Russell Crowe: Bud White vs. Maximus

Russell Crowe

One actor. Two film roles. You tell us which portrayal was the best. The most memorable. Or iconic. Or simply your favorite.

But before you pass judgment, a few words defending the “character” of each…

The case for Bud White

The character Ed Exley in L.A. Confidential considers Bud “a mindless thug,” and so too do we the viewer. In the most literal of terms Bud is not that intelligent and, yes, he is a brute. But we soon see that Bud is a man of principle. In a place and time where everyone is scheming and has agendas Bud refreshingly lacks self-awareness. He acts on impulse, and his instincts are to stick up for the weak and the wronged. Crowe deftly handles this dichotomy in a role all but overshadowed by Kim Basinger’s Oscar-winning turn.

The case for Maximus

Are you not entertained?


Now that you’ve heard the arguments for both it’s time to render your verdict!


  • Terry Powell

    Gotta be Bud White. Maximum goes for vengeance. But Bud is about protecting women. You also feel for him when he thinks he is picked as a valuable member of Dudleys squad but is instead just wanted for his brute force, not his capability or intelligence. The look on his face as he realizes this is heartbreaking.

  • frosty


  • Bill Proctor

    I think Crowes most endearing role was of James Braddock in Cinderella Man.

  • harlowgold

    Bud White

  • Al Hooper

    “L.A. Confidential” was one of the six or eight best films ever made (in my opinion). Russell Crowe’s character was emotionally complex, beautifully written and superbly played. As for “Gladiator,” it struck me as the same old formulaic silliness. Left me cold. The fact that it won the Academy Award that year confirmed my belief that the Oscars are a farce, twisted to fit a commercial mold. Go, Crowe! But no more gladiators, please.
    – Al Hooper (E-HOOPER.COM)

  • MissAnn2000

    Bud White. Great performance great film. Seeing him as Bud White made me go and get all his films I could find on video, which during this time was a task trying to track down Australian films such as Romper Stomper on video.

  • PKCox

    Crowe has been excellent in everything I’ve seen. He is a versatile actor who shows both strength and vulnerability in equal measure. Any actor that can go from Romper Stomper to The Sum of Us gets two thumbs up from me. Loved him in a Beautiful Mind and Cindarella Man. Don’t make me choose his best role! :)

  • rocky-o

    i’m still waiting for a remake of “who’s afraid of virginia wolfe” with crowe in the richard burton role…that’s when we’ll be talking about his best part…