May 5, 2000
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama
Maximus (Russell Crowe) is the general of the Roman army, respected by his men and loved by the Emperor. The Emperor asks Maximus to take over the throne at his death, but is killed by his own son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) before anyone else witnesses the request. When Maximus refuses to honor Commodus, Maximus is sentenced to death. Although he escapes, he finds his family slain. Disconsolate, Maximus is captured and placed in servitude as a gladiator. His fighting strategies and spirit earn him the respect of the other gladiators and the adoration of the crowd. When Commodus and Maximus encounter each other in the arena, there is no way they will both leave alive. The fate of Rome hangs in the balance.