Now having watched all of the Planet of the Apes movies, it’s fascinating how the series views not only history, but trying to understand why civilizations rise and fall. While there are always the broad strokes of good (Caesar, Cornelius, Zira) and bad (Hasslein, Breck, Aldo), there’s always a concern of how these figures are followed or abandoned. History will always have charismatic leaders and people who are motivated by fear, so how to these people guide the evolution or dissolution of a society? Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes perfectly captures this question by creating a microcosm of two civilizations reaching an inevitable clash and how their futures are both conflicting and intertwined. The movie manages to take almost all the best aspects of its predecessors to create a summer blockbuster that is heartfelt, exhilarating, tragic, and profound.