When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, a commoner begins a revolt and leads Scottish warriors against the cruel English tyrant who rules Scotland with an iron fist.
An undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy, after both sides realize their outfit has a rat.
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 an example of "translation convention" all characters in the movie speak modern languages: English for the most part but also Italian (Maximus' son), German (the Barbarian chief before the battle) and even Zulu (the ancient Germanic war chant). Russell Crowe even wanted to go a step further and speak his lines imitating Antonio Banderas' accent in order to show Maximus' non-Italic origins, but Ridley Scott disapproved the idea. See more »
In the film, the emperor and crowd put their thumbs up for "live" and down for "kill." In reality, the emperor would to cover his thumb with his four fingers for "live." The gladiator would also live if the emperor yelled the Latin word for "dismissed," or threw a piece of cloth, showing mercy. When he wanted the gladiator to die, he would put his thumb straight out to the side, symbolizing the sword. Studies of Roman artwork suggest that the "thumbs up" gesture was actually an affirmation to proceed with the kill. 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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