Gladiator (2000)


Movie Review

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, and Djimon Hounsou

In Gladiator, Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) is selected by the dying emperor Marcs Aurelius (Richard Harris) to succeed him as ruler of Rome.  However, the emperor’s son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) takes issue with this.  The ensuing power struggle costs Maximus the lives of his wife and son as Commodus orders their execution.  Commodus also condemns Maximus to death.  However, he escapes this ill fate and becomes a slave who must fight in the gladiator games.  The only way for Maximus to vindicate the loss of his family is to become the best gladiator.  When he does so, Maximus will get the opportunity to confront the man who condemned him to death and murdered his loved ones.

Gladiator is so awesome that there are times when I honestly want to chant “Maximus” while watching it.  This modernized sword-and-sandals epic is both riveting and dazzling.  It’s a masterpiece with great storytelling and plenty of blood.  Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix deliver their finest on screen performances to date.  Ridley Scott’s period action flick definitely deserves a sober rating and belongs on any action bucket list.  Gladiator is approximately two and a half hours, so plan your breaks accordingly.



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