Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.


Roland Emmerich


Robert Rodat
885 ( 24)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Benjamin Martin
Heath Ledger ... Gabriel Martin
Joely Richardson ... Charlotte Selton
Jason Isaacs ... Col. William Tavington
Chris Cooper ... Col. Harry Burwell
Tchéky Karyo ... Jean Villeneuve
Rene Auberjonois ... Reverend Oliver
Lisa Brenner ... Anne Howard
Tom Wilkinson ... Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis
Donal Logue ... Dan Scott
Leon Rippy ... John Billings
Adam Baldwin ... Capt. Wilkins
Jay Arlen Jones ... Occam
Joey D. Vieira ... Peter Howard
Gregory Smith ... Thomas Martin


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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The church, and the entire surrounding town of Pembroke, were built just for this film. See more »


A major error in depicting the battle of Guilford Courthouse is when Cornwallis orders "Sound the retreat." The British controlled the battlefield at the end of the day with Greene's army having escaped intact across the river. Cornwallis delivered both the wounded British and American to a nearby Quaker settlement for treatment. 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 »

Alternate Versions

In the extended edition, the burial of Thomas is shown. Although the scene is short, it nevertheless reiterates that Benjamin Martin has a tender, loving side (remember, a few scenes before he was hacking and slashing away at every Redcoat in sight). See more »


Featured in The Mask You Live In (2015) See more »


The British Grenadiers
See more »

User Reviews

17 August 2002 | by tedgSee all my reviews

In reviewing my over 700 IMDb comments, I discovered that a couple had been deleted after over a year. One of these is a comment on 'The Patriot.' This is my replacement.

I believe that film influences one's notion of who they are more strongly than any other public art. And that the notion of self is more affected in terms of nationality than anything else.

So although I respect artistic freedom, especially in cinema, we as viewers have to call major players to account when they tromp all over what it means to be American. This film is the worst example I know of distorting history to promote a view of Americans that has more to do with market forces than what is true and right.

(Fill in here the real history of South Carolina as a member of the U. S. from then to now, based on your own research.)

Mel Gibson is to blame. You would think that after generating a billion dollars in the two years around this film, he would want to spend some of that goodwill on responsible citizenship in his adopted country. Instead, what we get is 'Braveheart' presented as history. It was fine in Braveheart to just make things up -- that was a mythical time and a relatively magical place. Creating a saintly giant is just good storytelling. But recent history is something else. History that changes the basic equations that defined the nation is something else. Tinkering with the notions of democratic self-determinism and collective deliberation is something else, especially when replaced by personal, uncontrolled vigilantism.

Worse, this defines not only what we think of ourselves, but what others think of us: violent thugs who react without limit based on personal vendetta. The director is the guy who the previous year marketed a picture ("Independence Day") purely on how funny it would be to blow up the White House and Empire State Building.

Mel, you should be ashamed. I am ashamed for you.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 4: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

36 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Germany


English | French

Release Date:

28 June 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Patriot See more »


Box Office


$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,413,710, 2 July 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended) | (workprint)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS | Dolby Atmos


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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