Sponsored
667 voters

The Best Ape Movies

Updated March 9, 2020 3.6k votes 667 voters 133.9k views43 items

List RulesMovies 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!
...more
  • Planet of the Apes1
    138
    39

    Planet of the Apes

    Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison

    Released1968

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Planet of the Apes 

    #247 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies#11 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes2
    138
    43

    Rise of the Planet of the Apes

    James Franco, Freida Pinto

    Released2011

    Directed byRupert Wyatt

    Rise of the Apes is in pre-production as of May 2010. This origin story for a new franchise...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Rise of the Planet of the Apes 

    #78 of 94 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies#7 of 14 The Scariest Fictional Diseases In Movies And TV, Ranked By How Much You Don't Want To Get Them

  • Congo3
    149
    35

    Congo

    Tim Curry, Laura Linney

    Released1995

    Directed byFrank Marshall

    Congo is a 1995 action adventure film loosely based on Michael Crichton's novel of the same...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Congo 

    #11 of 24 Movies You Loved As A Child That Just Don't Hold Up#16 of 136 The Scariest Animal Horror Movies Ever Made

  • King Kong4
    105
    35

    King Kong

    Naomi Watts, Jack Black

    Released2005

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    King Kong is a 2005 epic monster film and remake of the 1933 film of the same name. Directed,...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More King Kong 

    #85 of 170 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#131 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • Mighty Joe Young5
    184
    92

    Mighty Joe Young

    Charlize Theron, Bill Paxton

    Released1998

    Directed byRon Underwood

    Mighty Joe Young is a 1998 Disney family film starring Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Project X6
    146
    91

    Project X

    Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick

    Released1987

    Directed byJonathan Kaplan

    Project X is a 1987 American science fiction-comedy-drama film produced by Walter F. Parkes...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Project X 

    #251 of 323 The Best Teen Movies Of All Time#98 of 259 The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s

  • The Jungle Book7
    79
    25

    The Jungle Book

    Clint Howard, George Sanders

    Released1967

    Directed byWolfgang Reitherman

    The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Inspired...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More The Jungle Book 

    The Jungle Book Was Originally Written To Prove That White People Are The Superior Race#124 of 575 The Best Animated Films Ever

  • King Kong vs. Godzilla8
    51
    15

    King Kong vs. Godzilla

    Mie Hama, Akiko Wakabayashi

    Released1962

    Directed byIshirō Honda

    King Kong vs. Godzilla is a 1962 crossover Japanese science fiction Kaiju film produced by...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More King Kong vs. Godzilla 

    #196 of 224 The Worst Sequels Of All Time#164 of 176 The Best Movies of the '60s

  • Tarzan9
    48
    9

    Tarzan

    Rosie O'Donnell, Glenn Close

    Released1999

    Directed byKevin Lima, Chris Buck

    Tarzan is a 1999 American animated adventure musical film produced by Walt Disney Feature...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Tarzan 

    Every Song in Tarzan, Ranked by Singability#48 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes10

    Released1984

    Directed byHugh Hudson

    Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes is a 1984 British film directed by Hugh...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Every Which Way but Loose11
    46
    26

    Every Which Way but Loose

    Clint Eastwood, Beverly DAngelo

    Released1978

    Directed byJames Fargo

    Every Which Way but Loose is a 1978 American adventure comedy film, released by Warner...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Every Which Way but Loose 

    #135 of 152 Movies That Should Never Be Remade#171 of 553 The Best '70s Movies

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes12
    66
    59

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    James Franco, Gary Oldman

    Released2014

    Directed byMatt Reeves

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a 2014 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 

    #99 of 206 The Best Adventure Movies#186 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • King Kong13
    81
    80

    King Kong

    Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper

    Released1933

    Directed byMerian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

    King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster/adventure film directed and produced by Merian C....  more
    Amazon buy button

    More King Kong 

    #81 of 105 The Best Halloween Movies for Kids#226 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • Monkey Shines14
    28
    21

    Monkey Shines

    Stanley Tucci, Frank Welker

    Released1988

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

    Monkey Shines is an American horror film originally released in 1988. Written and directed by...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Planet of the Apes15
    59
    33

    Planet of the Apes

    Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter

    Released2001

    Directed byTim Burton

    Planet of the Apes is a 2001 American science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and starring...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Planet of the Apes 

    #262 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys#106 of 168 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

  • Kong: Skull Island16
    28
    4

    Kong: Skull Island

    Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson

    Directed byJordan Vogt-Roberts

    Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The film...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More 

    #24 of 97 The Best Movies of 2017, Ranked#7 of 43 The Best Adventure Movies That Take Place in the Jungle

  • The Jungle Book 217
    31
    9

    The Jungle Book 2

    Phil Collins, John Goodman

    Released2003

    Directed bySteve Trenbirth

    The Jungle Book 2 is a 2003 American-Australian animated musical film produced by DisneyToon...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More The Jungle Book 2 

    #44 of 59 The Best Disney Movies Starring Animals#106 of 111 The Best Disney Animated Movies of All Time

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey18
    27
    17

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter

    Released1968

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    The prologue is all ape
    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More 2001: A Space Odyssey 

    #718 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#87 of 244 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • Dunston Checks In19
    85
    67

    Dunston Checks In

    Faye Dunaway, Jason Alexander

    Released1996

    Directed byKen Kwapis

    Dunston Checks In is a 1996 American comedy film starring Eric Lloyd, Graham Sack, Jason...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Dunston Checks In 

    #10 of 40 The Funniest Movies About Animals#61 of 94 The Worst January Movie Releases

  • Gorillas in the Mist20
    54
    58

    Gorillas in the Mist

    Sigourney Weaver, Iain Glen

    Released1988

    Directed byMichael Apted

    Gorillas in the Mist is a 1988 American drama film directed by Michael Apted and starring...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Gorillas in the Mist 

    #15 of 23 23 Disturbing, Brutal Movies Based on Real-Life Atrocities#11 of 55 The Best Biopics About Women

  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes21
    38
    17

    Battle for the Planet of the Apes

    John Huston, John Landis

    Released1973

    Directed byJ. Lee Thompson

    Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a 1973 science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson....  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Battle for the Planet of the Apes 

    #392 of 498 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time#29 of 52 The Best '70s Sci-Fi Movies

  • Outbreak22
    27
    25

    Outbreak

    Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey

    Released1995

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Outbreak is a 1995 American medical disaster film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and based on...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Outbreak 

    The Bubonic Plague Ravaged San Francisco In The 1900s—And The Government Tried A Massive Cover Up#2 of 105 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks

  • George of the Jungle23
    29
    15

    George of the Jungle

    Brendan Fraser, John Cleese

    Released1997

    Directed bySam Weisman

    George of the Jungle is a 1997 American live-action film adaptation of the cartoon of the same...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More George of the Jungle 

    #108 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies#252 of 925 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue24
    5
    4

    The Murders in the Rue Morgue

    Val Kilmer, Ian McShane

    Released1986

    Directed byJeannot Szwarc, A. Edward Sutherland, Robert Florey, Edgar G. Ulmer

    Murders in the Rue Morgue is a pre-Code 1932 horror film, loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Spymate25
    26
    15

    Spymate

    Emma Roberts, Pat Morita

    Released2006

    Directed byRobert Vince

    Minkey, a super-spy primate, and his partner Mike were the two best spies in the business. For...  more
    Amazon buy button