Brad Pitt's Best Movies

We count down the best-reviewed work of the Killing Them Softly star.

88%

5. Twelve Monkeys

Though his film roles to that point had, for the most part, required him to do little more than look good, Pitt's turn in the Terry Gilliam-directed 12 Monkeys -- coming on the heels of his eye-opening appearance in Seven earlier in the year -- proved that he not only had good taste in scripts, but the talent to back it up. As the institutionalized activist Jeffrey Goines, Pitt tapped into a nervous energy he'd never been asked to draw on, holding his own against Bruce Willis and helping the twisty dystopian sci-fi thriller become one of 1995's biggest surprise hits. Though it would be some time before Pitt starred in another movie that earned this kind of critical affection, after 12 Monkeys, the critics knew he wasn't just another pretty face. As Desson Thomson of the Washington Post wrote, "Willis and Pitts's performances, Gilliam's atmospherics and an exhilarating momentum easily outweigh [its] trifling flaws."

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89%

4. Inglourious Basterds

Generally speaking, an actor doesn't get many chances to play a character named Aldo -- and an actor also doesn't have many opportunities to work with Quentin Tarantino. So when Tarantino came to Pitt with the role of the cheerfully violent Nazi-hunting Lieutenant Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds, he clearly knew better than to say no. The result was a tense, colorful, funny, and terribly bloody World War II revenge fantasy that set loose a terrific ensemble cast (including Christoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender) in a spellbinding parallel dimension. Argued the Miami Herald's Rene Rodriguez: "Inglourious Basterds transcends the war genre to become its own kind of unique picture: A bloody blast of pure movie bliss."

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92%

3. True Romance

Take Christian Slater, an Arquette, and the guy who directed Beverly Hills Cop II, and nine times out of 10, you probably aren't going to get a film that tops any sort of critically themed list, let alone one that inspires a writer like Peter Canavese to crown it "a hall of fame guy's movie" -- but the exception proves the rule, and 1993's True Romance is that exception. Slater and Patricia Arquette are the stars of this cult classic action flick, which boasts a Tarantino script and noteworthy supporting turns from (among others) Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, and Bronson Pinchot; it's Brad Pitt's few minutes as the epically stoned Floyd, however, that steal the show, sprinkling a few much-needed belly laughs between the bursts of gunfire. Such was Floyd's influence that he served as the inspiration for 2008's Pineapple Express. And for good reason: Not only was he industrious enough to figure out an exciting new use for an empty honey container, he was cool enough to threaten a room full of shotgun-wielding Mafia henchmen with death.(We never said he was smart.)

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83%

2. Thelma & Louise

By the time Thelma & Louise was released in 1991, Brad Pitt had been around for a few years, notching roles on the big screen (blink-and-you'll-miss-him appearances in No Way Out and Less Than Zero, as well as topline billing in the low-budget horror flick Cutting Class) and surfacing repeatedly on television (most notably via recurring gigs on Dallas, Growing Pains, and Fox's quickly canceled Glory Days). However, it was his turn as J.D., the impeccably coiffed, frequently shirtless con man who fleeces Thelma and Louise, that put Pitt over the edge, turning him from a somewhat familiar face into a bona fide sex symbol. It was a performance so well-regarded -- albeit mainly by Pitt's solidly female target demographic -- that not even Johnny Suede and Cool World could keep him from imminent superstardom. Of course, it didn't hurt that Pitt's breakout role came as part of a movie that inspired waves of praise from critics like Matt Brunson of Creative Loafing, who wrote, "this beautifully realized picture remains a trenchant, almost mystical slice of Americana."


94%

1. Moneyball

As a (freakishly entertaining) by-the-numbers account of how the Oakland A's used newly adapted metrics to turn conventional baseball wisdom on its head, Michael Lewis' Moneyball seemed like one of the least cinematic bestsellers to have its film rights optioned by a major studio -- and after directors David Frankel and Steven Soderbergh departed the project, it looked like it might be destined for the scrap heap. But with Bennett Miller behind the cameras and Pitt lending his rumpled charisma to the role of A's GM Billy Beane -- not to mention an Aaron Sorkin screenplay -- it ended up being not only a six-time Academy Awards nominee, but a $110 million box office hit. "Baseball fans know this story," admitted USA Today's Claudia Puig, "but Miller puts it all in fascinating context. This is a thinking person's baseball movie, a more complex version of the inspirational sports story."

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In case you were wondering, here are Pitt's top 10 movies according RT users' scores:

1. Fight Club -- 95%
2. Se7en -- 94%
3. Snatch -- 92%
4. True Romance -- 90%
5. Inglourious Basterds -- 87%
6. Legends of the Fall -- 87%
7. Moneyball -- 86%
8. Interview with the Vampire -- 85%
9. Twelve Monkeys -- 84%
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -- 81%


Take a look through Pitt's complete filmography, as well as the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don't forget to check out the reviews for Killing Them Softly.

Finally, here's a young Pitt making a pitch for Levi's:

Comments

Mohammed Sadah

Mohammed Sadah

Can't believe Fight Club is last. Also, True Romance shouldn't be counted. He was in it for less than a minute.

Nov 28 - 04:33 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Ya but its one of the more memorable performances in that movie. The Floyd character even spawned Pineapple Express. I always wondered if the mobsters let him live or killed him off screen.

Nov 28 - 04:43 PM

Ron Williams

Ron Williams

I think they let him live and Fight Club deserves better than 19th

Nov 29 - 12:40 PM

Ben Gentile

Ben Gentile

I couldn't agree more

Nov 28 - 11:02 PM

Luis Alarcon

Luis Alarcon

it's first in the viewers'eyes, at least...

Nov 30 - 06:55 AM

Vibhooti Mangal Tiwari

Vibhooti Mangal Tiwari

To me, it will always be the movie that changed my philosophy.

Nov 30 - 11:37 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Then the joke of the film is on you.

Nov 30 - 12:53 PM

Craig Pruett

Craig Pruett

You can't assume he took a positive message from the movie. Vibhooti could be out there blowing shit up.

Dec 1 - 03:42 PM

Roger Joyal

Roger Joyal

i think the top ten rating follows the tomatometer popularity...not the brad pitt impact.

Dec 1 - 02:17 AM

Angie Cassity

Angie Cassity

I agree!

Dec 2 - 01:42 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Ya but its one of the more memorable performances in that movie. The Floyd character even spawned Pineapple Express. I always wondered if the mobsters let him live or killed him off screen.

Nov 28 - 04:43 PM

Ron Williams

Ron Williams

I think they let him live and Fight Club deserves better than 19th

Nov 29 - 12:40 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Disturbing lack of "Assassination of Jesse James" and "Burn After Reading" from either of these lists.

Nov 28 - 04:49 PM

Ralph

Ralph Myers

True, Burn After Reading is classic Brad Pitt

Nov 28 - 06:18 PM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

Exactly.

Nov 28 - 10:21 PM

Bertram Krogh

Bertram Krogh

I agree, but The Curious Cage of Benjamin Button deserves a spot as well. Great movie, great performance.

Nov 29 - 12:03 AM

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Agree as regards to "Jesse James", one of my favorite movies form the last decade. As much as I adore the Coens I think very little of "Burn After reading", a rare missfire in the Coens filmography. But Pitt's performance on it is great, though.

Nov 29 - 03:29 AM

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Hugo Emanuel Melo

BTW, I strongly suggest reading the book (if you haven't already) since it chronicles Ford's exploits after Jesse's assassination that the movie does not cover (maybe the extended and unreleased version of the film focuses on that part of the novel). The last part of the book is about 150 pages long and is entirerly devoted to ford's life after his murderous and coward act.

Nov 29 - 03:46 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I've been meaning to read it. It has a reputation for being exhaustively researched. I love everyone in "Burn" - Malkovich (the Russians?), Clooney (I'm not really equipped to mold hard plastic), McDormand (There's always the Chinese!), Swinton (I do not Hammer!), JK Simmons (the Russians?). I think it was a great film, and I laughed all the way through it.

Nov 29 - 08:45 AM

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Hugo Emanuel Melo

I though all the actors on "BAR" where great, but the Coen's script and direction felt very off. I had loved all of the Coen's previous screwball comedies (except the remake of "Ladykillers", so it was odd for me to feel like they failed on a genre that they allways excelled on.

Dec 3 - 05:22 AM

Ron Williams

Ron Williams

Jesse James was a boring movie, doesn't belong anywhere near his top 10. My favorite Pitt performance was in 12 monkeys. he was great!

Nov 29 - 12:42 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

ADD folks prefer manic movies.

Nov 29 - 01:07 PM

Brian Jensen

Brian Jensen

I think "Jesse James" is an excellent film, and one of the best films in Brad Pitt's career.

Nov 30 - 03:03 PM

R. Jayakrishnan

Jayakrishnan R

Jesse James is definitely boring

Dec 2 - 12:26 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Joker Fanboys are more boring.

Dec 2 - 10:04 AM

D.j. Messer

D.j. Messer

"You thought that was a Schwinn!!" was his best line ever...Burn After Reading(#3)...also loved Fight Club(1#), Interview, Kalifornia, Moneyball(#2)..hated Inglorious Accents,Tree of Boringness,

Nov 30 - 01:33 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'll let the Tree-hate slide to point out that, yes, Pitt's accent in "Basterds" was awful.

Nov 30 - 03:59 PM

Nek Sanalet

Mo Gelardi

Tree Of Life and Assassination Of Jesse James are top two for me. Not only is Pitt's acting the best in those, but the films themselves tower over the rest of his filmography.

Dec 1 - 05:18 AM

Charles Chaplin

Charles Chaplin

Yeah, how about not putting Thelma and Louise on there either. Starring roles not small bit parts. Kalifornia, legends of the fall, the assassination of Jesse James, mr and mrs smith, seven years in Tibet. No put two movies he hardly even spoke in! Come on RT.

Nov 28 - 04:50 PM

Stefania Salazar

Stefania Salazar

seriously mr and ms smith ? c'mon...

Nov 28 - 05:17 PM

Brian M.

Brian Mulligan

come on charles

Nov 28 - 05:25 PM

David Williams

David Williams

No way on Mr and Mrs Smith but I was very surprised that Kalifornia didn't make it to the list and I personally really enjoyed Legends of the Fall.

Nov 30 - 05:50 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

I suspect they put Thelma and Louise because it was his first breakout role.

Nov 30 - 07:18 AM

Zane B

Chum Chum

Seems like most people come to these lists to bitch

Nov 28 - 05:04 PM

Christopher Simmons

Christopher Simmons

This.

Nov 28 - 07:35 PM

Kate Avery

Kate Avery

Very true. I still haven't figured out why these people haven't grasped the simple concept that these lists are built around tomato-meter scores, and not some vague conception of what they think is "the best." These are the HIGHEST REVIEWED films. That's it. And not everything could be included. There are some I wish were on the list, but they're not. Oh well. Get over it.

Nov 30 - 07:27 AM

Ryan Geiger

Ryan Geiger

Uh, "Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"????

Nov 28 - 05:10 PM

Ryan Hibbett

Ryan Hibbett

Curious Case of Benjamin Button looked pretty, but it was really stale considering it was a complete transfer of Forrest Gump, but with a guy who aged backwards instead of a slow man.

Nov 28 - 05:21 PM

Jónas Haux

Jónas Haux

Ironically, the films were written by the same person, Eric Roth.

Nov 29 - 04:24 AM

John Taylor

John Taylor

What's ironic about that?

Nov 30 - 06:14 AM

William H.

William Howell

Both were adapted screen plays, and that is clearly not the only difference.

Nov 29 - 09:12 AM

Jordan Todd

Jordan Todd

It's his 10 best reviewed. As in 10 best on the tomato meter.

Nov 28 - 05:42 PM

Jeremy F.

Jeremy Foster

Thank You! At least somebody else gets that! This is a critics consensus,not a personal favorites lists by one critic.

Nov 28 - 05:50 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

Uh, Benjamin Button is only at 72% critics approval rating, far from being in the top 10. Not sure what you and Jeremy are smoking.

Nov 29 - 12:57 PM

Brian Cowper

Brian Cowper

They're trying to point out that this list is based on the top ten tomato meter list and how everyone complaining about this or that movie not being in the list don't appear to be taking that into account.

Nov 29 - 05:27 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

My bad.

Nov 29 - 06:41 PM

Stefania Salazar

Stefania Salazar

seriously mr and ms smith ? c'mon...

Nov 28 - 05:17 PM

Ryan Hibbett

Ryan Hibbett

Curious Case of Benjamin Button looked pretty, but it was really stale considering it was a complete transfer of Forrest Gump, but with a guy who aged backwards instead of a slow man.

Nov 28 - 05:21 PM

Jónas Haux

Jónas Haux

Ironically, the films were written by the same person, Eric Roth.

Nov 29 - 04:24 AM

John Taylor

John Taylor

What's ironic about that?

Nov 30 - 06:14 AM

William H.

William Howell

Both were adapted screen plays, and that is clearly not the only difference.

Nov 29 - 09:12 AM

Brian M.

Brian Mulligan

come on charles

Nov 28 - 05:25 PM

Brian M.

Brian Mulligan

I watch Inglourious Basterds at least once a year. "we in the killin Nazi business. And cousin, business is a boomin"

Nov 28 - 05:30 PM

Steven Green

Steven Green

Once a year? I wouldn't have a problem watching it once a mont

Nov 28 - 06:20 PM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

more like once a week

Nov 28 - 10:22 PM

John Serrano

John Serrano

you're all crazy, I watch it twice a day.

Nov 29 - 09:37 PM

Hugo Emanuel Melo

Hugo Emanuel Melo

I watched the movie three times in the opening week. Now I watch every other six months.

Nov 29 - 03:31 AM

Seth Reddington

Seth Reddington

more like once a day

Nov 29 - 08:10 AM

Jordan Todd

Jordan Todd

It's his 10 best reviewed. As in 10 best on the tomato meter.

Nov 28 - 05:42 PM

Jeremy F.

Jeremy Foster

Thank You! At least somebody else gets that! This is a critics consensus,not a personal favorites lists by one critic.

Nov 28 - 05:50 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

Uh, Benjamin Button is only at 72% critics approval rating, far from being in the top 10. Not sure what you and Jeremy are smoking.

Nov 29 - 12:57 PM

Brian Cowper

Brian Cowper

They're trying to point out that this list is based on the top ten tomato meter list and how everyone complaining about this or that movie not being in the list don't appear to be taking that into account.

Nov 29 - 05:27 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

My bad.

Nov 29 - 06:41 PM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

What do you mean "woeful" Cannonball Run II? I love that movie! It's hilarious!

Nov 28 - 05:50 PM

Jeremy F.

Jeremy Foster

Thank You! At least somebody else gets that! This is a critics consensus,not a personal favorites lists by one critic.

Nov 28 - 05:50 PM

Ralph

Ralph Myers

True, Burn After Reading is classic Brad Pitt

Nov 28 - 06:18 PM

Steven Green

Steven Green

What happened to "Burn After Reading"? Brad Pitt went all out moronic in that one and it was hilarious!

Nov 28 - 06:19 PM

Jason Colpitts

Jason Colpitts

Amen. Chad stole that movie. 'Nuff said.

Nov 29 - 07:57 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"The Raw Intelligence"

Nov 29 - 08:46 AM

Steven Green

Steven Green

Once a year? I wouldn't have a problem watching it once a mont

Nov 28 - 06:20 PM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

more like once a week

Nov 28 - 10:22 PM

John Serrano

John Serrano

you're all crazy, I watch it twice a day.

Nov 29 - 09:37 PM

Jakob Sichrovsky

Jakob Sichrovsky

Tree of Life sucked.

Nov 28 - 06:38 PM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

I wouldn't put it so bluntly, but I am inclined to agree with you.

Nov 28 - 10:22 PM

Bertram Krogh

Bertram Krogh

The Tree of Life was the best movie of last year, in my opinion.

Nov 29 - 12:04 AM

Jónas Haux

Jónas Haux

Nobe. One of the best film from 2011.

Nov 29 - 04:26 AM

Steven Green

Steven Green

Tree of Life wasn't a bad film, but its too pretentious, I love how it looks, but it drives me insane with its "LOOK AT ME!! IM ART!!!" attitude. Not holding that against the cast or the director. Its a well made film, but its too self indulgent.

Nov 29 - 06:14 AM

Keith Allison

Keith Allison

Perhaps the director should be held to that, though, given how Terence Malick edits all of his films himself and has direct say on how his film appears to audiences. It does focus a bit too much on scenery, but I will say that Brad Pitt managed to craft a very endearing amount of emortion from the bits that he appeared in.

Nov 29 - 10:25 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Eloquence is obviously not your bag.

Nov 29 - 08:47 AM

Scott Frost

Scott Frost

I was disappointed in Tree of Life overall. Especially after watching the trailer for it, which was terrific.

Nov 30 - 07:13 PM

Cooper Jones

Cooper Jones

I find the lack of snatch disturbing

Nov 28 - 07:05 PM

Christopher Simmons

Christopher Simmons

This.

Nov 28 - 07:36 PM

Malcolm F.

Malcolm Falcon

Yeah Snatch should be up there with the best of them! He makes that movie. Brilliantly played!

Dec 2 - 10:49 AM

Nathan S.

Nathan Sellers

It's based on the tomato-meter!! Oh my, people just don't get it.

Dec 3 - 05:44 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I would say his greatest performance would be 12 Monkey's or Tree of Life. I was shocked that Brad Pitt was able to pull off Everyman Father. I know it's not the easiest movie to watch but I could not have been more impressed by his performance.

Nov 28 - 07:27 PM

Bertram Krogh

Bertram Krogh

I agree, I gasped when he wasnâ??t nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Tree of Life. Of course all five nominees are deserving, but Brad Pitt really needed both the Actor and Supporting Actor nods, in my opinion.

Nov 29 - 12:05 AM

Christopher Simmons

Christopher Simmons

This.

Nov 28 - 07:35 PM

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