Critic Consensus: Ridley Scott and an excellent cast successfully convey the intensity of Roman gladitorial combat as well as the political intrigue brewing beneath.
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as Gen. Maximus
as Marcus Aurelius
as Slave Trader
as Praetorian Officer
as Assasin No. 1
as Assassin No. 2
as Praetorian Guard No. 1
as German Leader
as Giant Man
as Rome Trainer No. 1
as Lucius' Attendant
as Maximus' Wife
as Maximus' Son
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Critic Reviews for Gladiator
Russell Crowe solidly anchors this epic-scale gladiator movie - the first in nearly four decades - by using his burly frame and expressive face to give dimension to what might otherwise have been comic book heroics.
It is monumental movie-making: visually thrilling, technically astonishing, and emotionally engaging.
Throughout it all, Crowe maintains a tough, slot-mouthed reticence; he is very persuasive as the superman of the Colosseum.
In Russell Crowe, Scott has found an actor who can carry this movie the way Atlas was supposed to carry the globe of the world on his back -- in Crowe's case without stooping.
Ridley Scott thrusts us so close to the combat that all we see is a lot of whirling and thrashing, a sword thrust here and there, a spurt of blood, a limb severed. There's hardly a scene that is cleanly and coherently staged in open space.
Audience Reviews for Gladiator
A great historical adventure of epic scale. From outstanding cinematography, great acting performances (especially by Crowe, Hounsou and Phoenix) to a really good plot, including all it takes in the genre: great battle scenes, intrigues, interesting characters. This movie has all it takes to be the kind of classic it already is. Especially the gladiator fights are breath taking and stand the test of time, rivaling Ben Hur's great chariot race. To top it off Hans Zimmer writes one of the most beautiful end credits songs to a very moving ending. Outstanding film-making by Ridley Scott. Especially recommend: the Extended Version with several additional scenes.
An masterfully constructed epic concerning a general (Russell Crowe) of the Roman Army, next in line to be emperor thanks to his strong relationship to the current one (Richard Harris), before he is murdered in cold blood by his own son (Joaquin Phoenix) and the son sells the general into slavery after brutally murdering his family. The general becomes a gladiator, rising up through the rankings focused on enacting revenge on the emperor, and thus becoming a power political piece the newly crowned Caesar can not kill due to his popularity with the people of Rome. A soaring epic that nails almost everything right, with fantastic performances from Crowe and Phoenix that helped make them the movie stars they are now. This is a special, unique movie about the Roman empire and the way Scott captures it is utterly thrilling.
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