Gladiator
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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,… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly
"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."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"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."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"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."
‑ Adrian Turner, Radio Times
"Really excellent but really violent Oscar winner."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"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."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"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."
‑ Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer
"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."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Baltimore Sun
"This is visceral film-making at its finest, painted on the grandest of canvases, and yet, one which maintains the finest eye for detail."
‑ , Total Film
"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."
‑ Nick Rogers, Suite101.com
"If there's a soft spot in your heart for the sword-&-sandal epic, then you'll swoon with giddy delight over Gladiator."
‑ Jami Bernard, New York Daily News
"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."
‑ Keith Phipps, AV Club
"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."
‑ Leah Rozen, People Magazine
"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."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"...stirring action, good performances, and a plethora of visual delights."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
More reviews for Gladiator on Rotten Tomatoes

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