The Patriot - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Patriot Reviews

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November 23, 2017
This film came out around the same time as star Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" and I remember people thinking he'd directed this film as well, particularly because of savage battle scenes. However, "The Patriot" was directed by Roland Emmerich, the reliable producer/writer/director of many enjoyable but empty headed summer popcorn films, including "Independence Day," "White House Down," and "Stargate." While most of his films are unchallenging crowd pleasers, "The Patriot" stands apart in his filmography as quality piece of filmmaking. The film was written by Robert Rodat, who also wrote "Saving Private Ryan," and he brings the same mix of realism and and emotion to the American Revolutionary War that he brought to WWII. Mel Gibson plays a farmer and retired war hero who wants nothing more than to left alone with his family and to run his farm. However, Gibson is pushed to his limits by Jason Isaacs, best known as the sneering Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, who play as a sneering British Colonel. Gibson's fictional Benjamin Martin is an amalgam of several Revolutionary War heroes, but primarily seems to be based upon Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox, who was a pivotal figure during the war, leading a group of irregular soldiers in a guerrilla war against the British in South Carolina, even after the Continental Army had been driven out the state. After Gibson's son, Heath Ledger, is captured by Issacs, Gibson leads his own ragtag band of soldiers against the redcoats using what was at the time was very unusual guerrilla tactics. The small and large scale action sequences in "The Patriot" are the real highlight of the film. They are exciting, brutally realistic, and most importantly, are emotionally poignant. There is an early scene in the film when Gibson ambushes a British detail to free his captured son, Ledger, where he uses his very young sons as his soldiers, and the filmmakers don't shy away from the young children's shock at their father telling them how to kill men, as well as taking time to show the aftermath and their reaction to their father's brutality. Besides being and exciting and unflinching in it's graphic and realistic presentation of war, it's the emotional component that elevates "The Patriot" from simply being a technically effective crafted battle sequence. However, although the film does a fine job of presenting a realistic depiction of war for this time period and also does an excellent job of period detail in terms of costumes, architecture, and set decor, the film grossly fails in it's whitewashing of history in an attempt to present a politically correct hero who's more palatable to audiences.. As I said before, "The Patriot" is a work of fiction, but having Gibson's Martin "paying" his black farmworkers instead of owning slaves seems wildly disingenuous (Francis Marion owned slaves). Additionally, the real-life Francis Marion committed many war atrocities, even by the standards of his time, which are completely absent in this film, although there are hints of something in Gibson's past during the French and Indian War. If "The Patriot" had been as honest in it's depiction of history in these respects as it had been in it's depiction of warfare, this film may have been a true classic. Despite this major lapse, "The Patriot" remains a strong piece of filmmaking, with an emotional center that focuses around family, which gives the film a resonance that is lacking from many war films. Well worth watching despite it's flaws.
October 29, 2017
Great warfare and loads of fun.
October 11, 2017
Fred Flintstone And His Friend And Partner Barney Rubble Both Did See This Movie On 6/30/00 At The Bedrock Multiplex At Night.
September 10, 2017
It is spectacular and dramatic enough to be engaged by this movie but otherwise rather mediocre effort with obvious antagonists and protagonists which is wrong, since history is a far more complex subject than they try to portrait it.
August 16, 2017
Good movie. The family element of the plot is way too formulaic and groan-worthy in moments, but thanks to some stylish direction, fantastic production design and good performances from its cast, especially Gibson, this is a solid war movie.
½ August 13, 2017
I still can't understand why Roland Emmerich, a german director, has this hard-on while making patriotic american movies. I mean, we hired a guy to celebrate the american power and, in 2017, this movie has become sort of weird. If you want to make a movie so melodramatic and pseudo-inspiring, "The Patriot" is a good teacher. Not just it has some bland characters and moments, but it also predictable and conventional. However, the good battle sequences, Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger saved this movie from being unwatchable.
July 23, 2017
this is a terrific movie such a great story line and great characters and a ton of touching moments and tons of awesome realistic action scenes such a great movie I watch it over and over again
July 6, 2017
Many could argue this film is the defining point where Roland Emmerich's filmmaking career starts its downward spiral...but who could have imagined ID4 2 could be that bad?

The story of Benjamin Martin (Gibson) who is reluctantly summoned into fighting the British & his relationship with his family.

At just shy of three hours this film really does loose momentum & its way & you loose the grip unlike films like Braveheart & Hacksaw Ridge etc. Its not a bad film but doesn't have the pulling power you assume it would.
½ June 24, 2017
Despite being directed by Roland Emmerich this epic historical fiction war film doesn't feel like any other film he has done before or since. Which might be down to the lack of special effects but could also be attributed to the fact there is someone mildly competent behind the writing of the script in the form of Robert Rodat. Either way despite its length it is generally an entertaining and engrossing film that has great performances, incredible action (that may not be quite as gory as say Braveheart but it has its moments, cannonball to the face anyone?), the score by John Williams is cracking, it looks great and despite some narrative predictability it was still good to watch it all unfold. The negatives are that it is quite long, not historically accurate, most of the main characters aren't given enough screen time to allow us to truly get to know them and the ending isn't all that satisfying.
June 18, 2017
The Patriot tem seus momentos marcantes e especiais, mas ele passa muito tempo criando estorias internas e apelando para sentimentalismos baratos que saturam o arco dramático, exageros descabidos deixa um grau de superficialidade forte no ar, sem falar que em suas inúmeras sub-tramas Robert Rodat injeta um nível de clichês inapropriado, isso desgasta a narrativa e desperdiça essa premissa valiosa.
May 21, 2017
The story line could use a bit of work...
½ May 1, 2017
woeful acting, story and I forgave braveheart but yet more Gibson Brit bashing
April 3, 2017
Good, but not great. Maybe a little schmaltzy, but not enough so's you care. Mel is just so charismatic. He steals the show any time he's on screen.
½ March 25, 2017
What a load of racist, anti-British rubbish. This film is in no way historically correct and is just Mel Gibson at his worst: Bashing the English, e.g. Braveheart. Although the fight seens are quite good there is pretty much no story line except British bad and must die!. what a load of distorted fake American patriotism. AVOID!
February 17, 2017
Filled with emotional drama and powerful action, The Patriot impressively uses the backdrop of the American Revolution to tell a gripping story about family, freedom, and the price that is paid to protect these values. However, that story is largely driven by a violent revenge that thematically minimizes the true spirit that began the American Revolution in the first place. Nonetheless, the Patriot is well made cinematically, and still provides an impactful look into the effects of such a war on an individual man and his family.
January 29, 2017
Nothing more than patriotic masturbatory drivel, disregard for what is an actually interesting period in history with events that deserve to have been shown with accuracy, not cartoon heroes fighting cartoon villains.
½ January 10, 2017
Maybe the most self-important movie ever made, but it sure is entertaining.
½ December 12, 2016
The Patriot is one of the most underrated and overlooked films ever, it's amazing and ranks up there with Glory, Braveheart, and The Last Samurai.
December 3, 2016
The patriot has its technical issues and historical exaggeration problems, but it's epic, bold, dramatic, action-packed, romantic, and heartbreaking story won't get past you.
November 27, 2016
Well-done. See the Extended Cut. On Blu-ray.
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