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Gladiator (2000)

May. 05,2000
| Adventure Drama Action

In the year 180, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus is one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor. As Marcus' devious son Commodus 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.


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Re-watching this after several years has caused me to revise my rating upwards. I must have been over-influenced by reading the silly one-star reviews. This is an inventive and fictional tale, set in imperial Rome, with one or two actual historical characters. Unlike phony Braveheart, it in no way sets out to distort actual history. It is exceptionally skilfully directed, and the narrative never lets up. Ridley seems always to get the best from his actors. One of the least boring epics I've ever watched. Ridley Scott can turn his hand to any genre. Miles ahead of Kubrick: it's as if he is saying: I see what you're at, Stan, let me show you how to do it. Sometimes it steers dangerously close to excessive emotion, but time and again avoids bathos. Excellent script and dialogue. Visually masterful. Great movie.


An entertaining epic epic tail with some interesting historic details. Loved it. A must-see for every kind of film enthusiasts.


Amazing movie , perfect in all aspects The sound score was magical Solid plot, interesting story , great script , and magnificent actors Watching this movie was one of the best experience in my life


In the event of his death, ageing Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) intends to leave his trusted Hispano-Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) in charge of Rome, instead of allowing his son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) to become his successor. Commodus has other ideas: he murders his father and orders Maximus to be executed. Maximus, not one to give up quietly, makes a daring escape, and, badly wounded, heads for home, where he discovers that his wife and son have been crucified on Commodus' orders. Passing out from the pain of his injury, Maximus is captured by slavers, nursed back to health and forced to fight as a gladiator. This new life eventually leads him to the Colosseum of Rome, where he finally comes face to face with the man who betrayed him.From director Ridley Scott, Gladiator is a historical epic to rival the classics from the 'golden age' of Hollywood. Opening in 180 A.D., with a brilliantly orchestrated battle between the Roman armies and the tribes of Germania, Scott's film grabs the viewer's full attention from the outset and doesn't let go until the end, having delivered an Oscar-winning central performance from Crowe, a memorable score by Hans Zimmer, excellent supporting roles from the likes of Harris, Phoenix, Connie Nielsen and Oliver Reed, and some of the most impressively bloody scenes of hand to hand combat ever filmed.If I were to choose my favourite scene, it would be the 're-enactment' of the battle of Carthage, a savage piece of action cinema in which Maximus and his fellow gladiators are ushered into the arena like cattle to the slaughter, only to turn the tables on their attackers, winning the hearts of the Roman masses in the process. A rousing, blood drenched spectacle, it's a fine example of Scott's expert direction, a masterclass in camera placement and movement, editing (the violence is extreme, but the film doesn't wallow in the gore), sound design and special effects, which still thrills even after all of these years.