As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, a young man is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression.


Mel Gibson
603 ( 94)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rudy Youngblood ... Jaguar Paw
Dalia Hernández Dalia Hernández ... Seven
Jonathan Brewer ... Blunted
Morris Birdyellowhead Morris Birdyellowhead ... Flint Sky
Carlos Emilio Báez Carlos Emilio Báez ... Turtles Run
Amilcar Ramírez Amilcar Ramírez ... Curl Nose
Israel Contreras Israel Contreras ... Smoke Frog
Israel Ríos Israel Ríos ... Cocoa Leaf
María Isabel Díaz Lago María Isabel Díaz Lago ... Mother in Law (as Isabel Diaz)
Espiridion Acosta Cache Espiridion Acosta Cache ... Old Story Teller
Mayra Serbulo Mayra Serbulo ... Young Woman
Iazua Larios ... Sky Flower
Lorena Heranandez Lorena Heranandez ... Village Girl
Itandehui Gutierrez Itandehui Gutierrez ... Wife
Sayuri Gutierrez Sayuri Gutierrez ... Eldest Daughter


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


Takes out the fear residing deep inside our hearts. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


(at around 35 mins) As a teenager, Mel Gibson was once called "toyboy" by an older boy, a deep insult. That inspired the line in which a headhunter calls Jaguar Paw "toyboy." See more »


When Jaguar Paw prepares the poison darts, he approaches the water to wash off. When he approaches the water he is covered in mud and you see him bend down to wash his face. However, the close up shows him washing his face but his back is already washed. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

The movie is dedicated "In Remembrance of Abel." This honors the Mexican character actor Abel Woolrich, whose career spanned over thirty years of Mexican cinema. Woolrich had one scene in Apocalypto ("Laughing Man") but he died before the movie was released. See more »


Referenced in Unique Congratulation (2014) See more »


¿He De Dejar Las Bellas Flores?
Written by Antonio Zepeda
Performed by Antonio Zepeda
See more »

User Reviews

The opinion of a professional archaeologist
5 September 2008 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

I've been a professional archaeologist for 21 yrs. And despite having only worked on a few projects involving the Maya, I am well aware of the vast cinematic license used in Apocalypto - as well as the many aspects of Mayan life that the film's creators got right. My purpose however, is not to discuss ANY of this. Rather, I want to appreciate the film for exactly what it is - an entertaining and heroic story set in ancient Mesoamerica with the usual Mel Gibson attention to atmospheric use of details. The actors speak Mayan, but this is not The Passion of Kukulcan. The script nicely shows the range of customs and culture that actually thrived in Post-Classic Mayan times, and for once, depicts Native Americans as people with senses of humor! The costuming and sets are amazing and the warfare is honestly and brutally depicted.

Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) is the son of a chief in a small Mayan lowlands forest village during Post-Classic collapse. These Maya may well be ancestors of the contemporary Lacandon. Refugees have been seen in the forest and foreshadow a coming disaster. That shadow is a merciless battalion of mercenaries working for the patron god of a nearby urban center. They are seeking slaves and sacrificial victims. What can Jaguar Paw do to protect his young child, his pregnant wife, and his beloved village?

Unlike some of Gibson's recent films, Apocalypto is a fairly straightforward adventure story with a lot of brutal action. It also hints at subtle but intelligent critique of religious fanaticism, elitism and classism, and displays a great respect (though not exaggerated, worshipful or patronizing) for the living culture it loosely portrays.

Acting: A

Directing: A

Cinematography: A+

Sets: A

Costumes: A+

Story: B

Script: B

Historical Accuracy: C- (but who cares?)

Worth seeing for adventure fans, and fans of ancient warfare films. But turn to Archaeology Magazine or Latin American Antiquity if you're too concerned with facts to enjoy prehistoric fiction.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Mexico | UK



Release Date:

8 December 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,005,604, 10 December 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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