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
In the iconic shot of Maximus' hand brushing the stalks of wheat, the hand actually belongs to Russell Crowe's stunt double, Stuart Clark (credited as Stuart Clarke). See more »
When the street performers are enacting a humorous version of a battle between Commodus and Maximus, two different shots are used, one from the audience side and one from the stage side with the audience in the background. But in both shots, the dwarf who plays "Commodus" is on the right hand side, while the narrator is correctly swapped from one side of the stage to the other. See more »
I knew a man once who said, "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
I wonder, did your friend smile at his own death?
You must know. He was your father.
You loved my father, I know. But so did I. That makes us brothers, doesn't it? Smile for me now, brother.
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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 »
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.
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