It is the year 180AD. After years of war, the armies of Rome, under the command of General Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), have finally won their last battle against the Barbarians of Germania. Rome’s Caesar, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius has come to the battlefield personally to survey the Empire’s final victory.
In a private meeting with Maximus, whom he values like a son, the Emperor intimates his intention to return to Rome and transfer power once more away from the throne and into the hands of the Senate, as it was during the glory days of the Republic. ). But aging Aurelius realises that he probably won’t live long enough to fill out his dream so he decides to bestow his position as ruler to Maximus, rather than his creepy son Commodus. The Emperor’s son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), has other plans, however. Murdering his father and taking the title of Caesar for himself, he orders Maximus and his family (Wife and daughter) taken away and killed.
But Maximus the hero proves too cunning for the death squad; his family, on the other hand, does not. After coming home to his farm and finding his wife and son's dead bodies, he is captured and sold as a slave to gladiator instructor Proximo. But Maximus survives the plans of his enemies, and after a series of events leaves him in the hands of slavers, he begins a new life as a gladiator.
Quickly, Maximus proves his worth and helps most of Proximo's Gladiators to stay alive. Maximus then learns by his instructor, Proximo that he can win his freedom but to win his freedom he must win the people. So Maximus goes ahead and win every battle that he faces in the arena until finally they play in the Colosseum while going under the name “Spaniel”.
In Rome, Commodus who now has taken over the throne and thus inherits the Caesar title and becomes increasingly popular with the Roman people by daily colosseum battles whilst revealing to us that h