Planet of the Apes 1968

Planet of the Apes

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.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 60

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 119,047

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Movie Info

Complex sociological themes run through this science-fiction classic about three astronauts marooned on a futuristic planet where apes rule and humans are slaves. The stunned trio discovers that these highly intellectual simians can both walk upright and talk. They have even established a class system and a political structure. The astronauts suddenly find themselves part of a devalued species, trapped and imprisoned by the apes.

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Critic Reviews for Planet of the Apes

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (8)

  • The picture is an enormous many-layered black joke on the hero and the audience, and part of the joke is the use of Charlton Heston as the hero. I don't think the movie could have been so forceful or so funny with anyone else.

    March 19, 2019 | Full Review…
  • By its appeal to both the imagination and the intellect within a context of action and elemental adventure, in its relevance to the consuming issues of its time...Planet of the Apes is that rare film which will transcend all age and social groupings.

    March 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It is no good at all, but fun, at moments, to watch.

    January 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It's a film to see, all right, and it does confirm Schaffner's talent. It is only that one can now see more clearly the limits of that talent, limits which are much narrower than I had hoped.

    November 3, 2015 | Full Review…

    Richard Roud

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • As illuminatingly bleak a statement on human hubris as a Hollywood superproduction has given us.

    July 6, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Keith Uhlich

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Planet of the Apes is an amazing film.

    April 7, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Planet of the Apes

  • May 31, 2016
    Possibly the most intellectual film of its time, Planet of the Apes is filled with almost ambiguous social and political commentary.
    Sean T Super Reviewer
  • Jan 18, 2014
    Watching Planet of the Apes, I found I much enjoyed the elements surrounding the movie more than the progression of the film itself. We are introduced to the film by the spaceship landing where I assume we are supposed to care about these characters. George Taylor and his merry men of space explorers survive their sinking spacecraft and land on a seemingly deserted planet where they at first take a liking to finally being on land with fresh water. They come across a tribe of apes representing a sort of medieval society in an alternate world, and soon they are taken prisoner. Heston's character gets cut in the throat, which renders him mute through most of the first quarter. Finally, he breaks his silence with the trademark line "Get your hands off me, you damn dirty ape!". The rest takes on this scientific debate whether man or ape first existed through cracks at religion, science, evolution, and many controversial arousing subjects that would make today's filmgoers cringe with emotional defenses slowly rising. First off, the visuals here are quite well captured and the landscapes and backdrops, much like The Ten Commandments, enhance the set to where the supernatural surrealism of the picture feels like a hands-on experience. Also astounding is the makeup done on the apes to make them look almost "evolved" into humans, which was kind of the point. But through well done design, they look like apes. A good look has to be taken to see the actor underneath. The huge flaw in my opinion is the pacing of the story, which for the first half was unbelievably slow and didn't have much detail to it. How long was Taylor in space, and what for? How did they arrive on this ape planet? Where does it exist? On another planet, on it's own planet? The film doesn't explain itself, it expects the viewer to put the pieces together. Except we are hearers of the story, not the tellers. With more detail, and perhaps a more captivating subplot, this could have had a timeless feel. But the film will grow on you, especially through Heston's flawless portrayal as a man in an unfamiliar world. His expressions, delivery, mannerisms, and straightforward personality are just perfect.
    Jackson W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 19, 2013
    One of the best sci-fi films ever, Planet of the Apes is one of those movies that everybody has heard of and most of them have seen. There have been countless sequels, ripoffs and parodies that may diminish its power and hide how good the film really is. It may show its age a bit, but seeing the imagination of the film hasn't weakened in my eyes since I first watched it years ago. Everything about the film is excellent. It draws you in from the very beginning and doesn't hold back from there. I always get so involved with the film that I get to the point where I want to scream at the apes when Taylor isn't able to speak to them. Few movies have are capable of fully bringing you into their atmosphere as if you're right there in the action the way Planet of the Apes can. Even if it's ending may not pack the same punch it used to since everyone knows about it. I love the original Planet of the Apes. It's one of my 15 favorite movies ever, and I ignore any sequel, remake, or reboot that does anything to try to take something away from it.
    Drew O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2012
    visionary, but hasn't aged gracefully
    Jeff L Super Reviewer

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