The New York Times says, "viewers who share this director’s apparently limitless appetite for gore will not be disappointed". The Guardian gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says, "Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is pathologically brilliant. It is bizarre, stomach-turningly violent and frequently inspired." Slate has a mixed review.
Empire Online calls it "A strange but entertaining mix of action, bloodletting, chin-rubbing and arthouse trimmings". Roger Ebert's site faults the historical inaccuracies and the violence but calls it "a beautiful looking, emotional and incredibly exciting film". Rotten Tomatoes has an audience rating of 79%.