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
The tigers enter the arena via trap doors in the wooden floor; in addition, there is at least one shot of the gladiators rising up to the floor via a kind of elevator. Both elevators (operated by winch and pulley) and trapdoors were actually used at the Colosseum in Rome. See more »
Maximus says "Unleash Hell!" Though Hell may not exist in his religion, he might have been aware of the concept, and used the word for rhetorical value. Since the movie is in modern English, "Hell" could be the modern translation of a Latin word for a burning, deadly place. It could also be a translation of the Greek word Hades, which the Romans also used. See more »
I love history, and to me, Gladiator is a masterpiece. It is the most accurate picture of the Roman Empire Hollywood has ever put out. People declare Spartacus a masterpiece, but Gladiator far outdoes Spartacus in quality. The costuming, the acting, the screenplay, the scenery, and the fighting styles made me think that I had traveled back to 180 A.D. Russell Crowe is a true Hollywood tough guy, and he is superb in this movie. Joaquin Phoenix is outstanding as a villain, one of the best in movie history. He played his character as if it were a psychologist's dream case. Connie Nielsen plays one of the strongest female characters that I have ever seen. The choreographer of the action sequences was brilliant. Ridley Scott did an outstanding job in recreating the Empire, including the multitude of ethnic groups within the Empire and accurately depicting everyday life. If you're looking for insight into what the Roman Empire was like, this is a perfect depiction.
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