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Braveheart Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Offeris an exhilarating, and occasionally touching, experience that has viewers leaving the theater caught up in an afterglow of wonder. These days, heros like William Wallace are as rare as motion picture displays of this high, uncompromising quality.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Tempers moments of despair with deliriously romantic passages abetted by James Horner's traditionally lush score and photography by John Toll ("Legends of the Fall's" Oscar winner).

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Braveheart features some of the most enthralling combat sequences in years, and the excessive ferocity of the violence is part of the thrill.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    An action epic with the spirit of the Hollywood swordplay classics and the grungy ferocity of "The Road Warrior."

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    At its best, it's an exhilaratingly grandiose Highland fling. [24 May 1995, Tempo, p.1]

  • See all Braveheart reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Mel Gibson's Oscared, bloody Scottish spectacle.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has high levels of blood and gore (animal and human), vulgarity, and sexual elements. This is NOT a movie for kids.

  • Families can talk about the theme of true heroes -- warriors, dissidents (and filmmakers?) who don't back down or compromise their ethics -- often fail to get their just recognition and glory during their lifetimes, only painful death. That's a theme to ponder, but parents might emphasize to impressionable viewers that, while William Wallace apparently did exist, much of this movie's script has been shown to be historically bogus.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: William Wallace is brave, noble, but vengeful and absolutely uncompromising (although with enemies like these, who could blame him?). His strongest allies, like a displaced English-hating Irishman, are equally fanatical; others who turn out to be treacherous and unreliable live to tell the tale (unless William gets to them first).

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Torture, hackings, stabbings, throat-slitting, arrows and spears deal horrible death and injuries, though quick editing rarely lingers on the gore.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Much ado about rape, plus sex scenes between Wallace and his doomed wife and with a consenting princess. Some nudity.

  • language false3

    Language: Not much, and mostly in archaic language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking, or liquor used as a battlefield anesthetic.