Franchise Ranking: Planet of the Apes (Worst to Best)

What started out as a novel in 1963 blew up into a worldwide phenomenon spanning countless decades and many films. How do I rank ’em? Check it out and see.

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08.) Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)– The first sequel finds an astronaut named Brent travelling through time to seek another astronaut, instead finds that apes rule the planet. Some advanced humans with special mind reading abilities cause some troubles too..like a nuclear holocaust. This sequel brings nothing new to the table.

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07.) Planet of the Apes (2001)– Director Tim Burton reimagined the 1968 classic. An Air Force pilot tries to rescue a chimp, but gets taken through a time warp or something. Confusing movie, but does have the best special fx makeup of all the films.

06.) Battle of the Planet of the Apes (1973)– An ape named Caesar leads both humans and apes in harmony. He wants to know more about his parents, so he travels to the city and comes in contact with humans who want war. The film isn’t really bad, it’s just not a good conclusion, it’s like Return of the Jedi.

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05.) Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)– Three apes travel through time to present day Earth to warn humans of their extinction. One ape is killed while the other two live. They are treated like celebrities at first, oh and one of them is pregnant. Humans want to nip this whole Apes ruling thing in the bud. It’s neat to see two apes in our time, well back then.

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04.) Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)– After his parents were murdered, Caesar lives with a former circus promoter. Apes have since become slaves to humans, Caesar doesn’t like this and organizes a revolution. A great movie for its time. Nuff said.

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03.) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)– A Scientist develops a new treatment for Alzheimer’s and tests it on chimps with remarkable results. The main subject has a child and it becomes super smart. His name is Caesar and he is locked away for attacking someone, after being mistreated, he gathers other apes to escape and return to the wilderness. It’s a great and entertaining film, the apes are all CG and that doesn’t take away from it at all, in my opinion. 

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02.) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)– Apes are living in their own area until some humans come around. The humans want to power up a dam, so they can have power. Caesar is hesitant at first, but agrees to help, which angers an ape named Coba that attacks and injures Caesar. Coba takes command and unleashes a full on assault against the humans. Caesar has to reclaim power. It’s awe-inspiring movie. It’s compelling and enthralling. 

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01.) Planet of the Apes (1968)– The first film in the franchise has Charlton Heston as Taylor, along with two other astronauts landing on a mysterious planet. They come in contact with other people, but are captured by apes. The apes bring them to their city to conduct experiments, the apes believe humans are dumb and can’t speak until Taylor does just that. He’s on a mission to get out and eventually does. He soon finds out the horrible truth. He’s on Earth and humans wiped themselves off the map…basically. A true classic. Definitely one of the greatest science fiction films ever. Heston really chewed the scenery on this one. 

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Watch the original films in this order…

1.) Escape

2.) Conquest

3.) Battle

4.) Planet (68)

5.) Beneath

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