Brad Pitt is, as always, all over the place, getting attention for his style moves, for his ever-in-the-spotlight private life, and, of course, for his always-impressive creative output, the most obvious being the skill that got him on the radar in the first place, his acting.
Considered one of the most marketable leading men of the last 20 years, Pitt is beloved for his versatility— and for his ability to occupy a character without over-occupying him, if you know what I mean. Pitt seems to have a knack for being hyper-watchable without overshadowing his movies with the sheer force of his personality. Tom Cruise I'm looking at you.
Pitt recently starred in the movies Babylon (actually didn't see it but just gonna go ahead and write it off on principle) and Bullet Train. In the latter, he plays a happy-go-lucky thief-for-hire attempting mindfulness while dealing with a train full of killers.
Although Bullet Train was fun at times, it doesn't make the list of his best.But these movies do. Here's our list of the Top 10 Brad Pitt movies, ranked in descending order.
10. Thelma and Louise
Pitt's abs famously did most of the heavy lifting in his role as a small-time thief who adds some spice and drama to this classic road trip film starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon at the height of their powers.
The ladies rightly got most of the plaudits for their touching and empowering depiction of two friends on a wild road trip with a stunning ending, but Thelma and Louise will also be remembered as the film that started Pitt on his own road to stardom.
In this movie Brad Pitt was: Abs abs.
9. True Romance
With his surfer-boy looks and flowing blond locks, we had to get early-career Brad Pitt playing a stoner, didn't we? But wow does he play it well in this Tony Scott (written by Quentin Tarantino) classic, a pitch-perfect crime/thriller/love story that also gave us the hipster-before-it-was-a-thing acting triumvirate of Christian Slater/Patricia Arquette/Dennis Hopper, with some just-menacing-enough James Gandolfini and batshit crazy rasta Gary Oldman thrown in for good measure. Oh, and Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken were in this film too. WTF, right?
In this movie Brad Pitt was: part of the best ensemble cast ever?
8. Oceans 11
Oceans 11 (and at times, its sequels) was about as much fun as you can have going to the movies. Another entry to the pantheon of films with great ensemble casts, Pitt's lovable character of Rusty again provided subtle comic relief, this time as George Clooney's ultimate wingman, the steadying force behind the lovable gang of thieves.
In this movie Brad Pitt was: always hungry.
I still think Pitt is underrated for his supporting roles, somehow. In this Guy Ritchie caper, Pitt brings story-stealing comic relief to go with his quick hands, unintelligible accent, and...abs. Snatch is a joyride, a freewheeling tour of London Crime underground. The film set the template for a bevy of highly-watchable, tongue-in-cheek crime/heist films to come.
In this movie Brad Pitt was: delightfully impossible to understand.
6. 12 Monkeys
Insanely good sci-fi time travel film here, featuring insanely-good-playing-an-insane-person Pitt. Brad steals the spotlight as a nutty nutjob with money, means, and just enough gumption to start an underground movement that may-or-may-not lead to the eradication of the human species as we know it.
12 Monkeys was moody and grimy, but somehow a lot of fun at the same time, providing a seminal template for fans of melancholic sci-fi thrillers.
In this movie Brad Pitt was: straight bonkers
Speaking of dark, 7even is one of the grimmest thrillers you'll ever watch, but it's brilliant from the drop. Pitt plays a youngish cop chasing a serial killer, and his easy rapport with Morgan Freeman's rightfully-jaded, soon-to-be retiring detective helps propel this David Fincher classic to its emotionally-grisly climax. We should have known Pitt's real-life relationship with Gwyneth was doomed after Freeman opened the box.
In this movie Brad Pitt was: receiving the most unfortunate postage in the history of movies.
4. Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Mega-paired with Leonardo Decaprio in this Quentin Tarantino romp through the LA of yesteryear, Pitt shines as a stuntman on the back end of his career. It's hard not to like Pitt's charmingly sociopathic Vietnam Veteran here, even as he nails his laid-back-disturbing portrait of toxic masculinity gone wild. He kills his wife (maybe-or-maybe-not-by-accidently) while wearing sea goggles, he bullies Bruce Lee on his lunch break, and he smashes the faces of multiple would-be-murderous cult members while high (and while not high.) But, as so often is the case in Tarantino's over-the-top classics, we somehow love every minute of it.
In this movie Brad Pitt was: Calm, cool, collected, and crazy.
3. Fight Club
There's been so much written about Fight Club, I can't think of anything substantial to add, despite the fact that Pitt's portrayal of balls-out revolutionary Tyler Durden may be his most memorable. Pitt has a knack for working seamlessly with a second strong male lead. This bonkers jaunt with Edward Norton is a prime example. Fight Club remains a classic.
In this movie Brad Pitt was: a fiction of our imaginations.
2. Inglorious Basterds
This is an incredible film, probably Tarantino's best, and Pitt plays his part with typical restrained-yet-larger-than-life brilliance, adding star power to a film initially bereft of marquee names. He doesn't say much, but his role as a Tennessee-bred Army sergeant leading a band of Jewish Marauders on a Nazi-killing terror spree is the anchor role of this classic.
In this movie, Brad Pitt was: definitely not fluent in Italian.
Ad Astra has been severely underrated, maybe because of its kinda-out-there name– and the fact that our Marvel-saturated minds expect a more in-your-face brand of action. It's too bad. I consider this one of Pitt's best performances, as a stoic astronaut tracking down his absentee father, who happens to be the world's most famous space explorer-turned-evangelist-turned-crazyperson.
On the topic of simmering daddy issues, this is one of the most understated yet effective portrayals of a strained relationship between father and son. In this case, the strain almost results in humanity being wiped out completely. Ad Astra is riveting from start to finish, and the initial disaster scene is notable for its design, originality, and execution.
In this movie, Brad Pitt was: good at self control.
Brad Pitt Movies That Didn't Make the List But Are Awesome
Pitt's been in a ton of great movies. Here are the ones that almost made our list, but didn't.
- Burn After Reading
- Legends of the Fall
- World War Z
- Interview with the Vampire