Consensus: Apocalypto is a brilliantly filmed, if mercilessly bloody, examination of a once great civilization.

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 51
Fresh: 30
Rotten: 21

Critics Consensus: Apocalypto is a brilliantly filmed, if mercilessly bloody, examination of a once great civilization.


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 439,873


Movie Info

"Apocalypto" is a heart stopping mythic action-adventure set against the turbulent end times of the once great Mayan civilization. When his idyllic existence is brutally disrupted by a violent invading force, a man is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression where a harrowing end awaits him. Through a twist of fate and spurred by the power of his love for his woman and his family he will make a desperate break to return home and to ultimately save his way of life.

R (for sequences of graphic violence and disturbing images)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Classics
Directed By:
Written By:
Farhad Safinia
In Theaters:
May 22, 2007
Box Office:
Buena Vista - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Apocalypto

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (51) | Fresh (128) | Rotten (68) | DVD (40)

Apocalypto demonstrates two things: that Mel Gibson is a hell of a filmmaker and that his imaginative world borders on the Neanderthal.

Full Review… | June 29, 2007
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

This is by no means a boring film, then, but it is a grotesque one, and that brings it pretty close to camp.

Full Review… | December 30, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

As a piece of filmmaking it's certainly strong enough to restore his commercial viability. Whether that's to the good is another question entirely.

Full Review… | December 30, 2006
Top Critic

[Gibson] has learned how to tell a tale, and to raise a pulse in the telling. You have to admire that basic gift, uncommon as it is in Hollywood these days, though equally you have to ask what obsessions goad it on.

December 11, 2006
New Yorker
Top Critic

Mel Gibson is a real artist as a director.

Full Review… | December 11, 2006
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

It's unlike any other movie to reach theaters this year and, because it is as visual an experience as it is visceral, it is best seen on a large screen.

Full Review… | December 8, 2006
Top Critic

A quite exciting spectacle based on a racist version of indigenous history, one in which the genocidal conquistadors are the New World's liberators.

Full Review… | July 18, 2014

Apocalypto isn't simply an effective movie, but an immensely powerful one: a benchmark and a foresight seemingly all rolled into one.

Full Review… | October 22, 2013

Damn if the movie, through Mel's sheer determination, doesn't almost turn from a fight-n-flight gore fest into a moving meditation on a civilisation in the throes of decline. Almost.

Full Review… | November 7, 2012
Empire Magazine Australasia

Ignore Apocalypto's symbolic hubbub and instead view it for Gibson's perverse sense of entertainment. His passionate spectacle of human destruction and doom packs a terrific visceral punch.

Full Review… | November 6, 2010
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Shot with digital camera on location in Mexico, Mel Gibson has created a visually stunning action/adventure epic that although has divided many with its historical accuracy, has spared no expense in bringing life to a world before European colonization.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

Nothing if not visceral

Full Review… | August 28, 2009

All in all Apocalypto is probably Gibson's best film to date, because it's almost free of any of Hollywood's tainting.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Mel Gibson follows up "The Passion of the Christ," his entrée into directing schlock B-move horror films with high production values, with an even more gory study into bodily torture and death.

Full Review… | April 24, 2009

The middle of the film, though, finds Gibson at his sadistic best, depicting monumental savagery with a surreal cinematic glee that puts the Apocalypse in Apocalypto.

Full Review… | April 23, 2009
Boston Phoenix

What this thing turns out to be is a skimpy action flick.

Full Review… | July 23, 2007

If you can get past Mr. Gibson's public persona, Apocalypto is a good, solid action movie.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Big Picture Big Sound

Any Gibson-haters hoping to see the heart ripped out of his success may well find themselves disappointed by Apocalypto's relative merits.

Full Review… | June 12, 2007

Apocalypto is a strange but largely entertaining mix of action, bloodletting, chin-rubbing and arthouse trimmings.

Full Review… | June 5, 2007
Empire Magazine

How can we be inspired by the spirit of Jaguar Paw when the film's telling us that people stink and the great cultures of the Americas were the architects of their own demise?

Full Review… | May 20, 2007
Apollo Guide

Close enough, I suppose, if you want to reduce the entire end of a civilization to a single adventure story.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Movie Metropolis

If any other director had made the spellbinding, visceral Mayan epic 'Apocalypto,' the film would be championed and unquestionably be discussed in Oscar worthy terms.

Full Review… | May 8, 2007
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

It's escapism - the world would be a lot safer if good and evil were so clearly defined - and it's something that Mel Gibson proves (once again) that he does very, very well in Apocalypto.

Full Review… | March 24, 2007

Mel Gibson propone una discutible aproximación a la civilización maya que es, ante todo, un intenso relato de acción y heroísmo.

Full Review… | March 12, 2007
Uruguay Total

To cut to the chase, there should be an NC-17 rating to describe the over-the- top violence in Apocalypto. But the strong of stomach will find an edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding, technically amazing movie.

Full Review… | March 12, 2007

Audience Reviews for Apocalypto

If the attraction of films is immersion into another reality, this bad boy fills the bill and then some, on steroids. We go to the heart of the South American jungle at the start of the decline of the Mayan civilization, just before the arrival of invading Europeans, and Mel Gibson's evocation of the times puts to shame nearly every historical epic before, very nearly the history lesson of teachers' dreams, and then there's the story of a simple family man trying to survive in a violent world.
Gibson may well be the D.W. Griffith of his time, emboding sensational film making and bad politics simultaneously ... but so what? Hollywood needs to forgive him. I have.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer


Rent this -- don't buy it. That way you'll feel less digusted with yourself for seeing a Mel Gibson film. Otherwise, it's excellent.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


I was surprised at how much this film has been forgotten. Apocalypto is Mel Gibson's best film. It doesn't look like much at first glance because the trailer is not remotely interesting, and quite dull. But it's actually filled with violence and a great deal of thrills and shocks. It's filmed beautifully, like Passion Of The Christ but has a clearer meaning and a more developed hero. Everything about it is more engaging, affectionate and ironically, more passionate. The environments and set pieces are positively breathtaking and the costume design is absolutely marvelous. I really liked Passion Of The Christ for a lot of reasons but Apocalypto, is Gibson's masterpiece.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Although slow and sometimes difficult to understand, this is truly a visual masterpiece with so many brilliant performances it's hard to choose who to credit first. A fantastic voyage of a story which integrates you with these people and allows you to feel part of the gang; but then that's all spoiled by the ending which confuses my sense of time. At first it seems to be of the Mayan era but then the ships come along with a completely different period of clothing. I'm not sure if this was intentional to show that such barbarism was still in full swing in 'modern' times or to just be annoying. Good film though.

Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

Apocalypto Quotes

Flint Sky:
I am Flint Sky. I have hunted this forest from the day I came of age. My father hunted this forest with me and before me. Jaguar Paw, my son. He hunts this forest with me. He will hunt it with his son after I am gone.
– Submitted by Daniel B (15 months ago)
Jaguar Paw:
I'm sorry. The balls are useless.
– Submitted by Ceara R (2 years ago)
Oracle Girl:
You fear me? So you should. All you who are vile. Would you like to know how you will die? The sacred time is near. Beware the blackness of day. Beware the man who brings the jaguar. Behold him reborn from mud and earth. For the one he takes you to will cancel the sky, and scratch out the earth. Scratch you out. And end your world. He's with us now. Day will be like night. And the man jaguar will lead you to your end.
– Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
Jaguar Paw:
I am Jaguar Paw. This is my forest. And I am not afraid.
– Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)

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