Mel Gibson Movies – The Films of Mad Mel

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I like to watch Mel Gibson movies anytime the volatile actor/director inserts his foot into his mouth and makes headlines because of it. As it turns out, I’ve watched plenty of Mel Gibson films over the last few years. With the latest Mad Mel controversy raging, I figured it was time to present this list of his best motion pictures. If you like men driven by inner rage and memorable hairstyles, you won’t want to miss these fine selections. Please note that this list contains only movies where Mel is the star, so that’s why films like The Passion of the Christ have been omitted.

All the Mel Gibson films listed below can be rented from Netflix or purchased from Amazon. We do get a commission if you spend any money at either site, but all proceeds go right back into out website.

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) – After teaming up for Gallipoli, director Peter Weir and star Mel Gibson returned for this story of foreign journalists in Indonesia on the eve of an attempted coup against President Sukarno. Gibson plays Australian journalist Guy Hamilton, while Sigourney Weaver is a British Embassy officer and love interest for Hamilton. But it’s the diminutive Linda Hunt who steals the show as a male dwarf named Billy Kwan, a role which would earn her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Hamlet (1990) – Yet another retelling of William Shakespeare’s famous play, but this time it stars Mel Gibson in the title role. After being visited by the ghost of his father, Prince Hamlet comes to suspect that his uncle (Alan Bates) and mother (Glenn Close) were involved in foul play. As he plots his revenge, he makes plenty of speeches, gets old friends executed, and drives his true love (Helena Bonham Carter) mad. The whole affair concludes with an action-packed swordfight and lots of characters getting poisoned. A good starting point for those looking to explore Shakespeare without being overwhelmed by the dialogue of the period.

The Road Warrior (1981) – The sequel to Mad Max, this legendary entry into the post-apocalyptic film genre is also known as Mad Max 2 in certain parts of the globe. Max Rockatansky (Gibson), a former Aussie highway patrolman, returns to wander the wasteland of the outback following the utter collapse of society. As he scrounges for food and battles with bloodthirsty marauders, Mad Max comes across a group of survivors trying to escape from the wastelands and start a new life. The only thing standing in their way (besides miles and miles of barren terrain) is Lord Humongous (Kjell Nilsson), a massive hockey-mask-wearing warlord who controls a sizable gang of marauders. If you want to see tension personified, check out the pulse-pounding finale.

Braveheart (1995) – Certainly the most epic of all Mel Gibson movies, Braveheart features Mel donning a kilt as legendary Scottish warrior William Wallace. Fighting against the tyranny of King Edward I of England (Patrick McGoohan), Wallace engages in a number of grisly battles, avenges the death of his wife, and romances the future Queen consort of England. Winner of five Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director for Gibson), the film co-stars Brendan Gleeson, Angus Macfadyen, Sophie Marceau, Catherine McCormack, and Brian Cox.

We Were Soldiers (2002) – Gibson stars as Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore, a veteran soldier who leads his members of the 7th Cavalry into the la Drang Valley, the first major battle involving U.S. forces during the Vietnam War. Barry Pepper plays Joe Galloway, a journalist who’s forced to pick up a gun in order to survive, and Sam Elliott is wonderfully surly as Moore’s trusted right-hand-man. Based on the book We Were Soldiers Once…And Young by Moore and Galloway, the film will have you marveling at how any of these men returned home alive.

Mrs. Soffel (1984) – Mel Gibson and Matthew Modine star as the Biddle brothers, a real-life duo who escaped incarceration with the help of the warden’s well-intentioned but easily-manipulated wife (Diane Keaton). Set in turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh, this tale of doomed romance co-stars Edward Herrmann and Terry O’Quinn (plus Heather Graham makes her first screen appearance in an uncredited role).

Lethal Weapon (1987) – Martin Riggs (Gibson) is a widower cop with a death wish. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is a family man with only a few days remaining until his retirement from the force. The sparks fly when they’re partnered together, and things really get wild when they get on the trail of mercenaries involved in the heroin trade. Filled with memorable quotes, great music, and plenty of action, Lethal Weapon redefined the buddy cop genre for generations to come.

Payback (1999) – A criminal named Porter (Gibson) is shot in the back by his partner (Gregg Henry) and left for dead. But he survives the wounds, heals up, and goes looking for his cut of the $140,000 stolen from the Chinese Triads. Mel plays the anti-hero with relish, and the film throws in plenty of dark humor to balance out the grim subject matter. Co-starring Maria Bello, James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, William Devane, Deborah Kara Unger, and Lucy Liu. You may also be interested in Straight Up: The Director’s Cut, director Brian Helgeland’s much darker version of the film.

Mad Max (1979) – Gibson got his nickname “Mad Mel” by starring in this dystopian actioner and its sequels. He plays Max Rockatansky, the top driver for Australia’s Federal highway patrol. As society breaks down around him, the leather-clad Max becomes obsessed with gaining justice/revenge against Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his brutal gang of outlaws. Directed by former emergency room doctor George Miller, Mad Max would have a major impact on the post-apocalyptic films to follow.

Gallipoli (1981) – Prior to movies like Dead Poet’s Society and Master and Commander, Peter Weir helmed this look at the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign during World War I. Gibson stars alongside Mark Lee as a pair of mates who excel at sprinting, and together they join the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) to fight against Turkish forces. The climax of the film is absolutely gut-wrenching, and the final frozen image will haunt you long after the credits roll.

The next time the faux Aussie goes on a homophobic and anti-Semitic rant, just pop in one of these Mel Gibson movies and try to think back to a simpler time. Remember, all of these movies can be enjoyed on your PC or TV when you become a member of Netflix. You can also check out these previous articles from Only Good Movies:

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6 Responses to “Mel Gibson Movies – The Films of Mad Mel”

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August 1, 2010


I hate that Mel has turned into such a punch line. Of course he’s done it himself, so hopefully, he can work through his many issues.

Gallipoli remains one of my favorite Australian new wave films. Gibson fits right into Weir’s vision of the classic tale.

He’s cemented his spot in cinematic history as both an actor and a director, but it will be many years before those accomplishments outshine his personal debacles.

August 4, 2010


I couldn’t agree more, Chris. Mad Mel has starred in plenty of my all-time favorites, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to draw a line between the man and the actor.

February 20, 2011

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Great articles & Nice a site.. yea nice Work .

February 25, 2013

Arthur Gehris

some really fantastic work on behalf of the owner of this website , utterly outstanding content material .


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