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War for the Planet of the Apes | 2017 | PG-13 | - 1.6.2

In this third installment of the "Planet of the Apes" reboot, the chimpanzee leader (voiced by Andy Serkis) and his troop are in a war against humans led by a maniacal rogue colonel (Woody Harrelson). As apes die off, the fight is joined by a second army of humans, but acts of nature join the fray as well to determine the fate of Earth. Also with Amiah Miller and the voices of Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary and Judy Greer. Directed by Matt Reeves. Several apes and a young girl use sign language and grunts that are accompanied by English subtitles. [2:22]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A shirtless man stands on a balcony, shaving his head. A man lies face down on a bunk and we see him shirtless. Apes in the film do not possess evident genitals, but one female ape has a slight enlargement of the chest in what looks like breasts and nipples.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - Armed soldiers with rifles and crossbows walk through a forest and we see words on the back of their helmets (Monkey Killer, Bedtime for Bonzo): gorillas, chimps, and an orangutan with them have the word "Donkey" painted on their backs and are used as pack animals and slave drivers for captured apes who are warring against humans. Warring apes wear white war paint stripes on their faces and chests and carry spears, archery equipment, and long-staves as they ride on horseback.
 A chimp finds a man with his nose and mouth bloody as he mumbles gibberish; the chimp picks up a handgun and the man grabs the barrel and places it to his forehead, then takes the gun and holds it against his cheek and eye as the camera cuts to the next room and we hear a muffled pop from the gun (suicide is implied). Soldiers with laser beam lights and automatic rifles enter a cave of a troop of apes and an ape jumps on a man who falls below the frame; we see the ape's arms and fists in beating motions toward the man and we hear grunts of pain as a man slides down a metal cable and confronts an ape; they scowl at each other several seconds (we see two dead bloody apes on the ground and one dead man, twisted and on the ground beside them) and the man shoots at the first ape and a group of apes who dodge the bullets.
 Four apes find an army tent city and one of their community working for soldiers; after an argument, the four apes subdue and strangle the other ape, who gasps and dies. A man shoots an ape in the distance with a crossbow and other apes screech while several mortars create fire balls between trees and soldiers fire automatic rifles and laser beam weapons (many apes fall off horses); a group of apes carry lighted torches and others shoot fire-tipped arrows while apes working for the soldiers carry bags of weapons and ammunition like pack animals and many soldiers fall to the ground when struck with arrows, leaving four humans and one pack-animal ape as survivors on that side (many apes have patches of missing hair and hair matted with sweat and blood). After hearing three gunshots, apes discover three prone men with bloody noses and mouths and large holes in their chests; one man revives, grunts, and gasps as an ape points a gun at his forehead and the scene ends (a mercy shooting implied). Four apes find a longhouse and some shacks and when a man comes out with a rifle an ape shoots and kills him (no blood is visible); we hear breaking dishes in the house and apes find a young girl with a bloody nose inside. Two soldiers attack a small group of apes and one ape falls on a bayonet; a young girl cries over him as he dies and we see blood in the snow and the soldiers die from blows to the head. A chimp makes his way across a prison yard as soldiers shoot at him; he falls with a crossbow bolt in his side (we later see that the ape is bleeding a bit from a hole in his side as he leans over and dies) as a gorilla fires a mortar rifle at the shooter, who goes up in flames and disappears. A wooden balcony falls and two apes burn up in a fire below (we do not see the bodies).
 An ape whips an elderly orangutan and a chimp roars for the beating to stop until soldiers subdue the chimp and force him to his knees at the feet of a man; the ape whips the chimp, leaving bloody slashes and the man shoots the orangutan in the head (he falls backward, dead but with no blood visible). Apes are denied food and water for several days in a prison yard as they carry large rocks and build a wall and as the US National Anthem plays, apes living with the soldiers whip the prisoner apes (no blood is visible). A small group of apes find a tunnel under a prison yard and dig up through the yard where one ape and soldiers scuffle until a man on a balcony fires a shot into the air; the soldiers cage the ape with others and then beat him with rifle butts.
 Helicopters fire bomb a prison, and some helicopters crash in tall flames; hundreds of mortars land in the prison yard and explode loudly in smoke and flames. A chimp tosses a grenade at a giant fuel tank that explodes to fill the screen with flames and smoke and the fire spreads to engulf a large compound in giant balls of flame.
 An avalanche sounds like a loud train as it begins and chimps run and climb trees; we see some trees fall and chimps jump to other trees several times until the avalanche is over and we see that people were buried under snow while chimps and a young girl cling to trees.
 Apes sneak into a military prison where hundreds of apes are held in tall wire cages and forced to carry heavy rocks to build a wall; we see several chimps strung up spread eagle on tripods of wood, most of the animals are dead with charred skin and raw bloody patches and we see burned out patches under their feet, a lone survivor dies as another ape cuts him down and a rifle butt comes from off-screen and knocks the other ape unconscious. Apes avoid water rushing into a tunnel and climb into a prison yard, knock out a soldier and steal a key that they use to free caged apes, who escape the prison by climbing across a metal cable, down a hole, through tunnels to the outside while being shot at.
 An ape sends human survivors after a battle back to their camp, two each tied together on a horse and he has chimps beat another ape with a long staff and we hear strikes and screeching off-screen (we later hear that a prisoner ape escaped. An ape follows a man up a cable, but the man cuts it and the ape falls into the top of a water fall, but survives. A small person covered in heavy winter clothing steals a horse from a gorilla, who roars, and apes chase the person into an abandoned stone mansion. Soldiers put a chimp into a cage of adult apes, who all turn away from him. We see a chimp spread eagle on a tripod as a gorilla tosses a bucket of water into his face and in close-up we see a brand of an alpha and omega on the gorilla's temple. Men point a knife, a crossbow, and a handgun at apes, but do not attack.
 A chimp describes himself as the last surviving zoo ape experimented on to gain speech and that he found a zoo for bad humans; he guides four apes and a young girl to an abandoned military prison taken over by a maniacal colonel bent on ape genocide.
 In a confrontation with a man, a chimp yells, "You kill your own men," and the man says he killed all the infected men and will kill all the apes (we hear that the man decapitated some men), and the man says that otherwise, people will become the ape's cattle; the chimp cries, roars, and knocks down the man before being subdued by soldiers. Soldiers lead a shackled chimp into a man's office where the chimp shouts about the colonel killing his wife and older son and the colonel shouts about his young son who caught Simian flu and he says he shot and killed the boy to prevent long term suffering. Soldiers leave a chimp strung up spread eagle on a tripod in the center of the prison yard and a man says if the ape is alive in the morning, he can work a full day and then be killed.
 A young girl leaves with apes after they kill her father and one ape says, "She'll die out here alone." An ape tells human survivors after a battle that he killed the ape that started the war, and that other apes tried to kill him. We hear that Simian flu mutated to cause humans to lose their intelligence and speech. Apes leave their home on horseback and foot, and children screeching in fear. A banner outside an army camp reads "King Kong is dead," and a man announces this motto over a wireless phone as well. An American flag is on display, defaced with an omega letter and an alpha letter over it. A chimp's young son sees him in a prison yard and screeches. An ape has three visions of another ape with a snarling bloody face. We hear that an army of humans is planning to subdue a man who is killing apes. An ape tells another ape that humans will destroy each other as well as all the apes.
 Apes display scars across their chests and faces.


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LANGUAGE 2 - 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (King Kong, donkey, animals, traitor, cowards), 1 religious profanity (GD), 2 religious exclamations (My God, Jesus Christ).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man drinks from a flask of alcohol and pours the rest of the contents into a pot of hot water, a photo of a boy lies in liquor spilled from an overturned flask, and a man lies on a bunk with a nearly empty bottle of whiskey in his hand. A man burns a fat smudge stick in an ashtray with tendrils of white smoke rising.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Slavery, conquest, war, killing civilians, prejudice, genocide, ethnic cleansing, human rights, animal rights, revenge, rage, incurable disease, loss of mental faculties, fear, death, loss, grief, kindness, mercy, family, friendship, love, duty, courage, cooperation, sacrifice.

MESSAGE - Humanity cannot commit genocide against other sentient species and still survive.

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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