Planet of the Apes (2001)



Critic Consensus: This remake of Planet of the Apes can't compare to the original in some critics' mind, but the striking visuals and B-movie charms may win you over.

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Movie Info

This big budget "re-imagining" of the 1968 original departs somewhat from both that classic science fiction film and the source novel by author Pierre Boulle. Mark Wahlberg stars as Leo Davidson, an astronaut of the early 21st century whose unauthorized mission to rescue a chimp companion from a mysterious space storm goes awry when he and his ship are lost through a rip in the fabric of time. Leo crash-lands on a planet where intelligent, talking apes are the dominant species and humans a conquered slave class. Befriending both a chimpanzee activist named Ari (Helena Bonham Carter), who's sympathetic to humans, and a beautiful human rebel, Daena (Estella Warren), Leo quickly becomes a prominent figure of resistance to his fellow humans. This makes him an instant source of irritation for the militant and ambitious General Thade (Tim Roth) and his trusted adjutant, Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan), who intend to hunt Leo down and crush the burgeoning human uprising. War looms between ape and human as Leo and his band head for a sacred site deep in an off-limits desert, where secrets about the planet's ape and human ancestry wait to be revealed. Planet of the Apes is directed by Tim Burton and features the original film's star, Charlton Heston, in a cameo role as the dying father of Thade. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
PG-13 (for some sequences of action/violence)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
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Mark Wahlberg
as Capt. Leo Davidson
Tim Roth
as General Thade
Michael Clarke Duncan
as Colonel Attar
David Warner
as Senator Sandar
Erick Avari
as Tival
Luke Eberl
as Birn
Glenn Shadix
as Senator Nado
Chris Ellis
as Commander Karl Vasich
Anne Ramsay
as Lt. Col. Grace Alexander
Andrea Grano
as Major Maria Cooper
Michael Jace
as Major Frank Santos
Michael Wiseman
as Specialist Hansen
Lisa Marie
as Nova
Deep Roy
as Gorilla Kid/Thade's Niece
Chad Bannon
as Red Ape Soldier/Man Hunt Ape
Kevin Grevioux
as Limbo's 1st Handler/Ape Commander/2nd Ape Soldier
Isaac C. Singleton Jr.
as Limbo's 2nd Handler/1st Ape Soldier
Quincy Taylor
as Ape Soldier
John Alexander
as Ape Dinner Guest/Old Man Servant/Old Ape No.1
Jay Caputo
as 1st Ape Teenager/2nd Ape Soldier
Philip Tan
as 2nd Ape Teenager/Gossiping Male Ape
Callie Croughwell
as Little Human Girl
Allie Habberstad
as Girl Pet
Brett Smrz
as Human Kid No.1
Howard Berger
as Gorilla
Rick Baker
as Old Ape No.2
Cameron Croughwell
as Ape Soccer Kid
Joshua Croughwell
as Ape Soccer Kid
Hannah Peitzman
as Ape Soccer Kid
Molly Peitzman
as Ape Soccer Kid
Jesse Tipton
as Ape Soccer Kid
Shane Habberstad
as Ape Soccer Kid
Chet Zar
as Fruit Vendor
Linda Harrison
as Woman in Cart
Eddie Adams
as Friend at Leo's Party
Todd Babcock
as Friend at Leo's Party
Lorenzo Callender
as Friend at Leo's Party
Shonda Farr
as Friend at Leo's Party
Kam Heskin
as Friend at Leo's Party
Jim Holmes
as Friend at Leo's Party
Todd Kimsey
as Friend at Leo's Party
Candace Kroslak
as Friend at Leo's Party
Joanna Krupa
as Friend at Leo's Party
Elizabeth Lackey
as Friend at Leo's Party
Mark Christopher Lawrence
as Friend at Leo's Party
Melody Perkins
as Friend at Leo's Party
Tate Taylor
as Friend at Leo's Party
Jonna Thompson
as Friend at Leo's Party
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News & Interviews for Planet of the Apes

Critic Reviews for Planet of the Apes

All Critics (156) | Top Critics (33)

Splendidly envisioned and boldly executed.

January 6, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Call it a letdown, worsened by the forces of shoddy screenwriting.

August 9, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A campy, juiced-up ker-splat, busy with clumsy pyrotechnics and never nearing the vicinity of satire.

August 1, 2001
Village Voice
Top Critic

Offers proof of Hollywood's simian instincts: Monkey see old hit, monkey do remake.

July 30, 2001
Top Critic

One more disappointment in a summer of lackluster 'event pictures.'

Full Review… | July 30, 2001
Top Critic

Works equally well as a popcorn adrenaline-heart-pumper as it does a pop-philosophical inquiry into the nature of humanity.

July 27, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Planet of the Apes


Now I will admit I love Tim Burton and most of his work but I too was shocked and fearful of his agreement to take the helm of this sci-fi action flick revamp/re-imagining. Many directors were considered and to be honest I think many of them would have been perfect for the film but Burton does add his usual unique artistic style which can be glimpsed throughout the film in armour design, landscapes sets etc.. So straight to the point I actually liked this Burton version of 'Apes' mainly because its a fun romp which is both silly entertaining cheese and has that classic semi serious sci-fi element to it. First up the visuals in the film are tremendously good and really make the film stand out, total kudos to Rick Baker and his team, the man totally nails the ape look for all the characters to a tee. The best clearly being Roth as Thade with a fantastic makeup job, next up must be Duncan in his gorilla makeup but how about Shadix and Giamatti in their orangutan (I think) makeup...amazing! The film wins with the look for sure, not only is the makeup excellent but the sets are nicely worked, location is well suited, the apes costumes and battle gear is well designed and the space sequences also look and work well. All in all its pretty much like a top class Star Trek film...I mean a good Star Trek film by the way. Casting choices were good accept for Wahlberg who wasn't quite right for me. Thankfully we had no Depp to endure here but the use of many solid character actors such as Warner and the imaginative use Tagawa really help lift the film, who could imagine Tagawa as a gorilla. I really enjoyed the film on my second viewing, my first was on release at the cinema, and I believe its because the 'Apes' classic plot can be made many ways and is open to interpretation from different angles, its not a case of it only works one way like a lot of classic films, 'Apes' is a franchise that you can seem to mould and recreate without upsetting the originals. This Burton vision is simple yet highly enjoyable as a fun sci-fi romp, not too heavy, not just copying the original, touch of artistic license and the attempt at a twist ending which was brave but rather illogical, trying to equal the original but failing there I'm afraid. Still the little use of CGI for much of the film is always nice in my book.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

What a way to kill the mood set by the original franchise. Tim Burton's remake of the "Planet of the Apes" is not just a bad movie, but it totally ignores anything that happened in the previous versions, and makes a plot so inconsistent and incoherent that I just did not care what happened to any of the characters in the end. Mark Wahlberg as the only thing that intrigued me to watch it, and turns out, he is actually one of the worst parts. The only thing commendable about this film is the prosthetics and make-up work that is definitely Oscar-Worthy, but too bad it's in one of the worst remakes of all time. This review is more of a rant than a review, but there really is not very much good to say about it. This movie is all kinds of bad and I was bored for the full two hours. If you think you need to watch this film, do it knowing what you are in for. I hate this movie!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Watched this again, for the first time since it came out, now that I've seen the original, and now my fascination with this franchise will have to delve even deeper, to the source material. I'm not sure if Burton & Co. worked from the novel, but this is a wildly different film than the original, and I liked it much less. The original's themes, particularly those that had to do with the possession of knowledge and the ethics of science, have been replaced by cheap suggestions of racial profiling... and instead of an insistent doctor, the ape sympathetic to the humans' plight is a generic revolutionary, complete with military surplus-style coat. I have to acknowledge the excellent end scene - I won't spoil it, but suffice to say it's hard to measure up to the original's - and the early line, "Get your hands off me, you damn dirty human," which was playful, but this film doesn't even have the B-movie charm. It's lazy action that's too long, complete with a too-epic Danny Elfman score, and it does a disservice to decent acting by, among others, Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter. Finally: why was Dr. Zaius basically written out? This adaptation came out around the same time the Republicans regained power in the U.S., and I wonder if the replacement of the catholic-esque philosopher king Zaius by the power-through-might Thade in this version was to direct our eyes in that direction...? In any case, it's an adaptation interesting enough to generate discussion, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed watching it. Without question, the original will outlast this remake.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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