King Kong (2005), directed by Peter Jackson.
This is a good movie. The first hour is spent setting the tone and developing the characters; it takes place during the 1930s, when The Depression was in full swing: alcohol was banned, poverty was rampant, and jobs were scarce. Once the King Kong shows up though, that first hour seems almost irrelevant; you forget about the setting, clutching your chair-arm due to the excitement of the action sequences: battling dinosaurs, giant cockroaches, bats as big as airplanes… relief comes once they get off the island, but then they get sappy, with a stupid scene taking place on a frozen pond after the ape escapes from his shackles; however, some of the island scenes may give you nightmares.
I didn’t see the original 1924 King Kong, and I was around 10 when I saw the 1978 version. I had little expectations about it except knowing that Peter Jackson made it, so I expected a visual feast; and it delivers. There’s a lot of silly stuff in the film and some scenes are too long, but I enjoyed it. See it in a theater if you can, for the realistic special effects and sound.