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Planet of the Apes (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  27 July 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 171,447 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 1,365 user | 229 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

An Air Force astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet where evolved, talking apes dominate a race of primitive humans.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 9 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Birn (as Luke Eberl)
Gunnar (as Evan Dexter Parke)
Senator Nado
Commander Karl Vasich


It is the year 2029: Astronaut Leo Davidson boards a pod cruiser on a Space Station for a "routine" reconnaissance mission. But an abrupt detour through a space time wormhole lands him on a strange planet where talking apes rule over the human race. With the help of a sympathetic chimpanzee activist named Ari and a small band of human rebels, Leo leads the effort to evade the advancing Gorilla Army led by General Thade and his most trusted warrior Attar. Now the race is on to reach a sacred temple within the planet's Forbidden Zone to discover the shocking secrets of mankind's past - and the key to its future. Written by Tim1370

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You'll be sorry you were ever born human See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sequences of action/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 July 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Return of the Apes  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$68,532,960 (USA) (27 July 2001)


$180,011,740 (USA) (25 January 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (uncredited)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of Leo Davidson is regarded as a messiah by the primitive humans. Fittingly, his named translates (from a mixture of Latin and Old English) as Lion, Son of David, combining two of Jesus Christ's traditional titles. See more »


(at around 26 mins) When Leo is holding the branding iron close to Ari's face, the hot part of the iron is obviously painted orange to appear hot, and stays that color way too long. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Leo Davidson: [to Pericles, who is panicking during a simulated space mission] You lost.
Captain Leo Davidson: [stops the simulation] Again.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The background on the 20th Century Fox logo fades to a starfield, before the logo itself fades out and the camera pans to the planet below. See more »


Featured in The Making of 'Planet of the Apes' (2001) See more »


Thade Goes Ape
Music composed by Danny Elfman
Conducted by Pete Anthony
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Escape from the Boulle planet.
29 August 2001 | by See all my reviews

Visually,this film is sometimes a splendor;the light falls on a crepuscular world.The Apes' town is quite scary particularly when you see it from a distance ,as it stands out against an ominous sky.In the very beginning,the cast and credits are also successful,with an adequate martial music.The first third has some funny,parodic and sometimes politically incorrect lines.In the second third,the movie begins to lose steam,although the discovery in the wrecked spaceship is a rather good idea. But that's not all good news.First of all,the hero lacks charisma and the apes and their sensational make-up simply overwhelm him and drown him out.On the contrary,majestic Charlton Heston,even when he was in chains,displayed a Shakespearian grandeur in the first version.

The last third consists in battles,a "second coming" and the "astonishing" ending without which..that would not be "planet of the apes".Actually,the new ending was borrowed from Pierre Boulle 's novel,but not without adding a mathematically unlikelihood which will give you headaches if you begin to think too hard:the least they can do:Everything ,even the proper nouns from the French writer's book have been removed,even if some characters recall some of the Boulle/Shaffner version.Shaffner had contented himself with changing the astronauts' name(eg:Ulysse Mérou=Taylor) Hats off to Helena Bonham-Carter who brings warmth and emotion in a rather vapid cast:in a part close to that of Kim Hunter/Zira,she really asserts her distinctive identity. Tim Roth is effective as well,but his part is less so.David Warner and Kris Kristofferson are wasted.As a tribute to Shaffner(?)both Linda Harrison (an unidentified woman captured with Leo) and Charlton Heston (moaning his curse,which is,admittedly,funny)appear unbilled.

Tim Burton might be a director to remember.Although he has not made a genuine masterpiece yet,his filmography is already rich:"Sleepy hollow","Edward Scissorhands ,the marvelous "Ed Wood" (Martin Landau is unforgettable).But redoing "planet of the apes " was a hard task.Shaffner's movie followed a progression,it moved slowly,from the long introduction showing the three astronauts making their way across desolate landscapes to the stunning final shots with Heston and Harrison 's roaming down by the sea.Remember how long it took Taylor to convince Zira he was a thinking man!Here it seems natural to Ari almost as soon as she sees him,that Leo is no dumb idiot animal.And that's the last straw,even Tim Roth (some kind of cross between Shaffner's Cornelius and a pulp fiction baddie)pretty damn quickly believes too that that human is too clever for his own sake.

Tim Burton's so-so remake epitomizes the dearth of good scripts.Pierre Boulle's book is a golden mine and one could have written a coherent story out of it,different from that of the first version.Why not,for instance,introduce the two "astronauts" whose scenes open and close it,and turn Leo's adventures into a flashback?What about showing the love between the hero and the woman-animal ?And the son they had?And the menace this son represented for the simian race? All these ideas were left over by Shaffner's script writers and could have built a strong new tale.

The main flaw lies in the human beings:here,they speak -English!- ,they can reason,they can swim (!),they are (except for bubble head Warren)clever,so why the hell did the apes tame them?

42 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The actual intent of the ending (and why no one wants to accept it) D'OH
Originally was to be a James Cameron + Arnold Schwarzenegger film ToonsTent
All ending explanations are terrible alvaro-jneto
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Is it really that bad? and how is it different from origional? bignastybastard
This is the Ending!.. (stop this madness) glennbeck-24124
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