Lawrence O'Toole
October 09, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Gladiator

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
154 minutes
Wide Release Date
05/05/00
performer
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, Ralf Moeller, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed
director
Ridley Scott
Producers
Universal
author
David Franzoni, John Logan
genre
ActionAdventure, Drama

We gave it a D+

Though slick and quick, and featuring some of the most vicious boxing scenes ever filmed, Gladiator is still all formula. The hero (James Marshall), a silent type for whom words are rare events, goes into the ring on Chicago’s tough South Side to make good on his father’s gambling markers. He pals around with a black boxer (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and then — surprise — has to fight him. Trying to be cool, Marshall is merely morose, Brian Dennehy and Robert Loggia play standard management scum, and, as a trainer, Ossie Davis is wiser than God. For all its fast moves, including a music video stuck smack in the middle and a pumped-up soundtrack, the movie generates neither heat nor heart. D+

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