Troy is a good answer for the question of what make Gladiator good. Troy now is frankly not good. The film struggles in a most problematic fashion in terms of capturing the right tone for the material. It chooses to reject using the gods that were an intricate part of the source material instead apparently going for a grittier approach to the material. This is faulty approach in its frequency to have downright ridiculous elements throughout the story. Then it attempts at the same time to try to have its allegorical elements which it hammers so poorly in part due to the way they so poorly intertwine with those ridiculous elements. The strength of Russell Crowe's work in Gladiator becomes readily apparent if you compare it to say Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt in these films. The two are not only bland they lack any conviction in their approaches to both their characters and the material itself that they allow to be as nonsensical as it is. There is a shining star in the film through Peter O'Toole he shows up on occasion to bring that gravitas needed, but he can save the whole thing. It's a film too timid in its approach refusing to choose what it should be, instead allowing itself to tonal mess.