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Braveheart (1995)

A movie directed by Mel Gibson

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With near perfect direction from Mel Gibson, Braveheart is just what I want in a film

  • Apr 9, 2011


Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan) is an English ruler who plans to inherit the crown of Scotland just after Scotland's previous king had died without and heir. William Wallace (Mel Gibson), lost both his brother and father when they fought for Scotland's freedom, and he believes that Scotland should be free from the English invaders that have killed many people from their land. Wallace leads his courageous army to defeat the English, and after some success Wallace attacks the city of York. Longshanks begins to realize that even though Scotland is small they might be able to defeat England, and he sends his daughter-in-law to make a deal, but Wallace only continues his quest to free Scotland.

The first time I saw this I was actually not aware of its success at the Oscars, and I had only heard from a few sources that it was good. Needless to say I was not expecting a great film to come out of this, and that is one of the things that made this film so brilliant for me. The worst thing that can happen to a movie buff is to be expecting something great, and then it turn out to be bad. But my favorite is when I am expecting a decent film, and a masterpiece comes out of it, which is exactly what Braveheart is. Though I was actually surprised to find it number 90 on IMDb's top 250 list. It seems that it is another one of those films that I would compare to Gladiator and The Shawshank Redemption. Both films received critical acclaim, but they also attract a wide variety of audiences, which is not always the case with the Oscar nominees. That is why even though some may feel they aren't some of the greatest all time, the films are still so popular. Braveheart is another one of those films.

Braveheart is inspired by true events, so if you are expecting an accurate tale of the story of William Wallace then you might as well not watch this film at all. While some things about the film were true, in the credits it will actually say that even some of the charcters' names are not their real ones. So even though many people run around talking about how it is a true story, most of it was fiction. Which is what Mel Gibson was going for, so that worked out fine. The story was very intriguing to me, I had always heard of the man named William Wallace, but it wasn't until about one or two years ago that I figured out he was connected to this film. He truly was an incredible character in this movie. One of the better movie characters I have ever seen to be honest. I do not know how accurate the portrayal of Wallace was but, his strong beliefs and how he was willing to do whatever was necessary in order to defend them was a very moving part of the film. Not to mention his inspirational speech was one of my all time favorites in any movie.

For whatever reason this is another ones of those best picture winners that gets a lot of unnecessary hate from the critics. Similar to Crash and Titanic, though I did not love Crash. And The King's Speech very well may have just joined the list, but in my opinion it deserved to win. But the hate on Braveheart I especially don't get. I personally think it deservedly won every Oscar it was given, and I honestly think it should have won more. It did not deserve best writing, that title definitely should have gone to Emma Thompson, but James Horner was absolutely deserving to win best musical score. This is one of my favorite soundtracks in any film ever. It sets the tone for the film perfectly, and most of all it was beautiful.

Mel Gibson received the Oscar for best director, and for good reason too. He may not be the best actor to ever walk this earth, but he did an unbelievable job with the direction. This is nearly a three hour long film, and I can honestly say I was not bored through any of it. It starts with William Wallace as a child, and the audience learns about some of the things that happened to him, and from there we move into the brutal war with Wallace trying to free Scotland. Every scene was important, and every scene was needed. The action scenes were fantastic, maybe filled with violence and blood, but I think it was necessary for Gibson to make this film so violent. It may make some people turn away from the film, but in the end that is the what it was. It was not like it was some Rambo or something, the violence was actually on a more realistic level in this film, which I was okay with.

The performances were actually the weakest part of the film, and that is saying something because they were very good. I am not a huge Mel Gibson fan, he isn't the best actor, but a good one. I just don't really like a lot of his movies, he is a likeable guy, well if you don't know much about his personal life, but many of his movies are stupid in my opinion. However, Braveheart is one of my favorites. I thought he did a good job overall, the accent sounded good and he was a good pick for William Wallace. He really put his heart into the performance, which made it better than many of his others. And for the character he was playing that was needed. I am not saying he deserved an Oscar or anything, but he did a really good job. Patrick McGoohan was also good as Edward the Longshanks. He is not an actor I am particularly familiar with, but usually when I watch one of his films he does a good job. This was no exception.

Overall, Braveheart is a brilliant film. I know right off many people will disagree with my rating, but that is how I saw the film. Braveheart is a modern epic that is not to be missed. The cinematography was amazing, also deserving of the Oscar. This is just a well acted and well written film, and it may pack many bloody action scenes, but everything is very well done. James Horner's musical score is absolutely beautiful, and is one that is very difficult to beat. Some say this never deserved best picture, but for me Braveheart is a masterpiece.


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April 10, 2011
Yeah this is a great film
April 10, 2011
Thanks for reading!
April 10, 2011
This is one of my faves for sure! Wonderful review!! I will be right back....
April 10, 2011
Thank you!
More Braveheart (1995) reviews
review by . January 08, 2010
The Sons of Scotland Unite on Blu-ray!
As part of Paramount's Sapphire Collection Series, Braveheart is the best title of the three films Paramount chose to re-release.  While Forrest Gump and Gladiator are both amazing films, neither takes advantage of Blu-ray's power like Mel Gibson's epic film about the Scottish Revolution.  This isn't because of surround sound or anything being re-mastered though.  The film is fun to watch again in such a new way.  Sure DVD was great when it first came out, but Blu-ray takes away …
review by . December 10, 2008
Braveheart is almost 3 hours of action-packed, thrilling gold. Mel Gibson plays he role of William Wallace, a Scot, and gives an excellent performance as he leads his countrymen in the fight for independence from England. Of course, like any war movie, there's a love story, but in Braveheart it doesn't become the movie's main focus. Also, the film is pretty accurate from a historical point of view, and offers a glimpse into what life was like back in 13th century Europe.     Many …
review by . November 29, 2008
Below you will find a desription of the movie. This is my favorite movie of all time.     William Wallace is a Scottish rebel who leads an uprising against the cruel English ruler Edward the Longshanks, who wishes to inherit the crown of Scotland for himself. When he was a young boy, William Wallace's father and brother, along with many others, lost their lives trying to free Scotland. Once he loses another of his loved ones, William Wallace begins his long quest to make Scotland …
review by . June 02, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
I watched Braveheart again over the weekend and this is truly an excellent epic drama. But let's get one thing off the table first. I do not view this movie as an accurate portrayal of William Wallace or Robert the Bruce - nor is it what the rating is based on. Obviously plenty of liberties were taken with history. The movie is great because it's a good story well told.Braveheart is about the war for Scottish independence in the 13th century and the historical William Wallace who led the initial …
review by . April 28, 2001
As I write this, Gladiator is still enjoying its shower of praise. I recall with notable fondness a similar film to snag the Oscar for Best Picture, Braveheart. This is the true masterpiece of the genre (which might be medieval action/adventure or something). What makes Braveheart special? In many movies like this (for instance, Gladiator), the protagonist is only a hero because he suffers. In Braveheart, William Wallace is a hero because he fights against suffering. It is that simple fundament …
review by . September 01, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
There are five reasons why I rate this film so highly: great plot, great acting, outstanding production values, timeless themes, and indelible images. As you probably know already, the movie focuses on William Wallace who led the Scots to great victories before being betrayed, tortured, and executed. Gibson combines his usual zest for physical activity with much of the same sensitivity he revealed when portaying Hamlet. The supporting cast members are all first-rate. Perhaps only Gladiator and Saving …
About the reviewer
Matt Stewart ()
Ranked #223
Basically all anyone would need to know about me is I love movies. I watch movies, review them, and I can always enjoy a good, long talk about the art of film making.
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About this movie


A stupendous historical saga, Braveheart won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for star Mel Gibson. He plays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish commoner who unites the various clans against a cruel English King, Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan). The scenes of hand-to-hand combat are brutally violent, but they never glorify the bloodshed. There is such enormous scope to this story that it works on a smaller, more personal scale as well, essaying love and loss, patriotism and passion. Extremely moving, it reveals Gibson as a multitalented performer and remarkable director with an eye for detail and an understanding of human emotion. (His first directorial effort was 1993's Man Without a Face.) The film is nearly three hours long and includes several plot tangents, yet is never dull. This movie resonates long after you have seen it, both for its visual beauty and for its powerful story. -- Rochelle O'Gorman
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Director: Mel Gibson
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 1995
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Randall Wallace
DVD Release Date: August 29, 2000
Runtime: 177 minutes
Studio: Paramount
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