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Gladiator is the kind of boxing movie that goes that extra mile -- a self-loathing boxing saga that relishes in bare-knuckled sucker punches, illegal eye-rubs, and gentlemen boxers who obey the Marquis of Queensbury rules by drop-kicking opponents when the are not only down but unconscious. James Marshall plays Tommy Riley, a Windy City high school student conned into participating in the illegal underground boxing arenas of the South Side of Chicago. In high school, Tommy was a prize boxer, and this skill comes in handy when his Father (John Heard) runs up a large gambling debt. When a sleazy… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 25%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Marshall makes a promising feature debut; and Herrington, pushing beyond the expected triumph-of-the-underdog clichés, underpins the crowd-pleasing Rocky-style fight action with some unobtrusive social comment and confident visual storytelling."
‑ , Time Out
"Let's make things perfectly clear. Gladiator is utter trash masquerading as an action picture with a message."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"I prefer the remake."
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"The mixture may be slightly unexpected, but it still manages to be predictable all the way."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The screenplay, contrived to suit the genre, is likewise replete with stock characters."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Standard "boxing will keep you off the mean streets where you'll be shot" story."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"The idea of the Dennehy's illegal boxing arena is a storytelling masterstroke; it explains the small crowds at the same time it permits the boxers to fight dirty."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Gladiator is filmmaking by the numbers, if a particularly glossily executed package"
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Gladiator on Rotten Tomatoes