Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Braveheart Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Mel Gibson's Oscared, bloody Scottish spectacle.
  • R
  • 1995
  • 178 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 77 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Freedom is championed as something necessary to happiness and contentment in life, and is worth dying for. The barbarity of war is shown to be the only solution to the greedy and oppressive policies of the British towards the Scottish. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

William Wallace emerges as the uncompromising leader of the rebellion in Scotland against the British. He fervently believes in freedom, and is willing to give up his life for it. A legend grows around him, and he becomes the symbol of the rebellion. 


Torture, hackings, stabbings, throat-slitting, arrows and spears, and rocks deal horrible death and injuries, though quick editing rarely lingers on the gore. Implied rape and attempted rape. Graphic depiction of hanging bodies. A kid punches another kid for fun. 


Brief female nudity: breasts. Scottish warriors raise their kilts and expose their rear ends to the British Army before a battle. In a Draconian new policy imposed by the King, British noblemen have the right to kidnap newly married Scottish women and sleep with them. 


Occasional profanity, including "f--k," "bitch," "bastard," "ass." Occasional sexual innuendo about prowess and genitalia size. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, or liquor used as a battlefield anesthetic. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Braveheart is a 1995 movie in which Mel Gibson plays William Wallace, a Scotsman who leads a revolt against the British during the 13th century. This movie has high levels of blood and gore (animal and human), vulgarity, and sexual elements. In battle, characters fight and die with swords, spears, spikes, swords, and molten lead. Rape is used as a method of oppression by the British. Sex scenes between Wallace and his doomed wife and with a consenting princess. There's some nudity in the form of female breasts and male backsides. Expect torture, hackingsstabbings, throat-slitting, and arrows and spears dealing horrible death and injuries. William Wallace is brave and noble but vengeful and absolutely uncompromising. Occasional profanity, including "f--k."  There are sexual innuendos concerning prowess and the size of genitalia. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChow250907 March 12, 2019

Strong bloody violence and some sexual violence.

A violent and amazing film with suspense and romance.
There are 2 uses of f**k, a couple uses of s**t, and arse is used a bit.
There is an atempted rape scene w... Continue reading
Adult Written byMannyReviews May 18, 2021

Great story, shines a light on Scottish culture

This movie is a historically accurate account of William Wallace and his battle to win back Scotland. It has some war violence such as lances, swords, arrows, e... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCatamount February 8, 2020

One of the Greatest Movies I've Ever Watched

I recently watched this movie, and I downright LOVED it. I will give a sum up.

Great Messages/Role Models: This movie shows compassion and bravery at it's... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old January 20, 2017


The blood is the the only real problem but this is such a good movie why would you not want kids to see it. A+

What's the story?

The setting is 14th-century Scotland, oppressed by the English King Edward I (Patrick McGoohan), alias Longshanks, who hangs a group of Highlanders trying to negotiate a peace treaty. One of the victim's sons is William Wallace (Mel Gibson). When Longshanks makes it legal for British nobles to sexually abuse Scottish women, Wallace's wife is killed by British soldiers. He rallies other angry Scots and an English-hating Irish brigade and stages a successful guerilla war on the British. Ironically, Wallace's goal of independence for Scotland is thwarted by the region's own aristocrats, a well-treated bunch with investments in England. Betrayed by his high-born countrymen, Wallace assassinates a number of them before he's captured and handed over to the English for public torture and execution. Wallace is unyielding to the end, and his example shames the Scottish prince Robert the Bruce (Angus McFayden) to lead a larger, more successful revolt later in Wallace's name.

Is it any good?

This is not for the faint of heart; parents should be aware of the high level of blood and gore and sexual elements. Edward I's son Edward II (Peter Hanly) is a pampered homosexual who so annoys Longshanks that the king throws his son's boyfriend out of a window. Edward II is married, for strictly diplomatic reasons, to a beautiful French princess (Sophie Marceau) who sleeps with William Wallace and gets pregnant by him, another way by which the hero triumphs from beyond the grave.

The spin that director/producer/star Gibson puts on this version of Wallace's story is that the true peoples' heroes -- warriors, freedom fighters, messiahs, (and filmmakers?) who don't back down or compromise their ethics -- often don't get their just reward in this life. That's a theme to ponder, but parents might emphasize to impressionable viewers that, while William Wallace apparently did exist, much of the script in BRAVEHEART has been shown to be false.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how some heroes often fail to get their just recognition and glory during their lifetimes, only painful death. Why do you think this is?

  • William Wallace apparently did exist, but much of this movie's script has been shown to be historically bogus. How can you find out what really happened? 

  • This movie remains popular. Why do you think it holds so much appeal for so many?

Movie details

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