Gladiator (2000)

Director: Ridley Scott

Language: English/ Russell Crowe Growling

Do I really need to tell any of you why you should watch Gladiator? Really? Really?

Ugh, fine. Look, the thing is, Gladiator is excellent. It is a raucous shout of Ancient Roman sword clashing joy. It has its problems, sure. It is not always historically accurate (possibly not even most of the time) but you really can’t bring yourself to care. It is such a satisfying trip into a growly, muddy, sweaty world. There are some knockout performances, particularly Oliver Reed as Proximo who just steals the fucking show as far as I am concerned. Russell Crowe is perfect as the growly earthy Maximus and Joaquin Phoenix a deliciously nasty villain. Turns from Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou and Richard Harris are all perfectly pitched too.

Look, it isn’t “highbrow”, it isn’t “cerebral”, it didn’t redefine “cinema”. What it is, is hugely entertaining, endlessly quotably and just so much goddamn fun. I thoroughly recommend it for any hangover/ rainy day/ time when you need to settle in with a beer.

I will leave you with this:

“Ultimately, we are all dead men. Sadly we cannot choose how but we can decide how we meet that end in order that we are remembered as men”