Cruz's performance in the film was praised by film critics, with Jonathan Holloland of Variety magazine writing "if confirmation is still needed that Cruz is an actress first and a pretty face second, then here it is".
Annlee Ellingson of Box Office magazine wrote "Cruz is stunning in the role—innocent and vulnerable yet possessing a mature grace and determined strength, all while sizzling with unchecked sensuality." 2001 marked a turning point year when Cruz starred in the feature films Vanilla Sky and Blow.
She had a supporting role as Mirtha Jung, the wife of Johnny Depp's character.
The film received mixed reviews, Cruz's last film in 2001 was Captain Corelli's Mandolin, film adaption of the novel of the same name.
Her subsequent roles in the 1990s and 2000s included Open Your Eyes (1997), The Hi-Lo Country (1999), The Girl of Your Dreams (2000) and Woman on Top (2000).In Vanilla Sky, Cameron Crowe's interpretation of Open Your Eyes, she played Sofia Serrano, the love interest of Tom Cruise's character.The film received mixed reviews Her next film was Blow, adapted from Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made 0 million with the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All.Cruz has modelled for Mango, Ralph Lauren and L'Oréal, and along with her younger sister Mónica Cruz has designed clothing for Mango.Cruz has volunteered in Uganda and India, where she spent one week working with Mother Teresa; she donated her salary from The Hi-Lo Country to help fund the late nun's mission.People magazine noted that after Cruz appeared topless in the film, she became "a major sex symbol".