Gladiator (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Gladiator (2000)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Ridley Scott and an excellent cast successfully convey the intensity of Roman gladitorial combat as well as the political intrigue brewing beneath.

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A man robbed of his name and his dignity strives to win them back, and gain the freedom of his people, in this epic historical drama from director Ridley Scott. In the year 180, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus (Russell Crowe) is one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor. As Marcus' devious son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) ascends to the throne, Maximus is set to be executed. He escapes, but is captured by slave traders. Renamed Spaniard and forced to become a gladiator, Maximus must battle to the death with other men for the amusement of paying audiences. His battle skills serve him well, and he becomes one of the most famous and admired men to fight in the Colosseum. Determined to avenge himself against the man who took away his freedom and laid waste to his family, Maximus believes that he can use his fame and skill in the ring to avenge the loss of his family and former glory. As the gladiator begins to challenge his rule, Commodus decides to put his own fighting mettle to the test by squaring off with Maximus in a battle to the death. Gladiator also features Derek Jacobi, Connie Nielsen, Djimon Hounsou, and Oliver Reed, who died of a heart attack midway through production. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Rating:
R (for intense graphic combat)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Russell Crowe
as Gen. Maximus
Joaquin Phoenix
as Commodus
Connie Nielsen
as Lucilla
Oliver Reed
as Proximo
Richard Harris
as Marcus Aurelius
Derek Jacobi
as Gracchus
Tomas Arana
as Quintus
David Hemmings
as Cassius
Omid Djalili
as Slave Trader
Nicholas McGaughey
as Praetorian Officer
Chris Kell
as Scribe
Tony Curran
as Assasin No. 1
Mark Lewis
as Assassin No. 2
John Quinn
as Valerius
Alun Raglan
as Praetorian Guard No. 1
David Bailie
as Engineer
Chick Allen
as German Leader
David Nicholls
as Giant Man
Al Ashton
as Rome Trainer No. 1
Billy Dowd
as Narrator
Ray Calleja
as Lucius' Attendant
Giannina Facio
as Maximus' Wife
Giorgio Cantarini
as Maximus' Son
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News & Interviews for Gladiator

Critic Reviews for Gladiator

All Critics (186) | Top Critics (46)

Gladiator is a triumph. On the surface, it's a terrific yarn with strong, rounded characters, agonizing suspense and visceral thrills. Look closer and you'll find rich historical themes, and a harrowing critique of violence as amusement.

Full Review… | February 22, 2015
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top 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… | January 8, 2014
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

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… | January 8, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

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… | January 8, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

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… | January 8, 2014
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

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… | February 24, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Gladiator

½

A great historical adventure of epic scale. From outstanding cinematography, great acting performances (especially by Crowe, Hounsou and Phoenix) to a really good plot, including all it takes in the genre: great battle scenes, intrigues, interesting characters. This movie has all it takes to be the kind of classic it already is. Especially the gladiator fights are breath taking and stand the test of time, rivaling Ben Hur's great chariot race. To top it off Hans Zimmer writes one of the most beautiful end credits songs to a very moving ending. Outstanding film-making by Ridley Scott. Especially recommend: the Extended Version with several additional scenes.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

½

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

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