Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Jackson spoils us with riches in this film, with one impossible sequence after another; the result is overwhelming but pleasantly so.
Jackson is filmmaker and entertainer enough to use all the technology at his disposal without losing sight of the sublimely improbable story of beast and beauty, and the exquisitely realized islands they call home.
San Francisco Chronicle:
The unrelenting computer-animated action suffocates what seems to have been the movie's main purpose, to expand on the Kong-Ann relationship.
Ebert & Roeper:
This is a great thrill ride with the occasionally beautiful moment, as when Kong and Ann admire a sunset. Pay no attention to the December 14th release date, I think this is really a classic summer movie.
A big, bold, gigantor of an action movie that's part head-knocking smackdown, part intimate beauty and the beast and thoroughly entertaining a lot of the time.
At three hours, Jackson's Kong is too bloated and digressive to match the pure adrenaline of the first film, perhaps the finest B-movie ever made.
Los Angeles Times:
A travelogue through popular movie genres, it passes from socially conscious drama to comedy, romance, horror, adventure, science-fiction fantasy and doomed love story, cleverly quoting the styles and tropes to which we've become accustomed along the way.
It clocks in at over three hours, but Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 classic is gripping nonetheless.
Too big for its own good, too pure of heart to diminish, brawling, magnificent, heroic and flawed: That's King Kong, and that's King Kong.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com),
In a word, Jackson's King Kong is spectacular, awesome, phenomenal and breathtaking. OK, so I can't boil it down to one word.
Christian Science Monitor:
There's no denying the monumentality of Jackson's achievement, which intermittently lives up to Denham's showbiz credo: 'Magic for the price of a ticket.'
Monstrous. Monumental. Magnificent. Use any term you want, there's no denying the power, genius and spectacle of King Kong, which is certainly the biggest movie of the year and possibly the biggest movie ever made.
The movie seals Jackson's reputation: He's the most gifted big-picture artist working today, a master of epics from a human-eye view who excels at employing 21st-century technological wizardry to suit the needs of ageless, personal storytelling.
Detroit Free Press:
While one cannot deny his giant-sized filmmaking gifts or his showmanship, nor can we ignore how thin the air of self-importance feels by the time every last digital effect has been pulled out of the magic bag.
King Kong isn't terrible, but it's something that none of Jackson's previous movies ever was -- it's enervating.
It's the rare kind of movie that makes too much seem like a good idea.
Like Black's craven filmmaker, Jackson swells into a madman impresario, so hell-bent on topping himself that he doesn't know when to cut and run.
Kong is a showy, state-of-the-art popcorn movie, faithful to the spirit of the 1933 original but generously adrenalized with the best effects money can buy.
It takes a while to get everybody to Skull Island, about 70 minutes, but it's time extremely well-spent.
New York Daily News:
Peter Jackson's King Kong is the most thrilling, soulful monster picture ever made. At last, it can be said without irony -- I laughed, I cried.
New York Daily News:
The $200 million-plus spectacle is funny when it wants to be, exhilarating when it needs to be and a sentimental triumph at the end.
It starts too slowly and suffers from weak dialogue and less-than-epic acting. But as popcorn movies go, this is the year's popcorniest.
With a wizard at the helm, there are times when re-makes can be glorious things.
Good things do come in big packages. The trick for any filmmaker is to find the small movie within the big one, which is exactly what Peter Jackson does in King Kong.
However jawdropping the big effects (there's a dinosaur stampede and some giant white worms who suck men into their squishy maws), they're tenderly elbowed aside by scenes of tender intimacy.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Serkis' contribution truly is something we've never seen, an entirely new category of computer-enhanced acting. With not a word of dialogue, he brings to life a close cousin to man with whom we can empathize, yet is never too human-like.
Globe and Mail:
There are some dazzling moments and remarkably clunky ones, a stitched together mixture of old and new, a genre tour that jumps in tone from jaunty comedy to sci-fi horror to laboured social commentary.
Jackson took a huge risk with King Kong. But the movie that no film lover wanted him to make is sure to become the blockbuster that everyone is going to want to see, and with good reason.
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.
Jackson is a visionary filmmaker who is not only a technical wizard but also a master storyteller.
What's up on screen is rarely short of staggering.
Given the excessive length and bombastic F/X, there's too much action and precious little poetry.
One hundred eighty-seven minutes of mesmerization, astonishment, thrills, chills, spills, kills and ills, Peter Jackson's big monkey picture show is certainly the best popular entertainment of the year.