Gladiator Reviews

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Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
January 8, 2014

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.

Ann Hornaday
Baltimore Sun
January 8, 2014

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 | Original Score: 2/4
Leah Rozen
People Magazine
January 8, 2014

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.

Adrian Turner
Radio Times
January 8, 2014

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 | Original Score: 5/5
Manohla Dargis
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
January 8, 2014

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.

David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic
January 8, 2014

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.

Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
Top Critic
January 8, 2014

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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
January 8, 2014

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.


Total Film
February 24, 2013

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 | Original Score: 5/5
Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
February 24, 2013

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 | Original Score: 4/4
Keith Phipps
AV Club
Top Critic
February 24, 2013

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.

David Edelstein
Slate
Top Critic
February 24, 2013

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

David Germain
Associated Press
Top Critic
February 24, 2013

Time for a little gladiatorial gore with your Milk Duds. Gladiator is here, and it's big, glorious and eminently dumb.

David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
February 24, 2013

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.

Nell Minow
Common Sense Media
December 24, 2010

Really excellent but really violent Oscar winner.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nick Rogers
Suite101.com
September 24, 2010

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 | Original Score: 4/4
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
July 26, 2010

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

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Josh Larsen
LarsenOnFilm
May 10, 2010

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
August 30, 2009

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 | Original Score: B-
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
October 18, 2008

Epic cinema is back.

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