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The Patriot (2000)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  28 June 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 195,060 users   Metascore: 63/100
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Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


It is 1776 in colonial South Carolina. Benjamin Martin, a French-Indian war hero who is haunted by his past, now wants nothing more than to live peacefully on his small plantation, and wants no part of a war with the most powerful nation in the world, Great Britain. Meanwhile, his two eldest sons, Gabriel and Thomas, can't wait to enlist in the newly formed "Continental Army." When South Carolina decides to join the rebellion against England, Gabriel immediately signs up to fight...without his father's permission. But when Colonel William Tavington, British dragoon, infamous for his brutal tactics, comes and burns the Martin Plantation to the ground, tragedy strikes. Benjamin quickly finds himself torn between protecting his family, and seeking revenge along with being a part of the birth of a new, young, and ambitious nation. Written by Caleb Conser

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Before they were soldiers, they were family. Before they were legends, they were heros. Before there was a nation, there was a fight for freedom. See more »


Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

28 June 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El patriota  »

Box Office


$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,413,710 (USA) (30 June 2000)


ESP 1,071,627,714 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended) | (workprint)

Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Heath Ledger performed his own stunts. See more »


After the ships blow up in Charleston Harbor, Benjamin and his band ride through the countryside and we see a high tension electricity pylon in the background. See more »


[first lines]
[repeated line]
Benjamin Martin: I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear.
See more »


Referenced in Ashoka the Great (2001) See more »


The British Grenadiers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

bad history vs big action
17 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

It's 1776 South Carolina. Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is a war hero and living in peace on his plantation. His son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) joins the Continental Army without his permission. After a battle, he treats his son Gabriel, and both Regulars and Colonials. The brutal Colonel William Tavington (Jason Isaacs) burns down his plantation and kills his son Thomas (Gregory Smith). This drives him to seek revenge.

Should I ignore the bad history and enjoy the big action? That's the question here. I can ignore demonizing the Brits, or the cartoon villain. Maybe they didn't burn down a church. Maybe the characters are cartoons. Who cares? That's going to happen in any war movie. What I can't stomach is portrayal of slavery. They try to sidestep the issue by proclaiming all the blacks working on the plantation are actually free men. It really rang hollow. I rolled my eyes and tried to move on.

The action is terrific. One thing Roland Emmerich knows is big time action. He doesn't disappoint. I could still side with big action. It's still fun and games. The real Martin be damn. But every time a black person gets a scene, or blacks get a mention, the whole movie grinds up against reality. The movie tries desperately to excuse it away, and it's an awkward attempt every time.

Mel Gibson tries to Braveheart the American revolution. The problem is they run into the problem of slavery. While its good to root for the underdog Scots in Braveheart, the ignored underdog in this movie are actually the slaves. This movie tries to sidestep it and gentrify it up for modern mass consumption. But at some point, the issue cannot be ignored. I've got to say bad history wins out over big action.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The Brits Have a Right to be Upset Diem11
A question to you History buffs who don't like this movie jgrove8
Two has past away steinararason-557-351617
So the British were all about war crimes; burning + shooting civilians whitehorse88
I know a British guy that's a total jerk! gilwood
the church burning brucedgo
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