Mel Gibson is earning rave reviews for his portrayal of a tough Boston Irish cop in "The Edge of Darkness."

Gibson (above) plays detective Thomas Craven, "a cop with nothing to lose who doesn't give a [bleep]," on a mission to hunt down his daughter's killers.

The movie is the first starring role for Gibson since his drunken anti-Semitic outburst made headlines round the world.

Gibson's public persona took a hammering after that incident and then there's also the well-publicized family matter where he left his long-time wife for a much younger woman.

He wisely stayed off the screen but "The Edge of Darkness," shows him back to form.

Gibson was always best playing the unhinged.

Think of the Mad Maxes and the Lethal Weapons and you get the picture.

In "Darkness," Craven discovers corporate cover-ups go hand-in-hand with government collusion are both involved in the murder of his daughter.

He says the movie shows how America is being led to the slaughterhouse. "It picks the scab off the governmental, corporate paranoia - the under the table workings that happen," Gibson said.

"I think we've lost our naiveté, I don’t think we have any pretension that what most of our leaders are doing is leading us to the slaughterhouse."