Braveheart - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Braveheart Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2007
When I first saw this film, I thought it was fantastic! In particular, it skirted the second act letdown. Tonight, I saw it on DVD. One, too many and too long battle sequences. Two is enough for me. Second, Wallace (Gibson) is carried to his execution on a cart with a cross. Well, OK, Christ dies for all of us. But then, when he is secured to have his head cut off, he is also spread out in a cross. Too much Christianity for me. I did not notice this aspect when I first saw the film.
Otherwise, this film hooked me well into its story, and it has a very strong spiritual aspect. The love that was consummated (twice) struck me as more of the spirit than of the flesh. 3 Stars 9-14-1997 (Updated)
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2006
Braveheart is the (exceedingly tall) story of William Wallace, a man who united the common people of Scotland to rise up against their English oppressors in the 13th century. Of course the historical "facts" vary between the dubious and the ludicrous, particularly those involving the princess of Wales but I for one am not complaining about having to look at Sophie Marceau. It's easy to pick holes in it's accuracy, but if it were true to real events it probably would be a hell of a lot duller. This film is about rooting for the underdog; cheering on the good guys and booing the bad guys with some fantastically bloody action along the way. Gibson's accent is more Crocodile than Dundee, but he plays the part with just the right mix of charm and humour and has a great supporting cast to back him up, Patrick McGoohan being the best of the bunch as the deliciously malevolent Edward Longshanks (Boo! Hiss!) Often ridiculous, but a hugely entertaining old school swashbuckler. And where else can you see a story where a dirty hankie changes history...?!
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2007
"Every man dies, but not every man really lives"

Excellent Film! 1995 Best Picture! The acting is amazing, and the ending was brilliant. For me, all my guesses were incorrect. Everything that happens in this movie in unpredicted. The last half hour itself was highly unpredictable, and it had a powerful message. When a scene was meant to be dramatic, they did a great job at it. The message the movie sent kept me thinking for a while. The amount of courage and bravery was inconceivable, there was barely any faults or anything wrong with the movie. For a movie of 1995, they did a great job. Everything in this film was done tastefully. I love Robert's last line "You have bled with Wallace! Now bleed with me!" and the army stands and continues their struggling battles for freedom! This is such an inspirational movie with a powerful message "Every man dies, but not every man really lives" to a tearful ending that will make anyone shed a tear to a terrific heartfelt sound track, it's no wonder this won best picture with other Oscars. This is a movie, a terrific one that everyone should enjoy and watch. Well recommended! Go see this if you haven't!

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 free once and for all, along with the assistance of Robert the Bruce.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2010
it was a very well thought out film, and the main reason to see this movie is the music and the fight scenes, mainly because the music is all done in bagpipes which is a tribute to Scotland being how the bagpipe was invented there. and the fights are spectacular to look at and very epic
Bathsheba Monk
Super Reviewer
June 3, 2013
What's not to like? This is about the third time I've seen this--this time on DVD and I am really astounded at Gibson's fine storytelling. Again. This go around, I was taken with how the Scottish nobelmen were just like today's corporate honchos, betraying their own people for their own wait, maybe it's not betrayal if you consider your "own people" not your national or ethnic tribe, but your financial tribe. Anyway, splendid acting, sets, direction you name it.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2012
I love me some good historical dramas -- although this one has a number of historical inaccuracies that I found hard to swallow. I also hate Mel there's that.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2011
'Braveheart'. A most brutal underdog recollection. Kudos to Gibson for some fine acting, and direction during the numerous, bloody action sequences.
Super Reviewer
December 26, 2006
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2012
Now there's no doubt this is one of the highest points in Mel Gibson's carrer. This epic is one of the best films to happen to Scotland sence Trainspotting (But in a completely different way). It has a great flow of story which is a good change from other epics where plot would happen in the begining and then just be 2 and half hours of blood and gore. Now this film has blood and gore... alot of it, but the story progresses through the entire film. This film also has one of the most insperational speeches in cinamatic history. It's not a perfect film but it's not half bad :)
Super Reviewer
June 28, 2007
Mel Gibson's monumental masterpiece, of which he is both the leading star and the director, is a sweeping and majestic ode to one of history's most beloved heroes, William Wallace. Each and every scene a pure cinematic delight, this is a motion picture for the ages, that just gets better and more dazzling with time. Breathtaking scenery, sensational, Oscar-winning action scenes and one of the most beautifully orchestrated music scores ever produced, merits this grand and stunning epic a very special place in my movie-loving heart. Say what you will about Mel Gibson's sanity and the historical accuracy of the film. For at the end of the day, he knows how to make quality that counts.
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2011
No doubt an epic film, Braveheart is unnecessarily violent and long and historically incorrect. Nevertheless, Mel Gibson is riveting as William Wallace, the medieval Scottish patriot, the action and drama and romance have a decent balance, and the cinematography is absolutely phenomenal.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2011
Just watched this movie yesterday.....WOW I was missing out for YEARS. This is exactly my type of movie: medieval, thriller, adventure, bloody, great story......the list goes on. Inspiring to say the least, as Mel Gibson delivers an amazing performance, EPIC.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2007
Although rather historically inaccurate and biased against the English, this is an awesome medival romp with plenty of bloody action displayed in golden war sequences. The look and feel of the whole flick is perfect and very accurate to look at whilst the whole cast looks like they have been plucked right from the chronicles of history hehe excellent costumes all round.

Gibson does feel kinda miscast to be honest, he's too much of a 80's action man, too Hollywood, they needed someone alittle less well known and a bit more gruff, but the rest are near perfect especially McGoohan as the English king. The film really hits the spot with the battles, the rest is alittle dull but needed for the emotionally packed story and ending but the battles are some of the most fierce and brutal battles I've seen on film. I think this film started off the tidal wave of historical epics with extremely realistic brutal clashes as it was a real shock when first viewing at the cinema. Truly monumental pitched battles in this film, no mercy haha.

Warning, it is very tearful near the finale, very well done, but the adrenaline sure does kick in ;)
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2007
Gibson fights the nationalistic English hordes in this big brawling tribute to a Scotland that never was. Better than most medieval fare, there's still not much in the way of acting as there's no parts written that require any. An entertaining time but not meant to be taken seriously.
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2011
Braveheart deserved the Oscar. The plot never lets down and was great. The action was amzing and had every correct step to it. It was a masterful movie and I will watch it again one of these days.
Super Reviewer
½ April 7, 2011
Braveheart for me, at least has got to be one of the most epic films that I have seen. The film tells the story of William Wallace a Scottish Patriot who fights against the British during the 13th Century and the height of the rule of Edward Longshanks. Wallace's forces fought for independence from British rule. There is no denying the scope of this film. Everything about it is grand. The Music and the battles are simply epic. This is by far Mel Gibson's best film since the Mad Max films. What makes Braveheart so interesting is the history behind the man. A common man who fought against all odds to get Scottish independence. Braveheart is a near flawless epic, and of course there are it's shares of inaccuracies, and thats why the film doesn't get a perfect score in my book. The casting decisions are phenomenal, Patrick McGoohan plays Longshanks with the cruel intensity that one could probably have expected from the real life Longshanks. It's hard to imagine a different person in the role. What thing that really stood out for me was the music score composed by James Horner. The music in this film is superb and the Braveheart score is one of my favorite film scores of all time. Braveheart is an action packed drama that combines history and romance in a film thats sure to please the diehard historical buff. As a history nut myself, I love it because it shows a very important side of Scottish history. For those who want to check out Mel Gibson's best directorial effort, here it is. No other film that he made has had the epic quality of Braveheart. A truly terrific film that has remained one of the best film epics since Lawrence Of Arabia.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2006
Just saw this recently again in high definition, and wow, I tend to forget how ferociously entertaining it is. Superb filmmaking on the grandest of scales. Easily one of the top ten epic-based films of all time. An all-encompassing experience.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2009
Whenever somebody makes an action movie which is pure drivel, loved by fans and makes millions at the box office and somebody tells me that I should see it, I tell them no. And then when the Oscars come around and that movie isn't even nominated, no matter how much this fan may have said that it should be, I laugh in their face. And then, when they tell me that action movies don't win Oscars anyway, I refer them to Braveheart.

Even though the more pedantic of people would correct me, telling me that it's a drama, there's no denying the action tones; not just the blood and guts but the whole idea of a guy who's pushed to the edge and then shows the audience that he has mad fighting skills. However, this is not truly what the film is about, though this will be the only part that Jason Statham fans will be able to stay awake for because, oh no! here comes intellectual stuff! Braveheart is an in-depth look at William Wallace and the events surrounding him. It is political, moving and powerful as well as all the action bits. Mel Gibson's acting and direction are spot on in every case, giving a wonderfully restrained performance and showing the viewer the toll that the hardships have taken upon him. Even though he goes crazy and kills every one in the beginning of the film, at that time there is no cheering from the audience no awe-inspiring spectacle for the viewer to feast upon. Instead, it is a moving and almost heart-breaking scene for the viewer, as they experience the anguish that Wallace must be going through. In this way Braveheart differs from it's action film cousins, giving its characters actual character, and it is all the better because of it.

The film is a very difficult nigh three hours long, but watching it is a gift, as each scene is filled with emotion and sincerity in performance. This film fully deserves the slew of Oscars which it recieved and to this day is regarded as one of the all time great pieces of cinema, and rightly so.

Defining Scene:
The final cry of "FREEEEEEEEDOOOOOOM!!!!!!!" which will make your hair stand on end, I don't care who you are.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2007
Director Mel Gibson is not filming history, he's filming myth. The William Wallace portrayed here is the hero that legends are made of. The film is a flawless, and incredibly moving story of love and passion with complex characters and breathtakingly epic fight scenes. Braveheart is so enthralling, it has the power to make you forget that you're watching a film, which is exactly what the best movies are supposed to do.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2007
Those who lambast Mel Gibson for his supposedly anti-Jewish sentiments in his recent production "The Passion of the Christ" would do well to remember his anti-English, and indeed anti-gay, portrayals in this otherwise superlative action film. Gibson's epic, bloody romance was never meant to be a factual account of Scottish legend William Wallace, but has stimulated more interest in the real thing than a mere documentary ever could.

Set in Britain in the 13th Century the plot, based largely on myth about the Scottish renegade, sees a young William Wallace (James Robinson) witness the brutal murder of his father (Sean Lawlor) at the hands of English occupiers. He is taken under the wing of his wise Uncle Argyle (Brian Cox) and grows up under his guardianship. Wallace (now played by Mel Gibson) returns home an educated man, falls in love with a beautiful local girl Murron (Catherine MacCormack) and marries her. However, when English soldiers rape and murder his wife, Wallace mounts a rebellion, bringing him into conflict with both the English King Edward Longshanks (Patrick MacGoohan) and duplicitious Scottish nobles, led by Robert the Bruce (Angus MacFayden)...

The film makes no effort whatsoever in regards to historical accuracy, and the the characters come off (with variable success) as simplistic stereotypes. There is nothing wrong with most of this, but some stereotypes could have been avoided, in particular the portrayal of King Edward's son as a snivelling homosexual fop. By necessity the English are the villains, with the Scots either passionate warriors or double-dealing nobles. Whilst the anti-English sentiment is a touch overdone (a character exclaims "Excellent!" when he's told he'll get to kill the English), it doesn't seriously harm the film.

Gibson has thankfully not Americanised his tale by asking American actors to assume fake Scottish brogues. With the exception of Gibson himself, almost everyone's accent here is natural and the film is better for it. Gibson delivers his all as Wallace, managing a passable Scottish accent. His Wallace is a Scottish Mad Max, only savvier, more sentimental and with a powerful patriotic streak. The character, though, lacks the ambiguity to make him a realistic personality. The film sees nothing questionable in Wallace invading England, effectively lowering himself to the level of his former oppressors.

As for the supporting players, Patrick MacGoohan quietly evinces menace as the ruthless King, and Sophie Marceau makes the most of her limited role as the Princess of Wales. Angus McFayden gives a sympathetic portrayal of a torn Robert the Bruce, and Brendan Gleeson and David O'Hara provide solid backup as Wallace's trustiest allies.

The battle scenes in the film are frenetically staged, with lots of quick editing plus copious amounts of blood and gore. They are well put together, but the endless slicing, dicing and skewering becomes repetitive after a while. Woven into the tale is a gentle Celtic score by James Horner.

Whilst it has stirred interest in Scottish interest and heritage (including the life of the real William Wallace), taken on its own terms, "Braveheart" is an enjoyable action film and should not be taken any more seriously than that.
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