Patriot, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Having fought for the British in the French and Indian War, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is trying to raise his family in peace. Once considered a ferocious fighter and war hero, the widowed Martin seeks to forget his past and raise his seven children. But rebellion is brewing in the American colonies as they seek to separate from England and Martin is called to once again take up arms, this time against Britain. Having seen the horrors of war, Ben refuses to support South Carolinas call to battle. But his oldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger) defies his father and signs up for colonial army. As the British army under General Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson) and the cruel Colonel Tavington (Jason Isaacs) takes over Charleston, the battle begins to spill onto Bens front porch. Forced to save his captured son and protect his family, Ben once again becomes the ferocious fighter and leader of a civilian militia of farmers and peasants that help defeat the British. Father and son battle side by side in the struggle to give freedom to the young nation. This stirring, emotional story generates renewed patriotism as viewers see the struggles and sacrifices of men and their families to establish our freedoms.

Blending historical fact and fiction, Gibsons character is based on several American legends, including Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. In the film, Martins militia even uses a decayed Spanish mission in the swamp for their camp. Historic battles are recreated in gruesome detail as musket balls, cannonballs and bayonets do their destructive work and blood spurts from gory wounds. To rescue Gabriel, Ben has two younger sons shoot soldiers from ambush. They also see their father covered in blood as he savagely hacks soldiers with a tomahawk. But Ben also realizes theyre dealing with the trauma and assures them they did the right thing. Ben struggles with the memories of atrocities he committed in war and prays for forgiveness of his sins. Tavington burns a church with townspeople inside and shows no remorse at killing women and children. Although Martin seems the main character, he learns true patriotism from Gabriel. A number of mild crudities taint the dialogue, but the graphic gore of warfare swamps THE PATRIOT.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (14) times Mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (2) times Exclamatory (MG, My Lord)

Violence: Many times Moderate and severe (bloody battle scenes with graphic wounds and gory deaths)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near nudity Few times (low cut dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times Flirting looks, young man put in bundling bag to share bed with woman, mother comments to husband she sews better than her parents, sensual kisses)

Drugs: Several times alcoholic drinks, tobacco use

Other: Loyalty, patriotism emphasized, gentlemanly conduct of war, man agonizes over past sins in warfare, young boys kill men to save brother but bothered later, sacrifices by soldiers shown, mother compared to North Star constant, unwavering guide

Running Time: 153 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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