Russell Crowe may have rocketed to the top of the A-list after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in historical epic Gladiator, which also scooped Best Picture, before going on to become a semi-regular fixture of the awards season circuit in prestige dramas like fellow Best Picture winner A Beautiful Mind and nominees Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and Les Miserables, but the majority of his best movies dating back almost 25 years have taken place within the realms of the crime thriller genre.
Modern classic L.A. Confidential, Michael Mann’s The Insider, Ridley Scott’s sprawling American Gangster, the sorely underrated State of Play and Shane Black’s riotous The Nice Guys feature some of the most impressive work of Crowe’s career, and he’s proven perfectly adept at playing characters on either side of the law.
One of his more overlooked thrillers is currently the most popular movie on Netflix in the United States having recently been added to the content library, despite The Next Three Days being derivative and formulaic almost to a fault. Crowe plays the husband of Elizabeth Banks, who finds herself convicted of a murder she’s adamant she didn’t commit. After her final appeal is rejected three years later and she runs out of hope, her other half takes matters into his own hands and decides to break her out of prison.
Paul Haggis’ remake of the 2008 French film Anything for Her was a moderate box office success after earning $67 million on a $30 million budget, but suffered from tepid reviews. However, the instant success of The Next Three Days continues to prove that forgotten thrillers are almost guaranteed to play incredibly well with Netflix subscribers.