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King Kong

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

New Zealand, USA, Germany

2005

Rated PG-13 • 3h 7m

Director Peter Jackson

Starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann

Genre Adventure, Drama, Action

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In 1930s New York, overly ambitious movie producer Carl Denham coerces his team into traveling to the mysterious Skull Island for his boldest picture to date. But Denham's cinematic dreams get out of hand when his leading lady is kidnapped by the islanders as a sacrifice to the giant Kong. Determined to get her back, love-struck playwright Jack Driscoll leads the crew in a daring attempt to rescue her from his clutches.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Jamie Bitz Profile picture for Jamie Bitz

In classic Peter Jackson fashion, the cinematography and special effects reign supreme in this remake. Although I appreciate Jackson's desire to make Kong more than just a maniac beast, adding touches of true emotion and human-like tendencies, the film is still dragged down by the problems of the original film: the giant gorilla is merely a veiled attempt at getting away with portraying the "Buck" stereotype. Until the racial origins of the original film are addressed, there can be no remake that doesn't simply further that narrative, no matter how pretty the picture may be.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

90

Newsweek by

A surprisingly tender, even heartbreaking, film. Like the original, it's a tragic tale of beauty and the beast.
60

The New Yorker by David Denby

This Kong is high-powered entertainment, but Jackson pushes too hard and loses momentum over the more than three hours of the movie. The story was always a goofy fable--that was its charm--and a well-told fable knows when to stop.
75

Premiere by Glenn Kenny

I say this as someone for whom the very idea of a Kong remake is sacrilege, Jackson's straitened conception yields up a pretty damn good popcorn movie.
50

Time by Richard Schickel

Our response to the ape's doom, once touched by authentic tragedy, is now marked by relief that this wretchedly excessive movie is finally over.
90

Variety by Todd McCarthy

Almost too much of a good thing, Peter Jackson's remake of the film that made him want to make movies is a super-sized version of a yarn that was big to begin with, a stupendous adventure that maximizes, and sometimes oversells, its dazzling wares.

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