Patriot, The

Rated 4.0 This is often one powerful mother of a movie. Mel Gibson plays a former soldier who refuses to fight in the Revolutionary War until the enemy leaves him no choice. The battle scenes in this one are sometimes hard to take, as they should be, and director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) manages quite a few emotional wallops. With the exception of a few mild lapses, the picture maintains an impressive level of power, much of this thanks to the flawless work by Gibson, who has never been better. The moment in which Gibson puts guns into his young sons’ hands and instructs them to shoot at the officers is one of the best on screen this year.