Long Live ‘Gladiator’: 20 Years Later, We Are Still Entertained

Twenty years ago, Maximus Decimus Meridius asked a crowd of bloodthirsty spectators, “Are you not entertained?” That was the first time he asked. He asked if ethics and nobility pale in comparison to cheap thrills and viral sensations. He asked again and again as we periodically revisited Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Gladiator, over the next two decades. Every time we watch it, Gladiator’s infinitely quotable script takes on new meaning. In this way, it isn’t just a movie. It’s a constant reminder that there’s a pissed off Australian Spaniard in all of us. 

Whether you’re rich, poor, or were once a powerful general betrayed by the murderous son of Marcus Aurelius, you can make a difference. Grab a sword, shield, helmet, and restore the Roman Republic. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be one hell of a ride, full of fist-pump-worthy moments laced with enough testosterone to last Sylvester Stallone a week. That’s why we keep watching it; because in our weakest moments, the story of “a general who became a slave, a slave who became a gladiator, a gladiator who defied an empire” is Red Bull for the soul. Twenty years later, we are still very much entertained and here’s why.

Cover Photo: Universal Pictures 

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