The latest Planet of the Apes sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, hits theaters tomorrow. And while that movie will likely take the top spot on this list, here is how we rank all of the Planet of the Apes movies before the release of the latest…
Escape From the Planet of the Apes
The third, silly, movie above all of the other films in the franchise? You bet. Escape From the Planet of the Apes sees Cornelius and Zira arriving in 1973 Los Angeles for an inversion of the original movie. Instead of a human being on an ape world, you have two talking apes in the 70s. It’s silly, but it takes a very dark turn towards the end that brings the whole series full circle and in a way it acts as the origin of the Planet of the Apes. For pure entertainment value, Escape is still the most fun Planet of the Apes movie.
Planet of the Apes
If Escape didn’t exist I’d still put the Charlton Heston original at the top of the list. But the out-of-place talking apes in 1973 just makes for a more entertaining and re-watchable Planet of the Apes movie. But you still can’t understate how great the original is. This is the movie that invented the idea of a movie franchise, and Rod Serling’s script still gives us one of the greatest endings in movie history. And for those who are screaming spoiler at that image, if it’s used as the cover for the DVD releases and has been spoofed in Spaceballs, it’s not a spoiler anymore.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The most recent Apes film is one of the best, and the great thing is that it was completely unexpected. Most people thought Rise would be another poor attempt at a remake/reboot, but thanks to Andy Serkis as Caesar, it surprised everyone. What was pretty much a reboot of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, it even managed to stick to established Ape canon by having the first word spoken by an ape be “No!”