Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 5 out of 5
Gladiator (2000)

Cool battle scenes, hand-to-hand combat, togas - we've waited a long time for a sword and sandals epic. But if they all have the thrills and exude the panache of "Gladiator", the next can't come quickly enough. Crowe is Maximus, a war hero and loyal subject of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). Already in his twilight years, Aurelius tells his son - the young, ambitious and frankly bonkers Commodus (Phoenix), that he will never succeed the throne.

So Commodus does what any grateful son does: he murders his Dad and then begins to eliminate his competitors, namely Maximus and his family. But Maximus escapes execution and flees back home where he is picked up by gladiator trainer Proximo (Reed) to battle in the arena. Not surprisingly, Maximus proves rather good at the sparring lark and soon he has made his way to Rome in preparation for a showdown with Commodus.

Huge in scope and endlessly exciting, "Gladiator" is the new word in blockbuster. All the players are excellent, with a central performance by Crowe that reaches new levels of magnetism.

If there is a downside, it is that the quieter and perfectly acceptable plot stuff suffers simply because you can't wait for the next action sequence. But hey, who cares when you've got Russell Crowe fighting tigers? It's official: the Roman Empire is hip again.

Read a review of the fully-loaded DVD.

Director Ridley Scott thanks the Film 2000 audience for voting his film the best of the year.

View the "Gladiator" trailer at the offical Gladiator site.

End Credits

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson

Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Harris

Genre: Drama

Length: 155 minutes

Cinema: 12 May 2000

DVD: 21 November 2000

Country: US

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