Mel Gibson celebrates his 64th birthday on January 3, 2020. The Oscar-winning actor and director has had his fair share of highs and lows, due in large part to several self-inflicted scandals. He’s back in Hollywood’s good graces, however, so let’s celebrate by taking a look back at 12 of his greatest films, ranked worst to best.
Born in 1956, Gibson and his family moved from New York to Australia, where he first came to prominence as an actor thanks to George Miller‘s original “Mad Max” trilogy, plus leading roles in Peter Weir‘s “Gallipoli” and “The Year of Living Dangerously.” He had equal success in the US, starring in everything from action films (the “Lethal Weapon” franchise) to romantic comedies (“What Women Want”).
He first hit the Oscar jackpot with the 1995 historical epic “Braveheart,” in which he also starred as Scottish warrior William Wallace. That film brought his wins in Best Picture and Best Director. He had similar directorial success with the controversial box-office bonanza “The Passion of the Christ” and the violent Mayan-language thriller “Apocalypto.” In fact, it was Gibson’s prowess behind the camera that was his ticket back into the Academy’s good graces with the acclaimed WWII drama “Hacksaw Ridge,” for which he earned another nomination for Best Director.
In addition to his Oscar success, Gibson has earned Golden Globe bids for starring in “Ransom” and “What Women Want” and for directing “Hacksaw Ridge,” winning Best Director for “Braveheart.” He also competed at BAFTA for helming “Braveheart” and in Best Foreign Language Film for “Apocalypto.”
Let’s take a look at the rise and fall and rise again in Gibson’s 12 best films in his career, ranked worst to best, whether he was starring or directing.