Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: David Franzoni (story), David Franzoni (screenplay), 2 more credits »
Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen | See full cast and crew »
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. Written by Chris "Morphy" Terry
An intense Roman epic, a la "Ben-Hur" or "Spartacus," it was nice to see something like this made again. It had been since the 1960s that we had seen a 3-hour extravaganza like this.
Like Ben-Hur, this is a story of a successful man who loses everything thanks to an evil man, and then has to fight his way back up to seek revenge on that man and to obtain his freedom back. It's a tried-and-true formula. This movie doesn't go to excess on the violence as some of the other more recent epic films did, such as "Braveheart" or "The Patriot."
The acting is excellent, beginning with Russell Crowe, who has established himself as one of the best actors of today. Joaquin Phoenix also put himself "on the map" as an actor with his portrayal of the evil "Commodus." He's so annoying you want to slap that sucker, which means he's doing a good job acting. Kudos to the rest of the cast, too.
Too bad they don't make more of these type of films, as they did in the 1950s and 1960s.