Epic films explore themes similar to those seen in 'Spartacus'

Yahoo Contributor Network

Now that we have to wait quite some time for the final season of "Spartacus" to come back to our screens, there are a number of films that have been produced in the last 15 years that explore some of the same themes as this gritty and powerful series, all of them set in the world of classical antiquity.

"Gladiator"

Set during the height of the glory of the Roman Empire, "Gladiator" also features the trials and tribulations of a brave man sold into unwilling slavery in the arena. And, like "Spartacus," it also features a villainous man who is much less of a man than his gladiatorial opponent (whatever he might think about his own prowess). Like "Spartacus," this film raises a number of questions about the status of freedom, and what we are willing to do when everything has been taken from us.

"Immortals"

Exploring the world of gods and other immortals during the bygone days of ancient Greece, "Immortals" is a visually stunning treat that is a nice way to fill in the days until the premiere of the next season of "Spartacus." Starring Henry Cavill as the hero Theseus, the film explores the consequences of what happens when humans attempt to overthrow the gods. It also features some pretty spectacular fight scenes, including a truly great one between the gods and the Titans that are attempting to escape. The last scene, which I will not ruin, looks like it could come straight from "Paradise Lost." Not bad for a movie about ancient Greek heroes.

"300"

Finally, we come to "300," a film that "Spartacus" seems to emulate in many ways, including and especially in its cinematography. If you like to watch stories about the brave, and often tragic, attempts by men to fight for the freedom that they desire, then look no further than "300." Although the film does sometimes verge on the ridiculous, it takes itself so seriously that you will find yourself doing so as well, with the result that you will find yourself transported to not another time in history, but another plane altogether.

So, if you cannot wait until the next season of "Spartacus" (which is the last), then check out these films that will hopefully fill the gap until the premiere and, just as importantly, when the series is no longer producing new episodes.

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