Film Review: ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

'Hacksaw Ridge' Review: Mel Gibson's War
Courtesy IMGlobal

Mel Gibson has made a movie about a pacifist who served nobly during WWII. It's a testament to his filmmaking chops, and also an act of atonement that may succeed in bringing Gibson back.

Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” is a brutally effective, bristlingly idiosyncratic combat saga — the true story of a man of peace caught up in the inferno of World War II. It’s the first movie Gibson has directed since “Apocalypto,” 10 years ago (a film he’d already shot before the scandals that engulfed him), and this November, when it opens with a good chance of becoming a player during awards season, it will likely prove to be the first film in a decade that can mark his re-entry into the heart of the industry. Yet to say that “Hacksaw Ridge” finally leaves the Gibson scandals behind isn’t quite right; it has been made in their shadow. On some not-so-hard-to-read level, the film is conceived and presented as an act of atonement.

It should be obvious by now that the question of whether we can separate a popular actor or filmmaker’s off-screen life from his on-screen art doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. Every instance is different. In the case of Mel Gibson, what we saw a number of years ago — first in his anti-Semitic comments, then in leaked recordings of his phone conversations — wasn’t simply “objectionable” thoughts, but a rage that suggested he had a temperament of emotional violence. It was one that reverberated through his two most prominent films as a director: “The Passion of the Christ,” a sensational and, in many quarters, unfairly disdained religious psychodrama that was a serious attempt to grapple with the stakes of Christ’s sacrifice, and “Apocalypto,” a fanciful but mesmerizing Mayan adventure steeped to the bone in the ambiguous allure of blood and death.

Like those two movies, “Hacksaw Ridge” is the work of a director possessed by the reality of violence as an unholy yet unavoidable truth. The film takes its title from a patch of battleground on the Japanese island of Okinawa, at the top of a 100-foot cliff, that’s all mud and branches and bunkers and foxholes, and where the fight, when it arrives (one hour into the movie), is a gruesome cataclysm of terror. Against the nonstop clatter of machine-gun fire, bombs and grenades explode with a relentless random force, blowing off limbs and blasting bodies in two, and fire is everywhere, erupting from the explosions and the tips of flame-throwers. Bullets rip through helmets and chests, and half-dead soldiers sprawl on the ground, their guts hanging out like hamburger.


Mel Gibson Talks Hollywood ‘Survival’ at Venice Film Festival

Yet at the center of this modern hell of machine-tooled chaos and pain, there is Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a soldier who refuses to carry a gun because it is against his values. He’s a conscientious objector who acts as a medic. But because he’s every bit as devoted to serving in the war as he is to never once firing a bullet, he isn’t just caring for soldiers. He’s on the front lines, in the thick of the thick of it, without a weapon to protect him, and the film exalts not just his courage but his whole withdrawal from violence.

There really was a Desmond Doss, and the film sticks close to the facts of his story. Yet there’s still something very programmatic about “Hacksaw Ridge.” It immerses you in the violent madness of war — and, at the same time, it roots its drama in the impeccable valor of a man who, by his own grace, refuses to have anything to do with war. You could argue that Gibson, as a filmmaker, is having his bloody cake and eating it too, but the less cynical (and more accurate) way to put it might be that “Hacksaw Ridge” is a ritual of renunciation. The film stands on its own (if you’d never heard of Mel Gibson, it would work just fine), yet there’s no point in denying that it also works on the level of Gibsonian optics — that it speaks, on some political-metaphorical level, to the troubles that have defined him and that he’s now making a bid to transcend.

Will audiences, and the powers of Hollywood, finally meet him halfway? One reason the likely answer is “yes” is that “Hacksaw Ridge,” unlike such landmarks of combat cinema as “Saving Private Ryan,” “Platoon,” or “Full Metal Jacket,” isn’t simply a devastating war film. It is also a carefully carpentered drama of moral struggle that, for its first hour, feels like it could have been made in the 1950s. It’s a movie that spells out its themes with a kind of homespun user-friendly clarity. We see Desmond as a boy, growing up in a small town on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with a drunken abusive father (Hugo Weaving) and a mother (Rachel Griffiths) he’s driven to protect. Early on, Desmond gets into a fight with his brother and hits him in the head with a brick, and that incident, which leaves him reeling in sorrow, is the film’s version of one of those “Freudian” events that, in an old Hollywood movie, form the cornerstone of a person’s character.

It all seems a bit pat, but once Desmond grows up and Andrew Garfield starts playing him, the actor, all lanky charm and aw-shucks modesty, wins us over to seeing Desmond as country boy of captivating conviction. He knows nothing about girls, yet he woos a lovely local nurse (Teresa Palmer) with a fumbling sincerity that melts her resistance. And when the war arrives, he enlists, just like his brother, because he feels he has no choice not to. He’s a Seventh Day Adventist scarred by violence in his family; all of this plays a role in his pacifism, and his patriotism. That difficult dad of his is portrayed by Hugo Weaving as a haunted, complex man: a slovenly lush who tries to keep his family in line with the belt, and even the pistol, but also a decorated veteran of World War I who is desperate to keep his sons alive.

The film revs up its old-fashioned pulse when it lands at boot camp, where Desmond proves a contradiction that no one there — not his fellow soldiers, let alone the officers — can begin to fathom. He’s an eager, good-guy recruit who refuses to pick up a rifle even for target practice; they assume (wrongly) that he must be a coward. For a while, the film is strikingly reminiscent of the legendary Parris Island boot-camp sequence in “Full Metal Jacket,” only this is WWII, so it’s less nihilistic, with Vince Vaughn, as the drill sergeant, tossing off the wholesome version of the usual hazing insult zingers; he looks at Desmond and barks, “I have seen stalks of corn with better physiques.” (Hence Desmond’s Army nickname: Cornstalk.) “Hacksaw Ridge” often feels like an old studio-system platoon movie, but when Desmond’s pacifism becomes a political issue within the Army, it turns into a turbulent ethical melodrama — one can almost imagine it as a military courtroom drama directed by Otto Preminger and starring Montgomery Clift.

The question is whether the Army will allow Desmond, on his own terms, to remain a soldier — a conscientious objector who nevertheless wants to go to war. In a sense, the dramatic issue is a tad hazy, since Desmond announces, from the outset, that he wants to be a medic. Why can’t he just become one? But one of the strengths of “Hacksaw Ridge” is that it never caricatures the military brass’s objections to his plan. On the battlefront without a weapon, Desmond could conceivably be placing his fellow soldiers in harm’s way. His desire is noble, but it doesn’t fit in with Army regulations (and the Army, of course, is all about regulations). So he’s threatened with a court martial. The way this is finally resolved is quietly moving, not to mention just.

And then … the hell of war. It’s 1945, and the soldiers from Desmond’s platoon join forces with other troops to take Hacksaw Ridge, a crucial stretch — it looks like a Japanese version of the land above Normandy beach — that can lead them, potentially, to a victory in Okinawa, and the beginning of the end of the war. Gibson’s staging of the horror of combat generates enough shock and awe to earn comparison to the famous opening sequence of “Saving Private Ryan,” although it must be said that he borrows a lot from (and never matches) Spielberg’s virtuosity. Yet Gibson creates a blistering cinematic battleground all his own. Each time the fight breaks out again, it’s so relentless that you wonder how anyone could survive it.

The real story that “Hacksaw Ridge” is telling, of course, is Desmond’s, and Gibson stages it in straightforward anecdotes of compassion under fire, though without necessarily finding anything revelatory in the sight of a courageous medic administering to his fellow soldiers (and, at certain points, even to wounded Japanese), tying their blown-off limbs with tourniquets, giving them shots of morphine between murmured words of hope, and dragging them to safety. In a sense, the real drama is a nobility that won’t speak its name: It’s the depth of Desmond’s fearlessness, and his love for his soldier brothers, which we believe in, thanks to Garfield’s reverent performance, but which doesn’t create a combat drama that’s either scary or exciting enough to rival the classic war movies of our time. This isn’t a great one; it’s just a good one (which is nothing to sneeze at).

Desmond devises a way to save lives by tying a rope around the soldiers’ bodies and lowering them down the vertical stone cliff that borders Hacksaw Ridge, and using that technique he rescues a great many of them. Desmond Doss, who saved 75 men at Hacksaw Ridge, became the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor, and Gibson has made a movie that’s a fitting tribute to him (at the end, he features touching footage of the real Doss). But one surprise, given the drama of pacifism-versus-war that the movie has set up, is that there’s never a single scene in which Desmond has to consider violating his principles and picking up a weapon in order to save himself or somebody else. A scene like that would have brought the two sides of “Hacksaw Ridge,” the violent and the pacifist — and, implicitly, the two sides of Mel Gibson — crashing together. But that would have been a different movie. One that, in the end, was a little less safe.

Film Review: 'Hacksaw Ridge'

Reviewed at Venice Film Festival, Sept. 4, 2016. Running time: 131 MIN.


A Summit Entertainment release of a Cross Creek Pictures, IM Global, Icon Productions, AI-Film, Pandemonium Films, Permut Presentations, Windy Hill Pictures, Vendian Entertainment, Demarest Media, Kilburn Media production. Producers: William Mechanic, David Permut, Terry Benedict, Paul Currie, Bruce Davey, William D. Johnson, Tyler Thompson, Brian Oliver. Executive producers: Michael Bassick, David S. Greathouse, Mark C. Manuel, Ted O’Neal, Buddy Patrick, Suzanne Warren, Christopher Woodrow.


Director: Mel Gibson. Screenplay: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight. Camera (color, widescreen): Simon Duggan. Editor: John Gilbert.


Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn.

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  1. It amazes me how some people take a topic about “A” and comment on “Z” They throw in politics, personal attacks ect. I’ll stop there before I rant.

    In my opinion “Hacksaw Ridge” is a great film. Period.
    I’ve seen all of the core war films foreign and domestic. To me, this is much more than a war film. Gibson put together a well crafted masterpiece honoring a true American hero, Desmond Doss.
    I invite all to watch any of the amazing documentaries about him. The true story gives this film an even greater impact. And can we stop with the Private Ryan comparisons? I’ve seen Spielberg’s best war film many times. Loved it. Overall, the beach landing on Omaha beach is what you think about. Hacksaw Ridge takes you on a journey of hardship, true love, raw courage and persistent unwavering faith. The chemistry between Doss and Dorthy Schutte is great.
    Hacksaw gave a little full Metal Jacket with the training. Not as hardcore, but it worked. The battle scenes were powerful and horrifying. What separates Gibson’s battle sequences are obvious when you watch the film. You care a great deal about the characters, especially Doss. Second, the hand to hand mixed with the other sequences brought things up to another level.

    When it comes time for the Academy Awards however, I’m not going to hold my breath. (Remember Saving Private Ryan vs Shakespeare in love?) Baffles the mind to this day. The Academy my turn up its nose at this film for whatever reason. They will give the major awards to whats is fluffy and safe. Nonetheless, people shouldn’t judge a film just based on the Academy’s choices.

    As an Army veteran, I can appreciate Gibson for honoring a true Medal of Honor recipient.
    Hacksaw Ridge will be in the talks for ages when it comes to war films and films in general.

  2. Hope this a winner for Gibson! I hope to see him back in the movie making business.

  3. Faux Progressives Killed Everything says:

    Get over it Gleiberman he’s back

  4. CalUKGR says:

    Gibson is – and remains – an actor and director of rare talent, with a unique and brave voice in Liberal Hollywood (Regressive Central). ‘Apocalypto’ should be enough to prove to anyone just how much of an artist the man actually is – less of a film, more of a work of art. It’s remarkable.

    A tortured individual, troubled by his own personal demons? Yes, of course – but which of us isn’t, to some greater or lesser degree? He also happens to be a uniquely gifted artist. Can’t wait to see his new directorial effort!

  5. Rob Simone says:

    Can we separate art from personal? What a funny question! There seems to be no question about that when talking about drug users(almost all of them), rapist and pedophiles. That is what we are told must happen. But when a person might be considered conservative, then it is a completely different question. Liberals are funny.

  6. Janelle says:

    It’s “Seventh-day Adventist,” but no worries, it’s rarely spelled correctly.

  7. Mary says:

    Clearly the writer Owen Gleiberman doesn’t like Gibson. Lucky for you Mr. Gleiberman you are a paid writer for Variety. I couldn’t bare to hear any more negativity. If I had to read more I wanted to burn my eyes. He’s telling a true story about war. Of course it’s violent. You think war is not violent? You can tell about a man by the movie he makes? That’s what’s sad about this world, people like you that can make your own assessment of a person then write it, print it, and it’s the gospel. You make me sad about the world not Mel Gibson.

  8. Rex says:

    Damn, does this mean he won’t be in Machete 3?

  9. DickHatewell says:

    …weird how (((Hollywood))) will call for Mel Gibson’s head, but drug-pushing child molester Roman Polanski is still just a great artist with a few “legal issues”.

  10. Bob says:

    What? No mention/comparison to Sgt York?

  11. Leo Mather says:

    Roman Polanski comes to mind when forgiving a man’s past for art.

  12. Ed Kittle says:

    What is the author of this article talking about. Nobody is judging Mel Gibson. Quit projecting.

  13. Deleting truthful comments, are we? Is the moderator reading all the comments and seeing a powerful trend?

    The American people have had enough with Hollywood’s PC Zio-crap.

  14. Al Toid says:

    If you recall….regarding those “phone calls”…..he was set up and the recordings were faked by his ex. Your agenda…’s showing.

  15. WesternSuicide says:

    Funny that in your write up for Woody Allen’s new film you never mention “whether we can separate a popular actor or filmmaker’s off-screen life from his on-screen art”.

    Also, you don’t seem to bring up Roman Polanski’s colourful personal choices when he releases a new film yet ol’ Mel said some bad words – remind me, did Mel rape anyone or marry the daughter of an ex??? – and it’s front and center to his art.

    Funny. Sad!

    • cadavra says:

      No, what’s sad is that people like you keep lumping Allen and Polanski together, conveniently forgetting that Allen’s case was thoroughly investigated. The accusations were determined to be BS, and he was never charged. But I guess reality doesn’t apply when it comes to sliming New York Jewish intellectuals.

  16. If you can separate Mel’s art from his personal life as you did so easily with the pedophile Roman Polanski, then yes, Mel can have a “comeback”. Hollywood, you’re hypocritical and disgusting.

  17. Thomas G says:

    Look, if none of us were able to work again in our chosen fields because of episodes of poor judgement and saying stupid stuff, then most of the world would be unemployed. We have the luxury of our rants not getting played out in the media. Leave the guy alone.

  18. luxmax says:

    Actually there were a hundred wounded men on Hacksaw ridge and Desmond saved them all. When the commander wanted to put him in for a medal, Desmond demurred and said it could not have been more than 50, so they compromised at 75, but the truth was there was really a hundred. Desmond was in a foxhole when a Jap threw in a grenade. It would have killed them all, but Desmond stepped on it and it blew him out of the hole, severely wounding him, but saving the lives of all the others. When being evacuated, he saw another man with a more severe wound and he rolled off the gurney and told them to take that man instead. While waiting for evacuation at some point, he was shot in the shoulder. After the war, many Japanese soldiers came forward and stated that they saw Desmond standing at the top of the cliff lowering men down and tried to shoot him, but their guns would always jam. For some reason none were able to fire at him.

    • mike says:

      That last point you made…I think it’s more like they COULD have shot him, but couldn’t bring themselves to do it. But they’ll never admit to it because of their obligation to duty. Honor as warriors got in the way of honor as soldiers. Hence, “our guns jammed”…*wink*.

      • Kyle Diaz says:

        The Japanese were known torture and kill many wounded American soldiers left on the battlefield, which is partly the reason why Doss did not want to leave any of the wounded up on the ridge. They also preferred to kill the medics over the infantrymen,as they believed it sapped the morale of the enemy. I don’t think they were, at that time, of a mindset to spare anyone because of his bravery.



  20. This is just plain silly. Anybody that worked with him just loves him. I think he has a drinking problem, maybe … Can’t these Hollywood people forgive anyone? Liberals are all nasty, including the guy that wrote this article.

    • They forgave and rewarded that Pedophile Polanksi who fled the country with an Academy Award.

    • Lucas Smith Photography Copyright 2009 says:

      i think the writer of this review was actually being very reasonable and forgiving with regard to mel gibson – clearly he admires him as a talented director. but anti-semitic comments are not ‘normal’ things that even a drunk person says – they’re symptomatic of an underlying issue that shouldn’t just be ignored – even if it’s forgiven.

  21. Oh what a bunch of blather. I’ll go see the film since I’m boycotting the NFL.

    • Lucas Smith Photography Copyright 2009 says:

      what does this say about you as a person that your comment makes almost no sense whatsoever? i mean, just think about it: you could return to this comment in ten years? will you even remember why you said what you said? no – because it sounds completely irrational nonsense.

  22. Typical says:

    If anyone had any doubt about what total scum Mel Gibson is, all they have to do is read the comments from his fans in this thread. They represent the most disgusting from the Alt Right, because he attracts frightened, insecure men who hate and act the same way he does. Racist, mysyognistic, wife-beating, lying, cheating bullies with tiny minds.

    He will never get another dime of my money. And Andrew Garfield, you should be ashamed of yourself.


      what a typical tolerant little liberal jack off you are! what do mel’s politics have to do with his filmmaking? bet you love roman polanski!

      • stephen garcia says:

        Mel’s comments about Jews was caught on recording and he was banned from Hollywood by the Jewish elite in Hollywood. He should have gone after the less protected ,Blacks,Hispanics, and Asians and he would have been okay. Are the Jews beyond criticism in the land of the free speech?

    • 1313hole says:

      In other words, he doesn’t share your detestable politics and has a mind of his own so he has to be evil. Typical. The fact is that the guy has demons, and some real anger issues, however he doesn’t seem to have ever really DONE anything really bad. Other than drunk driving (which hopefully he doesn’t do anymore) and just being a vicious jerk.

      It’s very telling that he has received a hundred times the condemnation Roman Polanski dealt with. A man guilty of drugging and sodomizng a twelve year old girl. Or how about the continued support of your kind for the Clintons? But you people continue to not only tolerate, but exalt these people.

      Evil? You’re soaking in it.

  23. Jack Clifford says:

    Nearly every movie I go see involves the act of separating the character from the actor. What’s so hard about that? Is anybody suggesting that the movie going public should act like McCarthyism is back in style in leftist America?

  24. Isn’t “peace” and non-violence antisemitic? After all, when Trump says he wants to make peace in the middle east, and come to terms with Russia, didn’t the neocons go nuts? Isn’t this why the rat pack jumped over to Hillary?

  25. Tom says:

    So this is why America laughs at Hollywood criticism critics

  26. Drive Tone says:

    You don’t get out much. Christians seem to be Jews’ greatest pals for some time now. I suspect you’re none of the above.

  27. beijingyank says:

    No Khazarian bias to this article at all. I’m being facetious.
    There is a criminal genius to the Aussies. It’s good hearted as well. After a show of verbal abuse, anger, swearing, the Aussies will still say “Cheers!” at the end.

  28. Hollywood can forgive (and celebrate) Roman Polanski, but struggles with Mel Gibson. That speaks volumes.

  29. kestrel27 says:

    Good for Mel Gibson and I agree. Everyone is allowed to be prejudiced, bigoted, racist, especially those on the left side of the aisle. They are always the first to notice any slight differences in skin color, gender, religion, anything they don’t like and/or agree with and open their unusually fat mouths to point it out. They just don’t want anyone to notice their massive hypocrisy when they do so.

    • Later than you think says:

      DEMS are a Rogues’s Gallery freak show of Black Panthers, pornographers, abortionists, trannies, prostitutes, housewives, liberal pastors, Jihadis, soccer moms, and felons that vote…what the heck???

  30. Mobetta Jenkum says:

    “G1obalism” is the ultimate betrayal and treas0n against EVERY living/breathing individual within EVERY beautiful diverse sovereign nation on our multicultural planet.

    …All citizens of the planet should execu+e trait0rs to their lands NOW before they infest your nation like termites. You only get one chance with one planet, so do not scrrew this opportunity up!~ Once a single-party system of governance (like 1930’s Gerrmany) seizes power on a gl0bal-scale, you will never be able to undo it!… It is not like you can “imm1grate to another planet” or something!…

    …We need the beautiful diversity of our nations on this multicultural planet in order to ensure a system of “checks and balances”… Contrary to what a few treasonous global-e1ites think, NO ONE MAN should be allowed to “play g0d” with our entire species. Destr0y the treas0nous e1ected 1eaders who intend to forcefeed you “G1obalism”, and make an example of them!

    …The United States made it to the moon without foreign trade and before the first-ever nation-trait0rs within gl0bal-c0rporations.

    • Bishop L'darius Jeter says:

      Thanks Mobetta—you know God hisself punished a sinful world with diversity at the Tower of Babel-makin everybody speak diverse nonsense and whatnot-i missed you at Church today Mobetta

  31. Last Dad Standing says:

    I question the secular atheist elite left marxists. I recommend you all 2nd guess everything they support over the past 50 years.Things like Southerners are racist and rednecks, or Germans are racist and anti-semetic, or police bad, black felons good, or Obama a genius and Trump a dolt, or Larry Flynt and Kaepernick free speech heroes but Mark Fuhrman or Paula Deen racists trash.

  32. Art Carney says:

    I served with a few pacifists, they were medic or other MOS where they did not have to use a weapons. ANd many medics were in combat, without weapons and had a great deal of respect from other troops.

  33. RK says:

    Child rapist, Roman Polanski is everyone’s hero but Gibson is a pariah? Curious!

    • Rex says:

      Not to mention the conservatard media conspiracy that so hounded his victim that she actually forgave him just to have some semblance of normalcy in her life.

  34. D says:

    Who has not done things that they would not like to be remember for doing or being? If someone is good at baseball you recognize their abilities/skills in that arena not their ineptitudes/behaviors at home. Yes, you will have to separate the creative endeavors from the miscreant.

  35. Mikael says:

    What bigotry, no oneever questions whether kayne wests works should be seperated by the maniac stage crashing antics he is infamous for

  36. Red Fotog says:

    I am glad to see Mel Gibson back “amongst the living” as it were. I have always appreciated his talent and the cerebral approach he takes to make his characters utterly believable.

  37. Call it “Drunk people say dumb stuff”
    Look at Mel’s body of work over time.
    To deny his gift with the craft of movie making/ story telling would be to cut ones nose to spite ones face.

  38. Andrew says:

    Too many commenters who are willing to overlook crimes against huma nity but want to bash a talented man who occasionally spews vile talk if inebriated.

  39. Mel Gibson did it again! BRAVO SIR!

    • Donna L Schatz says:

      Amen to that James! Mel has always been my favorite actor and director. He is an incredibly talented artist who like all of us struggles with the demons of his past. Let the man use the talents that he has been gifted with. I for one can forgive and will be first in line to see Hacksaw Ridge…Good luck Mel…break a leg

  40. Greta says:

    Perhaps Desmond was too busy saving lives to ever need to pick up a gun. Perhaps there were enough well armed people around him that the “conflict” you speak of, where he would have to fire a weapon to save a life, never occurred. Why would Gibson put that in just to make the film more interesting? He seems to have had too much respect for the real man to do that.

    • Lucas Smith Photography Copyright 2009 says:

      i think the critic was being a little vague there at the end – he’s either saying the film is more unique *because* it doesn’t make a cliché storytelling choice – doss being tempted to use violence would be a cliché – or he’s saying the film would’ve been better had there been greater philosophical conflict. it’s not entirely clear in the writing. but admittedly this review was written within hours of the premiere of the film, so it was likely really rushed.

  41. PatrickAZ says:

    How is your hatred any less loathsome than his?

  42. Rick Manigault says:

    I support Mel, but he can’t have movie success after Nate Parkers lynching.

  43. Georgine Kratzer says:

    he or she who is without SIN cast the first stone.

  44. billyrumble says:

    I think I’m starting to understand the insanity of Hollywood. If someone isn’t 100 percent politically correct, every second of their waking life, which includes periods of inebriation or fatigue, then they have to spend the next ten years atoning for it.
    What’s it like living in a society where you can never say anything, except the most insipid, politically correct, drivel?
    FYI: Political correctness comes from the government. The government wants politically correct citizens so that it can expand freely.

    • beijingyank says:

      “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:16
      The attack on Free Speech is ongoing.
      Khazarian flavor starts with smears, slander and libel. It’s goal is to get your fired and or decrease your cash flow. It’s quickly followed by law suits which suits their goals just fine.
      There is an interesting contrast between the audacious Free Speech of “F” bombing Jon Stewart, and gawk show, shock show of Howard Stern, to getting banned from a Huffington Post comment section because of the “J” word.
      Free Speech is one of the sacred American ideals soldiers fought for.
      I side with Voltaire. “I might not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your Right to say it.”
      I also believe Chomsky’s, “If you can’t protect the speech of someone you detest, you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech at all.”
      So, yeah, there was bias in this story about Mel.
      I hate when the author changes a story event, character, main idea, around to a story about his feelings.
      It’s very unprofessional and writers should concentrate on eliminating the worthless, drivel at all costs for a fair perspective of just telling a story and staying on topic.

  45. Swamp Witch says:

    Mr. Gibson is a classic .He can tell a story that has meaning and take you along the journey with him .Hollywood relies to much on green screens and hack actors that make forgettable box office bombs .

  46. Steve says:

    Can one separate the ‘artist’ from the Art? Woody Allen? Roman Polanski? Hate filled idiots like Alec Baldwin? The whole hate filled anti-Trump movement populated by leftist totalitarian authoritarian cry bullies? What a pathetic question. What a hate filled assumption. How anti-Christian and unloving! Only the left is this hate filled and intolerant.

  47. Michael says:

    “Let him who has no sin cast the first stone!” Jesus Christ!

  48. sliding says:





  49. I believe his family moved to Australia during the Vietnam War to avoid him being drafted.

    • Yes, they did move to Australia in February, 1968 when Mel Gibson was 12 years old. It was the home country of his grandmother & Mel Gibson’s father was hopeful that Australia wouldn’t draft Mel. 6 yrs later, when Mel Gibson would have been eligible for the draft, Saigon had already fallen. So while you are right in one sense, to imply that Mel Gibson’s father moved to avoid Mel’s impeding draft is wrong.

      • Michael Chiasson says:

        Some of the most unhappy people in this world are those who go to great extreams to have people like them. The more they do to come off likeable, the more they come to believe that there is something wrong, even monsterous about themselves. It starts early and in minor ways, but then gets out of hand. Johnny Carson was said to have had a cold mother. He struggled to find some way to gain her approval. Magic tricks, jokes, funny faces…all done to gain her approval. But the constant struggle, by the time he was an adult, had him believing he was an unlovable troll.

        Mel Gibsons outburst of anti-antisemitism occurred because because he felt himself a fraud. He was nearly universally loved because of his unending efforts to put on an endearing face for the world. But inside he had come to believe he was a monster and a fraud.

  50. wholy1 says:

    “atonement” – LOL
    Gibson is “good people”.
    Gleiberman – IGNORE.

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