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Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Sci-Fi  |  5 August 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 379,687 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 639 user | 524 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

A substance, designed to help the brain repair itself, gives rise to a super-intelligent chimp who leads an ape uprising.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maurice / Court Clerk
Rocket / Bright Eyes
Koba (as Chris Gordon)


At the story's heart is Caesar (Andy Serkis), a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug's creator, Will Rodman (James Franco) and a primatologist Caroline Aranha (Freida Pinto), Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned in an ape sanctuary in San Bruno. Seeking justice for his fellow inmates, Caesar gives the fellow apes the same drug that he inherited. He then assembles a simian army and escapes the sanctuary - putting man and ape on a collision course that could change the planet forever. Written by emauger1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Evolution Becomes Revolution

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 August 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caesar  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$93,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$54,806,191 (USA) (5 August 2011)


$176,740,650 (USA) (16 December 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is Charlton Heston's fifth "appearance" in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise. 1) He starred in the original, Planet of the Apes (1968); 2) played a smaller role in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970); 3) was seen in archive footage (kissing Zira in a sepia yellow flashback) in Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971); 4) had a cameo as Zaius in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (2001) remake; and 5) can be seen on the TV set in the Ape bunkhouse in the role of Michelangelo from The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) in this movie. See more »


When the apes are crossing the bridge, it is covered in fog. However, by the time they are at the top of the redwoods, there is no fog on the bridge. See more »


[first lines]
Robert Franklin: [administering chimp intelligence test] Okay, okay. Here you go. And let's go again.
[gives Bright Eyes treat and clocks timer]
Will Rodman: Which one's this? Number nine?
Robert Franklin: Yeah, this is number nine. Bright Eyes, we call her. Are you watching this? This is unbelievable.
[Bright Eyes does the tower fast]
Robert Franklin: Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
Bright Eyes: [grabs treat and eats it]
Will Rodman: How many moves was that?
Robert Franklin: 20.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits appear over a map, showing the virus spreading around the world. See more »


Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.23 (2011) See more »


Kings of the World
Written by Thomas Hill and Owen Barry
Performed by Purple Melon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Apes Will Rise!!
11 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Disaster movies are a dime a dozen now a days. We have seen an influx of Alien takeovers recently and it is getting a bit stale I must admit. Don't get me wrong, I love films about ET's taking over, but Hollywood has beaten that horse to death. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is a welcome change to this trend pitting us measly humans against our closest ancestors, Great Apes. Directed by Rupert Wyatt ("The Escapist") and supported by the unbelievable WETA Digital ("King Kong", "Lord of the Rings", "Avatar") for special effects. "Apes" is a wonder of motion capture, an intelligent heart felt script with great direction. Unfortunately, the human actors left a lot to be desired. But this film isn't about the humans, it's all about the Simians.

As plots go, this is pretty basic. James Franco plays Will Rodman, a brilliant scientist with a breakthrough drug that just may cure Alzheimer's. Rodman and his team are using chimpanzee's to test this new drug and in the process find out that it increases intelligence as well as repair cells in the brain. One of the test subjects gets loose in an intense sequence and ultimately put down. It turns out that she had just given birth to a beautiful baby chimp who inherited this new "altered" gene. Rodman decides the only moral thing to do is to take the baby home while a co-worker tries to find a sanctuary but once Rodman finds out that this little ball of fur has the intelligence of a human child twice it's age he decides to keep and raise the chimp as a child. It's only a matter of time that our chimp Caesar figures out he is not like the other children in the neighborhood. Rodman is forced to give up Caesar to an "Ape Sanctuary" and there begins some of the most exhilarating revolutionary action I've ever seen.

Technically, this film is massive. The work WETA Digital did with motion capture (mo-cap) is truly a wonder to behold. Visual Effects Supervisor with WETA Digital Joe Letteri stated that they built on the technology used in "Avatar" to produce the most realistic and accurate portrayal of the actors suited to play the Simians. Andy Serkis (Gollum from "Lord of the Rings" and Kong from "King Kong") plays chimp Caesar. Serkis manages to fool all of us into believing he is a real animal with super intelligence. His facial emotions and mannerisms should most certainly nominate him for an Oscar. There is a real connection that the audience feels with Caesar and it is all thanks to Serkis' work. Without such an experienced mo-cap actor, this film would not have been such a success.

Not only is the technology used to create the revolution amazing, the action is top notch as well. Many times I found myself with my jaw on the floor from the intense sequences put to screen. Everything from a simple terrifying look from an angry ape to the full out battle on the Golden Gate Bridge was pulled off without a hitch. Many points to the pacing of the films action as it could have been the crutch that killed this beast of a film. One of the most amazing scenes in my opinion is when a group of apes are fleeing over top a suburban neighborhood through the trees. While this is going on we see some people on the street while leaves upon leaves are falling to the ground. This level of detail is apparent in every shot, brilliant work by the production team.

My only problems with this film is the acting from Franco and Freida Pinto, who plays the love interest. They both seemed to "phone it in" as it were. They were not overly impressive and just seemed stale. Maybe the director wanted them to tone it down so that Serkis would have more of an impact acting as a voiceless chimp. Either way, as I said in the beginning, this film wasn't about the humans. It's about compassion, freedom and understanding and on those levels the film is a grand success.

99 of 134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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