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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 15
Cast
Russell Crowe
Joaquin Phoenix
Connie Nielsen
Oliver Reed
Derek Jacobi
Directors
Ridley Scott
Screenwriters
David Franzoni
John Logan
William Nicholson
Running Time
150 minutes

Gladiator
Sandals, swords and chariots galore…


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Plot
When Emperor Marcus Aurelius' son Commodus murders his father, he must also do away with Maximus Decimus Meridius, the finest general. Maximus escapes his execution, but finds his wife and child murdered. Wandering and wounded near death, he is picked up and put into slavery, and selected to fight for sport as a gladiator. From there, he seeks revenge.


Verdict
While it's all grand opera, and driven by sweeping gestures and pompous, overwritten dialogue, it is prone to plain silliness - especially in granting us the big showdown at the close. But the sheer dynamism of the action, coupled with Hans Zimmer's lavish score and the forcefield of Crowe, still makes this a fiercesome competitor in the summer movie stakes.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

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