Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Story 4
Performances 5
Production 5
Experience 4

This prequel sequel of the classic film franchise serves up a sci-fi action thriller with unparalleled visual effects and deeply intense performances… especially from the apes

Summary 4.5 Gold
Story 3.5
Performances 4
Production 4.5
Experience 4
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Summary 4.0 Gold

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

What is it? In a post-apocalyptic future following the events hinted at towards the end of the prequel, a group of genetically evolved apes who have escaped into the forest suddenly have their new way of life threatened by a surprise encounter with a large settlement of human survivors.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an impressive and tense cinematic achievement that draws you in from the first moment and holds you right until the very last second. Interestingly, many parts of the film will have you reading subtitles like a foreign film, as apes communicate with each other using sign language, but the astounding quality of visual effects mixed with an unbelievably masterful combination of animation and facial mo-cap will have you asking how a CGI ape is delivering one of the best performances you’ve seen all year (the human cast do well to keep up). The larger, more action-packed scenes are every bit as impressive and serve up some phenomenal cinematic moments, with the film shot in spectacular native 3D.

This film takes itself very seriously, and proves time and time again over 130 minutes that it has every right to. Its the must see movie of the season, and if you can (you won’t hear this from us very often), try and catch it in 3D.

Cast: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Nick Thurston

Director: Matt Reeves     |     Metacritic 90%     |     Rotten Tomatoes 94%

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  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is about as perfect as a blockbuster gets, featuring and ideal recipe of smart sci-fi and gut-wrenching action, has to be caught in the cinema, ESPECIALLY so you can experience the full emotional impact of the splendid, bittersweet ending. Coupled all of the above with phenomenal performances (but a mostly CG cast that comfortably carries the narrative) and a compelling subtext – that reflects on what it means to be truly human, animal, and everything in between – this has the makings of an instant classic. One of the best Hollywood deliveries of 2014 that will leave you with a lot of food for thought, despite one or two clunky moments and a score that will date the movie a bit in a decade or two. Nonetheless, I LOVED this film, and cannot wait to see where Reeves (hopefully) takes the franchise.