Gladiator 2000

Critics score:
76 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: The most visually spectacular of all Roman Empire epics. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Gladiator is not as nimble outside the arena as inside. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: Action-packed and passionate. Read more

Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer: The fusion of the ancient and the modern -- even to the point of some sly echoes of our own sports-mad society -- is seamless. Gladiator does indeed deliver the glory that was Rome, but it also clinically dissects the assumptions on which it was built. Read more

Ted Fry, Seattle Times: This tale of power and revenge proves that there are still some people in the movie business who know what they're doing. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: A visually astonishing picture that brings script, performance and, alas, displays of violence up to the modern standard. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Gladiator is what championship is all about. Thrilling and exciting, it embraces technical standards of filmmaking rarely anticipated in earlier epics. Read more

Jonathan Foreman, New York Post: An exhilarating, sweeping epic that begs to be seen on the largest possible screen. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Ultimately, Gladiator is an honorable and inoffensive spectacle with nothing extraordinary to recommend it. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: Though the digital effects lack the weight and conviction of their equivalents in old Cecil B. De Mille movies, Ridley Scott's sword-and-sandal epic has some of the intensity of old Hollywood in terms of storytelling, spectacle, and violence. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Crowe doesn't use tricks in this role to court our approval. He earns it the old-fashioned way, by daring to be quiet, if not silent, and intensely, implacably strong. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: A smart movie and sumptuously executed. Read more

Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today: Gladiator pours on the usual Caesar dressing. Read more

Paul Clinton (, Highly visual entertainment with lots of blood and action. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: If spectacle, not plot, is your plate of pasta, you'll find Gladiator as much fun as a Roman holiday. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: In the end, Gladiator is overdrawn and too insubstantial for its own good, just like the old days, but it satisfies as entertainment on a grand scale. Read more

Louis B. Parks, Houston Chronicle: There's nary a dull moment in the film. Read more

Steven Rosen, Denver Post: This film is the first 'sword-and-sandal' epic since the mid-1960s. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Gladiator charges into heart pounding battle. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: Time for a little gladiatorial gore with your Milk Duds. Gladiator is here, and it's big, glorious and eminently dumb. Read more

Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly: Gladiator is filled with brilliant filmmaking and features outstanding performances, but it's neither profound enough nor pop enough to be great -- it's mournful, serious, beautiful and, finally, pointless. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Ridley Scott thrusts us so close to the combat that all we see is a lot of whirling and thrashing, a sword thrust here and there, a spurt of blood, a limb severed. There's hardly a scene that is cleanly and coherently staged in open space. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: Without Russell Crowe's dynamism holding it all together, Gladiator might have devolved into a rash of overblown pandering. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: If there's a soft spot in your heart for the sword-&-sandal epic, then you'll swoon with giddy delight over Gladiator. Read more

Elvis Mitchell, New York Times: Gladiator suggests what would happen if someone made a movie of the imminent extreme-football league and shot it as if it were a Chanel commercial. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: This is filmmaking on a grand scale. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The film looks muddy, fuzzy and indistinct. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Gladiator is a canned experience, a film that flails around awkwardly trying to find a reason to exist. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: This Ridley Scott film, his best in years, re-envisions ancient Rome for the aughts and makes it safe to go back in the Colosseum. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: Gladiator's combination of grim sanctimony and drenching, Dolby-ized dismemberings left me appalled. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Gladiator is a triumph. On the surface, it's a terrific yarn with strong, rounded characters, agonizing suspense and visceral thrills. Look closer and you'll find rich historical themes, and a harrowing critique of violence as amusement. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The Roman costume drama, all dressed to the IX's, has taken a long holiday from the big screen. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Gladiator is quite a good movie -- a big, fat, rousing, intelligent, daring, retro, many-adjective-requiring entertainment. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: The cast is strong (notably Nielsen as Commodus's vacillating sister, and the late Oliver Reed, unusually endearing as a gladiator owner), the pacing lively, and the sets, swordplay and Scud catapults impressive. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A truly transporting trip back nearly 2,000 years. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Self-proclaimed 'world-creator' Scott only intermittently obliterates the turgid narrative and mediocre dialogue. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Gladiator is one extended guilty pleasure. Read more