Critic Reviews



Based on 39 critic reviews provided by
Orlando Sentinel
Audacious, violent and disquieting, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a summer sequel that's better than it has any right to be.
The movie has its pleasures, although human intelligence is not one of them. Caesar, to begin with, is a wonderfully executed character, a product of special effects and a motion-capture performance by Andy Serkis, who earlier gave us Gollum in "Lord of the Rings."
Wyatt brings a light touch to the potentially grim material - too light when it drops in some groan-inducing references to the original film - but he keeps the action compelling whether focusing on apes as they run amok or as they quietly contemplate their next move.
Once you see that ape, named Caesar, riding a galloping horse in triumph, it's awfully hard not to get sucked in. It's not dumb fun, exactly. It's smart dumb fun.
Thanks to stunning advances in performance capture technology, director Rupert Wyatt successfully ditches the cumbersome makeup appliances of past chapters, building the story around a cast of photoreal CG simians convincing enough to identify with as characters, rather than just special effects.
The movie is zippier than Tim Burton's oddly lifeless 2001 "Planet of the Apes" remake, but unlike good sci-fi, it doesn't signify anything, or really even try to.
Tampa Bay Times
Feels like half of a good movie, much of it revealed in admittedly thrilling trailers.
Miami Herald
James Franco looks more bored and distracted in Rise of the Planet of the Apes than he did when he was hosting the Oscars: Watching the movie, I kept waiting for him to pull out his iPhone, aim it at the camera and take a snapshot while mugging sheepishly. Has there ever been a film with a less engaged protagonist?
Slant Magazine
Like the film that constrains him, a prequel to Planet of the Apes, perhaps James Franco understands his performance as something that will one day evolve into something far greater.
Too earnest and dour to be a silly bit of summer fun, but it's not exactly scientifically sound, either.

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