|May 5, 2000|
|Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated R for intense, graphic combat
Ridley Scott directs this Academy Award winning period piece starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix that comes straight out of a Shakespearean story, with passion and betrayal, fathers and sons fighting, and political agendas and uprisings. Crowe, as Maximus, is the star of the show, and brings action and stylized, historical drama in full force, in every scene that he graces. You rally behind him just as the bystanders in the coliseum idolize him. Phoenix is the perfect, subtle villain. The scorned son, the scorned brother, and the scorned emperor.
Had the cast been built as strong as these two tent-poles, this would have been the perfect film, but instead, the rest of the cast brings in several interesting performances, but nothing as memorable as Crowe or Phoenix. That being said, the progression of the plot and building of its characters is so strong, it doesn’t matter who steps into those roles. “Gladiator” is the “Ben Hur” of our time and having won Best Picture, will not only be immortalized in the halls of the Academy but cinema in general.