Never mind James Franco, though he acquits himself reasonably well in the thankless role of a handsome super-scientist out to heal the human brain. The real star here is Caesar, the genetically tweaked chimpanzee who has to figure out who he is and where he belongs. The story of how he does that is, against all odds, compelling and even touching — thanks in part to the film’s canny emphasis on visual storytelling. It’s a bold summer film that asks you to root against humanity, but just see if you don’t. (2011) — Matthew Lickona
This movie is not currently in theaters.