Gladiator is an epic film of love, death and betrayal set in the Roman Empire. General Maximus' success in battle earns the favour of an elderly Emperor at the expense of the Emperor's son. In a fit of jealous rage the son slays his father before turning his anger towards Show more... Maximus. Now reduced to a slave, his family dead, Maximus must fight as a Gladiator to gain his freedom, and his revenge.
Eky Gladiator has been my most favorite film of all time. It is an epic masterpiece in many ways and it really explains why despite the numerous viewings, Gladiator still amuses me with its powerful imageries and many other crucial aspects so that it won five Academy Awards. This film is very well written, the well-ensemble casts, the A-class acting (especially Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix), the stunning cinematography and definitely a strong character of Maximus (magnificently portrayed by Russell Crowe) whose life, struggle, disappointment and anger really move the audience, as if the world attention centers on him. Gladiator is not a historical film, because it only used the history of the ancient Roman Empire merely as the time setting. All other aspects namely those gorgeous shots, the great storyline/plot, the fantastic cinematography, the vividly lavish colors, detailed production design and digital imaging (that successfully rebuilt the stunning beauty of the ancient Roman Empire) and all sell really well, making the 170 minute-long running time definitely worthwhile. The visual of great battle in the first 15 minutes really stole my heart. The gruesome pictures, the blood and violence just to beautiful to abandon. Everything in this movie seems perfectly balanced, Ridley Scott as the film director really did his homework well in redefining and revitalizing the big battle sequence once considered masterpiece from Spartacus and Ben Hur. In the end, once again, I would say that Gladiator perfectly combines some crucial elements such as good, moving story, dazzling visual, beautiful scenery, filming techniques, direction and touching music score into one harmonious, action-packed film about heroism and its true meaning.
Manohla Dargis 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 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.
Joe Morgenstern 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.
David Edelstein Gladiator's combination of grim sanctimony and drenching, Dolby-ized dismemberings left me appalled.
David Germain Time for a little gladiatorial gore with your Milk Duds. Gladiator is here, and it's big, glorious and eminently dumb.
Andrew Sarris Ultimately, Gladiator is an honorable and inoffensive spectacle with nothing extraordinary to recommend it.
Jonathan Rosenbaum Though the digital effects lack the weight and conviction of their equivalents in old Cecil B. De Mille movies, Ridley Scott's sword-and-sandal epic has some of the intensity of old Hollywood in terms of storytelling, spectacle, and violence.
Geoff Andrew The cast is strong (notably Nielsen as Commodus's vacillating sister, and the late Oliver Reed, unusually endearing as a gladiator owner), the pacing lively, and the sets, swordplay and Scud catapults impressive.
Jay Carr With its conspicuous display of prefascist trappings, it says more about our time than about Rome.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) Highly visual entertainment with lots of blood and action.
Peter Rainer Without Russell Crowe's dynamism holding it all together, Gladiator might have devolved into a rash of overblown pandering.
J. Hoberman Self-proclaimed 'world-creator' Scott only intermittently obliterates the turgid narrative and mediocre dialogue.
Todd McCarthy A truly transporting trip back nearly 2,000 years.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie If spectacle, not plot, is your plate of pasta, you'll find Gladiator as much fun as a Roman holiday.
Steven Rosen This film is the first 'sword-and-sandal' epic since the mid-1960s.
Cody Clark The movie's production values are peerless.
Sean Means Gladiator doesn't have enough plot to be a Roman epic ... and too much plot to be a summer action movie.
Robert Horton Gladiator derides 'entertainment' while hustling like crazy to provide two and a half hours' worth of same. The heroism and the tigers and the epic grandeur all leave behind the flavor of cynicism.
Louis B. Parks There's nary a dull moment in the film.
Geoff Pevere A smart movie and sumptuously executed.
Philip Wuntch Gladiator is what championship is all about. Thrilling and exciting, it embraces technical standards of filmmaking rarely anticipated in earlier epics.
Elvis Mitchell Gladiator suggests what would happen if someone made a movie of the imminent extreme-football league and shot it as if it were a Chanel commercial.
Kenneth Turan Gladiator is not as nimble outside the arena as inside.
Gene Seymour Ancient Rome looks as splendiferous as we all remembered from the dozens of toga-sandal-and-chariot epics that came in waves back in the late 1950s and early '60s.
Andrew O'Hehir Gladiator is a canned experience, a film that flails around awkwardly trying to find a reason to exist.
Desson Thomson Gladiator is one extended guilty pleasure.
Ted Fry This tale of power and revenge proves that there are still some people in the movie business who know what they're doing.
Richard Corliss Gladiator is quite a good movie -- a big, fat, rousing, intelligent, daring, retro, many-adjective-requiring entertainment.
Rene Rodriguez A movie that revels in the primal thrill of swords tearing into flesh and blood spraying in huge, arterial gouts.
Bruce Newman Visually stimulating.
Jay Boyar Action-packed and passionate.
Terry Lawson It is undeniably a triumph, muscular and entertaining.