Best of
lMovie Review
By Mira Harber
   "Gladiator,"  Ridley Scott's latest film, is gorgeous to look at and tells a good old-fashioned tale of victory, loss and redemption. Do you like battles? Political intrigues? FIGHTING - the hand to hand kind?  This long (almost 3 hours) movie has it all and more. As the film opens, our hero General Maximus (Russell Crowe) fearlessly leads his troops to another exciting victory. He's proven himself a courageous leader of men and now wants nothing more than to retire peacefully to the country. Through the treachery and deceit of a thoroughly excellent villain, (Joaquin Phoenix as the murderous new Emperor of Rome) Maximus goes from the rank of general to slave to gladiator. He ends up in ancient Rome battling other ferocious gladiators, not to mention live tigers, in the Coliseum. 
     The costumes and sets in “Gladiator” are sensational. The Coliseum has been computer enhanced to its former glory, and the grandeur, scale and the beauty of ancient Rome have been wonderfully realized. The movie is violent without being too graphic, and the battle scenes are very exciting (they have the same feel as the battle scenes from Braveheart). 
     Some of the explanatory political info scenes, particularly at the beginning of the film, could be trimmed to make the film 1/2 hour shorter. The music adds perfectly to the mood of the  film - lots of bass, loud and low when something bad is about to happen. Power vs. honor,  truth vs. ambition, good vs. evil - there's something for everyone in this film. “Gladiator” succeeds on many different levels. Don't miss it.


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