Mel Gibson followed up his impressive if modest directorial debut, “The Man Without a Face” (1993), with this stunning action epic that managed to be both a commercial and critical success whilst still raising the ire of historians with mile-long lists of the film’s, er, ‘creative liberties.’ Gibson stars as William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who leads the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England (Patrick McGoohan) — a conflict sparked and fueled by the murder of Wallace’s ladylove, Murron MacClannough (Catherine McCormack), though his revenge-driven crusade eventually detours into the bed of Princess Isabella of France (Sophie Marceau). Whether it’s mostly a bunch of hooey or not, “Braveheart” is lusty and thrilling, chock full of old-school cinematic chutzpah and featuring some truly astonishing battle sequences. Nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing and Best Makeup. – IFC Staff