2000 • 154 minutes
4.58K reviews
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About this movie

A man robbed of his name and his dignity strives to win them back and gain the freedom of his people in this epic historical drama from director Ridley Scott. In the year 180 the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus (Russell Crowe) is one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor. As Marcus' devious son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) ascends to the throne Maximus is set to be executed. He escapes but is captured by slave traders. Renamed Spaniard and forced to become a gladiator Maximus must battle to the death with other men for the amusement of paying audiences. His battle skills serve him well and he becomes one of the most famous and admired men to fight in the Colosseum. Determined to avenge himself against the man who took away his freedom and laid waste to his family Maximus believes that he can use his fame and skill in the ring to avenge the loss of his family and former glory. As the gladiator begins to challenge his rule Commodus decides to put his own fighting mettle to the test by squaring off with Maximus in a battle to the death. Gladiator also features Derek Jacobi Connie Nielsen Djimon Hounsou and Oliver Reed who died of a heart attack midway through production.
4.58K reviews
Kyle Vansteelandt
November 30, 2021
The question that Maximus asks is "are you not entertained?" This original line could be a fourth-wall-break. My response to the question is "actually, I am more than just entertained." The movie has a tenacious grip on my attention from beginning to end; starting beautifully with a really entertaining opening scene where our hero Maximus thinks about his wheat field at home. Looking at a pretty bird suggests that he loves beauty, peace, and nature. Then a ferocious army of Germans came to slaughter Maximus's Roman army. All hell broke loose. One day, an old and wise Caesar named "Marcus Aurelius" was killed by his younger son named "Commodus," Because Marcus knows that Maximus is a moral ruler/a rightful ruler. Then, Maximus has been put into slavery and must begin his trek to the colosseum in Rome to avenge Marcus's death and the loss of his family. What makes "Gladiator" so intriguing is the dynamic craftsmanship, the compelling themes, and the smartly-written dialogue. Ridley Scott directed this movie with acceptable sophistication (in terms of the amount of substance) and excellent timing where the lines of dialogue are spaced out far enough to create gripping suspense, and I don't where the movie is going, which is what makes his direction utterly effective. There is also one witty joke to be found. David Franzoni (screenwriter) has written an deep epic story to tell with a great ending, and Ridley has laced the story with themes of politics and home; he has added reactionary context involving emperors with their abilities to rule. As for home, your home is more than just your house and property, your family is your home, and the afterlife (Heaven) is also your home. If you think of your home, including your family, you will gain your confidence to take on any challenge to win your home. When Maximus smells the dirt and sand, his nose detected that these lands far away from his home are laced with macabre and masculinity. This grim smell fuels up his physical strength; increasing testosterone. He also rubs his hands with sand to have a better grip on his weapons. Every action sequence is absolutely rousing; the action hits hard because of the quick camera cuts, the slick screenplay, and the impact of the tone. The movie also has a smart use of slow-motion. Every single scene is gripping, and some of them are surprisingly touching too. John Mathieson (cinematographer) has shot some of the most enthralling cinematography that my eyes has ever seen; and these shots are gorgeous, and as an epic film, it is filmed on a grand scale with stunning precision. Did I mentioned that the movie has well-utilized color palette to make the movie look gorgeous? It most certainly does. The excellent music score by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard deftly stages each and every element involving the action and the drama. Not to mention that all of the music cues sound beautifully dramatic and lush. The characterizations here are an admirable force to be reckoned with, and the outstanding performances from the cast makes the characters stern with some noticeable personality to each of them. Maximus (Russell Crowe) is a beloved General with slick fighting skills and some agreeable leadership. He loves his home, especially his family. Connie Nielsen is great as Lucilla; a strong and smart sister. Juba (Djimon Hounsou) is a friendly tribesman who gives some nice company to his friend Maximus. Richard Harris is persuasive as Marcus Aurelius with his old father-like personality. Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) is one of the greatest antagonists ever; he is a tyrant wannabe who has sympathetic depth that transforms him into such a nasty jerk; he is not a moral ruler because of his unsophistication and insecurities. He believes that ambition is what makes an emperor a ruler of Rome, and he has not not been loved throughout his life. He even has a huge army of his own. In conclusion: This imposing powerhouse epic is easily a glorious triumph. Highly Recommended!
A Google user
February 8, 2013
Passionate heartbeats reckoning is heart for the Roman Empire The King, or to get back to his family life of farming, and husband to his wife. Father to his son. But knowingly in his heart he must not leave his duties to Rome and the Kingdoms KING to be destroyed. By the King's son. Little did he know that the Son wants to erase his entirely family, and the real man that should of been a Great King. To bad his whole family was wiped out of holding his name. It would of made a great sequels to this Soldier.
16 people found this review helpful
Francisca Zayas
March 15, 2014
Wow, what a great entertaining movie. I'm so intrigued in how society back in the Roman days treated & traded people like slaves. To them it was like us trading baseball cards! It's such a wonderful movie with a sad ending. I've watched movie several times now. I highly recommend this movie.