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(2000) Directed by Ridley Scott. Russell Crowe stars as Maximus Decimus Meridius, a decorated and beloved general in the Roman Empire. After achieving victory against the Germanic tribes, Maximus seeks to return home to his family. But Emperor Marcus Aurelius suspects his son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) of being unfit to rule, and so he tasks Maximus with defending the state of Rome from corruption. Before Maximus can take power, however, Commodus murders his father and becomes the new Emperor of Rome. With Maximus the only man alive who knew Marcus Aurelius’ last wish, Commodus declares Maximus a traitor and arranges the execution of Maximus’ family. A resourceful fighter and leader, Maximus manages to escape but is unable to save his family, and in mourning he is captured and sold into slavery. Ultimately finding himself a fighter in the gladiator pits, Maximus is forced to kill to survive if he has any hope of earning his freedom and seeking revenge against the cruel Emperor Commodus. [Drama / Action]

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