Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed
Ridley Scott (Director), David Franzoni (Screenplay), John Logan (Screenplay), William Nicholson (Screenplay)
Released: May 1st, 2000
Runtime: 2 hours, 35 minutes
General Maximus' success in battle earns the favour of the Roman Empire's elderly Emperor at the expense of the Emperor's son. In a fit of jealous rage the son slays his father before turning his anger towards Maximus. Now reduced to a slave, and his family dead, Maximus must fight as a gladiator to gain his freedom – and his revenge.
He delivers one of the best speeches in film history.
The production design of Ancient Rome was incredible, showing yet again that Ridley Scott is perhaps the best director out there in building fantastical worlds and atmospheres for his films.
Other actors frequently come to the fore - Oliver Reed is good as the slave-master who brings Crowe into his service, Djimon Hounsou makes for a good offsider and Connie Nielsen is good as Phoenix's sister who is no less of a threat to her enemies while still having a decent emotional core.