The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is upon us.
The latest installment in the Planet of the Apes franchise hits theaters tomorrow and despite knowing how things ultimately end with the story, critics seem to still really appreciate the new flick, which stars Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke. But does everyone love it?
Read on for our review roundup for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
• In a review titled "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Is The Best Summer Film," Forbes writer Mark Hughes praises everything from the visual affects to Serkis' performance as head ape Caesar. "As a summer soon-to-be blockbuster, it delivers all the goods and then some," he writes. "As a serious dramatic story, it delivers even more. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the best film in the franchise's history, the best presumptive blockbuster of the summer so far and on my list of possible Best Picture contenders. It's smart, exciting, and visually brilliant, and the most impressive achievement I've seen on film so far this year. Go see it, don't let this one be another great movie of 2014 that fails to garner the audience embrace it deserves."
• The NY Daily News echoes the praise for Serkis' Caesar, stating, "The technical triumph is just as dazzling. Using flawless motion-capture technology, Serkis (aka Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films) lets us see Caesar's soul and psyche, his depth and complexity. Consider the gauntlet officially thrown down: Serkis deserves a Best Actor Oscar nomination for this work, which is nothing short of spectacular."
• The NY Times' A. O. Scott was clearly impressed by the latest installment. Scott writes, "The sylvan, simian Athens in the Muir Woods is a remarkable achievement and an important part of what makes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves from a script by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Mark Bomback, the best of this summer's large-scale, big-studio franchise movies. Granted, this isn't a very high bar to clear: ‘better than Transformers 4' barely counts as praise, even with an exclamation mark. But unlike that toy-smashing extravaganza—and unlike 2014's visitations from the Spider-Man, X-Men and Godzilla money trains—Dawn is more than a bunch of occasionally thrilling action sequences, emotional gut punches and throwaway jokes arranged in predictable sequence. It is technically impressive and viscerally exciting, for sure, but it also gives you a lot to think, and even to care, about."
• Rolling Stone declares Dawn as "dynamite entertainment." "Save the biggest cheer for Serkis, whose triumphant performance is the gold standard in mo-cap acting," writes Peter Travers. "Caesar's desire for peace puts him in mortal conflict with Koba (the superb Toby Kebbell), an ape who seeks the annihilation of all mankind. In case you miss the point that the same split exists in the human community, the script hammers it home repeatedly. As profundity, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes falls short. As spectacle, it's a groundbreaker."
• Variety estimates Dawn will far out-gross its 2011 predecessor Rise of the Planet of the Apes. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes currently holds a 98% ‘fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the kind of critical embrace that could help it appeal to adult crowds who may have been turned off by the influx of web spinners, mutant heroes and battling robots into movie theaters," writes Brent Lang.