Anyone thinking about producing a prequel or reboot should seriously use this movie as a reference point. Not only does it reestablish a franchise, it infuses it with a realism that was lacking in the original series. I have nothing bad to say about this film. It is everything a good prequel should be. It builds upon a well known mythology while respectfully creating a new modernized story. Yes, it takes a few small liberties. However, they were a necessary evil. Next to Batman Begins, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is possibly the best prequel/reboot I've ever seen.
These graphics should be considered the benchmark that all visual effects companies base their standards upon. No other movie in the last ten years has featured visuals so stunning. The apes were absolutely convincing with authentic motion and an animated emotional depth I've never seen captured in computer generated film making.
Franco is a little stiff at times but ultimately serves his purpose while Lithgow steals the show in his usual fashion. Brian Cox is back in another villainous role that has become his standard fare. The acting is altogether strong but no match for the dramatics and action served up by the primates.
In a time of bad remakes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is definitely the stand out. I would definitely buy this one.