Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

I will savage you,
you damn dirty human!
But intelligently!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is great entertainment! It worked well because of the following components:

Acting: The best acting in this film is a team effort: Andy Serkis expresses Caesar's emotional state through his fantastic motion capture work, and the CGI guys handle his face, etc via key-frame animation. Caesar's development from precocious baby to rebel leader is believable all the way. John Lithgow is always a pleasure, and so are Brian Cox and Draco Malfoy, I mean Tom Felton. Freida Pinto is underutilized in her role as Girlfriend. As for James Franco, all the guy can do is squint and look good.

Cinematography: Great shots of the San Francisco skyline. Effective swoops and swivels during dramatic scenes. There's also a lot of vertical camera work that is perfect for the subject of this film. I'm still in awe of the scene with a low-angle camera shot showing apes with makeshift spears standing menacingly on the roof of a building. Mofos will kill you!

Score: Complemented all the scenes. Brilliant.

Story: Preposterous, but like I said, great entertainment. The flagrant disregard for laboratory protocols and corporate process requires suspension of disbelief.

Ending: The apes win. There, I spoiled it for you.