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9 Amazing Women Who Made Russell Crowe Movies Better

Russell Crowe has been a huge box office star since the mid-1990s, making a name for himself as one of Hollywood’s most successful leading men. From action to drama to comedy and romance, Crowe has co-starred with some of the finest women in the business, many of whom have helped define the film they are in. Here are 9 amazing women who made Russell Crowe movies better.

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Sharon Stone

FILM: The Quick and the Dead (1995)
The Quick and the Dead is technically a Sharon Stone film that also stars Gene Hackman and up and coming hearthrob Leonardo DiCaprio. The story centers on a female gunslinger out for revenge and while it was met with mixed reviews it was Crowe's first American film and helped put him on the map. But no matter how good he is here, and he is, this is Stone's movie and she sizzles as the steely, sexy-eyed hero.

Salma Hayek

FILM: Breaking Up (1997)
As far as romantic comedies go, this one is as generic as they come, but while the plot and contrivances are hum-drum, it's saved by two very good, very comfortable lead performances. Crowe plays Steve and the enchanting Salma Hayek is Monica, a couple who have dated for a few years but can't seem to get along so after a squabble, she ends it. Sort of. But not really. Hayek steals this one easily with tons of charm, making what is often a bland story fun to watch.

Renée Zellweger

FILM: Cinderella Man (2005)
The story of Depression-era hard-luck boxer James Braddock (Crowe) focuses on his comeback and the risks he takes as he becomes a rags to riches story, inspiring many around the country. Renée Zellweger plays his wife Mae, who objects to his return to the ring, fearful of the consequence, but nonetheless is a fountain of support when it comes to a match against a terrifying foe. A gripping story, Crowe is superb but so is Zelleweger, who is a constant bright light in this sometimes dark tale.

Marion Cotillard

FILM: A Good Year (2006)

You might not have heard of this small romantic comedy, a mixed language movie about a man who inherits a vineyard in France and meets a beguiling young woman along the way. Crowe, best known for high drama and action does well in a light comedic role but it's easily the stunning Marion Cotillard who is the most memorable, playing a café owner who has sworn off men. Not for long.

Rachel McAdams

FILM: State of Play (2009)

A sharp political thriller in the same vein as All The President's Men, State of Play sees Crowe as a time-tested, old-school journalist looking to uncover the link between a seemingly random murder and a congressman (Ben Affleck) mixed up in scandal. Working with him is a young colleague (Rachel McAdams), who runs the newspaper's news blog and together they learn much about what and who they are. McAdams is pitch-perfect in a role that seems like a test run for her part in Spotlight.

Cate Blanchett

FILM: Robin Hood

This gritty take on the famous legend stars Crowe as the titular hero with Ridley Scott directing. Exploring more of the backstory with a much larger scale, it's a rousing adventure with the alluring and independent Marion, played with grace by Cate Blanchett, having a much more significant role. While the movie is a bit overdone, Blanchett truly shines and give this famous character a lot more depth.

Meg Ryan

FILM: Proof of Life (2000)
Crowe plays Terry Thorne, a mercenary-type negotiator who is hired to find and rescue an engineer kidnapped in South American by rebel guerillas. Meg Ryan, playing against type, is Alice, the kidnap victim's wife, struggling with what to do while feeling a powerful, confusing attraction to Thorne. Ryan is terrific as a woman in conflict, her performance absorbing and emotional, lifting this standard thriller up a few notches and giving the film its real heart.

Kim Basinger

FILM: L.A. Confidential
When L.A. Confidential hit screens back in 1997, it created a momentary phenomenon as it's unique story and entertaining style had everyone talking. The ensemble cast included Crowe, but also Danny DeVitoKevin Spacey, and Guy Pierce to name a few. The 1950s-era crime drama was supremely written and while the men were all the action, it was the sultry Kim Basinger playing a Veronica Lake lookalike that stole the show, winning herself an Oscar for her work.

Jennifer Connelly

FILM: A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The story of John Nash (Crowe), a brilliant but troubled mathematician who secretly works in cryptography is a compelling story, even it takes a few liberties with the truth. While everyone knows Crowe won an Academy Award for his well-deserved work, so too did Jennifer Connelly (check out this list) playing his long suffering and accepting wife. She's truly amazing to watch here and grounds this movie with a stirring performance. They would team up again in Noah (2014) and A Winter's Tale (2014).
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