FBMR - Gladiator
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

GLADIATOR (2000) ***1/2

A throw-back to the heyday of Hollywood epics, this film captures you right from the beginning and holds on to you till the very end. It's a big film with lots of heart and integrity. Reminiscent in many ways to BRAVEHEART, this film tells the story of a gladiator in the height of the Roman Empire c. 180 A.D. Everything about the film works. Russell Crowe in the lead role is brilliant and has a very commanding screen presence; he plays the role with great nobility. A heavier Joaquin Phoenix than we've ever seen, as the heir to the Roman throne, is very intense. All of the other actors do an equally fine job as well. One element that really impressed me was the story. It turned out to be more than just a "gladiator" movie. There is a lot more going on underneath than the trailer leads us to believe. The battle scenes are very violent and very bloody, with a body count easily over a hundred. The set design and cinematography both help to create a very real Roman Empire.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. This is more than a movie, it's an experience. This is what movies are meant to be.

IMDb - Gladiator