JC13’s review published on Letterboxd:
For the 7th film in my Kubrick marathon I chose his 1960 epic, Spartacus.
The film I believe is based on a novel which is based on a true story.
Spartacus tells the story of a man who was born a slave in the Roman Empire. He fights for his freedom and begins a slave uprising against the Roman Empire. Kubrick's direction is nearly flawless as usual and the cinematography is breathtaking. The costume and set design is perfect and the film still holds up very well 53 years after its original release.
The acting is phenomenal. Kirk Douglas is fantastic in the lead and be deserved a nomination in my opinion. This film is epic! It also has an epic run time of 3 hours and 17 minutes, but it didn't feel too long. Every scene and every shot served a purpose and had meaning. Spartacus is a very powerful film that is both heartbreaking and inspirational. The battle scene is amazing and it still holds up. The parts that take place after the battle are very emotionally powerful. The romance in the film is done very well and is done in a way that strengthens the story rather than distracts from it.
Overall, I would probably call Spartacus Kubrick's most powerful film. It is currently my third favorite from Kubrick behind A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Strangelove. It is unlike any other Kubrick film which is not a bad thing. It is able to tell a rousing tale of a man who stood up to oppression to fight for his rights and the rights of others. It also contains many emotionally intense moments. All of this adds up to make one hell of a movie. Spartacus gets a solid 9/10 from me.