"I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me and the cost is more than I can bear."
- Benjamin Martin
The Patriot tells the story of Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson), a widowed father of seven children, as he tries to keep his family together during the Revolutionary War. He had fought in the French and Indian War, since married and started a family. He has tried to put his actions in that war behind him, but still carries some guilt and regret from those actions. He fears that his past will come back to haunt him.
When war breaks out, his eldest son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) joins the fight against his wishes. Benjamin soon ends up reluctantly joining the fight as well. His successfully leads a militia band against the British until Colonel William Tavington (Jason Isaacs) is ordered to do everything he can to capture or kill Martin and his South Carolina militia.