Russell Crowe is one of the biggest actors in Hollywood and he is set to return to the big screen this week with new crime comedy The Good Guys.
The Good Guys sees the Oscar-winning actor team up with Ryan Gosling and work with filmmaker Shane Black for the first time. The Good Guys is the third film of Black's directing career and follows on from the success of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3.
It is always exciting when a Crowe movie is on the horizon - so far, The Good Guys has been met well critically - and we take a look at some of his best movies to date. Do you have a favourite?
- Gladiator (2000)
It was back in 2000 when Gladiator hit the big screen for the first time and Russell Crowe muttered this now iconic words for the first time - "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
Sixteen years on, this remains one of Crowe's finest performances as the actor teamed up with director Ridley Scott for the first time; this was to be the first of five movies that they would make together.
The movie follows Maximus, a Roman general who is betrayed by an emperor's corrupt son and seeks revenge. Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi, and Djimon Hounsou completed the fantastic cast list.
Gladiator was one of the best movies to hit the big screen in 2000 as Scott mixed some fantastic action sequences of war and the gladiatorial arena with political tones that really drive the story.
It is a powerful and commanding performance from Crowe from start to finish and it is a role that really did help elevate him onto the movie a-list. He delivers a captivating performance that you does keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
The movie went on to be nominated for twelve Oscars and won five; including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe. So far, this remains the only Oscar win of his career from three nominations.
- Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
When it comes to Crowe movies, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is up there as one of my favourites as the actor worked with Peter Weir for the film.
It was another central role for the actor as he played Capt. Jack Aubrey in a movie that was set during the Napoleonic Wars, The movie follows Aubrey as he pushes his crew to the limit as they hunt down a French warship around South America.
Master and Commander was based on the novels by Patrick O'Brian and was adapted for the big screen by Weir and John Collee. Paul Bettany, James D'Arcy, Edward Woodall, and Chris Larkin were also on the cast list.
Master and Commander is a fantastic movie that is driven by a beautifully crafted story, and interesting characters. Throw in some intense and exciting battle scenes and you really are onto a winner.
Forget all the clichés that come with this genre of film, as Weir's film, has none of these and is just a terrific drama that sees the director and Crowe on top form.
Crowe brings a roguish charm to the central role of Aubrey, who is willing to risk it all to take out a superior ship. While there may be some great battle scenes, Master and Commander is also a film that is about friendship and I love the chemistry between Crowe and Bettany, who takes on the role of the ship's doctor and naturalist Stephen Maturin.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was another critical hit for Crowe when it was released in 2003 - it also went on to enjoy box office success.
The film went on to be nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. It would go on to win Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing.
- 3:10 To Yuma (2007)
Another of my favourite Crowe movies hit the big screen in 2007 in the form of 3:10 To Yuma, which was a remake of the 1957 Western of the same name.
The movie saw Crowe takes on the role of outlaw Ben Wade as he teamed up with Christian Bale and director James Mangold. Bale took on the role of Dan Evans, an injured soldier and rancher who was part of the team taking the captured Wade to a train in Yuma that was bound for prison.
Crowe and Bale are two of the best actors of their generation and they are just fantastic together in this movie - it is this relationship that drives the film and keeps you hooked.
The duel like nature between the two men, who come from different walks of life - the murderous Wade and the moral upstanding Evans - is cleverly kept intact throughout the duration of the film. The director keeps the focus on them, how they react to what is happening and how they are reacting to each other. And their scenes together, in particular at Contention station, are box office gold.
3:10 To Yuma is a two-hander film where Crowe and Bale are left to do what they do best and they truly shine. This really was one of my favourite films of 2007.
Westerns are an endangered species at the box office but James Mangold, who brought us Walk The Line, has delivered an elegant and exciting film which doesn't only create nostalgia for the days when western were ten a penny, but is very contemporary.
3:10 To Yuma was met well critically upon release and went on to top the U.S. box office. This was one of the movies that really did help revitalise this genre and showed that there was still an audience for this kind of film.
- The Insider (1999)
Gladiator may have been the film that truly sent Crowe's star rocketing, but it was his performance in The Insider that was another key moment in the early part of his career.
Crowe has worked with some great director's during his career and The Insider saw the actor team up with Michael Mann for the first time.
The movie was based on the true story of a 60 Minutes segment about Jeffrey Wigand, a whistleblower in the tobacco industry. As well as the biopic element, Mann also worked in thriller and drama aspects to make this a terrific watch.
Crowe took on the role of Jeffrey Wigand in the film and was joined on the cast list by Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora, and Philip Baker Hall.
The Insider is a compelling and intelligent movie that explores corruption and the cost of telling the truth. It really is a riveting watch with Crowe and Pacino delivering knockout performances.
Man beautifully balances the aspects of drama, thriller, and biopic and he has delivered a truly engaging film that is driven by this wonderful story as well as some interesting characters.
For me, The Insider is the best film from Mann since The Heat and Crowe really shines in the central role. While Crowe was no stranger to the big screen at this point, The Insider was one of the movies that really established him as an exciting acting talent.
The Insider was a huge critical success and the movie went on to be nominated seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Crowe; this was the first Oscar nomination of Crowe's career.
- A Beautiful Mind (2001)
In 2001 - 2002 in the UK - Crowe reunited with actor Paul Bettany as they both started in biopic/drama A Beautiful Mind.
The movie was based on the book by Sylvia Nasar, was adapted for the big screen by Akiva Goldsman and saw Ron Howard in the director's chair.
Crowe took on the real-life role of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film follows his time at university and his struggle with paranoid schizophrenia. Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, and Adam Goldberg joined Crowe and Bettany on the cast list.
A Beautiful Mind is a terrific character drama and Crowe delivers another fantastic central performance. This is a movie that really does explore mental illness and Crowe really does capture the tortured feelings of Nash as he struggles to tell reality from his illness.
As well a movie that explores mental illness, A Beautiful Mind is also a movie about love as Connelly plays Nash's wife Alicia, who struggles to cope with her husband's illness and help him through.
Both Crowe and Connelly give wonderfully emotional performances that really will tug at your heart and pack a huge punch. It is a movie about love and the struggles to overcome the challenges placed in front of them.
A Beautiful Mind was another success for Crowe both critically and commercially. The movie grossed $313.6 million at the global box office - easily making back its $58 million budget.
The movie was nominated for eight Oscars; winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress for Connelly and Best Adapted Screenplay.
However, Crowe was to miss out on the Best Actor gong to Denzel Washington for his performance in Training Day. Crowe has not picked up an Oscar nomination since.
- L.A. Confidential (1997)
Crowe's breakthrough performance came in 1997 when he starred in the neo-noir crime film L.A. Confidential. The movie was an adaptation of the book of the same name by James Ellroy and saw Curtis Hanson in the director's chair.
At this time, both Crowe and Guy Pearce were relatively unknown actors but were cast in the central roles of Officer Wendell 'Bud' White and Det.Lt. Edmund 'Ed' Exley' alongside Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, and Danny DeVito.
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.
L.A. Confidential was one of the best films of the year and it remains a fantastic film in this genre - it really is as great a watch today as it was nearly twenty years ago.
This is a movie that is packed with twists and turns that isn't afraid to pack some very large punches. It really is a terrific and bloody ride.
Spacey, Crowe, and Pearce are fantastic as the cops at the heart of the story and they have a fantastic energy from start to finish. They don't always see eye to eye and have a very different way of dealing with things, but that makes their interactions even more interesting and entertaining.
L.A. Confidential was one of the most acclaimed movies of 1997 and went on to gain cult status. The movie was nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Picture. The film scooped Best Supporting Actress for Basinger and Best Adapted Screenplay. It missed out on Best Picture to Titanic.
Other Russell Crowe movies that you cannot miss include Cinderella Man, A Good Year, American Gangster, and State of Play.
The Nice Guys is released 3rd July.