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John Lithgow

Still monkeying around with 'Planet of the Apes'

Still monkeying around with 'Planet of the Apes'

More than the apes are smart in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." This smartly packaged prequel in the long-running simian series rejuvenates what had seemed like a tired franchise. Don't be surprised if these digitally created apes continue to rise in future installments. What makes this latest ape movie work is that it adheres to traits that seem old-fashioned in the current summer movie marketplace. Working with a solidly crafted script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, director Rupert Wyatt oversees a deliberately paced, detail-oriented story. The movie may not contain any great scripted surprises, but it deftly knows how to deliver the quasi-scientific goods. By the time...