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Planet of the Apes | 2001 | PG-13 | - 3.6.3

Director Tim Burton re-imagines Pierre Boulle's classic sci-fi novel about a world where apes are the dominant species, and human beings are pets and slaves. The film sort of retains the premise from the original 1968 film: a pilot (Mark Wahlberg) from Earth finds himself in this topsy-turvy place and becomes humanity's hope for freedom. Also with Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kris Kristofferson, Estella Warren, Paul Giamatti and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. [1:59]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man kisses a female ape, a woman kisses a man, and a woman touches a man's face romantically. There is some sexual tension between a female ape and a man. There is some sexual tension and flirting between a male and female ape in a few scenes. A female ape dances and shrieks suggestively for her husband. A female ape tries to "give herself" to a male ape. The humans are dressed in cave-person costumes, which are leather-looking loin cloth-type outfits; these expose cleavage and thighs on the female characters. There is a reference to a monkey being a daddy and that the female was the aggressor.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - There is a battle scene between humans and apes with slashing, pounding, stabbing, clubbing and punching; an ape stabs a man with his pointed helmet (we hear a crunch). We see two apes jump through the air and crash into each other mid-air; when they land on the ground they alternately pound on each other until one lies dead. An ape punches a man and sends him flying through the air, jumps on him and tries to crush his skull with his bare hands. An ape tackles a man and he falls down a shaft and lands hard, an ape attacks another ape and we see him crawling off screen injured. We see a dead human in a cage; he is gray and slightly disfigured. Several humans and an ape are shown being branded and they scream in pain. An ape jumps on two apes from behind and then beats them both to death with a bladed weapon, an ape is killed by another ape from behind with a bladed weapon, and we hear recordings of humans being attacked and killed by apes. An ape talks about gutting a human and stringing up the carcass, and there is a conversation about the torture and mutilation of humans. A man launches himself in a space pod and goes through tunnels of very bright light; when he enters the tunnel there is a loud crash and his vehicle shakes, sparks fly, smoke billows and eventually he crashes into a body of water on a planet (this happens twice). A man and woman find two dead apes floating under water. An ape camp is torched by humans; an ape is seen burning and screaming. An army of apes is blown back by a blast from a rocket engine; we see them flying through the air and then lying stunned on the ground, smoldering. Soldier apes chase humans in several scenes with lots of growling and yelling; some are grabbed, a child is put in a bag, a man is knocked down by an ape on horseback, a man is punched and flies through the air, a woman is tackled, a man is caught in a net, a man is beaten by a couple of apes, a boy is lifted up by an ape swinging from a vine, a man is kicked in the face, a woman is grabbed by the throat. A group of apes is beaten with clubs by humans. A boy falls with his horse and is trapped, and nearly attacked by charging apes. A man is slammed against some rocks and falls to the ground, a man is hit on the head and knocked out, a boy hits an ape with a branch and kicks him, and a boy is grabbed and held by two apes. A human grabs an ape by the throat and threatens her with a branding iron. An ape grabs a man by the mouth and pulls it open wide. Humans are grabbed by long metal staffs with clamps at the end that close around their necks. Two apes fight over cheating at a card game. A man fires a gun to scare a group of apes, an ape shoots a gun repeatedly in an enclosed room and the bullets ricochet all around him filling the room with sparks and smoke, and an ape threatens a man with a gun. A man is surrounded by many apes with guns drawn. A young girl is locked in a cage and treated like a pet. An ape in a space pod is launched into an electromagnetic storm in space; the pod is lost and there is talk of the ape being dead, and there is talk of a space station crashing and the crew having been killed. We see an elderly, and apparently sick, ape die, a man is shown with a bloody forehead, an ape has a bloody nose, we see a human skull, apes and humans are buried in sand graves (we see an ape's face and then it is covered with sand), a man is shown with a bruised face, and an ape spits out water after being carried across a river. Apes growl viciously at each other and at humans many times, and an ape has a screaming fit jumping from perch to perch and knocking down what looks like a chandelier. A group comes upon some really large and menacing looking scarecrows. The introductory scenes are scored by very eerie and ominous music and depict scenes (engravings) of apes with very large and sharp teeth. A monkey in a space pod simulator panics and screams when sirens start blaring. A woman ape hits a child ape to reprimand him. Ape children throw stones at a cage full of humans and call out insults. A group of humans are herded into a wheeled cage. There is a startling scene: a shot of a black screen and then two eyes open.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 7 mild obscenities, 2 religious exclamations.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Racism, speciesism, inter-species relationships, evolution, time travel, religion, fairy tales, betrayal, caring for others, power, slavery, martial law, breeding, sterilization, disease, culture, the soul, puberty, science vs. sorcery, cheating.

MESSAGE - Technology is power. Sometimes even a few can make a difference.

(Note: These scenes may be of concern to religious viewers: The title scene ends with a shot of what resembles the Sistine Chapel ceiling, but all the painted images, including those of God, are of apes instead of humans; and we see apes praying over the graves of their dead and before a meal. Also, several scenes may have racial connotations for many viewers: The intellectual leader of the apes has a very light complexion, while the soldiers and the military leader have very dark complexions.)

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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