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What did you think of...Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?

07.12.2014by:

The long-awaited sequel to 2011's RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has finally arrived and with a hell of a buzz behind it. Directed by Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD) and starring Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and the amazing Andy Serkis, returning as the lead ape, Caesar, this latest sequel has been teasing an epic continuation of the newly rebooted franchise, which originally began with Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall in 1968's PLANET OF THE APES, spawning four sequels and a failed reboot attempt from Tim Burton in 2001 starring Mark Wahlberg (see our Awfully Good coverage of it here, as well as our video edition of BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES!). The reviews being overwhelmingly positive, including our own, with JimmyO giving it his first 10/10 for the year and Chris Bumbray settling on a 9/10, and it seems like the apes are back on track for world domination. Or, well, at least theatrical domination.

Be sure to click below to see our exclusive interviews with stars Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis, director Matt Reeves, VFX team Dan Lemmon & Joe Letteri, and monkey choreographer Terry Notary. You can also read our exclusive interview with the screenwriters of the film, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, right here!

Now that you've gone apeshit  in the theater and witnessed the simian revolution for yourself, we want to hear what YOU thought of it! You can POST YOUR OWN REVIEW of the film in the below strikebacks or on your own Movie Fan Central profile. Did the sequel trump Rise? Is it being showered with too much undeserved praise or is it really that good? Let us know below! We'll continue to update the RT and MFC scores throughout the weekend, no monkeying around.

Rotten Tomatoes: 174 reviews, avg score: 91%
Movie Fan Central: 7 reviews, avg score: 8.4/10  

Source: JoBlo.com

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1:08PM on 07/14/2014
It was tense and emotionally jarring all the way to the way. Both sides, ape and human being equally wrong and led from a herd mentality.
It was tense and emotionally jarring all the way to the way. Both sides, ape and human being equally wrong and led from a herd mentality.
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7:50AM on 07/14/2014
Brilliant drama. I like that it wasn't over the top action but it had a good story and real conflict. The acting was tremendous, Serkis was great. The script was wonderful, and despite the heavy CGI it was realistic.
One of the best films I've seen this year, ranking up there with Captain America Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days Of Future Past as solid Summer blockbuster that didn't skimp on telling a story. This is one of the first summers where the Blockbusters care about story and acting
Brilliant drama. I like that it wasn't over the top action but it had a good story and real conflict. The acting was tremendous, Serkis was great. The script was wonderful, and despite the heavy CGI it was realistic.
One of the best films I've seen this year, ranking up there with Captain America Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days Of Future Past as solid Summer blockbuster that didn't skimp on telling a story. This is one of the first summers where the Blockbusters care about story and acting and overall product. Matt Reeves deserves recognition for his nuanced script. Serkis needs some love too, his performance was great.
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11:49PM on 07/13/2014
I just got back from seeing it, and it was a great film! It might be a little over-hyped right now, as it didn't quite meet my admittedly high expectations in every way, but man is this probably one of the most emotional, sincere, tense, exciting movies I've seen all year! I would still rank The Winter Soldier as the best overall movie that I've seen this year (have yet to see Edge of Tomorrow and Snowpiercer), but Dawn is definitely up there! There's definitely a few things to nitpick that
I just got back from seeing it, and it was a great film! It might be a little over-hyped right now, as it didn't quite meet my admittedly high expectations in every way, but man is this probably one of the most emotional, sincere, tense, exciting movies I've seen all year! I would still rank The Winter Soldier as the best overall movie that I've seen this year (have yet to see Edge of Tomorrow and Snowpiercer), but Dawn is definitely up there! There's definitely a few things to nitpick that holds it back from being a truly awe-inspiring film, but I'd easily give it a 7.5-8 out of 10. Had Caesar not been so wonderfully fully-realized by Andy Serkis, Tony Kebbel's Koba easily would've stolen the show...though the human characters still get a bit of the short shrift here (especially Gary Oldman's character). Fantastic movie though, and well worth seeing at least once more in theaters!
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8:47PM on 07/13/2014
Fantastic. In awe with Weta.
Fantastic. In awe with Weta.
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8:03PM on 07/13/2014
Are we doing away with the reply button?
Are we doing away with the reply button?
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8:03PM on 07/13/2014
Are we doing away with the reply button?
Are we doing away with the reply button?
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10:37AM on 07/13/2014

Loved it!

My favorite blockbuster level flick this summer so far. 4.5 out of 5.
My favorite blockbuster level flick this summer so far. 4.5 out of 5.
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10:27AM on 07/13/2014
I'm glad Matt Reeves isn't playing second fiddle to J. J. Abrams anymore. That dude deserves to be in the spotlight. Movie was fantastic. Serkis owned.
I'm glad Matt Reeves isn't playing second fiddle to J. J. Abrams anymore. That dude deserves to be in the spotlight. Movie was fantastic. Serkis owned.
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4:32AM on 07/13/2014

It was...

Awesome.....loved it...that is all....
Awesome.....loved it...that is all....
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2:21AM on 07/13/2014

9/10

Absolutely stellar cinema.
Absolutely stellar cinema.
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1:51AM on 07/13/2014

7/10

A bit too precious for my tastes. And, the music is terrible. SFX are amazing. Serkis deserves an Oscar.
A bit too precious for my tastes. And, the music is terrible. SFX are amazing. Serkis deserves an Oscar.
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12:54AM on 07/13/2014

What Avatar should have been

I have never felt so close to CGI characters as much as I did here. In my mind, those were apes up there. Serkis should be nominated for best supporting actor. He was amazing in this. Leagues beyond "Rise" and better than anything he has done. Maybe his Star Wars character isn't the comic relief but an actual chewy role that he will own and change the game with. His Ceasar is one of the most interesting characters I have ever watched.
I have never felt so close to CGI characters as much as I did here. In my mind, those were apes up there. Serkis should be nominated for best supporting actor. He was amazing in this. Leagues beyond "Rise" and better than anything he has done. Maybe his Star Wars character isn't the comic relief but an actual chewy role that he will own and change the game with. His Ceasar is one of the most interesting characters I have ever watched.
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11:27PM on 07/12/2014
Loved it. 9/10. Koba was fantastic along with Serkis. I actually would have liked to see more of Oldman, thought his character was interesting in that the trailers left the impression he would be a villain but turned out quite different . I agree with others in that I'm not sure if they are pushing for a ape take over story with this series or a human surviving plot. In a logical sense the humans are still much smarter than their ape counter parts and with only immune humans left it's
Loved it. 9/10. Koba was fantastic along with Serkis. I actually would have liked to see more of Oldman, thought his character was interesting in that the trailers left the impression he would be a villain but turned out quite different . I agree with others in that I'm not sure if they are pushing for a ape take over story with this series or a human surviving plot. In a logical sense the humans are still much smarter than their ape counter parts and with only immune humans left it's only time before they would repopulate enough to eventually take back status as the elite species.
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11:18PM on 07/12/2014

it was good

it was good not great just good. Rise was better. So a decent 7 out of 10. Not bad at all but could have been better, just sayin.
it was good not great just good. Rise was better. So a decent 7 out of 10. Not bad at all but could have been better, just sayin.
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4:01PM on 07/12/2014

Ok

It was an ok movie winter soldier was a much better movie
It was an ok movie winter soldier was a much better movie
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3:47PM on 07/12/2014
It was decent. Lacks the heart of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Just too formulaic for me. Andy Serkis was spectacular as always. Truly an Oscar performance. Toby Kebbell was also awesome as Koba. They were infinitely more interesting then their human counterparts.
It was decent. Lacks the heart of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Just too formulaic for me. Andy Serkis was spectacular as always. Truly an Oscar performance. Toby Kebbell was also awesome as Koba. They were infinitely more interesting then their human counterparts.
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12:44PM on 07/12/2014

Great filmmaking

That tank shot was amazing! There were several long shots that were extremely effective. Kudos to Matt Reeves and team.
That tank shot was amazing! There were several long shots that were extremely effective. Kudos to Matt Reeves and team.
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11:35AM on 07/12/2014

8.5/10

Damn good sequel. I enjoyed almost everything about this film. MO Cap was amazing and I loved the Ape colony. It definitely deserves this summers top spot for blockbusters. My one complaint would be that the ending didn't leave me feeling like Apes were taking over bc of the human threat coming that we never see. Also Clark and Russell were great but everyone else was interchangeable. Overall damn good sequel. Better than Risever imo.
Damn good sequel. I enjoyed almost everything about this film. MO Cap was amazing and I loved the Ape colony. It definitely deserves this summers top spot for blockbusters. My one complaint would be that the ending didn't leave me feeling like Apes were taking over bc of the human threat coming that we never see. Also Clark and Russell were great but everyone else was interchangeable. Overall damn good sequel. Better than Risever imo.
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11:23AM on 07/12/2014

Amazing

Definitely one of the better sequels of all time, perfectly expanding on what was established in the first movie. The motion capture was unreal. Matt Reeves' direction was outstanding, as were the cinematography (that shot on the tank...badass!) and score. A close second to The Winter Soldier for best movie of the summer.
Definitely one of the better sequels of all time, perfectly expanding on what was established in the first movie. The motion capture was unreal. Matt Reeves' direction was outstanding, as were the cinematography (that shot on the tank...badass!) and score. A close second to The Winter Soldier for best movie of the summer.
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11:17AM on 07/12/2014

A great sequel

Dawn wasn't over the top as many sequels are. This one played like a good slow burn into a much larger story. I loved the dynamic of the culture the apes established with one another, eventually playing off of some original apes laws. This movie played a huge part in the 'ora' of Caesar, essentially making him a god-like figure; which after they did that, made me realize that is huge for continuing story.

Many great scenes, especially by Caesar's right hand...ape Koba who IMO almost
Dawn wasn't over the top as many sequels are. This one played like a good slow burn into a much larger story. I loved the dynamic of the culture the apes established with one another, eventually playing off of some original apes laws. This movie played a huge part in the 'ora' of Caesar, essentially making him a god-like figure; which after they did that, made me realize that is huge for continuing story.

Many great scenes, especially by Caesar's right hand...ape Koba who IMO almost stole the show. His character was fantastic. I was left disappointed by the human aspect though. The human characters felt needed for plot, so they put them there. Gary Oldman's character could of been deleted and you would have never noticed.

All in all I enjoyed it. Love the Planet of the Apes storyline and and dying to see it continue.
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2:19AM on 07/12/2014
Really good directing. So many memorable scenes, good story telling, good shots, good acting, good music, good everything! Loved it! Gonna see it again!
Really good directing. So many memorable scenes, good story telling, good shots, good acting, good music, good everything! Loved it! Gonna see it again!
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10:50PM on 07/11/2014
I loved it. That. Crazy Koba is my favorite villain to come a long in quite a while.
I loved it. That. Crazy Koba is my favorite villain to come a long in quite a while.
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3:36PM on 07/11/2014

Enjoyed it, but...

It didnt seem to progress the story of how we went from a planet ran by humans to a planet ran by apes. Humans got sick and died off, but most of this was skipped over for an almost pointless chapter of apes getting into a miniwar with a small community of humans. 7/10, but i was expecting more on expanding the overall story
It didnt seem to progress the story of how we went from a planet ran by humans to a planet ran by apes. Humans got sick and died off, but most of this was skipped over for an almost pointless chapter of apes getting into a miniwar with a small community of humans. 7/10, but i was expecting more on expanding the overall story
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3:04PM on 07/11/2014

wow

I really hope the OSCARS finally either make a category, or lump motion capture acting in with acting, because andy circus, and other actors really should be commended for their work, because this movie was FANTASTIC. come on awards people, you know you'll have to get with the times.
I really hope the OSCARS finally either make a category, or lump motion capture acting in with acting, because andy circus, and other actors really should be commended for their work, because this movie was FANTASTIC. come on awards people, you know you'll have to get with the times.
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3:50AM on 07/11/2014
I was really impressed. This is everything a good sequel should be, furthering the plot in a logical and intriguing direction without slavishly re-treading the story beats of its predecessor and without trying to be superficially “bigger and better” in terms of bombastic spectacle. Equal storytelling attention is given to the apes and the humans and the audience is fully able to buy into this world and accept each player in this story, be they human or computer-generated ape, as legitimate,
I was really impressed. This is everything a good sequel should be, furthering the plot in a logical and intriguing direction without slavishly re-treading the story beats of its predecessor and without trying to be superficially “bigger and better” in terms of bombastic spectacle. Equal storytelling attention is given to the apes and the humans and the audience is fully able to buy into this world and accept each player in this story, be they human or computer-generated ape, as legitimate, well-formed characters. There’s a whole lot of meaningful character development going on and admirably enough, much of the conflict is derived from the characters’ individual nature instead of contrived circumstances. Despite the ten year time skip, there is still very strong connective tissue linking Dawn to Rise, building on the emotions generated from Caesar’s early years as depicted in the previous film. Gary Oldman isn't in it as much as the trailers would lead you to believe but I think he did a good job, he wasn't an unhinged revolutionary like some of the promotional material made him out to be. And of course, the excellent visual effects work - great acting and great effects go hand-in-paw to create not just creatures, but honest-to-goodness characters.
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3:17AM on 07/11/2014
It was fantastic. They really should think about an oscar nom for Serkis because it takes real talent to do what he did with Ceasar. And I don't just mean the emotion coming from the character, I mean the way he is able to do this hybrid of a creature that is part ape and part human. But the film is fantastic all around. I do feel like Oldman is kind of wasted here, as he barely has any screen time, and what he does have is kind of cliched, but Jason Clarke did a great job as well. Of course,
It was fantastic. They really should think about an oscar nom for Serkis because it takes real talent to do what he did with Ceasar. And I don't just mean the emotion coming from the character, I mean the way he is able to do this hybrid of a creature that is part ape and part human. But the film is fantastic all around. I do feel like Oldman is kind of wasted here, as he barely has any screen time, and what he does have is kind of cliched, but Jason Clarke did a great job as well. Of course, Ceasar is the real star here.
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