As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dalia Hernández ...
Jonathan Brewer ...
Morris Birdyellowhead ...
Carlos Emilio Báez ...
Amilcar Ramírez ...
Israel Contreras ...
Israel Ríos ...
María Isabel Díaz ...
Mother in Law (as Isabel Diaz)
Espiridion Acosta Cache ...
Mayra Serbulo ...
Young Woman
Iazua Larios ...
Lorena Heranandez ...
Village Girl
Itandehui Gutierrez ...
Wife
Sayuri Gutierrez ...
Eldest Daughter
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Storyline

In the Maya civilization, a peaceful tribe is brutally attacked by warriors seeking slaves and human beings for sacrifice for their gods. Jaguar Paw hides his pregnant wife and his son in a deep hole nearby their tribe and is captured while fighting with his people. An eclipse spares his life from the sacrifice and later he has to fight to survive and save his beloved family. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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No one can outrun their destiny. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of graphic violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

8 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,005,604 (USA) (8 December 2006)

Gross:

$50,859,889 (USA) (2 March 2007)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the waterfall jump scene, Rudy Youngblood jumped in a harness from a 15-story building in Veracruz over about 10 takes. The shot was digitally superimposed over the real waterfall later. After director Mel Gibson harassed Youngblood about his initial fear of jumping, Youngblood got together with the stunt crew and goaded Gibson into taking a jump himself. See more »

Goofs

When the High Priest pulls the first warrior's heart out, the first shot shows no blood on his hands. In the next shot, as he shows the heart to the crowd, his forearms are covered in blood almost to his elbow. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
title card: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." W. Durant
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Crazy Credits

Daniel Paredes ...... Crazy Student and Son of a Driver See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Apocalypto
Written by James Horner
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I couldn't believe two hours had gone by that quickly
8 December 2006 | by (Champaign, IL) – See all my reviews

Having some Mexican-Indian blood in me, I've always been interested in what I could read about the Aztecs and Mayans and others. But never did I achieve as elaborate a vision in my head, try as I might, as Mel Gibson has with the beautiful Apocalypto. Is it accurate? I've more than just strong doubts in at least one case, but like all good fiction, it probably tells more truth, despite its inaccuracies, than a dozen scholarly tomes. The movie is engrossing and, even more difficult, plausible and quite evocative. I would have bet any amount of money that this movie was impossible to make. And though some have complained that the film's ending involves an historical inaccuracy, I think there was more than enough reason to put it in.

There's a strong story that reminded me of other Third World folklore I've read, only better. In a lot of ways these people could have been North American Indians, but somehow that's not much of a criticism. And Gibson's recent PR problems only highlighted, for me, how it took an Australian-reared actor to make an exciting film about natives before Columbus. Clearly Hollywood is incapable of even conceiving of such a movie, much less bringing it brilliantly to life. Hollywood has an agenda and very narrow perspectives. It's agenda has no room for illuminating the humanity of non-Westerners, and there's too much relying on the same old set of sensibilities and intuition. I think if Hollywood is up in arms it ought to be because Gibson is making them look inept.

But as to this particular subject matter, there's no doubt in my mind that what fascinates most Anglos about the Aztecs and the Maya is the idea of human sacrifice. Gibson depicts the ritual as having an element of frenzy to it, and he may be right, but what is more convincing to me, at least, is his idea of what a village raid must have been like. His point by point reconstruction is pretty compelling, and I'm quite sure he could make some early American military raids on Indian villages so vivid and unforgettable that grown men would cry. I only hope he does, but as to this film, I would have depicted the human sacrifice with a nod toward a notion most Anglos find completely foreign, namely that these people understood that gain often entails pain, and they were willing to pay the price. Was it really so unreasonable that these people thought God might want them to create pain, and not just endure it, to gain His favor given that life entails so much struggle anyway? That willingness to endure pain clearly survives today, not the desire to create it in others, and that's the only point I would have added to this wonderful film.


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