Looking back on Gladiator, it's clear that the achievement here isn't in special effects or world building, as the film certainly shows its age, nearly 16 years from when it was first released. The real achievement here is a worthy call back to the epics of Ben-Hur and others combined with a modern analysis of Roman politics that probes at some of the uncomfortable oddities of our own society. Gladiator feels almost too big to be real, successfully capturing the majesty of the games while also featuring some truly fantastic one-on-one scenes between Crowe, Phoenix, Neilsen and Harris, where their characters manage some of the most passionate and moving dialogue is recent film history. One of the other aspects of the film that often gets overlooked is its exceptional fight sequences, with the fight in Germania standing out particularly as one of the most realistic fight sequences since Spielberg changed the game with Saving Private Ryan. In retrospect, it seems a bit odd that Scott didn't receive Best Director for this film, considering just how well everything comes together here. Absolutely a must watch and clearly a classic for the genre as well as a mile marker for one of the greatest living directors.