Matt Reeves has pulled of the almost impossible feat of following up a masterpiece with an even greater one. His direction and execution of his vision is absolutely phenomenal. The storytelling is masterclass. The emotional complexity that's at the heart of the film is astounding, not just for a summer blockbuster, but for any film. War is built around moments of deep emotional connections and exchanges between characters that are brilliant. These moments take the film to an entirely new level of excellence and truly make it a masterpiece. The film is visually stunning and gorgeously shot. I'll always prefer film, but if you're going to go digital for a film of this scale, the Alexa 65 is the only choice. It produces a sharp and striking picture, which perfectly captured the film's forrest/mountain setting and scope. When it comes to the action sequences and the CGI, they're undoubtedly the best of the trilogy. The GCI is mind blowing. It was fantastic in 2014, so it's beyond impressive that looks even better just 3 years. There are moments, the close ups of the apes' faces in particular, where you forget that what you're seeing isn't real. It will be an atrocity if it doesn't win Best Visual Effects. In fact, the GCI work of the entire trilogy should be honored with a special achievement Oscar for being so revolutionary. The cast is outstanding as a whole. Serkis deserves an Oscar, plain and simple (I'll share my full thoughts on that in another post this weekend). Steve Zahn is a standout as Bad Ape. Harrelson plays it safe, but he's still really solid. Amiah Miller showcases immense talent for her age as the little girl the apes take in. I could go on and on about this film. Angry doesn't even begin to describe how I'll feel if War isn't nominated for Best Picture, and The Academy will be doing Matt Reeves a great disservice if us isn't nominated for Best Director. I digress by saying that the Apes Trilogy is very rare in that it gets better with each installment, and is now one of the greatest trilogies ever. That said, War for the Planet of the Apes, as part of the trilogy and as an individual film, is undoubtedly a masterpiece in every sense of the word.