by Elizabeth Abele
With Gladiator, Ridley Scott (Alien) has created the Roman epic for a new generation. This epic pageant takes its place among the great fables of a man of principle who stands up to the Roman empire: next to the great screen heroes of Spartacus and Ben-Hur now stands Maximus, "the general who became a slave, the slave who became a gladiator, who defied an empire." Russell Crowe fills this archetypal description with the same unswerving, intelligent integrity that made him mesmerizing in L.A. Confidential and The Insider.
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