Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) is a rebellious slave purchased by Lentulus Batiatus (Peter Ustinov), owner of a school for gladiators. For the entertainment of corrupt Roman senator Marcus Licinius Crassus (Laurence Olivier), Batiatus' gladiators are to stage a fight to the death. On the night before the event, the enslaved trainees are "rewarded" with female companionship. Spartacus' companion for the evening is Varinia (Jean Simmons), a slave from Brittania. When Spartacus later learns that Varinia has been sold to Crassus, he leads 78 fellow gladiators in revolt. Word of the… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This may be the most literate of all the spectacles set in antiquity."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"The most courageous thing about it, from today's standards, is that it closes without an obligatory happy ending, and an audience that has watched for 187 minutes doesn't get a tidy, mindless conclusion."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Kirk Douglas, while a little old in the role, makes a fine action hero, and Stanley Kubrick's still-accessible directing made the movie click."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Douglas is terrific as the iron-jawed slave fuelled by righteous fury."
‑ James Christopher, Times [UK]
"It is in the observation of human detail, and in many memorable little scenes that the film scores most heavily over other epics, and in which it finds an inner strength."
‑ , Sky Movies
"Asurprisingly apt companion piece to Paths of Glory in its consideration of the mechanisms of power."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"...a passable historical epic that has little in common with the rest of Kubrick's output..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Thrilling epic is too intense for the youngest."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"The great-granddaddy of Ridley Scott's Gladiator hasn't lost any muscle tone after nearly half a century, and Kirk Douglas's direct, unpretentious performance as the great slave-rebel Spartacus is more engaging than ever."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"One of the last truly great Roman epics."
‑ , Total Film
"It is a spotty, uneven drama."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"There have been other versions of the Spartacus story, including a silent epic and a more recent TV series, but Kubrick's film can't be beaten."
‑ David Stratton, At the Movies (Australia)
"While it suffers from some of the flaws of epics of this era-such as an overly sanitized portrait of life at the time, and anachronistic visions of fashion and lifestyle-Spartacus also boasts some stirring action and intelligent dialogue"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"One of the greatest Hollywood epics."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Spartacus is a classic movie and this retored copy looks stunning on the big screen."
‑ , Daily Record [UK]
More reviews for Spartacus on Rotten Tomatoes

More Like This

Gladiator (2000)
Ben-Hur (1959)
The Eagle
The Eagle (2011)
Troy (2004)