Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. 100
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: 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).
  3. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    One of the most spectacular entertainments in years.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Startlingly vigorous and entertaining piece of work.
  5. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Thrilling, a grand cinematic adventure -- beautifully handled myth-making from Gibson, who, by the way, is just fine in the lead.
  6. 88
    An action epic with the spirit of the Hollywood swordplay classics and the grungy ferocity of "The Road Warrior."
  7. At its best, it's an exhilaratingly grandiose Highland fling. [24 May 1995, Tempo, p.1]
  8. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    Looks like a true epic...even if it is both bloody and bloody long.
  9. Reviewed by: Staff [not credited]
    The sort of massive vanity piece that would be easy to disparage if it didn't essentially deliver.
  10. Despite a formidable effort and occasional grace, there's something cowardly about Braveheart -- it's an aspiring giant with a diminutive soul.
  11. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    Gibson's raw energy and storytelling power in Braveheart are undeniable. If the film doesn't meet his ambitions, it's because he set the bar so high.
  12. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    The graphic battles may grow repetitious toward the end, the final scenes are almost sadistically drawn out, and the script often lacks humor. But this movie moves.
  13. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    A completely adequate modern facsimile of the classic romantic epic.
  14. Braveheart features some of the most enthralling combat sequences in years, and the excessive ferocity of the violence is part of the thrill.
  15. Reviewed by: Chris Kridler
    His film would benefit from more subtlety and tighter editing, but as both director and star, Gibson takes the story by the hilt and plunges forward, as single-minded as Wallace screaming into battle.
  16. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    A massive, sweaty, frequently silly epic that nevertheless delivers enough brute pleasure to pass a rainy afternoon.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Never tries to confuse our loyalties or question the strategies of our hero or bring home the all-embracing soul-destroying horrors of war for all sides. Braveheart may be rip-roaring, but it isn't all that brave.
  18. Braveheart comes up short by beating the drums of human treachery and violence so loudly they become assaults.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Braveheart is too much, too late.
  20. A rambling disappointment.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 274 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 68
  2. Negative: 7 out of 68
  1. HeatherE
    Jan 19, 2009
    A Destiny Written In A Battle For Honor-
  2. Aug 27, 2010
    As far as epics go, Mel Gibson aims for a sprawling vision in the likes of David Lean. However, by putting antics before aesthetics, 'Braveheart' is at its core not much more than a glorified melodrama - not necessarily a bad thing (it just makes the surplus of sentimental moments painful to sit through) Full Review »
  3. chw
    Sep 14, 2014
    Braveheart was amazing. Not at all a waste of time, even coming from Mel Gibson, who stars and directs the film. He's definitely done his very best here. Full Review »