Apocalypto - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Apocalypto Reviews

June 29, 2007
Apocalypto demonstrates two things: that Mel Gibson is a hell of a filmmaker and that his imaginative world borders on the Neanderthal.
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
December 30, 2006
This is by no means a boring film, then, but it is a grotesque one, and that brings it pretty close to camp.
December 30, 2006
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.
December 11, 2006
[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
Mel Gibson is a real artist as a director.
December 8, 2006
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 8, 2006
...beautifully rendered and convincingly exciting.
Read More | Original Score: B+
December 8, 2006
None of us can completely resist the spectacle of a disturbed guy -- who used to just be a movie star -- projecting his own violent fantasies in public and repeatedly enacting his own crucifixion. Let's not pretend there's anything healthy about it.
December 8, 2006
If, as a filmmaker, the obviously soul-stricken former movie star is an unabashed red-meat primitivist, he's also become an undeniably polished one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 8, 2006
By the end I felt sure it was the most obsessively, graphically violent film I'd ever seen, but equally sure that Apocalypto is a visionary work with its own wild integrity. And absolutely, positively convinced that seeing it once is enough.
December 8, 2006
Gibson has delivered an impeccably crafted action-adventure that starts fast and never lets up.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 8, 2006
By now, it's fair to say that Mel Gibson does not make boring movies. He does, however, make movies that make you a little worried about him.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 8, 2006
Apocalypto is primal.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 8, 2006
Mel Gibson's Apocalypto passes the only movie test that's important. It's the 'I'd pay to see that' test.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
December 8, 2006
An Oscar would not be forgiveness; it would be blindness.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 8, 2006
The movie doesn't leave you pondering the mysteries of a lost civilization. It leaves you pondering the psychopathology of the director.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 8, 2006
Forget your history lessons about what an advanced civilization the Mayans were. Here they're bloodthirsty savages.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 8, 2006
Gibson may have ravaged his career, but he has also created an extraordinary world we've never seen and leaves us with a glimpse of the hard future to come.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 8, 2006
Apocalypto is a lotta woe to sit through, with not much to think about and only one matter to address.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 8, 2006
It is Mel Gibson's latest proof that as a director, his ambition is boundless and his energy nearly so, but his judgment is sorely lacking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 8, 2006
This is a chase movie with a fancy set-up, that's all.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 8, 2006
Say what you want about Mel Gibson -- and people are likely to be saying whatever forever -- he is one hell of a filmmaker.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
December 8, 2006
Apocalypto isn't for everyone, but one thing's clear: Gibson probably should spend more time behind the camera and less time making headlines.
Read More | Original Score: B-
December 8, 2006
Apocalypto wants us to believe there is an overpowering darkness in the land, while I can't quite get past a suspicion of overpowering darkness in the filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 8, 2006
Filming in the state of Veracruz and on the Yucatan Peninsula, Gibson and his production team transport viewers six centuries back in time to create an amazing 'you are there' effect.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 8, 2006
The production design is superb, and the actors deliver their dialogue in subtitled Yucatecan Maya, but despite all the anthropological drag, this is really just a crackerjack Saturday-afternoon serial.
December 8, 2006
Mel Gibson may be a lunatic, but he's our lunatic, and while I wouldn't wish him behind the wheel of a car after happy hour or at a B'nai Brith function anytime, behind a camera is another matter.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 7, 2006
Perhaps Gibson is trying to shock us into absorbing the torment and severity of man's inhumanity to man. The tragedy is that the film has the opposite effect: As we are bombarded by savagery, we become inured to it.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 7, 2006
For all the film's beauty and mythic grandeur, it's the fetishistic fascination with gore that stays in your head and distracts from almost everything else the movie tries to do.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
December 7, 2006
Praising the movie's craftsmanship seems less urgent than communicating the overwhelming experience of watching it: the clammy, claustrophobic dread of being trapped in a torture chamber.
December 7, 2006
Gibson may not be much of a deep thinker, but he's a heck of a storyteller.
December 7, 2006
With a ferocity that is often as difficult to take as it is fascinating to watch, Mel Gibson's Apocalypto comes crashing across 500 years of history with such immediacy that it feels as if this haunting, fierce, sadistic movie will never leave you.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 7, 2006
Mel, no one in your entourage is going to tell you this, but you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. A big part.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 7, 2006
Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is, above all, a muscular and kinetic action movie, a drama of rescue and revenge with very little organic relation to its historical setting.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
December 7, 2006
Although it's a pretty good bet that much of the audience won't be beguiled by Gibson's end-of-the-world metaphors, no one can deny he made an entertaining movie.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
December 7, 2006
Gibson is never content to show us just one or two decapitated heads bouncing down the steps of a temple when he can show us eight or nine.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 7, 2006
While there has been no shortage of recent films that decry the horrors of war and man's inhumanity to his fellow man, I know of none other quite this sickeningly powerful.
December 7, 2006
There's a savage magnificence to Apocalypto, with visuals worthy of Fellini or David Lynch, and the kind of relentless excitement that only a few filmmakers can deliver.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 7, 2006
Gibson's interest in human cruelty and human suffering does not make him unique among filmmakers. His preferred mixture of piety and viciousness, however, makes him uniquely suited to our post-Cecil B. DeMille age of cinematic mythmaking.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 7, 2006
Any claims of cinematic prowess or social-political consequence, however, are obliterated by the pornographic relish Gibson seems to take in wowing us with his inventory of tortures and outrages.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
December 7, 2006
There's no denying Gibson's talent behind the camera. He knows what he's doing, and does it with tremendous skill and conviction.
Read More | Original Score: B-
December 6, 2006
Never let it be said that Gibson the director (he also co-wrote the script with former assistant Farhad Safinia) doesn't know how to pace and build action like a pro.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 6, 2006
Blood pours from every orifice in what looks like a terrible waste of Smucker's raspberry sauce.
December 5, 2006
Gibson is a primitive all right, but so were Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith, and somehow we survived their idiocies. Doubtless there will come a day when he joins them in the Valhalla of the vacuous.
December 5, 2006
Apocalypto is unburdened by nationalist or religious piety -- it's pure, amoral sensationalism.
December 5, 2006
The blood and gore become so extreme that they provoke titters of ridicule, undermining a simple, stirring story of family devotion as a man races from vile captors to return home and rescue his pregnant wife and their son.
December 4, 2006
The harder Apocalypto works to shock and excite you, the less shocked and excited you become, until you may find yourself beset by the urge to giggle.
December 1, 2006
Over-the-top violence mars a brilliant ethnographic thriller of ancient times.
December 1, 2006
Mel Gibson is always good for a surprise, and his latest is that Apocalypto is a remarkable film.
November 23, 2006
Gibson has made a film of blunt provocation and bruising beauty.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4