The great Roman General Maximus, fresh from victory on the battlefield, dreams of home. When the dying Emperor Marcus Aurelius asks Maximus to assume the mantle of his power, the jealous emperor's son, Commodus, orders the general's execution and that of his family.
Barely escaping death, Maximus is forced into slavery and trained as a gladiator in the arena where his fame grows. Now he has come to Rome, intent on avenging the murder of his wife and son by killing the new emperor Commodus.
- " It is monumental movie-making: visually thrilling, technically astonishing, and emotionally engaging. " – Marc Lee
- " The journey of Maximus, from triumph on the battlefield through despair and degradation in slavery and then to a final epiphany in the Colosseum is an exciting one – and Russell Crowe plays the character with considerable toughness and authority. " – David Stratton
- " A mesmerizing, vastly updated take on ancient barbarism clashing with politics, betrayal, and vengeance. " – Mike Massie