Which Were the Best Brad Pitt Movies? Here are the updates

There are stars in movies, and then there are gods of cinema. After Brad Pitt, there may be no more of the latter, and he may be the last. At the beginning of his career, he was the cute, goofy surfer-bro next door who made all the girls swoon, but he quickly proved that his talent and taste went beyond his Tiger Beat good looks, and by the mid-90s, he was a serious force courting the most coveted roles in Hollywood.

Over the years, his choices as an actor have only grown more intriguing. In contrast to Tom Cruise, who has shifted his focus away from the eccentric characters that made him interesting in the ’90s and rebranded himself as the Ageless Action Hero, Brad Pitt is taking more risks.

Although not all of his endeavors succeed, his failures (such as War Machine and By the Sea) are always admirable. While his acting prowess is undeniable, he has also used his star power to champion new filmmakers and secure funding for risky projects through his Plan B production company, which he co-founded in the 1980s and continues to run.

With 80 acting credits under his belt, Brad Pitt’s filmography is chock-full of killer roles. The strength of his performance and the quality of the film were the deciding factors in selecting these films. This includes a few classics (Thelma & Louise, True Romance) in which Brad Pitt’s role is relatively minor and a few less-than-great movies that are elevated by Pitt’s presence (Snatch).

10. Interview with the Vampire

Interview with the Vampire

Neil Jordan’s adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel is more Gothic romance than a horror film. While the lavish production design and lavish costuming may explain why Tom Cruise felt compelled to ham it up as the vampire Lestat—to mixed results—the performances are overshadowed by them.

It’s a good thing that Brad Pitt doesn’t overdo it, because the movie is better because of it. While Christian Slater’s portrayal of journalist Daniel Molloy (as vampire Louis) is believable, Pitt’s performance keeps the film from devolving into a full-blown camp.

9. The Tree of Life

the tree of life

A bold experiment on a grand scale, Terrence Malick’s most intimate film, The Tree of Life is a tone poem that connects the filmmaker’s childhood memories with the origin of the universe. For Malick’s father, Pitt is cold and distant, expressing himself through body language in long montages that have become a signature of the director’s late-career.

As a filmmaker, Terrence Malick has always been intrigued by the interplay between existential questions like “Who am I?” and “Where do I come from?” and the more mundane ones like “Is God real?” A beautiful meditation on creation and consciousness, distilled from a lifetime’s worth of ideas.

8. 12 Monkeys

12 monkeys

Terry Gilliam’s most successful film to date—and, arguably, his best since Brazil—is this dark sci-fi/time-travel thriller. Pitt’s performance is the most unhinged in a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Christopher Plummer.

The actor’s performance as Jeffrey Goines, a mentally ill man who may hold the key to humanity’s survival in the face of a world-ending virus, is filled with tics, head scratches, and maniacal laughter. For the first time, he was nominated for an Academy Award for performance.

7. Seven


Pitt had a good year in 1995. On top of the praise he got for his supporting role in 12 Monkeys, the actor cemented his status as a marquee star by starring in Seven and leading the relentlessly ugly, bleak film to a success ($327 million worldwide) that seems almost impossible today, given the subject matter.

On the trail of a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins, Detectives Mills (Pitt) and Somerset (Morgan Freeman) descend into hell, chasing their John Doe through the rain-soaked alleys and neglected high-rises of an unnamed city. This is one of the most depressing images of a city ever put on film, thanks to director David Fincher.

Pitt’s role as the cocky and idealistic Mills is the opposite of Freeman’s worn-out experience, and the ending of the movie, where he has to deal with a surprise package, still shocks people today.

6. Babel


Not everyone will like Babel. This is a large-scale example of miserablist cinema. It is a dark look at human suffering told through four interconnected stories set in Morocco, the United States, Mexico, and Japan. Pitt plays Richard, an American who takes a vacation with his wife Susan (Cate Blanchett) in Morocco after the death of their baby son.

The couple is trying to get over their loss by going to the other side of the world. However, since this is an Alejandro Innaritu movie, more random tragedy is on the way. Richard is not a very interesting character, but Pitt takes on the pain and desperation of his character and gives it to us.

This is the last part of Innaritu’s so-called “Death Trilogy,” which also includes Amores Perros and 21 Grams. Both the audience and the characters get what they deserve from the cruel universe created by the director. Pitt, Blanchett, Rinko Kikuchi, and Adriana Barraza make the hard trip worth it, though.

5. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to 1960s Hollywood has split audiences and critics. Many of them don’t know what to think of the film’s slow, low-key way of telling a dark story or its crazy, rewritten ending.

But there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on: As stuntman Cliff Booth, who is getting older, Brad Pitt owns every second of screen time. He has that effortless cool that is his trademark, and his weathered, world-weary body shows that he is 55 years old. Pitt has gotten better with age, and Once Upon a Time is one of the richest pours of his career so far.

4. Moneyball


Even if you don’t care about baseball, Moneyball has a lot to offer. Michael Lewis’s nonfiction book was turned into a movie by Bennett Miller. It tells the story of how the struggling Oakland Athletics, led by general manager Billy Beane (Pitt), changed the old way of scouting by using statistics to make up for a lack of money and build a team that could compete with big-market teams.

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Sounds complicated, but Miller and screenwriters Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin take a gentle, humanist approach to the story by focusing on Beane’s internal motivations that go beyond just wanting to win. Pitt gives the character a permanent sadness with his eyes and voice, which show how years of disappointment have made a once-big ego smaller.

3. Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds

Lt. Aldo Raine is one of the most memorable characters in the careers of both Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino. He is often funny, can be quoted endlessly, and is a fully realized character. Christoph Waltz won the Oscar and all the other awards for his role as Colonel Hans “The Jew Hunter” Landa, Raine’s enemy in the SS, but Brad Pitt’s performance is just as memorable.

As the fearless leader of a ragtag group of Nazi killers, he disappears completely into character, adopting an Appalachian drawl to go with a thoughtful, tightly wound face that shows skepticism, confusion, resolve, and constipation all at once.

2. The Fight Club

Fight Club

Before white male privilege had a name, there was Fight Club, which was a violent satire of consumer culture by David Fincher. Since it came out, the world has become more cynical, and Fight Club’s message about how a life focused on material comfort leads to spiritual bankruptcy and a loss of manhood now seems old and a bit obvious.

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So much of it still works, though, and Pitt gives an iconic, scene-chewing achievement for the ages as Tyler Durden, the freewheeling anarchist who teaches Edward Norton’s shy, Jack, how to fight, fuck, and blow stuff up. It’s possible that some dude-bros will like this movie “for the wrong reasons” because of its fast-paced action movie style and dark humor, but it’s hard to think of a better movie than criticizes toxic masculinity than Fight Club.

1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Andrew Dominik’s epic Western about the last days of Jesse James (Pitt) is a contemplative pastoral that has more in prevalent the films of Terrence Malick than in those of John Ford or Clint Eastwood. This is by far Pitt’s best performance. He plays the famous outlaw as a brooding cipher whose calm exterior hides sadness, bitterness, and danger.

Casey Affleck, who at the time was mostly known as Ben’s brother, is a surprise as Robert Ford, the James gang kid who kills the boss. But it’s Pitt’s cold gravitas that carries the movie, which deserves to be compared to Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece There Will Be Blood.

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Unfortunately, the movie didn’t resonate with people, and it only made about $15 million worldwide, which is half of its $30 million budget. Still, it’s a blessing that this movie was made at all. It will be treated well by history.


Brad Pitt’s filmography is full of great roles. He has been in over 80 movies. The films were chosen based on how well he did in them and how good the movies themselves were.

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