* AndYouThoughtItWouldFail: This film was widely mocked before release as appearing to be an ill attempt to revive what was pretty much a dead franchise, especially after the virulent fan reception of the remake ten years prior. Then it came out and, to everyone's surprise, turned into a critical success, with a groundbreaking performance by Creator/AndySerkis, as well as a commercial success, bringing hope back to the series.
* AwardSnub It didn't win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. And many, including James Franco, feel Andy Serkis should have been nominated for Best Actor.
* GeniusBonus: Caesar explains why the apes should work in teams by using a bundle of sticks. In ancient Rome, from which Caesar owes his name, a bundle of sticks (or "fasces") was a symbol of authority, which in turn was where the word "fascism" comes from.
* HilariousInHindsight: The SpreadingDisasterMapGraphic in the credits is far from funny. However, [[VideoGame/PlagueInc the mobile game it ultimately inspired]] uses a rather similar way of telling where disease spreads. Bonus points because by the time of the [[Film/DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes sequel]], 20th Century Fox made a deal with the creators of Plague Inc. to allow use of the Simian Flu in their game, bringing the connection full-circle.
* IdiotPlot: Let's face it, ''nothing'' in this movie could have happened if it weren't for the vast majority of the human characters acting like complete idiots. See WhatAnIdiot for more examples.
* MemeticMutation: "Why Cookie Rocket?" has [[http://www.badassdigest.com/2011/08/10/why-cookie-rocket apparently]] become a meme.
* {{Narm}}: [[spoiler: Caesar's BigNo]] is CrowningMomentOfAwesome, NarmCharm or this.
** Making it worse is that it comes ''immediately'' after the absolute {{Narm}} of the gratuitous and forced CallBack to the original film's most famous line.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: There's several scenes during the Golden Gate Attack that seem more fitting to a cartoon than anything.
* SpiritualLicensee: Creator/OrsonScottCard, author of ''Literature/EndersGame'', believes ''Rise'' to be "[[http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/everything/2011-08-11.shtml the first truly successful adaptation of my novel... to appear on the screen]]".[[note]]This was before [[Film/EndersGame the film adaptation of]] ''Ender's Game'' came out.[[/note]] Aside from the protagonist being a chimp, the two stories are surprisingly similar: a child possessing seemingly unnatural intelligence is taken away from his family to be raised in an isolated environment by a group of manipulative adults who want to use his skills for their own ends, but he gradually develops his reasoning skills to become a strategic genius, wins the loyalty of a small group of devoted companions, and leads an outnumbered army to victory against another species--[[spoiler: inadvertently wiping out the other species in the process]].
** It could also be seen as a treatment of F. Paul Wilson's ''Sims'' which involved transgenic chimpanzees fighting for their freedom, albeit less violently.
* UncannyValley: Caesar's facial expressions are decidedly ''not'' chimp-like and a little ''too'' human. Justified in that he can't really be considered a chimpanzee anymore and he was also raised by humans.
** Subtle differences can be found between the film's apes and real ones to make them feel more human. Observe this image of Caesar [[http://files.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/277324_S/Caesar-Ferments-A-Revolution-In-Third-Rise-Of-The-Planet-Of-The-Apes-Trailer.jpg here]] versus this photo of a real chimp [[http://loadpaper.com/large/Primates_wallpapers_291.jpeg here]]. The eyes have been made expressly human.
* WhatAnIdiot: Several moments in the film involve humans taking turns with the IdiotBall.
** Robert Franklin and all the other so-called ape experts fail to notice that a female is pregnant, and later that there's a baby ape in her cell. Thus a dozen apes are put down due to a misunderstanding and bad timing.
*** Especially considering that they were using her to ''test a medical drug''. When scientists do that, they keep track off all of the test subject's health signs. The company appears to be large and wealthy, so I doubt they're running some crap, unregulated operation. Even if they were stupidly not testing for signs, people who work with chimps a lot should've been able to notice she was pregnant just by looking at her.
*** Also, it's going to take more than two not-that-physically-fit-looking scientists to restrain an angry chimpanzee.
** Dodge Landon stepping out into the pen to confront Caesar alone, seemingly unaware of how dangerous chimpanzees can be despite working with them, then following it up by trying to [[spoiler:electrocute a ''talking'' ape (again) while the ape's holding a water hose.]]
*** Dodge's treatment of the apes, period. Yes, mistreat, tease, and torment the animals that are intelligent, have long-term memories, and are physically ''much'' stronger than you. [[TheDogBitesBack See if that doesn't]] [[BullyingADragon bite you in the ass later]].
** Jacobs deciding to throw basic safety measures to the wind when testing out the new version of Will's drug. Apparently the thought of massive profits makes him lose all caution.
*** To be fair, Will's treatment up until that point had seemed like little more than a pipe dream. Even with all the data, Jacobs had never seen a successful test until Will broke protocol and treated his father. That turned Will's research from 'pet project' to 'wonder drug worth billions.'
*** It's still a severe IdiotBall moment because he didn't even bother with making sure that were ''no'' potential nasty side-effects. The moment the possibility for lots of money became apparent, he gave into greed and [[ViolationOfCommonSense discarded logic and]] ''[[ViolationOfCommonSense common sense.]]'' And his idiocy is not only the reason [[spoiler: Koba kills him]], it's also partly the reason that practically no one sans a completely ignored researcher [[spoiler: realized that Franklin died ''because'' of ALZ-113 (Jacob's would be moneymaker) and was thus unfit for human trial ''and'' mass production.]] The result? [[spoiler: ApocalypseHow, Class 3a.]]
*** Though even if they did contain him after the fact (it should've been before) [[spoiler: how could they have possibly known he'd sneezed on a pilot? ApocalypseHow? Not through Jacobs.]]
** And also Franklin. Sure, he may have first tried to talk with Will by phone, but if he realized [[spoiler: he was infected with a so-far deadly-looking disease]], couldn't he have taken some precautions, like wearing a mask to block his sneezes? At least then perhaps the pilot [[spoiler: wouldn't have contracted the disease, which in turn wouldn't have doomed mankind.]] Hell, Franklin should have said something the moment he noticed something was wrong, since he was completely fine ''until the accident in the testing room happened.''
** Jacobs refusing to continue testing of A112. I get that the chimp thing would be a PR disaster, but he basically has a miracle drug on hand. He cancelled the experiment without even an investigation, throwing god-knows-how-much money down the drain already. It's not like they were experimenting with some tiny little hypothesis that could maybe potentially be applied to future experiments; this was a drug that had gone through a long testing period and seemed to work perfectly.
* WinBackTheCrowd: This film was able to do so for the Planet of The Apes franchise.
-----