Dawn of the Planet of the Planet of the Apes is not content with letting you root for one side or the other. It shows you, in detail, exactly why each side of the conflict is doing what they are doing, and how small misunderstanding or rash decisions can impact events in entirely unpredictable ways. It doesn't let you see one side as good guys and one side as bad guys - your in depth knowledge of the reasons for the actions that people take makes everyone a good guy with understandable motivations. And when the bullets start to fly, the slaughter on both sides feels real and horrible and completely unnecessary. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a smart film.