The Planet of the Apes film series, originally based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, has persisted more or less constantly ever since its debut in 1968, with only a few notable breaks in between remakes. They have been thoughtful, intense, silly, cheap, misguided, crazy, fun, and just about everything in between. It’s weird how resilient the series has proven to be, because it’s based on an inherently weird premise. Talking apes are, at the end of the day, meant to be at least a little silly. If they weren’t silly, at least, the poignancy of the satire wouldn’t work quite as well. And even when they’re not aiming for satire, they’re at least intense and well-constructed action films.
War for the Planet of the Apes, the ninth film in the series, and the third in its particular continuity, is currently playing in theaters, and that, of course, has Apes fans wistful and retrospective for their overall 49-year experience with the movies. We here at Crave are, of course, no different. We love the Apes movies, we have seen them all, and we can appreciate every single one of them – yes even the bad ones – for the ambitious satires they so often aspire to be.
And, because this sort of ranking is fun, we’ve elected to rank all nine films to date, making our own declarative statement on what goes where. So read on, mere humans, and see what happened to Earth.
All Nine ‘Planet of the Apes’ Movies: Ranked From Worst to Best
Top Image: 20th Century Fox
Witney Seibold is a longtime contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast and the TV podcast Canceled Too Soon. He also contributes to Legion of Leia, Nerdist, and Blumhouse. You can follow him on “The Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.