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Gladiator (2000)

R  |   |  Action, Drama  |  5 May 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 901,766 users   Metascore: 64/100
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When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.



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Top Rated Movies #47 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 52 wins & 100 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense, graphic combat | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

5 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Gladiators  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$103,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$34,819,017 (USA) (5 May 2000)


ESP 3,252,726,610 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Extended Edition)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


As Oliver Reed died with three weeks of principal photography remaining and as he was considered a key character, a clause in the insurance coverage on the movie would have allowed the film-makers to shoot all of Reed's scenes with another actor, with the insurers footing the cost (estimated at $25million). However, most of the actors and crew were exhausted from the punishing schedule and Ridley Scott did not want to lose Reed from the movie, so the script was rewritten and CGI used to give Reed's character a plausible resolution. See more »


In the opening scenes, during battle preparations, Quintus says, "The danger to the calvary..." instead of "cavalry". See more »


[last lines]
Maximus: Lucius is safe.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Both the Dreamworks & Universal logos are altered to appear gold in color so they match the opening theme of Maximus walking through a wheatfield. See more »


Referenced in Bob's Burgers: Beefsquatch (2012) See more »


Now We Are Free
Written by Lisa Gerrard and Hans Zimmer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Cecil B DeMille eat your heart out
2 May 2000 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The epic blockbuster returns with the 21st Century's answer to Cecil B DeMille, Ridley Scott and his dramatic tale of courage and revenge, GLADIATOR - "the general who became a slave, the slave who became a gladiator, the gladiator who defied an emperor".

Once a great roman General, and as good as adopted son of Marcus Aurelius Caesar (Harris), Maximus (Crowe) is forced into exile by Commodus (Phoenix), heir to the throne, after the death of Marcus. Saved from death by slavers, he is purchased for use as a gladiator by Proximo (Reed) and ends up in the arena of all arena's, the Colloseum, where he proves unbeatable under his guise as "The Spaniard".

And with a budget of over $100m, Scott certainly delivers the goods. GLADIATOR transcends the notion of 'blockbuster' that we have become accustomed to in the age of electronic and special effects wizardry and instead offers a good old fashioned action film along the lines of Spartacus and and Ben Hur. Not only are we drawn into an archetypal story that contains all the classic elements a filmgoer could dream of (love, loss, courage, despair, good triumphing over evil etc etc) - also on offer is a visual feast of cinematic painting after painting - a rich tapestry of images that are breathtaking and ultimately visually satisfying. From the plains of Germania, to the desert stronghold of Zuchobar, and finally to great Rome herself, John Mathiesion, the cinematographer is to be commended highly for his general inventiveness and ability to capture so much on film. The opening battle scene is superb as a cast of thousands erupt across the screen and provide an indication that we are about to see a film that pays incredible attention to detail throughout its entirety. In every way, Scott has created a world for us that scuttles films of similar epic undertakings (and budgets!) and sends them to their dooms at the bottom of the murky depths of film history where they belong.

The cast is generally very strong. Crowe proves himself very suitable to the task with a great emotional range and depth of character. His accent ocassionally bugged me (as did the mish mash of accents on offer - but that is I guess a legacy of 'internationally casted films'), but this aside, he was well and truly up to the task. Phoenix is also excellent as the disturbed Commodus, as is Nielson as Lucilla, the daughter of Marcus who "should have been a son" and finds herself torn between loyalty to her brother and doing what is 'right'. The old guard thesps of Harris, Reed and Jacobi (Grachus) are uniformly strong as supporting characters, and Spencer Treat Clark (Lucius) does a fine job as the young heir to the throne.

Add to this great cast excellent editing and post production work, and an intricate soundscape (including a magnificent Hans Zimmer score), and you have a film that, despite its length, was highly palatable and had me in there from beginning to end. A must see.

149 of 198 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Maybe the best movie ever made. PotatoMonsters
Best old epics like Gladiator and Braveheart Tenement_Halls
Only Undefeated Gladiator? PartialScorn
Historical Accuracy of the Roman Legion mycellardoor24
Why was Maximus laughing? moyolindelwe
Good - but overrated. I prefer Ridley's 'Kingdom of Heaven' mangeder
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