Russell Crowe’s Sleeping Dogs panned by critics, raising questions about the future of his movie career

The Nightly
2 Min Read
Russell Crowe's Sleeping Dogs is getting panned by critics.
Russell Crowe's Sleeping Dogs is getting panned by critics. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Another round of terrible reviews has notable film critics wondering aloud if Russell Crowe’s movie career is now unsalvageable.

The Aussie actor’s latest film Sleeping Dogs is getting panned by critics.

Crowe stars as a cynical and grizzly cop trying to solve a murder while battling Alzheimer’s.

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It has an average score of just 50-out-of-100 on film review aggregator site Metacritic, which includes two scores of just 38.

The consensus is that Crowe tries hard, but Sleeping Dogs is nothing more than a cheap imitation of Academy Award-winning director Christoper Nolan’s “Memento”.

Sleeping Dogs is a thriller.
Sleeping Dogs is a thriller. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

One review even says Crowe has entered the Liam Neeson stage of his career: making B-grade films for nothing more than the money.

“Crowe plays (the role) with the kind of gravity that justifies a star’s paycheck,” a review by Paste says.

“I believe the formal term is ‘Neesoning’.

“It’s easy to believe in the drunken, loyalty-above-law reprobate that the old Roy sounds like, and the foggier, somewhat gentler man who must hold instinctive regrets, even if he can’t remember what they are.

“Crowe, even with an American accent that sounds vaguely like Dustin Hoffman, gives Roy a quiet dignity.”

Russell Crowe’s career is tanking. Far from its peak  in Gladiator, for which he won a Oscar.
Russell Crowe’s career is tanking. Far from its peak in Gladiator, for which he won a Oscar. Credit: Supplied

The review for The Daily Beast says: “Crowe continues to prove that he’s better than the B-grade projects he’s now offered.”

In a review for RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico says that while he keeps hoping the Crowe revival is “just around the corner”, this definitely isn’t it.

“While Crowe gives more to this drowsy film than it deserves, it actually has me concerned now that the Oscar winner might head in the other direction, getting sucked into the world of cheapie VOD thrillers that have dominated the resumes of actors who used to be more discerning (sorry, Travolta fans),” he writes.

“Crowe is better than ‘Sleeping Dogs’. Most actors are.”

Sleeping Dogs is just the latest in a series of movie missteps for Russell Crowe.
Sleeping Dogs is just the latest in a series of movie missteps for Russell Crowe. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

An analysis of Metacritic’s aggregate scores for Crowe reveals just how much of a career slump he is in.

The recent Land of Bad where he played a drone pilot scored just 57.

The Pope’s Exorcist in 2023 scored just 45.

And the 2022 film Poker Face, where he played a crazed tech billionaire, scored just 43.

Meanwhile, his 2000 movie Unhinged about road rage scored a lowly 40.

There was also The Mummy alongside Tom Cruise in 2017 that scored just 37.

That movie has the ignominy of getting a zero from prestigious Wall Street Journal reviewer Joe Morgenstern.

He labelled it “a movie that goes beyond defying comprehension to being truly incomprehensible”.

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