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The Best Ape Movies 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated March 9, 2020 2.6k votes 665 voters 133.5k views 43 items

List Rules Movies must have apes or monkeys in them.

With moviegoers going bananas over Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it only seems right to formulate a list of the best ape movies ever. Our primate relatives have starred in countless monkeylicious movies over the years. Some of these movies are CGI, some are animated and some are just 'regular' movies (What?! No IMAX 3D digital? The horror!). They all represent great cinematic achievements for these apes.

What are the best ape movies? What are some simian films? Sadly, there is no specific Oscar category for primates, but there should be! In the meantime, let's show these monkeys, orangutans, capuchins and gorillas a little love by giving them a place of honor on this list of the best ape movies ever. Did your favorite not make the list? No problem - just add it!
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1
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Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore

Released: 1968

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

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2
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ozzy added James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow

Released: 2011

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt

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3
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Adam Tyler added Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody

Released: 2005

Directed by: Peter Jackson

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4
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Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot

Released: 1933

Directed by: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

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5
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Charley Feldman added James Franco, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell

Released: 2014

Directed by: Matt Reeves

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6
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Sigourney Weaver, Iain Glen, Bryan Brown

Released: 1988

Directed by: Michael Apted

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7
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Charlize Theron, Bill Paxton, Regina King

Released: 1998

Directed by: Ron Underwood

Mighty Joe Young is a 1998 Disney family film starring Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron and directed by Ron Underwood. It is based on the 1949 film of the same name. In this version, the ape is ...more

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8
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Clint Eastwood, Beverly DAngelo, Ruth Gordon

Released: 1978

Directed by: James Fargo

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9
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Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick, Jean Smart

Released: 1987

Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan

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10
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ozzy added Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Giamatti

Released: 2001

Directed by: Tim Burton

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11
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mariegamer added Tim Curry, Laura Linney, Jimmy Buffett

Released: 1995

Directed by: Frank Marshall

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12
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ozzy added Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Joe Piscopo

Released: 1976

Directed by: John Guillermin

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13
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pmmom38 added Clint Howard, George Sanders, Louis Prima

Released: 1967

Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman

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14
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Andie MacDowell, Ian Holm, Richard Griffiths

Released: 1984

Directed by: Hugh Hudson

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes is a 1984 British film directed by Hugh Hudson and based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel Tarzan of the Apes. Christopher Lambert stars as Tarzan ...more
15
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Chris Abraham added Faye Dunaway, Jason Alexander, Paul Reubens

Released: 1996

Directed by: Ken Kwapis

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16
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but chickens double d added Rosie O'Donnell, Glenn Close, Minnie Driver

Released: 1999

Directed by: Kevin Lima, Chris Buck

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17
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siddfinch1 added Ricardo Montalbán, Roddy McDowall, Sal Mineo

Released: 1971

Directed by: Don Taylor

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18
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siddfinch1 added John Huston, John Landis, Roddy McDowall

Released: 1973

Directed by: J. Lee Thompson

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19
Kong: Skull Island is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ape Movies
William Christopher Smith added Kong: Skull Island Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman

Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

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20
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Released: 1970

Directed by: Ted Post

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21
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siddfinch1 added Ricardo Montalbán, Roddy McDowall, Don Murray

Released: 1972

Directed by: J. Lee Thompson

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22
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Released: 1997

Directed by: Sam Weisman

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23
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Mie Hama, Akiko Wakabayashi, Akihiko Hirata

Released: 1962

Directed by: Ishirō Honda

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24
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Released: 1980

Directed by: Buddy Van Horn

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25
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Stanley Tucci, Frank Welker, Janine Turner

Released: 1988

Directed by: George A. Romero

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