Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes poster
(20th Century Fox)

Here’s How To Watch the New ‘Planet of the Apes’ Movies in Order

Now that Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, the fourth movie in Planet of the Apes‘ rebooted saga, has finally been released, there’s no better time to catch up with the series. Overall, this is one of Hollywood’s most consistent franchises; its storytelling is always moving, dramatic, and tense.

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While the original Planet of the Apes movies, which were produced between 1968 and 1973, took place in a future where apes had risen to become the dominant species on the planet, the rebooted series chose to depict how apes came to hold such power over humanity. Planet of the Apes is a sci-fi classic. If ever there was a series worth digging into, it’s this one.

Here’s how to watch all of the new Planet of the Apes movies in order.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Caesar leading an ape army on the Golden Gate Bridge in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
(20th Century Studios)

In the first of the rebooted Planet of the Apes movies, a geneticist named Will Rodman (James Franco) is testing out a new cure for Alzheimer’s disease on chimpanzees at a laboratory in San Francisco. Though one of the test subjects was eventually shot after going on a rampage, her offspring, named Caesar (Andy Serkis), begins to develop rapidly, able to communicate through sign language and eventually even speak. Years later, when Ceasar comes into contact with other apes, he douses them with a new version of the same drug, heightening their intelligence, too. It turns out, however, that the drug can be deadly for humans. The apes eventually fight their way to freedom and escape into the forest.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Caesar leads an army of apes in a forest in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
(20th Century Studios)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes place ten years after Rise. A deadly pandemic has drastically decreased the human population, and society has collapsed, while the intelligent apes, whose numbers have only increased due to the virus, have established a state of their own. When a band of human survivors enters the apes’ territory, all hell breaks loose, and the apes are forced into a battle with humanity’s remaining armies.

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Caesar and the other apes in the snow in War for the Planet of the Apes
(20th Century Studios)

Two years after the events of Dawn, War for the Planet of the Apes sees the war between apes and humans come to a head. The apes are forced into a ruthless, deadly battle by a vindictive human Colonel (Woody Harrelson), and they suffer heavy losses. Tapping into his darker side, Caesar vows to avenge his kind, and he and the Colonel get locked into an epic war that will determine the fate of apekind and humankind for years to come.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024)

Emperor Ape in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
(20th Century Studios)

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes involves a significant time skip. While War for the Planet of the Apes depicted the end of the major conflict between apes and humans, Kingdom took us into the future that the original Planet of the Apes movies foretold. Apes are now the dominant species, and humans have regressed significantly, forced into exile. It’s certainly interesting to see how much the apes’ society has grown and developed and what parallels can be drawn between Kingdom and the original Planet of the Apes movie.

Kingdom is the first rebooted Planet of the Apes movie without Andy Serkis’ Caesar in the leading role. Caesar’s presence is definitely felt throughout the movie, however. Some apes have twisted Caesar’s lessons and wisdom for their own gain, while others have tried to preserve his true legacy.

You can watch the trailer here.


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El Kuiper
El (she/her) is The Mary Sue's U.K. editor and has been working as a freelance entertainment journalist for over two years, ever since she completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including British TV (she's seen every episode of Midsomer Murders ever made) and franchises like Marvel and Pokémon. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.