Gladiator (Russell Crowe) is about a Roman army commander who would become emperor. However, Caesar Marcus Aurelius's (Richard Harris) snotty son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) is jealous and murders his own father and orders Maximus (Crowe) assassinated. Maximus, a skilled warrior, escapes the assassination and quickly heads to his home. He arrives only to find his wife and son murdered. Grieving and delirious, he wanders the desert and is eventually picked up by a caravan. He is sold as a slave and trained as a gladiator. He fights well, and is the crowd's favorite. While Maximus is out fighting tigers and chariot riders, Commodus is falling in love with his sister. He eventually finds out about this mysterious gladiator, (who is Maximus, but he wont reveal his identity to the public) and greets him after a battle. Maximus is reluctant to reveal himself, but is forced to. He angrily states who he is.
He frightens Commodus by his speech: "Ã¢ÂÂ¦Husband of a murdered wife. Father of a murdered child. And I WILL have my revenge." Commodus hides in his palace, debating what to do about Rome's crumbling economy, how to get his sister's attention, and most of all what to do about Maximus. Meanwhile Maximus is continuing to fight in the Colosseum. He hatches a daring escape plan, to free him and his friends. He almost escapes, but is captured, and some of his friends get killed. He is then stabbed in the back and forced to fight Commodus himself. Severely wounded, he barely wins the battle. He then grants Marcus Aurelius's dying wish, by giving power back to the senate. He frees his buddies, then dies of his wounds and is reunited with his family in the afterlife.
This was an overall good movie. I'd give it an 'A-'. There was great action and a terrific plot. It did get a little bit boring when Commodus falls in love with his sister and stuff, though. The ending was awesome, but a little predictable. This is still a must see for action lovers, and it's one of my favorites.