Braveheart

Every man dies, not every man truly lives.

Action Drama History
177 min     7.94     1995     USA

Overview

Enraged at the slaughter of Murron, his new bride and childhood love, Scottish warrior William Wallace slays a platoon of the local English lord's soldiers. This leads the village to revolt and, eventually, the entire country to rise up against English rule.

Reviews

Anton2k wrote:
Being Scottish, this movie really does a good job at showing off the scenery in and around Scotland. The story line of this movie keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through the movie. Mel Gibson does a really good job with the accent and plays a great role as William Wallace in the movie. I cant help by want to stand up and shout FREEDOM! once the movie is finished. Could watched this movie another 1000 times and not get board of watching it. It's a must watch for any one who has not see it yet.
John Chard wrote:
Historical flaws aside, Braveheart is a rousing spectacle. So it comes to pass in the year of 1995 (not a year of our lord I think) that Mel Gibson would craft the award winning epic that is Braveheart, a film that is historically bent in the extreme, that is directed by a man who would go on to have a less than favourable character reputation, and a film that has a heavy handed approach at times. It's also as choppy as a boat ride during a tidal wave, so yes, Braveheart is far from flawless folks. Yet the structure, the epic emotional swirls and sheer spectacle of it all marks it out as a rousing treat. It's a lavish gargantuan epic that somehow seems out of place for the year it was made, perhaps the secret of the films' success is because the 90s were crying out for an epic to get us hankering back to those halcyon days of Spartacus et al. Or just maybe the film punched the buttons of the public psyche because it is a great and grand thing to see the little people rise up and kick some ass? The oppressed and the bullied strike back as it were, surely that theme works for the normal human being? It's a sweeping tale that involves love, loyalty, honour, dishonour, treachery, death & heroes and villains. In short it ticks all the boxes for the genre it sits in (clinical bloody battles superbly full on). Gibson is William Wallace, and although he may struggle to nail the Scottish accent to fully convince at times, he more than makes up for it with his verve and vigour when delivering his lines - with the Sons Of Scotland speech at Stirling a particular iconic highlight. Patrick McGoohan is pure egotistical villainy as Longshanks, King Edward I, and the supporting cast also do sterling work (or should that be Stirling?). Brendan Gleeson, Tommy Flanagan, Catherine McCormack, Angus Macfadyen, and the wonderful James Cosmo all add flavour to the delightful scotch broth on the screen. The score by James Horner is appropriately tight to the themes at work in the piece, and the cinematography by John Toll was rightly awarded at Oscar time since he captured the essence of the film. Be it the lush rolling hills or the blood stained field in the aftermath of battle, Toll's work is critically in sync with the unfolding mood of the picture. So yes, damn straight, flaws and all, pic has the ability to lift and inspire many a discerning viewer. It does kick you at times, but as it does so, it also emotionally engages you from start to finish - to which the film deserves every accolade and award that it won. Because the grandiose epic had seemed long gone, but Gibson and his army brought it back to the modern era and made a genre piece fit to hold it's head up high with the greats of years gone by. 10/10
GenerationofSwine wrote:
When i saw this I was 15 and it was one of the greatest movies I had ever seen. Fast forward to today, I'm 41, and degrees and history and... the battle of Sterling Bridge is like fingernails on a chalkboard whenever I see it. I watched it with my wife and, "no, she was like 3 and living in France." So I don't know. It was dramatic and moody and stylistically beautiful. It was a typical Gibson gore fest and that is always fun. It was well acted, the score added to the drama, and it spawned a movement in Scotland that they are still dealing with today... ... so it is still a really good film. It just, well... where the heck is the bridge?
CinemaSerf wrote:
I am afraid that as a Scotsman, I had way more problem with the factual elements of this than perhaps I ought to have had. We have this history drummed into us as bairns, and so when a grand-scale depiction like this comes along, I excitedly expected more. It doesn't matter a jot that the eponymous Mel Gibson isn't a Scot - that is the acting equivalent of a red herring. What matters is that the story is largely a work of fiction. Gory, beautiful, authentic looking, certainly - but fiction nonetheless. Taken on that basis, then, it is still an entertaining mediaeval drama depicting the struggle of the king-less Scots against the oppression of England's King Edward I (Patrick McGoohan). Using a panoply of familiar faces, it gradually demonstrates the brutality of the English over these vassals, and introduces us to "William Wallace" (Gibson) who is one of the few who wishes to fight back. The killing of his wife at the hands of his local magistrate (Malcolm Tierney) is the last straw, and soon he is working with his kinsman Argyle (Brian Cox) to formulate a plan. What now ensues is a well produced, stylishly filmed drama offering us plenty of scheming and plotting and some seriously gory battle scenes before it all culminates in the unavoidable denouement. It takes it's time to get underway, but once it is up and running it is well paced, there is a minimum of romance, plenty of swordplay and lots of unadulterated freedom-fighter jingoism. Why not? It is a film about a man who fought for the freedom of his people against the tyranny of an interloper, and is effective at that. The historical timelines are a bit all over the place, as are many of the characterisations, but again that's another matter of fact that we have had to ditch at the opening titles. "Braveheart" is exciting, fast-moving and bloody - just what it is meant to be, and for that Gibson ought to be commended. Just a shame it couldn't be just bit more rooted in fact.

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