When you think about movie stars, Brad Pitt is definitely one of the first faces that come to mind. He is basically a god in Hollywood, and we are all glad to have gotten a chance to marvel at how impossibly gifted an actor he is. He has embodied all sorts of characters from goofy boy-next-door to gritty, dramatic roles. He has had one of the most interesting careers in the business and has influenced the film industry in ways that only a few can boast of. Even the few failures or his career are still memorable and worth watching thanks to his good looks and relentless charm. While almost every script Pitt touches turns to gold, there are some with more carats than others. Looking at his amazing career, here is a list of 10 greatest Brad Pitt movies, ranked in order of how good they are.
Top 10 Brad Pitt Movies
1. Fight Club (1999)
A performance for the ages is what Pitt brings to the table in this compelling examination of toxic masculinity and consumer culture. David Fincher’s brilliant film tells the story of a young man, Norton, whose mundane life changes radically after he meets and befriends the impossibly cool and charismatic Tyler Durden. Played by Pitt, Durden is a scene-stealing vision. He is an anarchist, a non-conformist, whose main philosophies in life revolve around fu**ing, fighting, and blowing shit up. Fight Club is not only one of the greatest Brad Pitt movies; it is also one of the most iconic films ever made.
2. Inglorious Basterds (2009)
This Tarantino classic gave us one of the best movie characters ever written, Lieutenant Aldo Raine, the foul-mouthed, Nazi-hunting badass we really didn’t deserve. Loosely based on real events, Inglorious Basterds follows Pitt’s Aldo Raine, the leader of a special group of American guerrilla fighters in World War II, committed to inflicting a special kind of justice on Nazis.
It is one of those movies that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Pitt is beyond remarkable, hilarious, and totally in his element. He gifts us one of the most delightful accented monologues ever delivered on screen. Thanks to his performance and that of his brilliant castmates, the movie was massively successful, both at the box office and with critics. Inglorious Basterds reaped eight highly-deserved Oscar nominations, but unfortunately, Pitt’s one-of-a-kind performance was criminally ignored.
3. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Meet Jesse James (Pitt), a feared outlaw whose god-like reputation precedes and hides the sadness and rancor that is part of his nature. His cold, contemplative, murderous, and irresistible persona is the driving force of the movie. He drifts seamlessly from ruthless criminal to a regular cheery guy without skipping a beat.
There probably isn’t another 21st-century movie that really captures the heart of the western genre as beautifully and evocatively as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Although the movie was not commercially successful when it was released, history has been kinder to it, helping it achieve something of a cult status.
4. 12 Monkey (1995)
In a movie full of career-high performances from Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer, Madeleine Stowe, and others, Brad Pitt manages to stand out so spectacularly that he picked up his very first Oscar nomination. Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi thriller tells the story of a time-traveler (Bruce Willis) who is sent back to 1996 to discover what led to the destruction of the world, where he meets Pitt’s character Goines, a mental patient who might be the key to humanity’s survival.
Pitt’s performance is a real tour-de-force with his spastic and cartoonish mannerisms. He makes it almost impossible for you to take your eyes off him. 12 Monkeys is wonderfully weird, entertaining, and one of the greatest Brad Pitt movies because it showed the actor in an entirely new light.
5. Moneyball (2011)
Pitt earned his third Academy Award nomination for his stunning performance as Billy Beane, the general manager of the baseball team, the Oakland Athletics, who basically revolutionized the sport with the use of statistics. It’s a very rare occurrence for a movie about sports to deliver Oscar-worthy performances and a heartbreaking drama that leaves you clutching your chest.
The reason Moneyball is one of the greatest Brad Pitt movies is that it feels different from the myriad of roles he has embodied in his career. He left his charm, craziness, sexiness, roguishness, and humor at the door, and became just a normal man trying to make the best of a crappy job while striving to build a relationship with his daughter. If the scene where Pitt is crying as he listens to his daughter’s song doesn’t turn your heart to mush, you might be an emotionless robot. Whether you’re a fan of baseball or not, you will find something to love about this movie.
6. SE7EN (1995)
David Fincher’s Se7en is one of the best thrillers of all time. There is simply no faulting the movie, and its brilliance is elevated by the performances of Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. Their characters are detectives who are saddled with the case of a brutal serial killer who selects and murders his victims according to the Seven Deadly Sins.
The movie takes you on a dark and unforgettable journey as Pitt and Freeman chase down clues in a bid to apprehend the psychopathic killer before he claims his next victim. The chemistry between Pitt’s hot-headed, arrogant and idealistic cop character which complements Freeman’s world-weary nature is one of the best we have ever seen on screen. Nothing prepares you for the absolute shocker of a twist that arrives at the film’s end, and you will never be able to forget Pitt’s acting in this bleak and tragic picture.
7. Ocean’s Eleven(2001)
As far as heist romps go, Ocean’s Eleven is one of the most entertaining films ever made in the genre. There is no end to its re-watch value; the movie holds its charms and delights your senses no matter how many times you see it. Pitt was right at home as Rusty, a seasoned con man whose biggest gift is his ability to be devilishly charming and menacing at the same time. He is part of a group of clever thieves who concoct an elaborate plan to rob three casinos in one night without being caught.
This brilliant and infectious film also stars other Hollywood big names: Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Bernie Mac, and Matt Damon, all of whom bring their A-game. When it was released, Ocean’s Eleven was one of the biggest hits at the box office and it spawned a highly successful franchise. It has no doubt earned a place on the list of all-time best heist films and the greatest Brad Pitt movies.
8. The Tree of Life (2011)
Terrence Malick is one of the best directors, and The Tree of Life is one of his finest outings. This emotionally moving and deeply personal drama weaves a complex tale that spins outwards through time and across the universe itself. The story unravels through the experiences of a family in Texas in the 1950s.
The man of the house is Pitt’s Mr. O’Brien, the quintessential all-American man, and a paternal figure who presides over his house with authority, terror, strict discipline, and impossible demands. Pitt poured a career’s worth of performances into this unforgettable role, and he was electrifying to behold even in the midst of the movie’s complicated examination of creation and time.
9. Snatch (2000)
Back in the days, one of two things was going to happen if you see Brad Pitt taking off his shirt on screen: he was either about to beat the living daylight out of someone or get his fine a$$ beat up. In Snatch, he gives life to Mickey O’Neill, an Irish boxer that everyone has a hard time trying to comprehend.
Pitt is only a supporting character in the film, but he still manages to completely hold your attention in every scene he appears in. Few actors could have given this gritty role the care and commitment it required, but Pitt was not afraid to pull punches. If anyone was ever in doubt as to how versatile an actor he could be, his role in the movie put that question to rest, which is why this turn-of-the-century crime flick is one of the greatest Brad Pitt movies there is.
10. Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood (2019)
The jury is still out on what to make of Quentin Tarantino’s newest offering, but everyone agrees that Brad Pitt is the very best thing about it. The seasoned actor ramps-up his trademark effortless cool as Cliff Booth, a down-on-his-luck stuntman who is astute and loyal.
On the outside, he drips relentless charm and is utterly captivating every single time he enters a room, but Booth isn’t all sunshine inside. In fact, he has a hidden violent side that may or may not have resulted in the death of his wife.
This movie might be a love letter to Hollywood in the 60s, but it is Brad Pitt that mails and delivers it. He puts in one of the most show-stealing performances of his career and manages to dazzle brilliantly despite being surrounded on all sides by some of the finest talents in the industry.