Russell Crowe is Hollywood royalty and at the age of 57 he really has already done it all. The New Zealander has enjoyed an incredible career, playing some iconic roles from historic figures to fun cops, and we expect there’s plenty more to come.
It wasn’t the easiest of starts for Crowe though. During his early years he spent his time as a bingo caller, travelling Australia shouting “two little ducks” and “buckle my shoe” alongside the many other bingo calls there are. In fact, he had a bit of a tendency to go off piste from what this fun quiz on bingo calls does, making up his own rather lewd calls that eventually saw to his sacking.
What was bingos loss was Hollywood’s game though and it wasn’t too long before he started to take the movie world by storm. But what are Crowe’s best ever movies? We run down our top eight…
The Insider was one of Crowe’s major breaks, joining forces with Al Pacino and Christoper Plummer in an Eric Roth movie based upon Marie Brenner’s 1996 Vanity Fair article entitled “The Man Who Knew Too Much”.
While it wasn’t a huge box office success, it received high levels of praise from critics and was nominated for a number of awards, including seven Oscars in which Crowe was among the shortlist for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
The film itself is based upon Jeffrey Wigand, played by Crowe, who is a whistleblower within the tobacco industry which is being covered on CBS’ 60 Minutes. Pacino plays Lowell Bergman, and it follows their struggles through the testimony that featured on the show.
Released in 2000, Ridley Scott’s epic sees Crowe play Maximus Decimus Meridius in what is his career-defining role. He picked up Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his portrayal as the character, in what is a captivating, bloody, and quite incredible movie.
When Commodus murders Meridius’ father to claim the throne and send Meridius into slavery, Meridius seeks his revenge in what ends in one of the most stunning climaxes of the last 25 years.
The movie was a smash hit at the box office, making $460.5million dollars and to this day is one of the very best in the genre.
A Beautiful Mind
Crowe followed up Gladiator with A Beautiful Mind just a year later, and the roles couldn’t have been further apart. Inspired by the Pulitzer Prize nominated book of the same name, it saw Crowe play John Nash, an American mathematician.
Beginning in the early years of Nash’s time at Princeton University, the film follows Nash’s diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and follows his episodes and diagnosis and the effect it has on his family around him, including his wife Alicia, played by Jennifer Connelly.
The movie has an all-star cast, which also includes Paul Bettany, Ed Harris and Christopher Plummer, and continued the fine form of Crowe, making a further $317million at the box office.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Crowe returned to the epics in 2003 and joined forces with Paul Bettany once again in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Crowe took the lead as Jack Aubrey, a captain of the Royal Navy, while Bettany takes on the role of Stephen Maturin, the ship’s surgeon.
The film follows Aubrey’s voyages during the Napoleonic Wars, where HMS Surprise comes across the Galapagos Islands, where they encounter survivors of a whaling ship. Many twists and turns follow and the film itself was nominated for a number of awards, although missed out largely due to Lord of the Rings being released in the same year. Earlier this year, a prequel film has been announced, although it has not been confirmed as to whether Crowe will play a part.
Directed by Ron Howard, a man Crowe has worked with on regular occasions, Cinderella Man is a biographical sports drama based upon the life of former heavyweight champion James J. Braddock.
Crowe plays Braddock as the movie follows the remarkable career of the Cinderella Man, as well as the relationship between himself and his wife, played by Rene Zellweger. The movie received positive reviews and is certainly one of the best dramatizations of real-life sporting events and stars ever produced.
Crowe was back with Ridley Scott in 2007 with American Gangster, a biographical crime drama based upon the career of Frank Lucas, a heroin smuggler during the Vietnam War.
Denzel Washington takes the lead in this film as Lucas, with detective Richie Roberts, played by Crowe hot on his tail. The film has one of the best casts of the decade, with a host of huge stars including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin, Cuba Gooding Jr, Idris Elba and many more.
3:10 to Yuma
Russell Crowe really suits a Western and he plays a brilliant part as bandit Ben Wade who has been captured by the authorities and must be taken across the state to catch the 3:10 to Yuma, where he will be tried.
Given the task of escorting him is Dan Evans, a one-legged war veteran, now rancher played by Christian Bale. The movie largely follows their relationship as they get to know each other, and trust is never far from the agenda.
There are many twists and turns in this action drama, and it really does justice to the original 1957 movie, which starred Glenn Ford and Van Heflin.
The Nice Guys
Throwing in a bit of a wildcard comes The Nice Guys, a 2016 movie starring Crowe alongside Ryan Gosling. Both play private detectives who join forces to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl.
It’s an incredibly funny film, which really brings out Crowe’s ability to play comedy as well as drama and was widely regarded as a hit by the critics, carrying a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.