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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate 18
Cast
Russell Crowe
Joaquin Phoenix
Richard Harris
Connie Nielsen
Oliver Reed
Djimon Hounsou
Directors
Ridley Scott
Screenwriters
David Franzoni
John Logan
William Nicholson
Running Time
154 minutes

EMPIRE ESSAY: Gladiator
The film that revived the historical epic


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Plot
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 l


Verdict
What filmmaker would not relish the challenge of rendering the dichotomy of Rome — the enlightenment and discipline that conquered the world versus the cancerous corruption that destroyed it? And Scott, with Crowe, rise to the challenge with typical gusto.


Reviewed by Simon Braund

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