Gladiator [2000] (4/7/12)

GladiatorMovie Seventy Seven

Very few films these days could be aptly called “epics”, but Ridley Scott’s Gladiator surely fits that bill.

From the title alone, you know Gladiator will provide some great arena battles but it has a much deeper story than just a vehicle progressing from one battle to the next. First, Gladiator is a story of revenge.

Great Roman general, Maximus (Russell Crowe), is set to be placed into power by Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). Upon learning this, the Emperor’s son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), murders Aurelius and takes control of Rome. Maximus knows the truth, but Commodus orders the murder of his family and Maximus winds up as a slave to fight in the arena as a gladiator.

The acting is brilliant, and the roles are perfectly cast. I never once doubted that Crowe could actually do some of the things Maximus does and Phoenix plays a sniveling coward of an Emperor spot-on. The sets and landscapes are breathtaking, the colors are vivid and intense, and the action will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Gladiator’s closest kin now is the Showtime Spartacus series which seems more intent on being 300 than anything else. Gladiator has taken great lengths to feel true to history, despite being fictionalized history. It has more in common with Spartacus (the 1960 Stanley Kubrick/Kirk Douglas outing) or Ben-Hur which is refreshing. Despite its length (about 150 minutes) it doesn’t drag nor overstay its welcome. Gladiator is a film that deserves its Academy Award for Best Picture.

I give it 5 tiger battles out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


33 responses to “Gladiator [2000] (4/7/12)

  1. Andy, I seem to be quite on my film opinions at the moment. I was frowned upon for my opinion on The Muppets and Titanic and I’m afraid I have to be controversial again. I am a big fan of Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe. I also really like Joaquin Phoenix but I found this film to be so melodramatic. Some of the dialogue, was abysmally bad. Oliver Reed really hamming it up in particular. I often find with films – with big name actors – that we are conned into thinking it’s something special. I found that with this. Great cast, great director. I love the soundtrack but I found it all a bit too ‘staged’. It tried too hard to compete with the epic films of the past. (I really must add a review of my own soon, so I can explain better) πŸ˜‰

    • I don’t disagree with your points. I have always shared a similar feeling about dialogue in all movies of this sort where it’s too terse or verbose for its own good. Still, the movie charms the hell out of me. I look forward to your review to hear more!

  2. I must certainly add a few comments on this film with a review but I’m in danger of ostracising a few of my followers. I’m not doing it to be controversial, it’s just my thoughts. (shit! I just spilled my drink while writing this comment) πŸ˜‰ anyway, I’ll assemble my thoughts and post when I can. I’ve a few posts stil to edit.
    Liking your stuff though, keep it cowing.

  3. Totally epic and very, very awesome when it came to staging its action scenes. I do think that Crowe’s performance here was a little too overrated and that Phoenix was so much better and deserved that Oscar more than Del Toro. Than again, two different types of roles so it’s really hard to judge. Good review Andy.

  4. Epic. You nailed it there buddy. I loved this damned movie. So, Andywatchesmovies, but does he enjoy the occasional read? If so, stop by my blog sometime, you might be pleasantly surprised πŸ™‚

  5. First time I watched it I was so impressed by all the stuff in the arenas but after countless re-watches, I am also so caught up in the all the politics and Commodus’ wierd relationship with his sister. Still those gladiator scenes are some bloody brilliant action.

  6. Pingback: Gladiator [2000] (4/7/12) | Andy Watches Movies | Have You Seen This Movie

  7. Just caugth this again on TV, HBO maybe? the other day. One of the few times epic could be an understatement. Nice review

  8. Pingback: 7 x 7 Link Award | Andy Watches Movies

  9. Pingback: April Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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