5 Phenomenal Mel Gibson Movies

movie_theatre - Phenom 5

I think it’s safe to say that very few movie stars have seen their careers decline like that of Mel Gibson. I also think it’s safe to say that some of his past actions, framed or not, have been terrible. Personally I think Mel Gibson became a target and he doused fuel to the fire with some horrible behavior brought on by his alcoholism. But personal past conduct aside, I still think Gibson is a great actor and I really miss seeing him on the big screen. Today’s Phenomenal 5 is looking at some of Gibson’s best movies. If you think about it Gibson put out a lot of good films so I wouldn’t call this the definitive list. But there is no denying that these five Mel Gibson movies are absolutely phenomenal.

#5 – “Lethal Weapon”


I have heard 1987’s “Lethal Weapon” called the quintessential action buddy movie. I think a good argument could be made for that. “Lethal Weapon” encapsulated almost everything that was great about the 80s action movie genre. But while the action was great, the movie excelled thanks to the great chemistry between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. The two played polar opposite characters but the actors played off of each other in perfect and sometimes chaotic harmony. “Lethal Weapon” had laughs, charisma, and some great action. Lots of fun.

#4 – “Braveheart”


Mel Gibson made a lot great impressions both as an actor and director with his 1995 epic “Braveheart”. Huge in scope and ambition, “Braveheart” was a movie that was incredibly immersive. It was filled with beautiful landscapes and tremendous battle scenes. But it was also anchored by a fantastic personal story of William Wallace. Gibson would win the Oscar for Best Director but he also gave a tremendous lead performance. It’s definitely one of the actor’s best films.

#3 – “The Beaver”


After his personal troubles many felt that Mel Gibson may never work again. But his close and dear friend Jodie Foster pushed for him to play the role of a mentally troubled husband and father in “The Beaver”. Gibson was absolutely amazing. He gives a genuine performance and it feels as if he’s pulling from real places in his life. “The Beaver” is a smaller movie but Gibson’s performance and great chemistry with his friend Foster is a joy to watch. Many people may have skipped or missed out on “The Beaver”. It’s a movie that deserves to be seen.

#2 – “The Road Warrior”


It was Mel Gibson’s second stint as the post-apocalyptic rebel Mad Max that introduced me to the actor. Even with the host of great movies he has made since then, “The Road Warrior” continues to be one of my very favorites of his. He’s definitely not required to be the most emotionally layered character you’ll find. But there is such an undeniable toughness and charisma in his performance. Gibson has the snarl, the look, and the grit to sell the role. And then there is the great vehicular action sequences that are still awesome today.

#1 – “The Patriot”


When you take “The Patriot” as a whole it may not be the most convincing movie. But in terms of cinematic storytelling I love it. Director Roland Emmerich has a very sketchy filmography, but this is far and away his best picture mainly because of Mel Gibson. Gibson is committed and charismatic and he gives us one of his most layered and emotionally complex characters. He also works so well with the assortment of great supporting characters. None are better than his spirited father/son relationship with Heath Ledger. Tons of drama, some great action, and a rich and sometimes heart-wrenching family story. I’m a big fan of this film.

So there are my Mel Gibson films. What say you? I would love to hear what you think I missed or what I got right. Just let me know in the comments section below.

29 thoughts on “5 Phenomenal Mel Gibson Movies

  1. Hi Keith, remember me? 😉 I like Mel Gibson, I do think he’s a great actor as well as director. Glad to see The Beaver made the list, I thought he was good in that. Oh I still need to see The Patriot, Ted lent me his BD so hopefully we’ll see it very soon.

    • Hiya Ruth! Great to hear from ya. Definitely check out The Patriot. It’s a really strong film despite a few obvious moments. Gibson is tremendous and I loved Ledger in it as well. I would really like to hear your thoughts on it.

      • Oh right, there’s Heath Ledger there too, I think I’d like it. Hey, don’t be a stranger, been a while since I saw you on FC 😉

      • Sure thing Ruth. Things have been a little rocky. Still helping my wife (an only child) after her mother’s passing. Then my 12-year old had a kidney stone!!! Combine that with general slow traffic and I just haven’t been around as much. 😦

  2. The Road Warrior would be my number one. It improves on Mad Max, in a way that very few sequels do. It’s exhilarating entertainment and even though Mel Gibson only has 16 lines of dialogue in the entire film he owns the role.
    The final chase scene is absolutely incredible. 20 minutes of wordless action. Just pure motion and perfect editing. The stunt work in that sequence is absolutely insane. If anybody says CGI looks better than the real thing, they really should watch The Road Warrior. It puts modern chase scenes to shame, frankly.

    • YES, YES, and YES! I completely agree. Gibson is sooo good in that role. Tough and rugged. And that final chase sequence is one of the best in cinema history. My gosh I can watch that ending everyday.

  3. Excellent list Keith. Pity that he went so cracked, because he was so entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed him when he was younger, and he had a slew of good films.

      • True that, but that is still not an excuse it if that is a reflection of who he is!

        There are a few I have been eyeing out to go back and watch again!

      • You’re right. IF that is a reflection. I always think about Jodie Foster and Robert Downey, Jr. Both are very close friends of Gibson’s and they defend him (not his actions) with passion. Not saying they are right but they know him so much better than some of the media who were covering everything.

  4. Great list Keith.

    I love the Patriot and agree that it’s his best. Still never seen the Beaver, so Ive now added it to my list.

    He was also great in Conspiracy Theory and Ransom.

  5. Love that you included THE PATRIOT in this. Sure, it was Gibson trying to replicate BRAVEHEART, but this is one actor who, when he breaks down emotionally in tears… I am RIGHT there with him!

    PAYBACK would be in my list.

    • Oh yes! Payback was hard to leave off. Such a good flick. I really need to see it again.

      You’re so right about the emotion Gibson can bring. It’s so honest and convincing.

  6. Payback and Edge of Darkness are two films that show my favorite version of Mel. Hard, single minded and smarter than the other guys give him credit for. I like his comic turns as well, Maverick and What Women Want are fun. Not sure I’ve seen a film with him that I disliked.

  7. Good stuff, Keith. I haven’t seen The Beaver or The Patriot. Other than that good picks. One if my personal faves of his is Payback. That would definitely make my top five. I’d also have a hard time leaving off Lethal Weapon 4.

    • Glad to hear from someone else who saw The Beaver. It definitely deserves to be seen. Not as ‘big’ as many of his other pictures but such a strong performance.

      Thanks for the comments!

  8. I love The Patriot! Definitely my favorite Mel Gibson movie, although Braveheart is pretty awesome as well. I actually really enjoyed him in What Women Want and Signs, although neither are amazing cinematic pieces. I’ve been wanting to see The Beaver, and I think it’s cool it made it onto your list.

  9. Pingback: Movie Review – Blood Father

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