Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 classic King Kong has earned rave reviews from UK critics.
Interaction between Kong and Naomi Watts' heroine was praised
The Lord of the Rings director's epic movie was described as "a bona fide work of genius" by the Daily Telegraph.
The Times praises the film's special effects. "This Kong is a breathtaking testament to the power of cutting edge hyper-realism," it said.
"Everything the 1933 movie has, Jackson has - to the power of a hundred," said the Guardian.
The movie follows a film crew's expedition to the unexplored Skull Island, where they encounter giant gorilla Kong, dozens of dinosaurs and a possible money-making opportunity.
Awarding the film a top five-star rating, Guardian reviewer Peter Bradshaw called it a "passionate remake".
"This new King Kong is a folie de grandeur with real grandeur," he wrote.
"In its power, its spectacle, and its spine-tinglingly beautiful vision of 1930s New York, it is a thing of wonder.
"It certainly equals, and even exceeds, anything Jackson did in Lord of the Rings."
The Daily Telegraph's Tim Robey said Jackson's King Kong "could be the most loving remake in film history".
He described it as "an elaborate act of homage whose generosity of spirit and sheer sincere rightness qualify it instantly as one of the great movies about a movie".
He praised the fact that the film's characters, including Naomi Watts' heroine and Kong itself, conveyed strong emotion.
"Jackson's achievement is to fill his picture with cavernous soul," Mr Robey wrote.
"One look into Kong's anguished eyes, a long, luminous close-up of Watts staring back, and we're sure of that."
Many critics comment on the film's length, which at 187 minutes is almost twice as long as the original movie.
"The narrative pacing, especially in these early scenes, seems leisurely - 55 minutes elapse before we catch a glimpse of the island," says The Times reviewer Kevin Maher.
"For a three-hour movie this could seem like padding, yet these scenes are simply a measured intake of air before one of the greatest dizzying sprints in cinema history."
In his BBC News website review, Chris Leggett praised "some of the greatest action sequences yet committed to film, along with scenes of romance and human drama".
However, he added: "King Kong goes on for far too long and at times seems too wrapped up with in-jokes, particularly about the movie industry."
But Daily Mail reviewer Baz Bamigboye concluded: "Some critics will carp about its length - three hours - but for me, the time sped by."
"Jackson opens his movie with Al Jolson singing I'm Sitting On Top Of The World. And that's where the director is - with the competition far, far below."
King Kong is released in the UK on 15 December.