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Gladiator Reviews

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Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News

Gladiator, well cast and impressively staged, is every inch the summer blockbuster it intends to be. It's also something more. Amid the action and intrigue, director Scott makes a few points about blockbuster-style entertainment.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News

January 8, 2014
Ann Hornaday
Baltimore Sun

Rather than getting lost in the world Scott has created on screen, Scott asks filmgoers to marvel at how he created that world, and how smoothly he succeeds in manipulating us.

Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun | Original Score: 2/4

January 8, 2014
Leah Rozen
People Magazine

Moviegoers may not have been pining for such spectacles since speeding chariots last rumbled through theaters in 1959's Ben-Hur and 1960's Spartacus, but the juiced-up Gladiator proves there's still plenty of grappa left in the genre.

Full Review Source: People Magazine

January 8, 2014
Adrian Turner
Radio Times

For those old enough to remember the 70mm epics of yesteryear, this is a nostalgic synthesis of all of them. For those who haven't seen those earlier movies, Scott will open their eyes to a "brand-new" old world.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 5/5

January 8, 2014
Manohla Dargis
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gladiator is filled with brilliant filmmaking and features outstanding performances, but it's neither profound enough nor pop enough to be great -- it's mournful, serious, beautiful and, finally, pointless.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

January 8, 2014
David Denby
New Yorker
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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.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

January 8, 2014
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
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If there's a soft spot in your heart for the sword-&-sandal epic, then you'll swoon with giddy delight over Gladiator.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 8, 2014
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Crowe doesn't use tricks in this role to court our approval. He earns it the old-fashioned way, by daring to be quiet, if not silent, and intensely, implacably strong.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

January 8, 2014

Total Film

This is visceral film-making at its finest, painted on the grandest of canvases, and yet, one which maintains the finest eye for detail.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 5/5

February 24, 2013
Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The fusion of the ancient and the modern -- even to the point of some sly echoes of our own sports-mad society -- is seamless. Gladiator does indeed deliver the glory that was Rome, but it also clinically dissects the assumptions on which it was built.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 4/4

February 24, 2013
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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In the end, Gladiator is overdrawn and too insubstantial for its own good, just like the old days, but it satisfies as entertainment on a grand scale.

Full Review Source: AV Club

February 24, 2013
David Edelstein
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gladiator's combination of grim sanctimony and drenching, Dolby-ized dismemberings left me appalled.

Full Review Source: Slate

February 24, 2013
David Germain
Associated Press
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Time for a little gladiatorial gore with your Milk Duds. Gladiator is here, and it's big, glorious and eminently dumb.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

February 24, 2013
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

While Crowe's acting is certainly more subtle than most of the brouhaha around him, he has little chance to display the affecting humanity that's one of his chief assets.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor

February 24, 2013
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Really excellent but really violent Oscar winner.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 4/5

December 24, 2010
Nick Rogers

Russell Crowe is as believable a Spaniard here as Charlton Heston was a Mexican in "Touch of Evil." But director Ridley Scott took greater interest in entwining an empire's intrigue with its people's turmoil than emphasizing bread-and-circus brutality.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/4

September 24, 2010
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

...stirring action, good performances, and a plethora of visual delights.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 7/10

July 26, 2010
Josh Larsen

The brutality has such a mythical grandeur that it occasionally resembles beauty.

Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Original Score: 3/4

May 10, 2010
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Beefcake! Blood! Body slams! Boring! Boring? Well, not quite, but at 150 minutes, "Gladiator" isn't entirely the thrilling, action-packed Roman epic some fans of the genre were expecting.

Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine) | Original Score: B-

August 30, 2009
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile

Epic cinema is back.

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

October 18, 2008
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