(2006)

Critic Reviews

68

Metascore

Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Variety
Mel Gibson is always good for a surprise, and his latest is that Apocalypto is a remarkable film. Set in the waning days of the Mayan civilization, the picture provides a trip to a place one's never been before, offering hitherto unseen sights of exceptional vividness and power.
100
L.A. Weekly
For those of us who prefer to judge Gibson solely in terms of his art, the movie is a virtuosic piece of action cinema -- particularly in its second half...And while there has been no shortage of recent films that decry the horrors of war and man's inhumanity to his fellow man, I know of none other quite this sickeningly powerful.
88
Rolling Stone
Gibson has made a film of blunt provocation and bruising beauty.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
The guy knows how to make a heart-pounding movie; he just happens to be a cinematic sadist.
80
Newsweek
The film is mostly successful in transporting the viewer to another age: the costumes, the body markings, the fierce Mayan masks, all feel right. And keeping the dialogue in subtitles was a smart move. Even better are the faces, which never fail to fascinate. But for all the anthropological research that went into the movie, what is Apocalypto trying to say?
78
Apocalypto is a dazzling achievement. Not only does it showcase a civilization little seen on the silver screen, the film (which opens with a quote from Will Duant) also advances larger questions about the natural and unnatural life cycles of civilizations.
75
Entertainment Weekly
There's so much dark material jammed into this complicated, conflicted, challenging, and charismatic man's (Gibson) own noggin that sometimes he knows not, I think, what he's done. Here, behold, Mel Gibson has made the weirdest, most violent movie of the year.
60
Gibson is a primitive all right, but so were Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith, and somehow we survived their idiocies.
50
Chicago Tribune
With "Braveheart," "Passion" and now Apocalypto, Gibson clearly has established his priorities as a director. History is gore, plus a few hearthside family interludes. The trick is instilling the audience with enough rageful bloodlust to make the story work.
40
Village Voice
Not just a walk in the park with Mel and the guys (in this case a large cast of mainly Mexican Indians speaking present- day Yucatec), this lavishly punishing picture is the third panel in Gibson's "Ordeal" triptych. The Martyrdom of the Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ have nothing on The Misadventures of the Jaguar Paw.

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