Reviews - The Patriot (2000)
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The Patriot (2000)

Genres: Action, Drama, History

Taglines: Before they were soldiers, they were family. Before they were legends, they were heros. Before there was a nation, there was a fight for freedom.

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writers: Robert Rodat

Stars: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, ...

It is 1776 in colonial South Carolina. Benjamin Martin, a French-Indian war hero who is haunted by his past, now wants nothing more than to live peacefully on his small plantation, and wants no part of a war with the most powerful nation in the world, Great Britain. Meanwhile, his two eldest sons, Gabriel and Thomas, can't wait to enlist in the newly formed "Continental Army." When South Carolina decides to join the rebellion against England, Gabriel immediately signs up to fight...without his father's permission. But when Colonel William Tavington, British dragoon, infamous for his brutal tactics, comes and burns the Martin Plantation to the ground, tragedy strikes. Benjamin quickly finds himself torn between protecting his family, and seeking revenge along with being a part of the birth of a new, young, and ambitious nation.


A thunderous spectacle.

90 | Andrew O'Hehir

This bloody celebration finally gives the American Revolution the epic it deserves.
Read More:

80 | Lisa Alspector

Doesn't try too hard to be anything other than a vicarious experience that makes you crave the satisfaction you know you'll get when the hero gets his revenge.
Read More: Chicago Reader

80 | Richard Schickel

It has everything you want in an epic: sweep, scope, wild reversals of fortune and plenty of bold, basic emotions.
Read More: Time

80 | Luke Y. Thompson

Sentimental, overbearing, flag-waving--and a crowd-pleaser.
Read More: Dallas Observer

75 | Desmond Ryan

If Emmerich had any sense, he would have ceded the direction of the battle scenes to his star.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

75 | William Arnold

Has a flag-waving dumbness at its core.
Read More: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

75 | Roger Ebert

It is rousing and entertaining, and you get your money's worth.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

75 | Rene Rodriguez

It's big, exciting, ambitious, and it makes you cry in all the right places.
Read More: Miami Herald

75 | David Sterritt

What might have been a treat for history buffs and a refresher course for the rest of us turns into just another occasion to watch Gibson shoot guns, swing tomahawks, and wreak other kinds of havoc on enemies we've been primed to hate.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

75 | Mike Clark

Emmerich might have had a masterpiece, but he'll have to settle for what comes close to being a must-see movie today.
Read More: USA Today

75 | Jay Carr

It's often corny, but it's never boring, and it'll sweep you up in its momentum if you give it a chance.
Read More: Boston Globe

75 | Lawrence Toppman

The best movie I've seen about the Revolutionary War.
Read More: Charlotte Observer

70 | David Edelstein

It's depressing that this first movie in years to dramatize the American Revolution has so little to do with the politics of secession and so much to do with pop-culture themes of vigilantism.
Read More: Slate

70 | Desson Thomson

Mostly, the movie is riveting, well-done fare -- the stuff of Hollywood epic adventure.
Read More: Washington Post

70 | Todd McCarthy

Has some emotional pull and isn't stuffy and dull.
Read More: Variety

70 | J. Rentilly

Only so much (pop)cornball tubthumping, a sweeping, occasionally stirring, always gorgeous bit of action-figure history.
Read More: TNT RoughCut

70 | David Ansen

There's no denying that Emmerich's film, though a good half hour too long, keeps us watching.
Read More: Newsweek

67 | Marjorie Baumgarten

"We, the people" have never been big fans of movies about the American Revolutionary War. The Patriot, however, appears to be the movie that will break that historical jinx.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

67 | Owen Gleiberman

It's a death-wish revenge thriller posing as a lavishly pastoral historical epic.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

63 | Jack Mathews

Far from the smart historical epic some might have expected, is just another feisty summer shoot-'em-up.
Read More: New York Daily News

63 | Michael Wilmington

As a whole, though, the movie is much less magnetic or believable than its star.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

63 | Jonathan Foreman

While the film contains some terrific, realistically bloody battle scenes, it has a distinctly Germanic feel, both in its epic heaviness and in the peculiar way it revises the history of the American Revolution.
Read More: New York Post

60 | Robert Horton

Gibson's performance is robbed of his customary humor, and he flounders around in search of the character's core.
Read More:

60 | Ella Taylor

Patriot reflects on nothing, except perhaps that the American Revolution was a golden opportunity for Mel Gibson to go postal.
Read More: L.A. Weekly

60 | A.O. Scott

Shamelessly stirring, brandishing Mr. Gibson's anguished masculinity like a musket. It may be effective, but you leave the theater feeling used.
Read More: The New York Times

50 | Sean Means

Trots out more flag-waving wartime cliches than any movie since John Wayne's "The Alamo."
Read More:

50 | Kenneth Turan

Does benefit from Gibson's charisma...Whether it is quite good enough is another question.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

50 | J. Hoberman

A movie of cornball sentiment, humorously anachronistic dialogue, and expensive Colonial Williamsburg sets.
Read More: Village Voice

50 | Mick LaSalle

The film is long, empty and bogus.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

50 | Bob Thomas

Seems likely to stir rebuttal from historians, especially those on the other side of the pond.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

50 | Wesley Morris

The Patriot makes the Revolutionary War look like super-produced studio footage of the L.A. riots.
Read More: San Francisco Examiner

50 | Maitland McDonagh

Undeniably handsome..., but no cliché is left unturned, right down to the spray of toy soldiers falling from the hand of a dead child. Everything old isn't new again.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

44 | Michael Atkinson

Whatever extraordinary ingredients are necessary to fashion a 1776 home run, this movie doesn't have them.
Read More: Mr. Showbiz

38 | Ann Hornaday

Overblown sanctimony and sentimentalism as corny as the Fourth of July.
Read More: Baltimore Sun