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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 170,005 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 1,365 user | 229 critic | 34 from

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


On July 27th, take back the planet. 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?


Tim Burton himself insisted that this movie was not a "remake", but a "reimagination" of Planet of the Apes (1968); it uses the idea of an ape-inhabited planet from the same source material as the 1968 movie, but ultimately tells a very different story. See more »


(at around 1h 6 mins) As Leo begins to enter the water with Ari on his back, she puts her hands over his face. In the next shot from further across the water, they are by his side. The hands return over his face once they are in the water. 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

Anne Ramsay's character Grace Alexander is referred to as "Anderson" in the credits. See more »


Referenced in Conan: And the Wind Whispered 'Balls' (2011) See more »


The Battle Begins
Music composed by Danny Elfman
Conducted by Pete Anthony
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Biggest disappointment of 2001!
25 October 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Awhile back, I commented on the original 'Planet of the Apes' film prior to seeing this remake at the cinemas. When I saw the original, I was fully expecting the remake to kick some serious butt, and be far superior to the 1960s version. Why? Better visual effects being 2001 and all, one of my favorite actors in Tim Roth starring in it, and a great director named Tim Burton. Nothing could surely go wrong with Burton in the director's chair. Granted, I was never a huge fan of the POTA films, but seeing the potential here for a remake or revision by Burton made my mouth water. Then, in 2001, I got advance tickets and I began to watch one of the most anticipated movies for that year...

I left the cinema very disappointed! Disappointment can cloud criticism though, and sometimes makes you bitter towards a movie and not see the positives. So I tried to look at the good. The make-up was excellent, but inconsistent in parts, but I still feel that area should have been nominated for an Oscar. Okay, that's good! Tim Roth was amazing in his performance but his character was not that great and seriously lacked depth. Helena Bonham Carter was also fairly decent in this film. And, finally some of the cinematography was fairly nice.

What really let the remake of 'Planet of the Apes' down, was by in large, Tim Burton. This is, without a doubt, his worst film that I've seen! I cannot really compliment the direction of this movie, as it seemed self-aware and indulgent in being the "remake". The script was awful, as well as the integration of one-liners from the original films to this new one. I groaned completely during Heston's cameo, particularly due the referrals to the original film. The remake should have been a film in its own right, and should have focused on creating a compelling story and universe, instead of opting for lame jokes revolving around Charlton Heston in ape make-up as Thade's father. The hero of the new film in Mark Whalberg was one-note, but he was given such a boring character who just went through the motions. Going to take a risk- check, gets sucked through a new dimension- check, captured by Apes- check, escape- check and so on and so on. I never felt anything for his character at all, and that was partly his performance and partly the woeful script/direction. Estella Warren was awful, and Kris Kristofferson played the obligatory predictable role of the her father. Michael Clarke Duncan suited his part, but never became a well established character, and Paul Giamatti was okay as Limbo, but was obviously the comic relief. I also did not like the art direction was the Ape City, and found the original far more convincing in look and as a story.

While, General Thade was certainly a memorable chimp because of Roth's performance, it's a shame the character was wasted in an extremely formulaic and cliche story! 'Planet of the Apes' (2001) is nowhere near the worst film of 2001, it certainly was the most disappointing for me, considering the potential it had with the dynamic vision of Tim Burton and the modern visual f/x to create a film that stands out in its own right. It's just a pity Tim Burton chose to make a Hollywoodized self-aware gimmicky version that ends up being significantly inferior to the original film, instead of on par with it! And yes, Burton's 'Mars Attacks' is also better than his remake here! 'Planet of the Apes' gets a reluctant pass for Tim Roth's performance, the superb make-up and the decent cinematography, however that still doesn't save it from silly mediocrity.

**½ out of *****!

52 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
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
The 'shock' that the planet is Earth karen_stockdale
This is the Ending!.. (stop this madness) glennbeck-24124
Is it really that bad? and how is it different from origional? bignastybastard
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