King Kong

2005

King Kong

Critics Consensus

Featuring state-of-the-art special effects, terrific performances, and a majestic sense of spectacle, Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong is a potent epic that's faithful to the spirit of the 1933 original.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 266

50%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,766,734
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Movie Info

One of the greatest adventure stories in Hollywood history gets a new interpretation in this action drama from Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson. In the early 1930s, Carl Denham (Jack Black) is a daring filmmaker and adventurer who has gained a reputation for his pictures documenting wildlife in remote and dangerous jungle lands; despite the objections of his backers, Denham plans to film his next project aboard an ocean vessel en route to Skull Island, an uncharted island he discovered on a rare map. Correctly assuming his cast and crew would be wary of such a journey, Denham has told them they're traveling to Singapore, but before they set sail, his leading lady drops out of the project. Needing a beautiful actress willing to take a risk, Denham finds Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), a beautiful but down-on-her-luck vaudeville performer, and offers her the role; cautious but eager to work, Darrow takes the role, and onboard the ship she strikes up a romance with Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), a respected playwright hired by Denham to write the script for his latest epic.When Denham and company arrive on Skull Island, the natives react with savage violence, but they happen to be the least of their worries. Skull Island is a sanctuary for prehistoric life, and lording it over the dinosaurs and other giant beasts is Kong, a 25-foot-tall gorilla who can outfight any creature on Earth. The natives kidnap Darrow, giving her to Kong as an offering to appease the giant beast; Denham and his men set out to find her, with Driscoll bravely determined to save the woman he loves. Eventually, Driscoll finds Darrow and Denham outwits Kong, intending to take the giant ape back to New York for display. But Kong has bonded with Darrow, and his attraction to her proves to be his undoing. Andy Serkis, who provided the body movements for Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings pictures, performed similar duties on King Kong, studying gorillas so he could mimic their actions, which were then used as the basis for the special-effects crew's digital animation of the great ape. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Naomi Watts
as Ann Darrow
Jack Black
as Carl Denham
Adrien Brody
as Jack Driscoll
Thomas Kretschmann
as Capt. Englehorn
Colin Hanks
as Preston
John Sumner
as Herb(ert)
Andy Serkis
as Lumpy the Cook
Kyle Chandler
as Bruce Baxter
Pip Mushin
as Zelman
Peter McKenzie
as Venture Crew
Jim Knobeloch
as Thuggish Executive
Ric Herbert
as Sleazy Executive
Lee Donahue
as Studio Assistant
Tom Hobbs
as Young assistant
Tiriel Mora
as Fruit Vendor
Lee Hartley
as Radio Operator
Ray Woolf
as Helmsman
Billy Jackson
as NY Child
Katie Jackson
as NY Child
Tania Rodger
as Hooverville Mother
Samuel Taylor
as Hooverville Child
Philip Grieve
as Laughing Man
Jacinta Wawatai
as Feral Child
Matthew Dravitzki
as Trampled Theater-goer
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News & Interviews for King Kong

Critic Reviews for King Kong

All Critics (266) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (223) | Rotten (43)

  • In an era of reduced expectations, King Kong is one movie where everyone, studio and audience, gets their money's worth.

    January 8, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Jackson takes a slow and methodical approach to the story, with Kong not appearing until over an hour into the film. But like that first climb on a rollercoaster, once the action picks up steam, it is nonstop.

    November 19, 2019 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • From start to finish, this is an extravaganza, a classic and a love story that you will long hold in the palm of your hand as Kong holds us in his.

    November 6, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Who would have thought a remake of one of the greatest films ever could rival, if not surpass, the original? In Jackson's capable hands, that's just what King Kong does.

    June 5, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • From dinosaur stampedes to tooth-and-claw fights with Tyrannosaurs to the titular ape's inevitable, doomed climb up the Empire State Building, Kong Version 3.0 is the very definition of spectacle cinema.

    February 4, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It's a pity that the film is such a miserable slog to start off, because the second that it arrives on Skull Island, it suddenly explodes into life.

    September 18, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for King Kong

  • Mar 24, 2016
    I actually really like this film. Yeah the first half is kinda meh but the 2nd half is very solid as well as the film including great special effects and Kong looks so real. Overall a really good film.
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 31, 2014
    It's a wonderfully entertaining cornball epic . . . often very silly and very long but worth the occasional viewing. Given the kind of movie "King Kong" is, Watts and Serkis still managed to give two surprisingly moving performances.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 08, 2014
    Intolerably long and special effects driven, King Kong is a giant clusterf*ck. When a shady filmmaker takes a crew to the mysterious Skull Island for his latest picture they end up in a fight for their lives against savage natives and giant monsters. While Jackson pays homage to the original film in a lot of ways, he also subverts it with some dramatic changes; such as rewriting Carl Denham to be a shyster. But what hurts the film most is the excessiveness, scenes go on three times as long as they should and end up killing all of the wonder and excitement that they initially create. The green screen work is also a problem, as the actors are poorly integrated into the CGI backgrounds and never quite blend in. An untamed mess, King Kong is overblown and unfocused.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2013
    Although I thought the dialogue was contrived at times with Jack Black's performance, this Peter Jackson remake is at least slightly more emotionally invested than what the 1933 version offered within the human characters. The visual effects are notably as entirely mind-blowing throughout for this modern era in cinema as the '33 one was for it's era, but this time with intense photo-realism on not just the giant gorilla and dinos, but also the insects and bats as a new addition. What I wish to have seen in this version was the gorilla turning on it's own tribal worshipers as the '33 one depicted plus the dead gorilla seen falling down from the Empire State from a far away camera angle instead of a close top-down view.
    Max G Super Reviewer

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