Apocalypto ★★★ 2006 (R)
Set during ancient times against a lavish, peaceful backdrop in the Yucatan Peninsula. Producer/director/co-writer Gibson unleashes a savage nightmare that somehow surpasses the bloodbaths of his other works, “Passion of the Christ” and “Braveheart.” Jaguar Paw (Youngblood, part of the all-native cast) and his forest tribe are viciously rounded up by Mayan attackers as their rulers desperately attempt to save their decaying civilization by sacrificing Paw's people to the gods. As the graphic slaughter begins, Paw slips away and triggers an intense 45-minute jungle chase as he tries to outrun his captors and return to his pregnant wife and young son who he'd hidden in a village well. Gibson's talent at creating no-holds-barred action is on full display. In the Mayan language of the Yucatec, with English subtitles. 137m/C DVD, Blu-ray Disc . US Rudy Youngblood, Dalia Hernandez, Jonathan Brewer, Morris Birdyellowhead, Carlos Emilio Baez, Raoul Trujillo, Rodolfo Palacios; D: Mel Gibson; W: Mel Gibson, Farhad Safinia; C: Dean Semler; M: James Horner.