A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
"Strength and honor," the motto that Maximus lives by, is upheld in his behavior no matter what happens to him.
Positive Role Models
In the midst of losing his family, his life as a Roman soldier and general, and his chance to become emperor, Maximus continues to live his life upholding the motto "strength and honor," even as he is sold into slavery and forced to become a gladiator.
Violence & Scariness
Very violent, many bloody battle scenes, many deaths. Main character's wife and child are burned and crucified to death offscreen, his wife's charred ankles and feet are shown. Tigers are killed with swords. Decapitations. Bodies cut in half with swords. A lot of blood. Maximus cuts into his skin to remove the tattoo that distinguishes him as a Roman soldier and general. References to rape and incest.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character desires his sister. An exposed male backside. A character is said to have "moaned like a whore."
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"Bitch," and one "s--t." A trader who has purchased two giraffes openly wonders if they are "queer giraffes" because they are not mating.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gladiator is a 2000 movie in which Russell Crowe plays a Roman general who is betrayed by a power-hungry emperor's son and must survive as a gladiator. This is a very violent movie. A woman and child are brutally tortured, killed, and crucified mostly offscreen, and their charred feet and ankles are shown. People are sliced up, burned, and decapitated. Blood is constantly being shed. Tigers are killed by swords. There are references to rape and incest. We see an exposed male backside. A character is said to have "moaned like a whore." We hear "bitch" and "s--t." Overall, while a very loose interpretation of what actually happened in the earliest years of the reign of the tyrannical Emperor Commodus and the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire, the movie does explore the theme of stoicism and how it helped Maximus to survive tremendous hardships as he continued to live by the motto "strength and honor." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
GLADIATOR is a movie of such astounding scope and sweep and such masterful storytelling that it makes its storyline seem classic rather than clichéd. Breathtakingly sumptuous visuals credibly recreate the world of Rome in 180 AD, a world of unimaginable reach and power. Director Ridley Scott stages the fight scenes brilliantly, each more inventive and gripping than the last. The results are something like a deranged computer game, with new peril coming literally from all sides. Fellow gladiator Juba (Djimon Hounsou) explains the appeal of the fights when he says that fear and wonder are a powerful combination.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.