The Patriot

Subscribe to Mel Gibson alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 165 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 28th June 2000

Box Office USA: $2.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $215.3M

Budget: $110M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Centropolis Entertainment, Mutual Film Company, Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG

Reviews 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
Fresh: 82 Rotten: 51

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew



Starring: Mel Gibson as Benjamin Martin, Heath Ledger as Gabriel Martin, Joely Richardson as Charlotte Selton, Jason Isaacs as Col. William Tavington, Tchéky Karyo as Jean Villeneuve, Chris Cooper as Col. Harry Burwell, Lisa Brenner as Anne Howard, Tom Wilkinson as Gen. Cornwallis, Leon Rippy as John Billings, Donal Logue as Dan Scott, Adam Baldwin as Capt. Wilkins, Jay Arlen Jones as Occam, Joey D. Vieira as Peter Howard, Gregory Smith as Thomas Martin, Skye McCole Bartusiak as Susan Martin, Trevor Morgan as Nathan Martin, Bryan Chafin as Samuel Martin, Peter Woodward as Charles O'Hara, Logan Lerman as William Martin

The Patriot Movie Review

A note to filmmakers who want to make a movie about a war: Please understand that your film does not need to be as long as the actual war itself. We will not hold it against you if it's shorter. As such, I will try to keep this review to a length where you can read it in a few minutes.

The Patriot gives Mel Gibson the opportunity to do something he's never done before: To orate at length about the evils of taxation without representation... oh, okay... and to kill a bunch of damn redcoats!!!

Faced with the death of his wife, The Patriot offers us Gibson the widower pacifist, playing the part of South Carolina colonialist Benjamin Martin, unswayed by arguments that war should be initiated against Britain. When his son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) enlists despite his father's forbiddance, Martin is left at home to raise his other six kids while the war rages around him.

Circumstances arise to take the life of one of the children at the hands of the uber-evil redcoat Colonel Tavington (Jason Isaacs), which awakens the repressed blood lust in the former soldier Martin. Perhaps one of the best battle scenes ever filmed follows, with Martin and two of his kids picking off 20 redcoats in the forest, leaving Martin covered in gore.

The Patriot soon becomes the epic it was intended to be, with grand colonial battles fought by lines of soldiers politely shooting at one another until one side is dead. But Martin (an amalgam of several real Revolutionaries) brings dirty guerilla tactics to the war, and after forming a militia of scrappy mercenaries, soon he's got General Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson) running scared.

While The Patriot will draw obvious comparisons to Braveheart, it is actually far more reminiscent of Kevin Costner's Robin Hood sprinkled with a bit of The Last of the Mohicans. Martin lives in the woods and attacks the Brits in small groups, absconding with their booty. There's even a holy man (Rene Auberjonois) and a foreigner (Tchéky Karyo, in a great supporting turn as a French sympathizer) who fight alongside the rebels.

This turns out to be a good thing, because God knows we don't need another Braveheart. The Patriot also turns out to be a message movie, filled with issues regarding honor vs. survival, vengeance vs. forgiveness, negotiation vs. war, and glory vs. sacrifice. This isn't just some ordinary war movie. It's deep, with John Williams' score driving the heart-tugging home and Roland Emmerich's direction not getting in the way. And I say all that in a rare moment of non-sarcasm.

Unfortunately, at close to three hours in length, The Patriot has plenty of time to get hokey. The bad guy is drawn as broadly as a Bond villain, and a gaggle of subplots don't add much to the film, just making it unnecessarily longer. The anti-slavery motif is especially hokey and unneeded.

But, as usual, I quibble. The Patriot, against all expectations, is probably the best movie I've seen this summer to date. And where else can a German director and an Australian star put together a movie about the Revolutionary War. Ah, only in America.

Flag wavers.


Subscribe to Mel Gibson alerts


The Patriot Rating

" Excellent "


More Mel Gibson

Jamie Scott - Last Christmas Video

Jamie Scott of London duo GRAFFITI6 performs an acoustic rendition of Wham!'s 1984 festive single 'Last Christmas' in a black and white one-take video. In...

Christina Aguilera Ft. Brian McKnight - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Video

In 2000, Christina Aguilera recorded a collection of some of her favourite Christmas songs and the sessions resulted in the album 'My Kind of Christmas',...

Sam Smith - Like I Can Video

Sam Smith has launched the new video for his single 'Like I Can', released off of his number one debut album 'In The Lonely Hour'....

Jack Garratt - The Love You're Given (Live) Video

Buckinghamshire musician Jack Garratt performs an intimate live rendition of his new track 'The Love You're Given'. The artist has currently been touring across the...


Jack Garratt - Interview Video

Jack Garratt talks about his strict musical upbringing and subsequent multi-instrumental ability. However, it seems he hasn't always been dead set on being a musician...

Renee Fleming ft. Gregory Porter - Central Park Serenade Video

Renee Fleming and Gregory Porter perform a festive live rendition of their duet 'Central Park Serenade', taken from Renee's latest holiday album 'Christmas In New...

Laura Marling - Short Movie Video

Laura Marling has now launched the title track for her forthcoming new album 'Short Movie' alongside a colourful animated equine video. The record co-produced by...

Pond - Sitting Up On Our Crane Video

Tame Impala side-project Pond unveil a psychedelic graphics laden video for their new track 'Sitting Up On Our Crane', taken from their forthcoming new album...