Russell Crowe plays Maximus, a Roman general who leads the troops in conquering Germania for the empire. When an aging Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) tells Maximus that he'd like him to rule Rome once he's gone, a classic confrontation ensues between the brave and charming soldier--who wants to return home to his wife, son, and farm--and the jealous and conniving Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the emperor's only son, who is thirsty for power. Bought as a slave by the profiteering Proximo (Oliver Reed, in his last role), Maximus must kill or be killed in the ring, battling to save not only himself but the future of the very empire that he loves and honors. (official distributor synopsis)


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English A narratively and emotionally artistic spectacle that cleverly adapts the classic needs of historical cinema to the insatiable Hollywood mainstream, whose greatest asset, the overblown and expensive audiovisuals, is so phenomenal that it almost overshadows its great weakness, namely the script. I don’t give a shit about historical accuracy, but with more viewings I'm mostly annoyed by the superficial, half-baked message, served on a disproportionately stretched plot. I love this film, and the coliseum scenes are iconic, but Scott was more of a craftsman over the details than a builder of riveting heroic destinies, which was sorely needed. ()


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English Without exaggeration, the best historical movie ever made. Under Scott's direction, the film has the right pace and keeps growing incredibly over time. The script isn't anything special, a great fall and a subsequent rise, but I just can't help myself. When I factor in Crowe’s brilliant performance, Zimmer's excellent soundtrack as usual, and great visual effects, it goes straight to my list of favorites. ()



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English Ridley Scott decided to revive the tradition of epic “sword-and-sandal" movies and although the result was more of a classic fairytale, thanks to the flawless production design, gripping action scenes, wonderful visuals, booming music by Hans Zimmer, marvelous directing and charismatic actors, the end result is surprisingly good. All this, despite the rather sub-standard screenplay and almost zero historical faithfulness. ♫ OST score: 4/5 ()


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English Russell Crowe was most deserving of the role of Maximus. I was proud for him in every scene. You could feel the desire for revenge in his every move. A true historical epic with fantastic music! I have a fond appreciation for lines like... "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." ()


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English Ridley Scott resurrected a "historic" Hollywood feature film in all its splendor... in all its color, pomp, schematics, pathos, and shallowness. He created a work that appeals to the viewer's eye, but as soon as it resorted to thoughts, I felt like I was at a failed "Roman statehood for beginners" class (no one can convince me that Gladiator is not utter nonsense at its core). When something is "happening," Scott's film works brilliantly, but during the dialogues it slips into typical empty verbal nonsense, and if were not for the way in which the Crowe-Phoenix duo masterfully fulfilled their schemes, very little value would remain in Gladiator. Ridley Scott truly deceived me with his approach. His directing is routine, cold, and perhaps only in battle sequences we can talk about a unique approach (although a shaky handheld camera and "skipping" windows is not the master's invention). What I am missing in this film is some true spirit... people are constantly blabbering on about Rome, but unfortunately it remains a mere dream (a rendered background) for the quality of the film. That's why I prefer the ideas of William Wallace or Captain Nathan Algren. For me, their struggle has a greater charge than revenge for the death of loved ones, which has been played out a thousand times over. Ridley Scott simply played a pompous symphony based on old notes. It is the same as Hans Zimmer's music - it evokes desirable emotions, sounds powerful, heroic... That's what is expected of a big movie after all, isn't it? But I argue that what was expected of the film has already been portrayed better several times, although perhaps not as megalomaniacally. ()

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