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The Patriot
Rated R
Runtime: 2hr 40min
Starring: Mel Gibson , Heath Ledger , Tcheky Karyo , Jason Isaacs , Lisa Brenner

MFG Rating: 5/5

DVD Features

Video: Widescreen enhanced and truly spectacular. This is a very big movie with big scenes and gorgeous cinematography, and it's all captured on DVD perfectly.

Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is in my opinion a reference quality demonstration of how to properly do surround sound. The approaching cannons and muskets in the distance and in the middle of battle are beyond spectacular. This is the type of movie to use to show your friends why you spent all that money on your home theater.

Extras: Trailers, special effects featurette, historical featurette, director commentary, production notes, battlefield featurette, photos and more.

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Movies For Guys' Original Review of the Theatrical Release

American Braveheart. That's by far the quickest way to sum up this excellent movie.

Mel Gibson plays Benjamin Martin, a previous war hero with a reputation he's not proud of. Benjamin abstains from getting involved in the current conflict with the British as his countrymen fight for the freedom of a nation. His reasoning is that his wife has recently died, leaving him to care for their seven children. If he goes to war, who will take care of his children? As he states to his fellow men when questioned on his principles, "I'm a parent, I haven't got the luxury of principles."

Fate didn't see it that way however, and as given away in the previews, Benjamin finds himself fighting a war against the British along side his very patriotic son.

The plot is actually pretty darn satisfying even if it is a wee bit on the predictable side. Sure, the screenwriter used just about every movie cliché you can think of when it comes to a war movie, but when the lines are delivered with such excellent skill, we just don't care.

Another very strong point in favor of the movie is that is just looks so darn good. The battle scenes are spectacular, with the moviegoer really getting a feeling for how damn brutal hand to hand combat can get, and how much damage a cannon ball can do when it comes in contact with the human body.

The movie isn't perfect though as there are two flaws that immediately come to mind. First, this sucker is long and it feels quite long as well. I found myself looking at my watch several times during the movie, which usually isn't a good sign. Secondly, there's some serious "chick-flick" elements in this film. Not enough to demote it by a star, but enough to make me note it here. This isn't all action, this is a serious drama as well.

The movie is good enough to warrant a 5 star rating though, as it really does deserve to be seen on the big screen. If you decide to wait on the DVD you will be really sorry as the battle scenes will lose a lot of their power when shrunk down to fit in your living room.

- John


Vital Stats

Gun Play
Some really brutal battle scenes.

Blood & Gore
The only reason it's rated R is due to the violence.

Car Chases
A few fast horses...

Nary a hint.

It's a pretty darn serious movie, but they did sneak in some funny moments.