Gladiator is one of those films that is always held in high regard. I think when people look back on this film they just reflect on how badass Russell Crowe is in this. I think one thing people tend to overlook is that this movie kind of drags.
There are things to like about this film, but I found myself constantly checking how much longer the movie was going to run. There are some movies that are long and you don't really mind it, however this was not one of those movies. The characters are likable enough, the story is good, the acting is great, but there was just too much going on outside of the main protagonist and his story that was just kind of agonizing. The viewer is given a bloodlust, you want to see Crowe kick more butt and be awesome but the filmmakers want you to work for that, so you have to sit through some mediocre scenes. Those scenes however build up to some really exciting fight scenes. When Crowe goes into Gladiator mode IT...IS...ON!! When watching him you feel like you're right there in the arena cheering for him. The music, the cinematography, it was all well done to give the feel of the times and take you into the scene.
Joaquin Phoenix is a great actor, and he was great in his role. One thing that I'm really glad the filmmakers did was that they didn't make the character a wimp. While he was soft compared to Maximus, Phoenix's character had combat training as well. So when they go head to head, it's not just a one sided fight.
With great arena scenes, great acting from our two main stars. Gladiator was a good movie that had too much around it. I wouldn't watch the whole thing over again, however I will keep the awesome parts in my head and like I said at the start Crowe's badassness is this film's legacy.