WHAT I LIKED: Mel Gibson's Braveheart is the ultimate movie epic - a historic story of war, romance and tragedy about suppressed people rising up that's executed with both pathos and cinematic splendor to make for three hours of rousing entertainment that almost anyone should surely enjoy. Indeed unlike some supposed epics which value grandeur over heart, this is a deeply engaging and emotional experience from start to finish, and that's partly because its story is so powerful on its own, but it's also because the film's script from Randall Wallace is so concerned with the humanity of that - allowing bags of time to develop characters you care about and the desperate situations they're battling to get out of. That's helped in part by the fact it perfectly balances both genuine personal tragedies for so many characters with moments of great comedy, but it's also of course helped by a set of brilliant performances - particularly from Gibson himself who is able to deliver the most likeable character of his career with the charming, stoic William Wallace.
Couple that with the overall production which certainly doesn't skimp on the grandeur with its breathtaking on-location cinematography and its magical score, and you really do have yourself one rousing and engaging movie epic for almost anyone to enjoy.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The way Gibson portrays much of the violence is typically rather gratuitous which can actually take you out of things at times.
VERDICT: A spectacular story of war, romance and tragedy, 'Braveheart' is the ultimate movie epic because it never sacrifices its obvious grandeur for genuine heart.