Raves For “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

The first press screenings have taken place for Fox’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and reviews have started popping up. Almost all are gushingly positive, saying it is the film of the Summer, and ‘Rise’ is to ‘Dawn’ as “Star Wars” is to “The Empire Strikes Back”. Here’s some of the reaction:

“An altogether smashing sequel to 2011’s better-than-expected ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes,’ this vivid, violent extension of humanoid ape Caesar’s troubled quest for independence bests its predecessor in nearly every technical and conceptual department, with incoming helmer Matt Reeves conducting the proceedings with more assertive genre elan…” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“A gripping account of inter-species conflict, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes manages to do at least three things exceptionally well that are hard enough to pull off individually: Maintain a simmering level of tension without let-up for two hours, seriously improve on a very good first entry in a franchise and produce a powerful humanistic statement using a significantly simian cast of characters. In the annals of sequels, Dawn is to Rise of the Planet of the Apes what The Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars – it’s that much better…” – Todd McCarthy, THR

“The sequel to sci-fi franchise reboot Rise Of The Planet of the Apes is heavier on ape-vs-human action than its predecessor and lighter on the kind of intimate drama that three years ago made the reboot a surprisingly affecting late summer hit. As such, the relatively generic Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is less emotionally resonant than Rise but possibly better equipped to fill its role as a midsummer box office earner aimed particularly at the international market…” – John Hazleton, Screen

“Critics frequently advise crowds to “turn off their brains” when it comes to conventional popcorn flicks. The opposite holds true for Dawn. This groundbreaking, challenging and immensely rewarding sequel offers audiences a veritable feast consisting of mature science-fiction themes, complex emotional performances (both human and digital), and riveting combat set pieces. Dawn both honors the history of the popular franchise while also setting the table for future chapters in the saga that, honestly, can’t get here soon enough…” – Sean O’Connell, Cinema Blend

“I hoped Matt Reeves had made a solid and respectful follow-up, one that expanded on “Rise” in interesting ways. That’s all I wanted from it. What I got instead is a film that digs deep, that challenges not only the notion of what a studio blockbuster looks like but also how sequels are supposed to work in a commercial world, a movie about real ideas with a spectacular sense of character and mood. “Dawn” is not just a good genre movie or a good summer movie. It’s a great science-fiction film, full-stop, and one of the year’s very best movies so far…” – Drew McWeeny, Hitfix

“Absolutely awesome, incredibly smart and has a truly APES-worthy ending. I really liked RISE, but I think DAWN is WAAAAY better. The ape stuff alone is complex, emotional and totally cool. The movie of the summer, and one of the year’s best…” – Devin Faraci, Bad Ass Digest

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is fantastic. An ambitious character-driven drama that totally nails the spirit of the original series. Michael Giacchino’s score would’ve made Jerry Goldsmith proud…” – Jack Giroux, Film School Rejects

“Brilliant direction, amazing performances & a great script make this one of the years best films. Reeves nailed it. And the score by Michael Giacchino is perfect…” – Steven Weintraub, Collider

“We can talks apes now? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is my favorite movie this summer. Great, great film – can’t wait to see it again. Also, with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Matt Reeves proves he’s the real deal. Some beautiful, striking visual choices in this movie…” – Ryan Turek, STYD

“A true cinematic masterpiece disguised as a summer blockbuster. I could not have been more impressed…” – Silas Lesnick, Coming Soon

What do you think? Are the critics high on the movie because they got to see it first? Or is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes truly the best movie this summer season has to offer? Let us know if you see it early, and tell us what you think. Monkeys or Bananas?