In an interesting inversion from the original films, Rise of the Planet of the Apes will actually have you rooting for the Apes (and consequently the near demise of mankind) - then wonder what the heck you were thinking. Lightly peppered throughout are references to the original film series, including two connected references that cleverly tie the films together.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes tells the story of how the apes overcame mankind to rule the earth. In the original movie series, the apes are domesticated as pets after a plague leads to the death of cats and dogs. Learning from their masters, the apes eventually overcome mankind. In this version of the story, tests performed upon the apes in an attempt to cure Alzheimer's lead to a heightened intelligence which allows the apes to overcome mankind. As long as you are able to accept this change to the story, you are in for a tremendous treat.
Okay, so the science behind the drug to cure Alzheimer's does not exactly make sense - they say it is a virus but then say it is genetically passed on. I am not a scientist, but I do not think a virus can be genetically passed on - although it can certainly be passed through the blood from mother to son. Also, the evidence which we are given in the film does not guarantee that it was genetically passed on. The drugs were, after all, administered to Caesar's mother while she was pregnant with Caesar. But it was such a good movie that, despite this flaw in reasoning, I actually want to go to the theatre to see it again - and that very rarely happens.
What was so amazing was the character of Caesar the ape, who was created using the same image-capture technology as Gollum in the LOTR movies. Despite it being an ape, it was a fully rounded and developed character. The emotion Ceasar portrayed was truly remarkable. You both feel for it and fear it as you watch the character's transformation take place throughout the film.
All in all, I give Rise of the Planet of the Apes an A -. Well Done!