Friday, June 28, 2013

The Definitive Top 10 Mel Gibson Movies

Ok, definitive, may be a stretch and I understand that some of you may be groaning at the mere mention of the now infamous Mel Gibson. To be frank, I'm not looking for some earthy crunchy politically correct superstar when I queue up the next film on Netflix, I just want to be entertained.  And no matter what you think of the guy, no matter what controversy he's been involved in recently, Mel has made some great movies. Comedy, Shakespeare, Drama, War, Action- he's done it all, and done it well. This top 10 list was fun to make. I know I'm going to piss some movie critics off, but here goes:

Should these be Mel Gibson's Top 5 Films? Leave a comment below... ;)

Top 10 Mel Gibson Films
1. Payback (1999) Directed by Brian Helgeland, a hard hitting thriller with cameos by Lucy Lu, James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson and William Devane. Gritty, punchy, mean and relentless; who roused these stars out of retirement?

2. Hamlet (1990) An inspired performance by Gibson, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, and co-starring Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Paul Scofield, Ian Holm, and Helena Bonham Carter. It's my favorite version of Hamlet, and let's face it there's a multitude to chose from.

3. What Women Want (2000) A comedy, starring Gibson opposite Helen Hunt; a huge commercial success, grossing $374 million for an outlay of $70 million. A chick-flick with attitude, plot, intelligence and satire; how could it lose?

4. Ransom (1996) Directed by Ron Howard, and cast Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Liev Schreiber, Gary Sinise. The 5th biggest film of the year. The best twisted ending I've ever seen; with just 10 minutes left, I still wasn't sure of the outcome.

5.Braveheart (1995) Directed by and starring Gibson, low on historical fact, but passionate and stirring- and still the thirteenth highest grossing film of the year. (see also my post on how I believe this film defined an entire genre: A Braveheart for Every Nation )

6. Mad Max (1979) Gibson was paid $15,000 salary for the iconic movie, and it grossed $100 million; the highest ever percentage profit of any movie. Music by Brian May of Queen. It's basic in the extreme, and leaves us to our own interpretation, but it's Mad Max.

7.Gallipoli (1981) Gibson; Best Actor Award (Aus). The running scenes in the trenches set to Jean Michelle Jarre’s; Oxygene. Mixing humor with trench horror, it epitomizes the hopelessness of the enterprise, with an inescapable ANZAC spirit.

8. We Were Soldiers (2002) An epic Vietnam movie, directed by Randall Wallace, co-starring Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear, and a highly quotable Sam Elliott. One of my favorite Vietnam movies; the closing Scottish song chills my bones; "I'll lay me doon, in the cauld, cauld ground".

9. Conspiracy Theory (1997) Featuring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts, with Patrick Stewart as a memorable bad guy, in the best conspiracy movie ever. With a thousand Catcher in the Rye paperbacks in his library, who expected 'sane'?

10. Forever Young (1992) Gibson stars in a ‘time travel’ movie, with Elijah Wood, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Screenplay and original story by J.J. Abrams. Wonderful. Refreshing, well acted, and the best movie ever featuring a B-25 Mitchell bomber.
So what do you think? I know that perhaps your favorite didn't make the list. Here's the deal- some of my favorites didn't cut muster either. Im doing top 10, not top however many I need to fit them all in!
Do you agree with my Top 10 Gibson films? Post your own list below.

Close but no cigar on the list were; Air America (1990), The Bounty (1984), Get the Gringo (2012), Lethal Weapon,1,2,3,4 (1987 et al), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), The Patriot (2000), The Man Without a Face (1993). All great movies.

But... and I risk a throttling here.

At the VERY bottom of any Mel Gibson list...frankly of ANY list of praiseworthy films:

Signs (2002) Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Although Gibson’s highest grossing film, It’s never going to appear in any list of mine; a truly terrible movie. It will very probably appear in a rant masquerading as a blog post one day. Just don't get me started.

Now its time for you to weigh in- do you agree, disagree, disassemble?  Which one would you put at number 1? Please leave a comment below- debate is good for the soul.
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