|10. Bird On A Wire (1990)
In 1990 there couldn’t have been two hotter actors to team up for this romantic-comedy splendorous in action. Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn both got to really showcase their talents in this film that contains the worlds longest chase. With non-stop action, hilarious romantic interludes, and a plot that doesn’t overdo itself Bird On A Wire is one of my favorite movies to re-watch. This movie is infectious, sexy, playful, and adventurous. It's one of Mel's better moments, and a fantastic example of action, comedy, and romance.
|9. Signs (2002)
The character’s are the driving force of Signs. Everything about the entire story is enhanced because of the three dimensional quality created involving the Hess family. Mel Gibson gives one of his best performances playing the grieving widower raising his children alone, yet morally. His interpretation of Rev. Hess shows a strength, but mostly a constant sadness always behind his eyes. Even in the most frightening moments, the flicker of pure loss still lingers in his eyes. Signs is M. Night Shymalan’s greatest masterpiece. It takes a genre that everyone is familiar with and instead of focusing on the many years of violent alien invasions with massive explosions and escape action sequences the story is structured around faith and the human psyche in a very realistic way. The terror Signs evokes isn’t from the actual aliens or the destruction, it comes from the everyday man situation. The inability to act, and the desolation of solitude are the main fear factors here.
|8. The River (1984)
This is the first film I remember seeing Mel Gibson in. I was extremely young, but somehow enamored with this story that I was convinced was going to result in utter heartache. The slow paced, simplistic story telling of a family struggling to get by, with what seemed like all the odds stacked against them, the real intrigue of the tale came between Gibson and Spacek who felt like a true married couple.
|7. Conspiracy Theory (1997)
What has happened to this forgotten film? I remember it’s release at the end of the summer of ‘97 and it lingering for quite some time after. Mel Gibson gets to play this insane character with essentially no restraints, who in his paranoid lunacy makes a strange amount of logic. His character Jerry is certain there are conspiracy’s all around him, lives in essentially fort knox, but has fixated on Julia Roberts character and brings all his delusions of conspiracy to her. Suddenly, it seems like Jerry’s paranoia is more than just delusions. Richard Donnor pulls together a movie full of twists, turns, and seemingly craziness, and unites a plot tthat is suspenseful, smart, and exciting. Gibson is allowed to go crazy in an exciting and vulnerable performance as Jerry, coupled by a Julia Roberts that I didn’t hate for once. This ones gotten lost over time but shouldn’t be forgotten.
|6. Chicken Run (2000)
There is something genuinely endearing about Chicken Run. It’s sense of humor reaches out to both child and adult and makes a film that is truly designed with love and affection for all the characters to be enjoyed. The wit and silliness of life from the perspective of a chicken is often scary and fun. While Mel Gibson has celebrated numerous action and dramatic roles over the years, his voice over of Rocky the studly Rooster is one of my most memorable actor voice overs in film ever. Supported by a lovely cast of voices, these clay chickens are completely unforgettable and have secured a spot on Mel’s best list.
|5. Mad Max "The Road Warrior" (1981)
For all it’s theatrical appearance and melodrama really captures the essence of a world gone wrong, and even though the world is trying to recover from what once was, the same barbaric and violent behavior that killed most of the human existence is still prevalent. Visually this is emoted and resonates just as strongly as the back story and characters who explain it through dialogue. Max is the disillusioned reluctant hero, inspired by his own set of morality and quick-fired temperament. He represents a man truly scorned by a cold world, that only has a small part of who he once was remaining. Truly wild and enamored by what he’s lost with a volatile temper but a secure sense of right and wrong, he is a formidable foe, that Mel Gibson truly makes come to life. This tells a story, another moment in time in a hero’s life that just happened to be captured along with great action, inventive new fight scenes, invigorating battles, and something altogether new and different in the science fiction genre.
|4. Maverick (1994)
A little action, some western goodness, comedy, and even some romance, but a constant tongue in cheek sense of humor makes Maverick one of the best homage flicks ever dealt. Movies just don't get more entertaining than this. From the first scene to the final moment Maverick is a movie that is so much fun you could put it on repeat all day and never tire of watching it. Gibson, Garner, and Foster have a kinetic energy that is palpable through TV and is my favorite film involving anything to do with cards.
|3. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Some might argue this is actually the best of the Lethal Weapon films, and I wouldn't argue the point. While I prefer the first one myself (it does have Gary Busey-HELLO!), this flick stands up quite solidly on it's own. It mingles in comedy a lot more, and we get to enjoy the addition of Joe Pesci to the crew. The villains are great, the girl is hot, Glover and Gibson become even more fluid in their characters and with each other, and afterwords you'll easily find yourself saying, "Diplomatic Immunity" with a shitty South African accent for weeks. Great flick.
|2. Braveheart (1995)
The film was shot gritty, dirty, and graphic, but the actual visuals of Scotland itself were amazing. The rolling green hills, the endless forests, and the misty mornings. The countryside seemed peaceful and quiet until Wallace would march an army across it. The desire for freedom is what empowered everything about this movie. It is not a movie about hope, but about never giving up, no matter what the cost if what’s on the table is freedom. It’s what every man and woman desires and is what Braveheart is about. One man’s refusal to give up his freedom
|1. Lethal Weapon (1987)
Action, buddy cop, whatever. Stuff blows up with Mel and Danny and they do a fine job of delivering this smart flick with a clever amount of violence, sex, and humor. As a kid maybe the content seemed a bit much to fully grasp, but I managed. What really drives Lethal Weapon is the charisma of one of films greatest bromances that simply transcended age. Not only has it stood the test of time, but feels fresh every few years I watch it. When I think of action, it’s hard not to think about Lethal Weapon.
As difficult as it was to include some movies and opt against others these runners up show what a brilliant career Mel has had, and how much wonderfully entertaining film he has contributed to Hollywood over the years. In spite of his douche bag less than favorable behavior as of late, I can hope there are still some good movies left up his sleeve before he calls it a day and rides the crazy train.
The Man Without A Face, Payback, Ransom, What Women Want, We Were Soldiers, Hamlet, Tequila Sunrise, Air America, and The Bounty