Kingdom of Heaven vs. Gladiator



on 8/30/2009

I knew this one was coming! Ridley Scott tried to replicate the success of GLADIATOR with an even more ambitious period epic. Result? Artistically and financially, he surpassed himself. Somehow, the critics didn't care. I remember seeing this film opening weekend and the audience booed the ending. I saw it a few months later in Paris and the audiences CHEERED at the end of the film, at the same moment Americans booed. Very bizarre, but if you see the film, you'll understand why... KINGDOM beats out GLADIATOR in every department except lead performance: Russell Crowe really nailed the role, while Orlando Bloom just wasn't as charismatic. What KINGDOM has is a much better screenplay, a stronger ensemble, and Ridley Scott at his most personal since BLADE RUNNER. A must-see film and soon to be considered a classic.

on 8/30/2009

Huh. I much prefer Gladiator. Kingdom didn't hook me. At all. I'd watch it again (and I'd be very interested to see the Director's Cut), but Gladiator was far more involving for me personally. (As for lead performances, Bloom is fine, but you're right: he just can't match Crowe. At all.)

on 9/18/2009

Gladiator: 5; Kingdom: 4

on 10/13/2009

Tough one. Gladiator has the better story, but Kingdom of Heaven the better cast (well, except for Legolas). Oh Russell Crowe, I'm not sure you can compete with Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, and Brendan Gleeson.

on 11/10/2009

Gladiator was absolutely amazing. KOH sucked for me.

on 12/23/2009

I toss and turn with this decision all the time. Russell Crowe is AWESOME and Kingdom, although a little slower is still I think the better movie. Though no choice would be a wrong choice.

on 12/28/2010

Gladiator probably got too much press for its own good, but I still think it's stronger than Kingdom. Of course, I haven't seen the extended cut of the latter yet, so things might change....

on 1/7/2011

The Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven is among Scott's best movies, and much better than Gladiator in my opinion. I encourage you all to see it. It is in that spirit that I give KOH the victory today. I'm amazed people could even make it through the studio-chopped-to-pieces version that made it to theatres, though.

on 3/6/2011

You know, there's mention here of a better cast in Kingdom of Heaven, but despite some heavyweight actors whom I love, Joaquin Phoenix has them beat all to hell all by himself. (Of course, like some, I have not seen that director's cut of KOH...)

on 3/6/2011

Full admonition...still haven't seen the Director's Cut of Heaven, but bottom line, the theatrical version sucked. Gladiator all day my friends...

on 3/9/2011

I will agree with those who think Kingdom of Heaven sucked, and Gladiator was absolutely amazing. I went into KoH thinking that I would love it since Gladiator is my favorite movie, but ended up greatly disappointed.

on 7/15/2012

Kingdom of Heaven if we count director's cut, it's so amazing and completely changes the movie making it one of Scott's top 5 movies, really people you need to watch the Director's cut

on 11/24/2012

Few films in my opinion feel as immersive all around as the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven. Similar to the extended versions of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, it would be a somewhat empty experience watching the theatrical version. The additional characters and sub plots allow the film to breathe. I also feel Orlando Bloom is not nearly as bad in the film as many critics have said. Gladiator is a great film, but I feel the director's cut to Kingdom of Heaven is an example of an "experience" film that I can just sink into and get lost in because running time is no longer a factor. My pick, therefore, is Kingdom of Heaven.

on 2/7/2013

I am shocked at how close this is, I thought Kingdom was mediocre, and I love Gladiator.

on 2/16/2013

I call bullshit on Protozoid's Franco-American anecdote. I watched the movie in Britain. With Muslims. These two demographics should be more *invested* in the material than either of the former rabble, but the response was, of course, inert. I've never been to showing where people cheered or jeered. Just that one showing of Epic Movie where we all sang Nelly Furtado's Promiscuous Girl.

on 2/16/2013

Didn't really like both... But from a film making standpoint, Gladiator is better, because of impressive performances by Crowe and Phoenix and some great cinematography/directing.

on 3/2/2014

Theatrical cut of KoH is superior to Gladiator. So underrated.

on 10/18/2014

Kingdom of Heaven isn't terrible, but it is far from satisfying. It is basically just Gladiator without a pulse. Maximus Decimus Meridius slays all...

on 1/6/2017

Director's Cut "Kingdom of Heaven" is a more epic movie with less dull scenes and a better ending.

on 12/10/2018

What an unfortunate movie is Kingdom of Heaven because of mis-editing. Shold definitely have the Director's Cut version.