William Bradley Pitt is an American actor and film producer. He has received two Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award. He is one of the most powerful and influential people in the American entertainment industry. But out of all of the movies he’s been in, which are the best?
His acting career began at 23 in 1987 with roles in 21 Jump Street. He’s starred in over 50 movies and produced over 20 of them (not counting when he was an executive producer). For fans that want to go through his filmography but are not sure where to start, these are by far the best Brad Pitt movies that you should watch.
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What Movie Made Brad Pitt Famous?
While his first major role was in a 1989 slasher film, Cutting Class, he gained most of his recognition with 1991 adventure comedy drama Thelma & Louise and drama A River Runs Through It (1992).
He received his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor nomination for his performance in epic drama Legends of the Fall in 1994.
But for the best Brad Pitt movie based on success, we’ll have to look at apocalyptic film, World War Z (2013), which grossed $540 million worldwide.
What Movies has Brad Pitt Produced?
In 2006, Brad Pitt began producing his own films, with the first being a crime drama, The Departed.
In 2011, Pitt earned critical acclaim for producing and starring in two films, The Tree of Life and Moneyball, both which were nominated for Academy Award for Best Picture.
Finally in 2013, Pitt produced period drama 12 Years a Slave and won his first Academy Award for Best Picture.
Best Brad Pitt Movies
But what are his overall best movies? There are several genres that Brad Pitt has starred in. From dramas, to comedies, to romance, Brad Pitt is a versatile and exceptional actor that has shown his skill time and time again. Let’s take a look at some of the best Brad Pitt movies and where you can stream them.
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15. A River Runs Through It
This 1992 drama is set in Missoula, Montana and follows two sons of a Presbyterian minister around the time of World War I to the Great Depression as they come of age. Paul (Brad Pitt) and Norman Maclean (Craig Sheffer) are opposites.
One is studious while the other is more rebellious. The film follows Norman as he goes to college at Dartmouth, and when he comes home after 6 years, he sees Paul is a heavy-drinking investigative journalist for a newspaper in Helen.
Norman realizes that Paul has caused a lot of trouble at home. However, as they really get to know each other, they are able to reassess where they want their lives to go. The ending is a sentimental tear-jerker that will pull at your heartstrings.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and was nominated for Best Music, Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay, grossing over $66 million with positive reviews.
14. Killing Them Softly
Killing Them Softly is a 2012 neo-noir crime film written and directed Andrew Dominik starring Brad Pitt based on George V. Higgins’ 1974 novel, Cogan’s Trade. The movie grossed $37 million against a $15 million budget.
The movie follows Johnny Amato, who plans on robbing a Mafia poke game during the American financial criss and presidential election in 2008. To help him, he enlists Frankie, a former business associate, and Russell. After the robbery, mafioso Driver hires the hitman Jackie Cogan (Pitt) to deal with the situation.
13. 12 Monkeys
This 1995 science fiction film was directed by Terry Gilliam starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt. It follows James Cole (Bruce Willis), a prisoner of the state in the year 2035, who can earn parole if he agrees to travel back in time and thwart a devastating plaque. The virus wiped out most of the population, causing those that survived to live underground due to poison air.
When he agrees, he’s sent back to 1990, and is soon sent to prison because his warnings sound like mad ravings. There, he meets Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe) and Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), the mad son of an eminent virologist. One his journey to stop the virus, he noticed graffiti by animal rights group Army of the Twelve Monkeys. When he dives deeper into the mystery, he begins hearing voices, losing his bearings and his sanity.
The film grossed $168 million worldwide, and Pitt was nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won a Golden Globe Award for his performance.
12. Interview with the Vampire
This 1994 gothic horror film was directed by Neil Jordan and is based on a novel with the same name by Anne Rice in 1976. Starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, the film focuses on Lestat (Cruise) and Louis (Pitt) at the beginning of Louis’ transformation into a vampire in 1791.
The film starts in modern-day San Francisco as Louis is being interviewed by reporter Daniel Molloy. Louis claims that he’s a vampire and describes his human life, as well as his transformation. It soon begins the story of Louis’ and Lestat’s everyday life. While Lestat enjoys the hunt of killing, Louis refrains, and only drinks animal blood.
But once an outbreak of plague happens in New Orleans, Louis is unable to resists, and feeds on a little girl, who is quickly turned into a vampire after. The film follows the trio around as they travel around looking for other vampires, causing for a thrilling and enjoyable watch about eternal life.
It received two Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Original Score.
11. Ad Astra
A more recent film is Ad Astra. This 2009 science fiction film was produced by James Gray starring Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland. When announcing the project, Gray stated that he wanted to feature the most “realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie”.
The film follows an astronaut who ventures into space to search for his lost father. The father had an obsessive quest to discover intelligent alien life, even if it threatens all of life on Earth and the Solar System.
The film grossed $135 million but had a whopping $80-100 million in budget.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, this 2000 crime comedy film is set in the London criminal underworld. The film contains two intertwined plots with one dealing with the search for a stolen diamond, and the other with a small-time boxing promoter who finds himself under the thumb of a ruthless gangster.
While the film mainly focuses on the fighters, they both come to a head at the end. It’s a wonderful comedy that is lighthearted and has an amazing cast such as Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, and Stephen Graham. The film shares themes and ideas from Ritchie’s first film, Lock, Stick and Two Smoking Barrels. It also filmed in the same visual style and features many of the same actors.
9. The Tree of Life
This 2011 epic experimental coming-of-age drama was written and directed by Terrence Malick starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler and more. The film follows the origins and meaning of life by the way of a man’s early life memories with his family in 1950s Texas.
After several years under development, and even missing its planned release in 2009, the film was awarded the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film stars around 1960s when Mrs. and Mr. O’Brien are informed of the death of their 19-year-old son, R.L., sending the family in turmoil. When Mrs. O’Brien ask God why her son died, visuals begin to show the birth of the universe and the creation of life.
8. Meet Joe Black
Directed and produced by Martin Brest, this 1998 romantic fantasy mystery film stars Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, and Clair Forlani. The film is loosely based on 1934 film Death Takes a Holiday. The film follows Bill Parrish, a media mogul who is contemplating a merger with another media giant.
His eldest, Alison, is planning an elaborate birthday party for his 65th and his youngest, Susan, is suggesting marriage to someone she’s not deeply in love with. One morning, Bill is contacted by hallucination, he thinks, and later witnesses Death enter his home and his life, personified by a man’s body, Joe Black (Brad Pitt).
While Death’s intention was to take Bill, Death’s host body, Joe, recently encounter Bill’s youngest daughter Susan. Soon, Death begins to develop interests on Earth, like Susan.
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7. Burn After Reading
When a disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two daft gym employees, things get a bit hectic. This 2008 film is a comedy film editing and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It grossed $163 million from its $37 million budget.
It follows a jobless CIA analyst, Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich), who misplaced memoirs that are soon picked up by dumb gym employees (Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt).
When they mistake the memoirs for classified government documents, they undergo a series of misadventures to hopefully sell the disk and profit from it.
6. Fight Club
One of the most well-known films on the roster is Fight Club, a 1999 drama directed by David Fincher and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. The film is based off 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk sharing the same name.
The unnamed narrator, Norton, is dissatisfied with his white-collar job and lifestyle, often faking illnesses to attend support groups for therapy. Soon, he forms a ‘fight club’ with soap salesman Tyler Durden (Pitt) when they move in together. The fight club is a secret fist fighting group in a bar basement.
The narrator quits his job and grows the fight club, attracting new members including his cancer support group friend, Bob. With Tyler and the Narrator growing the fight club, things start to spiral out of control as they compete over love and power.
Se7en is a crime thriller film directed by David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow and John C. McGinley. It follows two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, as they hunt a serial killer who justifies his crimes as absolution for the world’s ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins.
It’s a gruesome film that takes you from each tortured victim to the next as the sociopathic killer goes through his crimes. Set in New York City during the period of rising crime and drug addiction in the late 1980s.
Due to its violent nature, they did not think the film would go well so they show a test audience. But it had great reviews and earned $327 million worldwide, becoming a surprise success and the seventh highest-grossing film of the year.
4. Inglorious Basterds
In German-occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). As she escapes with her life, she plots her revenge years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller takes a rapid interest in her. She arranges a movie premiere at the theater she now runs.
With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the “Basterds”, a group of Jewish-American guerrilla soldiers led by ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt)
This 2009 war film was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and tells an alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany’s leadership. While Tarantino wrote the script in 1998, he struggled with the ending and chose instead to direct the two-part film Kill Bill. Inglorious Basterds grossed over $321 million worldwide, making it Tarantino’s highest-grossing films at that point.
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3. Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood
One of the more recent films with Brad Pitt is the 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring big names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, the film is set in 1969 Los Angeles following fading actor and his stunt double as they navigate the rapidly changing film industry. The film grossed $374 million worldwide and was nominated for ten awards and won two.
Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) fears that his career is fading as most of his recent roles are guest appearances as villains. Cliff Booth (Pitt), war veteran and stunt double, struggles to find work due to accusations of him murdering his wife have spread. The movie follows the two as they navigate the unfamiliar territory of new film industry and the adventures they go on.
Another extremely well-known title is Fury, a 2014 war film that is extremely brutal. Directed by David Ayer, it stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal. They are all members of an American tank crew fighting in Nazi Germany during the final weeks of the European theater of World War II. The movie grossed $211 million worldwide and received positive reviews.
The film follows Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Pitt), a First Sergeant in the U.S. Second Armored Division who commands an M4 Sherman nicknamed Fury. His crew is gunner Boyd “Bible” Swan (LaBeouf), loader Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Bernthal), driver Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Peña) and newcomer assistant driver Norman Ellison (Lerman).
As the crew goes deeper into Germany territory, they’re up against several obstacles, and with Norman’s inexperience and aversion to violence, it puts the crew in jeopardy. It’s an intense film that shows how quickly soldiers must change their way of thinking and ideas on morals in order to survive. It’s another brutal film that will have you in tears by the end.
Probably one of the best Brad Pitt movies has to be Moneyball. This 2011 biographical sports drama film was directed by Bennet Miller based on the 2003 nonfiction book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis.
The film follows Billy Beane (Pitt), the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. After the team’s loss to the New York Yankees, Beane is devastated and is scouting for potential recruits. During a visit to the Cleveland Indians, Beane meets Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a young Yale economics graduate with radical ideas about evaluating players.
Using Brand’s sabermetric method, Beane signs undervalued players such as Chad Bradford, Jeremy Giambi and Scott Hatteberge, and also trades for David Justice. Several scouts are hostile towards this method, but soon people find that there is some value to his method.
Upcoming Brad Pitt Movies
Thankfully, there is so much more to come from the actor. Here are a couple of upcoming movies that we can expect to see, whether it’s him starring in it or producing it.
Starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, this action thriller film is set to be released on Apple TV+. There are not a lot of details on the movie as of now, but some speculate that it could be a successor to the Ocean’s franchise.
The film is written and directed by Jonathan Watts who is best known for his MCU movies like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Beetlejuice 2 (2024)
With the return of Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and several members of the original cast while as starring Jenna Ortega, Beetlejuice 2 is currently in the hands of Brad Pitt as far as production.
The follow-up comedy is about a ghost who’s recruited to help haunt a house. The planned released date is September 6, 2024.