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Russell Crowe’s New Thriller With 92% RT Audience Score Continues A Trend That’s Defined 6 Recent Movies

April 7, 20247 Mins Read


  • Russell Crowe’s recent movies have received praise from audiences despite poor reviews from critics, showcasing a divide in opinions.
  • Sleeping Dogs, with a 38% critic score and a 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, exemplifies this trend in Crowe’s filmography.
  • Crowe’s upcoming projects like “Kraven the Hunter” and “Rothko” show a mix of supporting and leading roles, continuing his diverse career.

Russell Crowe has a new movie out with an impressive 92% Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score that, unfortunately, continues a trend from his last six movies. The Australian actor had his big break in the 1990s, with many of Russell Crowe’s best movies releasing in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Though his peak of popularity has come and gone, Crowe is still working hard and searching for interesting roles. With nothing to prove after winning an Oscar and his films grossing billions at the box office, he’s working primarily on smaller-budget movies and making the most of them.

Recent years have seen Crowe in many low-budget movies like Unhinged, Poker Face, and The Pope’s Exorcist, where his name has been the film’s primary selling point. Few have been commercial hits, but they’ve allowed the star to shine in leading performances. Though his mainstream appeal has been reduced, Crowe’s talent hasn’t ceased, and his new movies are still enjoyable for fans of the actor. Aside from his latest film, Sleeping Dogs, Crowe has a return to Hollywood blockbusters in 2024 with Sony’s Kraven the Hunter.


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Sleeping Dogs Is Another Russell Crowe Movie With A Much Better Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score Than Critics Score

A strange trend in Russell Crowe’s recent career is that many of his movies have been received poorly by critics but enjoyed by audiences. The difference between the Rotten Tomatoes score and the Audience Score on films can be a fascinating subject, demonstrating contrasts in appeal between critics and general movie audiences. However, it’s rarely this consistent for one actor. Russell Crowe’s latest movie, Sleeping Dogs, has a 38% Tomatometer from critics and a 93% Audience Score, marking an enormous difference in opinion.

Over the past four years, Sleeping Dogs, Land of Bad, The Pope’s Exorcist, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Unhinged all have excellent Rotten Tomatoes audience scores. Tomatometer and Audience Scores will often have minor variations, but these Russell Crowe movies differ by significant percentages. The Pope’s Exorcist has a 49% Tomatometer and an 81% Audience Score. Likewise, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, which saw Crowe co-starring with Zac Efron, has a 43% Tomatometer and a 91% Audience Score.

There are some outliers, of course. His movies Poker Face and Prizefighter: The Legend of Jem Belcher were unanimously disliked by audiences and critics, receiving rotten scores in both departments. The closest Crowe has come to a film that has been received well by both is Land of Bad, which wasn’t quite rotten with a 63% Tomatometer. Still, it’s not an outstanding success, and the critic scores are likely contributing to his movies going under-seen.

Why Are Russell Crowe’s Recent Movies Preferred By Audiences To Critics?

Russell Crowe gazes with disturbed fascination at a jigsaw puzzle piece in a scene from Sleeping Dogs

They offer some prestige quality because Russell Crowe is an excellent performer, but they’re balanced out by some schlock from other aspects of the movie.

Of course, there’s a wide spread of movies in Russell Crowe’s recent history and it’s difficult to make a generalized statement for why they aren’t working for critics. However, there are some trends and responses to analyze. The most common reason is that many of these movies land in the realm of low-budget crime/thrillers, a genre that typically isn’t suitable for critics. They offer some prestige quality because Russell Crowe is an excellent performer, but they’re balanced out by some schlock from other aspects of the movie.

As for the high Audience Scores, it’s important to note that many films have aggregate scores based on thousands of reviews, while many of Crowe’s films are only being reviewed in the hundreds. Movies like Sleeping Dogs and Unhinged satisfy a particular niche audience that isn’t too selective about what they watch and are perhaps just seeing Russell Crowe’s name and enjoying some action and thrills. From a contrasting audience perspective, film fans on Letterboxd only gave Sleeping Dogs 3.1/5 stars, and Unhinged has 2.6/5.

Do Russell Crowe’s RT Audience Scores Translate To Box Office Success?

Russell Crowe as Father Amorth looks concerned in The Pope's Exorcist

Rotten Tomatoes scores can impact a film’s box office, but it doesn’t always matter. In the action genre, in particular, poorly received movies constantly make millions playing in theaters or perform well on streaming services. For example, many of Netflix’s top-viewed movies are action thrillers with poor critical reception. As for Russell Crowe, many of his recent movies don’t have the advertising budget or commercial appeal to contend, but there are some standouts to break down.

The $760 million can primarily be attributed to the Marvel brand name

Despite being considered one of the worst MCU movies, Thor: Love and Thunder grossed $760 million at the worldwide box office. Crowe plays a minor role in the film, and he can’t be credited with its financial success. The movie has a star-studded ensemble, including Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and many more. Still, the $760 million can primarily be attributed to the Marvel brand name. Kraven the Hunter could be a similar story for Crowe in 2024.

The only other two movies to make a decent wave at the box office were Unhinged, which earned $37 million, and The Pope’s Exorcist, which earned $72 million. Those aren’t Barbie numbers, but $72 million on an $18 million budget is undoubtedly an accomplishment for Crowe at this stage in his career. To put it in the perspective of recent 2024 movies, Madame Web and Argylle performed only slightly better, in the $95-100 million range on much higher budgets. Low-budget, high-profit horror movies are a considerable market for Hollywood.

Will Russell Crowe’s Next Movies Keep His Rotten Tomatoes Trend Alive?

Aaron Taylor Johnson on the poster for Kraven the Hunter

Crowe won’t be appearing in the long-awaited Gladiator 2 cast after winning the Oscar for his role as Maximus in the original film, instead being replaced by rising star Paul Mescal in the lead role. However, he’s still set to have a big 2024 with a supporting role in one of the year’s superhero movies, Kraven the Hunter. It’s a Sony Marvel movie, meaning it follows Morbius, Madame Web, and Venom. While critics and audiences shunned the first two, Venom had a poor Tomatometer and excellent Audience Score. Kraven could continue Crowe’s trend if it’s received like Venom.

Upcoming Russell Crowe Movies


Development Stage

Kraven the Hunter

Releases in 2024



The Beast in Me


American Son



In Production

As for everything else Russell Crowe has coming up, Rothko and Nuremberg seem like the most promising. Both films have excellent casts, with Crowe playing a supporting role. He’s at the stage in his career when shifting toward supporting performances could be his best path to making well-received movies, like with The Nice Guys or Les Misérables. Alternatively, The Beast in Me and American Son could continue Russell Crowe’s trend of leading roles in low-budget movies, leading to poorly reviewed movies.

Sleeping Dogs

Based on the novel by E.O. Chirovici, Sleeping Dogs is a crime thriller that follows a former homicide detective who returns to the field after receiving an experimental Alzheimer’s treatment. With a fresh perspective and a renewed mind, the detective revisits a cold case of the murder of a college professor.

Adam Cooper

Release Date
April 25, 2024

Karen Gillan , Russell Crowe , Marton Csokas , Tommy Flanagan , Kelly Greyson , Lucy-Rose Leonard , Thomas M. Wright , Elizabeth Blackmore

110 Minutes

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