Brawny, he-man spectacle combined with a surprisingly solid story and buttressed by excellent performances, including the late Oliver Reed's swan song. The time is late in the second century A.D., and Roman general Maximus (Russell Crowe) is leading his
armies to squelch rebellion in the conquered state of Germania. Maximus wants only to finish the job and return home to the wife and child he hasn't seen in three years, but the aging and infirm emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris), to whom Maximus is devoted, has other plans. Convinced that
imperial rule violates Rome's ideals, he asks Maximus to insure that after his death, power is handed back to the Roman se...