Critics on the War for the Planet of the Apes Score

Dan GoldwasserPress

“Michael Giacchino’s original score is already being hailed as one of the best of the year and a potential Oscar contender.” – IndieWire, Zack Sharf

“The film’s most haunting scene unfolds between an ape and a human on opposite sides of a cage. I won’t specify which is the occupant and which is the onlooker, and Reeves himself is wise enough to let Michael Giacchino’s piercingly beautiful score do most of the talking.” – LA Times, Justin Chang

“Reeves works masterfully here through all elements of the production, but his two smartest decisions may have been in hiring a pair of people you won’t see in any of the ads but who really help make this film the notable accomplishment that it is. The first is cinematographer Michael Seresin, …etc. The second is bringing on the great composer Michael Giacchino, who arguably does the best work of his career here, recalling both war films and great blockbuster scores of the ’70s and ’80s with compositions that become essential to the overall success of the film. A stunning amount of “War” is silent-more than any blockbuster I can remember – so Giacchino’s score becomes as important as the compositions for pre-sound films in the way it conveys emotion and even internal conflict. It’s phenomenal.” –, Brian Tallerico

War never gets stuck in the sort of bloated longeurs that plague so many summer blockbusters pushing past the two-hour mark. The credit for that largely goes to composer Michael Giacchino’s better-than-it-needs-to-be score-a freaky symphony of staccato woodwinds, plucky strings, and ominous thumping kettle drums-and Andy Serkis, who brings Caesar to life once again.” – Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty

“Shot on spectacular locations, mostly in Alberta and British Columbia, despite the California settings, the film is further enhanced by a notably imaginative, out-of-the-ordinary score by Michael Giacchino.” – The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy

“And composer Michael Giacchino’s musical score, one of his very best, clicks right from the beginning, with a wittily re-orchestrated rendition of the familiar 20th Century Fox theme song. The sound evokes something familiar but something new, too. At its best, so does the movie.” – Chicago Tribune, Michael Phillips

“…the movie merits special kudos for Michael Giacchino’s musical score.” – CNN, Brian Lowry

“Michael Seresin’s cinematography is stunning, as is a perfectly pitched musical score from Michael Giacchino, one of his best.” – Deadline, Pete Hammond

“The picture is graced with a spooky grandeur: snowy vistas, long-vacated buildings and a starkly forlorn, percussion-heavy orchestral score by Michael Giacchino that harkens back to Jerry Goldsmith’s landmark original.” – Time Out, Joshua Rothkopf

“The breathlessly paced montage of flying bullets and angry monkeys raining down on terrified men, aided by Michael Giacchino’s vibrant score, is a strong indicator of the next-level craftsmanship that distinguishes these movies from so many cacophonous Hollywood spectacles; not only is the action easy to follow, but you care for the motion-captured characters at the center of it, while the humans cower in fear.” – IndieWire, Eric Kohn

“The action sequences, including a prison break, are thunderously exciting, driven by Michael Seresin’s vibrant camerawork and Michael Giacchino’s robust score.” – Rolling Stone, Peter Travers

“The action proceeds at a thrilling clip, aided immensely by the great Michael Giacchino score. The composer never settles into a groove, with instrumentations varying from simple percussion (the 20th Century Fox fanfare sounds like it was performed from the middle of a rain forest) to full orchestra, and with themes that never feel like mere repetitions of what has come before. It’s a stirring soundtrack that accentuates, but never overwhelms, what we’re seeing.” – The Wrap, Alonso Duralde

“This new one has all the reliable virtues of a well-made studio blockbuster: The effects are incredible, the action is exciting, the music is great, and Andy Serkis, once again embodying a nonhuman character through motion-capture technology, remains terrific.” – The Village Voice, Bilge Ebiri