Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Critics Consensus

With intelligence and emotional resonance to match its stunning special effects, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes expands on its predecessor with an exciting and ambitious burst of sci-fi achievement.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 313

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 204,589

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Movie Info

Ten years after simian flu wiped out much of the world's homosapiens, genetically enhanced chimpanzee Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his ever-growing band of followers have established a thriving colony just outside San Francisco in Muir Woods. Meanwhile, a small band of human survivors emerges, which forces Caesar -- as leader -- to grapple with the dual challenge of protecting his people and re-establishing a relationship with the remaining human population -- the latter being Caesar's secret wish.

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Critic Reviews for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

All Critics (313) | Top Critics (63) | Fresh (283) | Rotten (30)

  • Dawn is not interested in staging conflict for the sake of it, and the misunderstandings and tensions that drive the plot don't always feel like contrivances.

    September 22, 2016 | Full Review…

    David Sims

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes] is a text book example of how to stay true to the basic genetic code of a movie while also letting it evolve into a different, altogether more sophisticated beast.

    June 30, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes alone justified the advent of CGI. With it comes a worthy successor.

    January 4, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • For dramatic verve and emotional nuance, apes trounce people, hands down, and the movie suffers badly from the mismatch; all traces of finesse are trampled by the bombast of the climax.

    July 21, 2014 | Full Review…
    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • Given the constraints under which he must have been working, being filmed with motion capture technology and under layers of heavy make-up, Serkis' performance is extraordinarily expressive.

    July 18, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • What is, perhaps, surprising, is the way the film aligns our sympathies with the apes.

    July 18, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

  • Oct 11, 2019
    Far better than its predecessor, it's just plain excellent, with an amazing story and groundbreaking action scenes!
    Serge E Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2017
    When the words "blockbuster" and "CGI" are used in the same sentence, it's more than likely that it will be too flashy and lacking in spirit. In Dawn, the CGI is not only improved upon from it's predecessor but plays an even more essential role in the development of the Apes universe. Andy Serkis is back as Caesar, the leader of the apes, and he's better than ever. He is, hands down, the most talented motion-capture actor; in Apes, he and the production team are beginning to blur the line between motion-capture and reality. The film is now three years old and it contains what is still some of the best CGI I've ever seen. What makes this series so engrossing is watching the development of Caesar and his society go from what appear to be simple zoo animals to being almost exactly like the humans they are forced to coincide with; intelligent yet destructive. Howling to see the third.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2017
    Proof that great blockbusters still exist. Dawn of the Apes is a smart and engaging film from start to finish that has a lot to say.
    Sean T Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2015
    Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes travels down the dark path. Swinging in at 2 hours, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has a solid mixture of story, character, and action. Things are predictable and there are times when the plot details become tedious; however, as a whole, this picture comes together. It can be said that this picture relies heavily on CG, and yes it does. All can be forgiven if done the right way and this film does it the right way. The motion capture and the presentation of the apes are spectacular in their own right; almost as if they are standing right there with the rest of the actors. The human characters serve as a good contrast to the apes, which is much welcome. Watching 2 hours of apes just wouldn't be the same. Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, and Keri Russell have the major human characters to follow. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes never brings the suspense or excitement, yet it is still a recommendable piece.
    JY S Super Reviewer

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