It may sound like a no-brainer that a film can have a solid script with narrative depth and authentic emotion while also working as a spectacular big-budget adventure, but tell that to Michael Bay. His five-movies-and-counting "Transformers" franchise gives effects-laden blockbusters a bad name, and his most recent, "Transformers: The Last Knight," was so abysmally written and insufferably empty-headed it became offensive. Now consider "War for the Planet of the Apes," a riveting action-drama of complex ideas and narrative elegance. It is the third in a series which ambitiously began with 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and 2014's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," and also happens to be the best one yet. With a clear, organic vision guiding the way, returning writer-director Matt Reeves (2010's "Let Me In") and co-writer Mark Bomback (2015's "Insurgent") have made something thoughtful yet artistically dazzling. Never does it have that unmistakable made-by-committee smell of so many expensive studio features of this ilk.
It has been fifteen years since the Simian Flu wiped out much of the world's population, leaving the remaining humans at odds against a primate uprising. A military unit spearheaded by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) has been sent to find the secret command center where leader of the apes Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his tribe reside. Caesar desperately wants to find a way to bridge the contentious divide between apes and humans, but all of this changes when two cold-blooded murders hit close to home. Level-headed ally Maurice (Karin Konoval) warns that his visceral desire for vengeance is threatening to turn him into Koba (Toby Kebbell), a former friend-turned-foe whose hatred of humans led to his death. Caesar sees it in himself, too, but the damage has been done. He cannot back down until the person who took away his loved ones pays.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review