Top 10 Films – Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt - post

List compiled by Eddie on 13/06/2014

It’s easy to overlook and demean an actor in the vein of Brad Pitt, as his life outside of film is just as colourful and well known as any of his roles on screen. What many forget and underestimate however is just how many films in Pitt’s career are bona-fide classics, a statement easily backed up by fact that Pitt stars in no less than 6 movies listed by users on the IMDB Top 250, countless success at the Box Office the world over and various awards for many of his films.

In an industry that is extremely finicky in regards to longevity Pitt has survived the test of time with very few of his films considered out and out duds – the less said about The Mexican and Meet Joe Black the better! Having a purple patch from the mid 1990’s to the early 2000’s and then again in the late 2000’s to now with his passion project 12 Years a Slave becoming both a critical and commercial hit and a film of the highest order.

Balancing on the line between important smaller pictures and big budget blockbuster fare, picking a list of the 10 best Pitt films is a hard task and one that leaves many a quality film sadly on the outer; in particular 12 Years a Slave which due to an incredibly small on screen part for Pitt just couldn’t be included. This below list will hopefully display the fantastic career Pitt has had so far and will hopefully continue to have heading into the future, and once more, as stated in other actor top 10’s, this list is not based on Pitt’s performances alone but the films as a whole.

Happy reading and happy watching!

Moneyball

10. Legends of the Fall (1994) and Moneyball (2011)

Pitt plays – Tristan Ludlow and Billie Beane

OK I know this is a top 10 but when it got down to these two films I found it impossible to leave either one or the other out. In Legends of the Fall we have a grand and sweeping epic that is hugely entertaining and heartfelt while Moneyball is a sports movie that transcends it’s genre’s limitations and becomes something much more thanks to its great script and fantastic cast led by Pitt himself.

9. 12 monkeys (1995)

Pitt plays – Jeffrey Goines

Undoubtedly featuring a cameo-like yet great performance by Pitt, 12 Monkeys is a fantastic sci-fi that features director Terry Gilliam at his very wacky best and Bruce Willis on top of his game before he turned into a self-lampooning bore. A trip to weirdsville yet one you’ll want to revisit more and more.

8. Killing Them Softly (2012)

Pitt plays – Jackie

No doubt in my mind that this is a controversial pick, but I refuse to back down from the fact that Killing Them Softly is a movie that succeeds in conforming to no one and nothing and a movie that in all its glumness and male centric dialogue shines as a stark and believable examination on the United States of America. A harsh and confronting drama/thriller that showcases the talents of Pitt and Australian director Andrew Dominik.

7. Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Pitt plays – Lt. Aldo Raine

Teaming up with mastermind Quintin Tarantino for the first and hopefully not last time, Pitt delivers a wickedly fun and memorable turn as scalp loving Lt. Raine. Inglorious is a film filled with such rich and rewarding dialogue and a cast so on top of their games that it’s impossible to find fault in. WW2 on film has never been this over the top and weirdly fun.

6. Snatch (2000)

Pitt plays – Mickey O’Neill

While your unlikely to understand half the dialogue featured in the film there is no denying that Snatch is a comedy caper unlike any other. Guy Ritchie’s direction has never been better and snappier and in a top notch cast Pitt (whose story of getting cast in this film is well worth reading up on) shines as his memorable and loveable gypsy boxer Mickey O’Neill, the only question really worth asking about this is “Do you like daggs?”

Seven

5. Se7en (1995)

Pitt plays – Mills

Creating quite the stir upon release, Seven to this day continues to repulse, intrigue and affect those that watch it and is a film that features an eerily ominous atmosphere that while many try to copy has yet to be matched. Featuring the grand pairing of Pitt alongside Morgan Freeman and a villain that must surely be near the top of the most evil and calculated in cinema history, Seven is a thriller of the highest order. Read our classic review here.

4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Pitt plays – Benjamin Button

Again collaborating with David Fincher in this adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s seemingly un-filmable short story, Benjamin Button is a film that while whimsical and in many ways fanciful is a love story for the ages that features ground-breaking special effects work and one of Pitt’s most difficult and full formed turns as a man who ages in reverse.

3. Tree of Life (2011)

Pitt plays – Mr. O’Brien

A divisive movie for many yet for those that embrace it a heart-warming and stunningly artistic meditation on life, death and love. Reclusive director Terrence Malik’s Palme d’Or winning opus is a completely original film making experience that will continue to inspire and touch those that fall under its undeniable spell.

2. Fight Club (1999)

Pitt plays – Tyler Durden

Teaming up with David Fincher for the 2nd time proved to be one of the best moves of Pitt’s career in what turned out to be a film that transcended its original box office failings and became the cult classic that it is today. Filled with humour, smarts and savagery, Fight Club is a gut punch of a movie that shuns normality and embraces the wild side of filmmaking. A true classic that sits proudly at number 10 on the IMDB Top 250.

1. The Assassination Of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Pitt plays – Jesse James

A haunting and beautifully made western unlike any other before or since Assassination might in fact be Casey Affleck’s movie but Pitt delivers a deep and heartbreaking turn as the doomed Jesse James. Australian director Andrew Dominik’s film was underrated upon release but has since proven to be a film many are still discovering and a film that rewards on so many different levels. If you’ve yet to see this gem stop reading now and grab yourself a copy.

Assassination of Jesse James

Honourable mentions – True Romance, Interview with a Vampire, Thelma and Louise, Sleepers, Babel.

For our other actor Top 10’s see below –

Tom Hanks

Bruce Willis

Robert De Niro

How does this list compare to your favourite Pitt films? A little bemused by not the slightest mention of Ocean’s Eleven and did True Romance get robbed of a place? Let us know in the comments below.

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58 responses to “Top 10 Films – Brad Pitt

  1. The longer Brad Pitt’s hair, the less I will like the movie. I think he has the reverse Samson problem – he is a better actors the shorter his hair gets. ’12 Monkeys’ and ‘Fight Club’ are probably my two favorite Pitt films.

    • Ha Orange they are some very interesting thoughts right there! Be interesting to see if anyone else out there has discovered this “reverse Samson” notion.
      Eddie

  2. NICE! and Assassination is one of my all-time favorites. It’s absolutely gorgeous looking, and dead on in the writing/script, casting…I could go on and on about it. Lotta good movies on this list, still haven’t seen Killing Them Softly. If Brad’s role was larger I’d almost throw True Romance in. It’s a messy movie but it’s awesome & it’s so much fun.

    • Great to hear you love Jesse James Susan, I still fondly remember catching that on the big screen and was blown away by the artistry of it all and the great casting. A real hidden gem that one. I know Jordan is a big fan of True Romance so your not alone there.
      Eddie

    • Oh sad to hear! But it’s definitely not a film for everyone I know quite a few people who would feel similar to you. I heard rumours around the place that there may be a sequel but would be hard to see that happening.
      Eddie

      • It’s neatly tied up, so I doubt that’d happen. I just never understood the misanthropic, snarky revolutionist attitude buried in all its hypocrisy. It’s a movie that criticizes violence whilst dancing atop someone’s grave, haha.

  3. Four of your first five choices are right on the money…though I may have switched the order a bit on my personal list. However, not a big fan of either “Benjamin Button” or “Legends of the Fall”. But, I’m so pleased that you’ve included “Moneyball”, Twelve Monkeys” and “Killing Them Softly”—they are all marvelous. “Inglorious Basterds” is possibly my favorite Pitt performance. And, I’ve yet to get to “Snatch”, even after all these years. Superb job, Eddie! ML

    • Mark, cheers for your thoughts mate. Very surprised you have yet to see Snatch but I think one day when the time is right you will really enjoy that one! It’s a very smart and witty film and Pitt is just a real blast. Jordan will back you up in the Benjamin Button department, on a side note I hope Pitt gets to work with QT again after there job on Inglorious.
      Eddie

  4. Great list, for me, I would rearrange a little…Fight Club in number 1 spot and Moneyball nearer the top of the list. Good conversation starter!

    • Why thanks mate 🙂 always nice to hear someone had some hope riding on you and you can come through ha. It is a fantastic film man! Absolutely adore the work that went into making it such a non-typical and thoughtful western meditation. I really hope Dominik can find more similar success with his new projects.
      Eddie

  5. Great list! You remind me that I still haven’t seen many of his older films… “12 Monkeys”, you’re next !! 😉

    That being said, I love how he’s evolved as an actor of the years… he’s impeccable now, the A-list persona diminishing in favour of the unbelievable character actor that he actually is!

    • He really is a versatile and great character actor, I love how he does not mind taking second fiddle in films an excels in either the lead or support. You’ll really enjoy 12 Monkeys a very unique tale.
      Eddie

  6. Great call with his work in KTS. I liked that film, and everytime Jackie Coogan was on screen he was a force to be reckoned with. Truly towering performance in a pretty good movie.

    • True my man, when he first arrives in the car it’s just a great moment. He really chewed that dialogue up and made it his own. Very underrated little movie.
      Eddie

  7. Good list Eddie, particularly the number 1. Personally I would lose Moneyball, Benjamin Button and Tree of Life and put Interview with the Vampire and True Romance (my favorite film of his) on.

    • I’ll have to catch Interview again it feels like a long time since I last saw it and by all reports it still stands up really well to the test of time. Dito with True Romance. Thanks for stopping by mate.
      Eddie

  8. Nice list. I think the Assassination of Jesse James is an amazing movie, but I just feel like Pitt’s peformance was incredibly overshadowed by Casey Affleck’s performance. However, Pitt pretty much steals the show in other movies like Fight Club and Snatch. I agree with Legends of the Fall and Moneyball, can’t leave either of those off the list. I honestly have no idea how I would arrange this list myself, so props to you!

    • Hey Justine

      No real easy task actually as I sat down it really dawned on me just how many quality movies he has been in! Some very daring and often tricky movies that he has helped steer as well. Glad you agree on Moneyball and Legends, two really enjoyable flicks there.
      Eddie

  9. Great list! I know that Pitt had a small role in ‘Thelma and Louise’, but this is the film which made him so popular (it was his ‘debut’), and he is very memorable there. It is unfair to include this movie of his here, but a mention of it is still deserved 🙂

  10. Great list. Thanks for not including “Burn After Reading” which was wildly disappointing.

    I’m not sure about an honorable mention for “True Romance” – how many lines did he have? lol

    “Legends of the Fall” was an incredible movie, but Pitt’s crying scene is my go-to scene for bad acting.

    • Yeh man Burn After Reading is surely one of the Coen’s worst?

      Ha I might just have to re-watch that scene from Legends, but man I love that movie just a real throwback to the epics of yesteryear.
      Eddie

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  28. Fight Club is my favourite movie ever but I have never seen Jesse James. I’ll watch it now with huge expectations – how could it possibly be better than Fight Club Eddie 🙂

    • It’s not a film for everyone but if you get swept up in it, I reckon there’s a chance it might knock Fight Club off its perch. It’s a slow burn, but totally enthralling.
      E

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