Mel Gibson


Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson AO (born January 3, 1956) is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is best known for his action hero roles, particularly his breakout role as Max Rockatansky in George Miller‘s first three films of the post-apocalyptic action series Mad Max and as Martin Riggs in Richard Donner‘s buddy cop series Lethal Weapon, co-starring alongside Danny Glover in all 4 and Joe Pesci in the last 3.

Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney, Australia, when he was 12 years old. He studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, where he starred opposite Judy Davis in a production of Romeo and Juliet. During the 1980s, he founded Icon Entertainment, a production company, which independent film director Atom Egoyan has called “an alternative to the studio system.” Director Peter Weir cast him as one of the leads in the World War I drama Gallipoli (1981), which earned Gibson a Best Actor Award from the Australian Film Institute, as well as a reputation as a serious, versatile actor.

Other notable early films include Tim (1979), with Piper Laurie; The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), with Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hunt; The Bounty (1984), with Anthony Hopkins, Edward Fox, Laurence Olivier, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Liam Neeson; The River (1984), with Sissy Spacek and Scott Glenn; Mrs. Soffel (1984), with Diane Keaton; Robert Towne’s Tequila Sunrise (1988), with Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell, Raul Julia, J.T. Walsh, Arliss Howard, Gabriel Damon, and Budd Boetticher.

Notable films in the 90s include John Badham’s Bird on a Wire (1990), with Goldie Hawn, David Carradine, and Bill Duke; Roger Spottiswoode’s Air America (1990), with Robert Downey Jr.; Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet (1990), with Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Paul Scofield, Ian Holm, Helena Bonham Carter, Stephen Dillane, and Nathaniel Parker; Forever Young (1992), with Elijah Wood and Jamie Lee Curtis; Maverick (1994), with Jodie Foster and James Garner; Ron Howard‘s Ransom (1996), with Rene Russo, Gary Sinise, Delroy Lindo, Liev Schreiber, Evan Handler, Donnie Wahlberg, and Lili Taylor; Conspiracy Theory (1997), with Julia Roberts and Patrick Stewart; and Payback with Gregg Henry, Maria Bello, and David Paymer.

Gibson made his directorial debut with The Man Without a Face (1993), starring as reclusive man with burn scars who befriends a male teen (Nick Stahl). He then produced, directed, and starred in Braveheart (1995), a historical epic (with Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan and Catherine McCormack, Brendan Gleeson, and Brian Cox), for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, the Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture. He later directed and produced The Passion of the Christ (2004), a biblical drama that was both financially successful and highly controversial. He received further critical notice for his directorial work of the action-adventure film Apocalypto (2006), which is set in Mesoamerica during the early 16th century.

After several legal issues and controversial statements leaked to the public, Gibson’s public image plummeted significantly, affecting his careers in acting and directing. His career began seeing resurgence with his performance in Jodie Foster’s The Beaver (2011), with Foster, Anton Yelchin, and Jennifer Lawrence; and his directorial comeback after an absence of 10 years, Hacksaw Ridge (2016), with Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, and Vince Vaughn; which won two Academy Awards and was nominated for another four, including Best Picture and Best Director for Gibson, his second nomination in the category.

Other notable films include The Patriot (2000), with Chris Cooper, Heath Ledger, and Jason Isaacs; What Women Want (2000), with Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, and Alan Alda; Wim Wenders’ The Million Dollar Hotel (2000), with Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, Jimmy Smits. Peter Stormare, and Amanda Plummer; M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs (2002), with Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, and Abigail Breslin; Martin Campbell’s Edge of Darkness (2010), with Ray Winstone and Danny Huston; Robert Rodriguez‘s Machete Kills (2013), with Danny Trejo; The Expendables 3 (2014), with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Harrison Ford, and Arnold Schwarzenegger; Blood Father (2016), with Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Michael Parks, and William H. Macy; and Daddy’s Home 2 (2017), with Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, John Cena, and John Lithgow.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977) – directed by Anthony Page – uncredited
  • Summer City (1977) – directed by Christopher Fraser – aka Coast of Terror
  • Mad Max (1979) – directed by George Miller
  • Tim (1979) – directed by Michael Pate
  • The Chain Reaction (1980) – directed by Ian Barry – uncredited
  • Gallipoli (1981) – directed by Peter Weir
  • Mad Max 2 (1981) – directed by George Miller – aka The Road Warrior
  • Attack Force Z (1982) – directed by Tim Burstall – aka The Z Men
  • The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) directed by Peter Weir
  • The Bounty (1984) – directed by Roger Donaldson
  • The River (1984) – directed by Mark Rydell
  • Mrs. Soffel (1984) – directed by Gillian Armstrong
  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – directed by George Miller & George Ogilvie
  • Lethal Weapon (1987) – directed by Richard Donner
  • Tequila Sunrise (1988) – directed by Robert Town
  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) – directed by Richard Donner
  • Bird on a Wire (1990) – directed by John Badham
  • Air America (1990) – directed by Roger Spottiswoode
  • Hamlet (1990) – directed by Franco Zeffirelli
  • Forever Young (1992) – directed by Steve Miner
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) – directed by Richard Donner
  • The Man Without a Face (1993) – also director
  • Maverick (1994) – directed by Richard Donner
  • Braveheart (1995) – also director, producer
  • Casper (1995)* – directed by Brad Silberling – uncredited cameo
  • Pocahontas (1995) – directed by Mike Gabriel & Eric Goldberg
  • Ransom (1996) – directed by Ron Howard
  • Father’s Day (1997)* – directed by Ivan Reitman – uncredited cameo
  • Conspiracy Theory (1997) – directed by Richard Donner
  • FairyTale: A True Story (1997) – directed by Charles Sturridge – uncredited cameo
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) – directed by Richard Donner
  • Payback (1999) – directed by Brian Helgeland
  • Chicken Run (2000)* – directed by Peter Lord & Nick Park
  • The Patriot (2000) – directed by Roland Emmerich
  • What Women Want (2000) – directed by Nancy Meyers
  • The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) – directed by Wim Wenders
  • We Were Soldiers (2002) – directed by Randall Wallace
  • Signs (2002) – directed by M. Night Shyamalan
  • The Singing Detective (2003) – directed by Keith Gordon – also producer
  • The Passion of the Christ (2004)* – director, co-writer, producer only
  • Paparazzi (2004) – directed by Paul Abascal – uncredited cameo, also producer
  • Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (2005) directed by Lian Lunson – documentary – producer only
  • Apocalypto (2006) – director, co-writer, producer only
  • Edge of Darkness (2010)* – directed by Martin Campbell
  • The Beaver (2011) – directed by Jodie Foster
  • Get the Gringo (2012) – directed by Adrian Grunberg – aka How I Spent My Summer Vacation – also co-writer, producer
  • Machete Kills (2013)* – directed by Robert Rodriguez
  • The Expendables 3 (2014) – directed by Patrick Hughes
  • Stonehearst Asylum (2014) – directed by Brad Anderson – aka Eliza Graves – co-producer only
  • Blood Father (2016) – directed by Jean-François Richet
  • Hacksaw Ridge (2016) – director only
  • Daddy’s Home 2 (2017) – directed by Sean Anders
  • Dragged Across Concrete (2018) – directed by S. Craig Zahler
  • The Professor and the Madman (2019) – directed by Farhad Safinia (as P.B. Shemran)
  • Force of Nature (2020) – directed by Michael Polish
  • Fatman (2020) – directed by Eshom Nelms & Ian Nelms
  • Boss Level (2021) – directed by Joe Carnahan
  • Last Looks (TBA) – directed by Tim Kirkby