best film: L.A. Confidential with The Insider close behind. L.A. Confidential isn’t auteur cinema but the narrative is one of the strongest of the 90’s and it features transcendent acting and writing. It’s a film that could have come out in the 30’s, 40’s, 70’s, 90’s or now—absolutely timeless.

best performance:  L.A. Confidential though really there’s very little separating performances 1-5 below. Still, his performance as Bud White, a bruiser of a cop, I think goes down as Crowe’s best (at least to date). It’s a strong physical performance and Crowe’s career highlight coincides with supreme work from Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, James Crowell and career-best work from Kim Basinger as well.

stylistic innovations/traits: Ten years ago, in 2008, it looked like Crowe was on his way to be an all-timer. His run from 1997-2003 especially features five films that are amongst the very best of their respective years. The Academy agrees with me and after getting overlooked in 1997 for Confidential he was nominated in three consecutive years (1999-2001) winning in 2000 for Gladiator. He’s struggled since. I need to see Romper Stomper again (it’s been ages) but Crowe’s intensity, furrowed brow and piercing eyes and large physical frame are his trademarks. He can play intelligence (Insider, a beautiful mind) and a bruiser (la confidential, cinderella man, 3:10 to Yuma, gladiator) and both (Gladiator).

directors worked with:  Sir Ridley Scott (2), Ron Howard (2) and then Michael Mann and Peter Weir once.

Top 5 Performances:

  1. L.A. Confidential
  2. The Insider
  3. Gladiator
  4. Master and Commander: Far Side of the World
  5. A Beautiful Mind
  6. 3:10 to Yuma
  7. American Gangster
  8. Cinderella Man

Archiveable films

1997- L.A. Confidential
1999- The Insider
2000- Gladiator
2001- A Beautiful Mind
2003- Master and Commander: Far Side of the World
2005- Cinderella Man
2007- 3:10 To Yuma
2007- American Gangster