Gladiator - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gladiator Reviews

Page 1 of 33951
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2007
Most films require that the viewer identifies with the character to truly be engrossed with the film. If you can't feel something for the character, than the audience is lost.

Luckily, in Ridley Scott's case, Russel Crowe is so captivating and convincing as a general loved by his troops and as a slave loved by the people that the movie really works. Possibly one of the greatest actors today, Crowe carries this epic film on his very capable shoulders.

Not to say that he is the only reason this works. The supporting cast, most notably Connie Neilsen, buoy the film to new perspectives.

Jacquin Phoenix definitely captures the egotisitcal persona he should display, stealing every scene he's in. Phoenix will surely be put on the map with Gladiator.

But the real shining star in this film are the incredible action sequences which jolt the viewer right in with the opening sequences, as Maximus' true worth to the Roman Empire is displayed. Scott's camera work within these completed sequences takes a modern twist that really works for the gruesome scenes.

Crowe will now get the respect he deserves for this collosal performance. Gladiator makes the most of its 2 and a half hours, marking a triumphant comeback for the long forgotten epics of the classic days of film. ALL HAIL MAXIMUS! 3 Stars 6-22-2000
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2010
Fantastic movie. Greatness throughout...
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2006
Ridley Scott's modern classic may take a lot of cues from the likes of Spartacus and Ben Hur, but in many ways it surpasses them. The thrilling combat sequences are as good as any committed to celluloid, and as impressive the CGI recreation of ancient Rome is, it's the wonderful dialogue, characters and design that breathes life into it. Russel Crowe charismatically heads a magnificent cast, featuring Richard Harris as the ageing Marcus Aurelius Caesar tired of conquest and wishing to leave a legacy after his death, veteran Shakespearean Derek Jacobi providing the political intrigue behind the scenes, scheming to replace the Emperor with a democratic republic, Oliver Reed as Maximus' new mentor dreaming of recreating past glories, and Connie Nielsen as the conniving Lucilla whose true motive is only to keep her son safe. But it is Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus who is the show stopper, brilliantly portraying a spoilt child whose ambition combined with weakness of character and desire for a father's love twists him into a malicious tyrant; the scene in which he assassinates his father is superb. It even takes time out to take sideswipes at modern politics and the media "Rome is the mob. You can take away their freedom, but show them a little magic to distract them and they will still love you for it." This is what brings the film to life, and this level of sophistication makes it's contemporaries such as Alexander, Braveheart or even Scott's own Kingdom Of Heaven look like school pantomimes in comparison. Proof that the Hollywood system in the hands of true artists can produce something genuinely beautiful.
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2007
Visually stunning, Russell Crowe looks fantastic and the battles are epic however for a 3hr movie it does struggle to keep my interest. Having about 30minutes of action stretch over the 3hours of movie will certainly test the Roman Epic fans.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2010
When I went to see Gladiator on it's release in 2000, I walked out the cinema bitterly disappointed. It went on to win 5 Oscars (including Best Picture) and received a further 7 nominations. This only added to my feelings of resentment towards it.
As a result, I chose to avoid seeing it again and didn't mince my words on my dislike for it. However, plenty of people - who's opinions I respect - seemed to love it. For that reason, I chose to have a reappraisal.
During the days of the Roman Empire, dedicated soldier Maximus (Russell Crowe) loyally serves the emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). When the emperor is killed, Maximus refuses to transfer his loyalty to his son and new emperor, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and suffers the consequences. He is ordered to be killed but manages to escape, ending up in the hands of slave trader Proximo (Oliver Reed), who pits him into the Roman Colosseum as a gladiator. It's here that Maximus realises he can still use the arena and the crowd to his benefit and plan his revenge on Commodus.
On only my second viewing of this film, my opinion has changed and changed for the better. I still have issues with it but it's granduer is undeniably impressive and as a slice of entertainment it can't be faulted. I can honestly admit now, that my scornful opinion of this film was slightly unjust. It was much better than I remember but still not the classic it's proclaimed to be. For a start, it has a high tendency for melodrama. This is acceptable in some cases but with the acclimations that Gladiator has recieved over the years, I find it needs to be scrutinised a little further. One of the main causes for it's melodramatic approach is some ridiculous dialogue. Reportedly, during production Russell Crowe himself had complaints with screenwriter William Nicholson's dialogue, apparently telling him it was "garbage". I found that to be the case in several scenes and when delivering it, the uncomfortableness in the actors looked apparent. However, they manage to carry it well enough; Crowe is a commanding presence in his Oscar winning role but it's by no means his best performance. I think his abilities were better tested the year before in "The Insider", where he was absolutely superb and deserved the Oscar then. Phoenix is another actor I admire and he also delivers a good performance but unfortunately suffers with a poorly written and stereotypical character. He's no more than a cartoon villain - complete with dark eye shadow - and he couldn't really get any more nasty. Old hands, Harris and Reed phone their performances in and it looks as if Reed is just there for the beer tokens. Jacobi, however brief, shows his thespian abilities and the always excellent Djimon Hounsou is wasted in another poorly written role. There's not a lot going on for the character's as ultimately, this is all about the spectacle. And a fine, grandiose one it is. With "Blade Runner" and most recently "Prometheus", Scott has never been known to scrimp on the visual front and this is no different. It is
exquisitely detailed (kudos to cinematographer John Mathieson) and filmed in the grandest of scales. The director can't be faulted in his ability to capture the hearts and minds of an audience and this is no more apparent than the impressively choreographed battle scenes and wonderfully ethereal afterlife sequences - shot with a highly artistic eye. Such scenes are afforded a greater power by a superb score from Hans Zimmer and the amazing vocal talents of Lisa Gerrard (for those unaware, check out her beautiful work with Australian outfit "Dead Can Dance"). On a visual and audio front, this film can't be reckoned with but unfortunately, I found it to succumb to formula. Despite the fact that the real life Commodus did actually fight in the the gladiatorial arena, the ending stretched credulity for me but I suppose dramatic license is commonplace in film's of this type.
I enjoyed this a far-sight more than I used to, as it's undeniably epic and visually arresting. Essentially though, this is an action movie. A good one but not much more than an action movie dressed in the Emperor's clothes.
Super Reviewer
December 26, 2006
Really good
Super Reviewer
June 28, 2007
Cinematic perfection! An unforgettable and masterfully directed epic, from the brilliant mind who brought us such timeless classics as "Alien" and "Blade Runner". It's not often I use the word masterpiece for a film, but this spectacular piece of historical action deserves nothing less. The story, of a Roman general named Maximus, who goes from a soldier to a slave to a gladiator champion in the majestic Colosseum, is one of the most moving, impressive and triumphant tales ever told. Roused by the amazing battles and stirred by its emotional power, I always come out of this film with a lingering sense of awe and wonder. I wish I could erase my memory, only to experience it for the first time again. For this is epic story-telling at its finest hour and one of my favourite movies of all-time. If you haven't seen it yet, you have certainly missed something!
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2008
havent seen it
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2010
Winner of 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor, this epic film is a must see.
Super Reviewer
½ November 28, 2007
Joaquin Phoenix does a brilliant character portrayal in this and the action/battle scenes are quite well executed. Russell Crowe is downright cool in this one making his character Maximus plainly and simply a fighter with a fight worth fighting. This film just works for what it is and it does indeed hold up if you're in the mood for some solid action sequences that keep you on edge.
"Are you not entertained!?"
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2007
This movie was a little hyped-up.
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2008
Despite its historical inaccuracies, "Gladiator" is a spectacular film and the acting is exceptional. The Imagery is also great and Crowe shines throughout the film.
Nathan H.
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2011
Are you not entertained? Movies like Gladiator only come every once and while to hollywood. It is a rare movie that so easily pulls at all the different emotions, and stimulate the mind, while also filling the thirst for action. Maximus was thrown into the life of a gladiator upon being chosen by the former emperor to take his place. Commodus, the former's son finds out, murders his father, and sends Maximus to be executed. Although he escapes, the general is now a slave, and doomed to be a gladiator. But, overtime, he wins over the people by his fighting, and challenges Commodus to a final fight. This movie holds all the elements necessary for a modern classic. Excellent acting from all the main class. Director Ridley Scott shows his talents in this movie, more than any of his others. And, the plot is fantastic. Highly recommended.
zach l.
Super Reviewer
½ October 13, 2011
Gladiator is a an epic all in itself. It does what most movies try to do and succeeds beyond expectations. This movie combines a great story, a little bit of history, great performances by Russell Crow and Joaquin Phoenix and a powerful and unforgettable score by Hans Zimmer. I can only say one word. Amazing!
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2007
Gladiator is a violent and satisfying plunge into the lore of ancient Rome, and offers plenty of thrills and visual panache - and a great Russell Crowe performance to boot.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2011
Badass warrior movie. Crowe kills and the movie delivers.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2007
Exciting action and solid acting (come back, Joaquin!), but undoes itself by simplifying things far more than it needs to. What could have been a rich exploration of morality, jealousy and power is whittled down to a tedious duel between good versus evil by the final act. Satisfying in the moment, but there isn't too much to chew on afterwards.
Super Reviewer
April 20, 2011
Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator' has a lot to show for in terms of entertainment. Scott's usual affection towards brutal action is in effect, as is another strong performance from Russell Crowe. With beautiful cinematography and gifted storytelling, Gladiator stands as a film to revel in. As long as you can handle large pacing issues and some boring dialogue, you'll have to admire its composure as an action film.
Page 1 of 33951