Reviews - Gladiator (2000)
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Gladiator (2000)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama

Taglines: Father of a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife and I shall have my vengeance in this life or the next

Director: Ridley Scott

Writers: David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson

Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, ...

Maximus is a powerful Roman general, loved by the people and the aging Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Before his death, the Emperor chooses Maximus to be his heir over his own son, Commodus, and a power struggle leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. The powerful general is unable to save his family, and his loss of will allows him to get captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top so that he will be able to look into the eyes of the man who will feel his revenge.


It's a stunning Roman triumph.

100 | Ted Fry

It's that very rare feeling that you're settling into a movie whose individual elements are so finely attuned they fuse into a singular construct of pure entertainment.
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91 | Lisa Schwarzbaum

What matters for today's hero is the good fight, and Gladiator KOs us with a doozy.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

91 | William Arnold

It lives up to the hype. Gladiator has its creaky moments, but it delivers a particular kind of visceral historical spectacle that movie audiences haven't seen in decades.
Read More: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

88 | Jami Bernard

If there's a soft spot in your heart for the sword-&-sandal epic -- and from the star rating above, I think you can guess where I stand -- then you'll swoon with giddy delight over Gladiator.
Read More: New York Daily News

80 | Desson Thomson

One extended guilty pleasure.
Read More: Washington Post

80 | Todd McCarthy

John Mathieson's widescreen cinematography is magnificent, and the pacing across 2½ hours is well modulated.
Read More: Variety

75 | Wesley Morris

As formulaic, but occasionally outré multiplex-bound behemoths go, Gladiator is a foaming beast.
Read More: San Francisco Examiner

75 | Mick LaSalle

At 2 1/2 hours, Gladiator is a long ride, but it doesn't drag.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

70 | Robert Horton

The heroism and the tigers and the epic grandeur all leave behind the flavor of cynicism.
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70 | Maitland McDonagh

Brawny, he-man spectacle combined with a surprisingly solid story and buttressed by excellent performances.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

70 | Sean Means

The warm humanizing element in all the cool stuff is Crowe.
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63 | Susan Wloszczyna

Instead of the heat of humanity, what lingers on in the mind is the cool of the computerized effects.
Read More: USA Today

63 | Lawrence Toppman

It ends with the corniest convention of all: an absurd mano-a-mano between good and evil.
Read More: Charlotte Observer

60 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

The script by producer David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson is serviceable but not exactly inspired.
Read More: Chicago Reader

60 | Manohla Dargis

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.
Read More: L.A. Weekly

60 | Kenneth Turan

Like an aging athlete who knows how to husband strength and camouflage weaknesses, it makes the most of what it does well and hopes you won't notice its limitations.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

60 | A.O. Scott

Grandiose and silly.
Read More: The New York Times

60 | J. Hoberman

The digital animation is far more evident here than in "The Phantom Menace."
Read More: Village Voice

50 | Marc Savlov

It's a loud, obnoxious, and pleasant-enough entertainment, but hardly the soaring tale of one man's struggle that it was so clearly envisioned to be.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

50 | Gregory Weinkauf

The soul of Gladiator is made sluggish by a maddening lack of suspense.
Read More: Dallas Observer

50 | David Sterritt

Scott's filmmaking is as blunt and bullying as the mayhem it portrays.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

50 | Roger Ebert

It employs depression as a substitute for personality, and believes that if the characters are bitter and morose enough, we won't notice how dull they are.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

40 | Andrew O'Hehir

For all its grandeur, Gladiator is a canned experience, a film that flails around awkwardly trying to find a reason to exist, or at least a compelling story to tell.
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40 | David Edelstein

Gladiator's combination of grim sanctimony and drenching, Dolby-ized dismemberings left me appalled.
Read More: Slate

30 | Stephen Hunter

Friends, Washingtonians, countrymen, I come not to praise Gladiator but to bury it.
Read More: Washington Post