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165 of 191 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Braveheart - Mel Gibson's crowning achievement!, January 18, 2004
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This review is from: Braveheart (DVD)
"Braveheart" is quite simply, one of the best and most successful movies ever created and a huge part of that success comes from the efforts extended by Mel Gibson, as he wore three different hats for this masterpiece, those being producer, director and star. The one oddity about this movie for me was that I pretty much wore out my VHS copy of it and had, a couple years ago, purchased the DVD but only just recently took the opportunity to watch it again and no matter how many times you watch this movie, it is still a stunning, compelling and extraordinarily intriguing film that draws you in to the life of William Wallace despite already knowing how it's going to end.
The one thing that drives this movie is the spirit that Mel Gibson puts into his character of William Wallace and it is of no surprise that "Braveheart" won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1995 and Best Director for Mel Gibson. The only true surprise was that he wasn't among the top five nominated for or won the Best Actor award.
High praise also goes to the long list of supporting actors and actresses that starred in this superb film! Most notable was the performance by Sophie Marceau, one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Patrick McGoohan was absolutely incredible in the role of the villain Longshanks, King Edward I, delivering a memorable performance.
One of the most notable performances in this film, among the many, was the work done by James Horner who was responsible for the score. As is normally the case when his name appears in the credits, everything about the score, from the first reel to the last, is incredibly well blended into the movie and serves extremely well in enhancing the experience of the movie.
The Premise:
As the old saying goes, is it Hollywood or History? The truth is, of course it's a bit of history, put together Hollywood style to make one of the best films ever presented to an audience. The truth behind it is that we'll never know as recorded history from this era is circumspect as best. Where a huge portion of the credit for this film lays is in the hands of Randall Wallace, a descendant of William Wallace's.
As this historic film opens, we see a young William Wallace in Scotland as he's learning the harsh lessons of life in his era. After his family is killed in battle he's fortunate enough to have his Uncle Argyle (played brilliantly by Brian Cox) take him under his wing! Several years later he returns home to find that his countrymen are still suffering under the yoke of English oppression but he didn't come home for that, he came home for Murron MacClannough (Catherine McCormack), seeking her hand in marriage. Unfortunate events unfold from there and William loses the love of his life and goes on a rampage not only to avenge his love but to free his country...
What follows from there is not only one of the best films of the nineties but one of the best films of all times. I highly recommend "Braveheart" to any and all who are interested in seeing what true movie making is about! {ssintrepid}
Special Features:
-2 Theatrical Trailers
-Commentary by Director Mel Gibson
-A Filmmaker's Passion: The Making of Braveheart
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 14, 2009 10:38:30 PM PDT
One tiny correction in your review; I don't think Randall Wallace has ever claimed to be a "descendant" of William Wallace. It would be quite a claim since there were no known children of William Wallace. Randall Wallace is most likely distantly related to William Wallace in some way, but it would be in more the capacity of a distant cousin.

I like your review, though:) I'm glad there are so many people who are able to see this film for what it is; marvelous, epic story-telling. Ah, it's one of my favorites:)

Posted on Jul 2, 2011 2:04:51 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 4, 2011 12:18:21 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 2, 2011 4:06:45 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 4, 2011 12:18:30 PM PDT]

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 1:47:00 PM PST
Very well said about Braveheart. I couldn't agree more, particularly your recognition of Patrick McGoohan's superb depiction of Edward Longshanks. Thanks for sharing your insights

Posted on Jan 12, 2012 8:27:10 AM PST
I agree! This one of my favorite movies. Mel Gibson played William Wallace so well! He should of won best actor, but atleast it was the movie of the year. I recommend for everybody to watch it.

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 3:55:58 PM PDT
sb says:
the movie's sweeping broad strokes are incredibly moving, and the last scene never fails to bring tears to my eyes. thanks for the review that has said most of what i wanted to say.
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