Gladiator. When Emperor Marcus Aurelius' son Commodus murders his father, he must also do away with Maximus Decimus Meridius, the finest general. Maximus escapes his execution, but finds his wife and child murdered. Wandering and wounded near death, he is picked up and put into slavery, and selected to fight for sport as a gladiator. From there, he seeks revenge. What a great balance of action, history, and romance.