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Brad Pitt: A Viewer's Guide
From legends to the fall to a softly killer

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Brad Pitt’s back this week in Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, a crime drama based on the book Cogan’s Trade by George V Higgins, so we thought it was time to profile the actor’s best work to date. As ever with these guides, we’ve chosen three essential films, two recommended outings, one for fans only and one to avoid. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Read on, and offer your alternatives in the comments…

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN, HELEN O'HARA
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Brad Pitt: A Viewer's Guide |

ESSENTIAL VIEWING: Fight Club (1999)

Brad Pitt’s one-two punch of 1990s David Fincher collaborations established both on the A-list. Seven, their first film together, started off looking like a buddy cop movie. Then it took a hard left, shocked audiences by descending into the seven circles of Hell and destroyed Pitt’s decent but volatile young cop. But Fight Club, wherein Pitt’s the unrestrained id to Edward Norton’s ego, is the real stand-out.  Pitt is free-wheeling and impossibly charismatic as he starts a movement powerful enough to bring down society - and this despite wearing a fluffy pink bathrobe covered in appliqued tea-cups. Even Hollywood sometimes has difficulty finding a credible way to deal with Pitt’s good looks; here, as the guy every other guy secretly wants to be, they finally make sense. Fincher and Pitt were clearly on to something: even their less universally adored third team-up, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, sees the actor stretched to give a different kind of performance from any before.

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Your Comments

1 Brad Pitt movies
Would have liked to see a wider choice of movies-Babel, Burn after reading, Se7en, Inglorious Basterds... you missed some great movies More

Posted by lkclayton on Wednesday September 26, 2012, 10:39

2 A River Runs Through It
Missed off Brad's great turn in this film. Certainly should replace Legends of the Fall- it's all that film, and so much more (handsome, and tragic). More

Posted by stevos on Tuesday September 25, 2012, 20:23

3 One to avoid!
Quite simply, Meet Joe Black. The Mexican might not be great, but I would watch it any day over Meet Joe Black. More

Posted by spikeyheid on Tuesday September 25, 2012, 18:55

4 Polar opposite comedy genius
Burn After Reading and Inglourious Basterds he's hilarious in but in totally different ways. More

Posted by alf2010 on Monday September 24, 2012, 19:42

5 Ocean 11................... really!?
Quite shocked not to see Se7en, Snatch and Moneyball in Essential. Good shout on The Mexican though, that film sucked! I know everyone seems to love it but I thought Oceans 11 was very average. Give me Interview with the Vampire, Inglorious or 12 Monkeys over that any day. Well done for including True Romance. Normally I would expect this to be in Essential but i guess it is only a small part. Finally - Jesse James is one of the worst films I have ever seen. More

Posted by guysalisbury on Monday September 24, 2012, 14:19

6
Good job keeping Benjamin Button out, aka. 'The Curious Case of the Otherwise Completely Mundane Benjamin Button'. More

Posted by harlequin21 on Monday September 24, 2012, 14:12

7 eh what!?
Where is Moneyball and Se7en?? Why the hell was Tree of Life in there too!? That film was one dull flick only enjoyed by the self pompous! I also agree with previous comments of the omission of "Vampire" and Snatch! More

Posted by J_BUltimatum on Sunday September 23, 2012, 12:33

8 Ooh Ooh Ooh!!!
Seven and Twelve Monkeys as Essential. Meet Joe Black as one to avoid !!!! Don't agree with oceans eleven in there. I like the film but like said below, it's more of an ensemble piece and not really showing of Pitt's acting chops... More

Posted by mwrizzle on Sunday September 23, 2012, 00:21

9 'Kalifornia' - of course... sorry
forgive me... More

Posted by redgrant70 on Sunday September 23, 2012, 00:05

10 California!!
Can argue about the movie - but not about Pitt's performance. More

Posted by redgrant70 on Sunday September 23, 2012, 00:04

11 Interview with a vampire
I liked his performance in iwav, am I alone? Also think snatch should have been on there. More

Posted by pablo233 on Saturday September 22, 2012, 23:24

12 Ahem...
Quite enjoyed The Mexican actually.... More

Posted by DarthMaxxx on Saturday September 22, 2012, 13:58

13 You think "The Mexican" is that bad?
No where near as bad as "Seven Years in Tibet". Also loved "Ocean's Eleven", but Mickey from "Snatch" is a much more iconic role and Pitt gives a greater physical performance. Also: "Moneyball" or "The Curious Case...."over "The Tree of Life". Pitt's performance is excellent in "The Tree of Life"....but then to see it, you have to watch "The Tree of Life". More

Posted by drico on Saturday September 22, 2012, 13:47

14 Proper star/actor
Clearly prefers projects with an edge/challenge, and I like that he's never been interested in doing rom-com shit for the beeyatchez (The Mexican must have put him off for good, lord that really was shit). He's also fine with playing dislikeable/asshole now and then. This keeps his stardom nice and real. PS 1: despite being great in TAOJJBTCRF, Casey Afleck was the stand-out. PS 2: I seem to remember Cool World being ace, prolly a Kim Basinger thing. More

Posted by BatSpider on Saturday September 22, 2012, 12:39

15 Missing films...
Where is Se7en, Burn After Reading for Essential viewing and Sleepers as Recommended? More

Posted by CambiMan on Saturday September 22, 2012, 11:26

16 Poor choices...
Snatch, like Ocean's Eleven, is an ensemble piece. Unlike Ocean's Eleven smug autopilot list, Pitt is excellent as Pikey boxer Mickey Ward. It makes up for his previous shambolic Irish accent in (One to avoid) Devil's Own.As previously mentioned, 12 monkeys, Se7en,Inglorious...all deserve mention over Ocean's,Tree of life etc etc More

Posted by cadz on Saturday September 22, 2012, 04:38

17 lazy feature
Brad Pitt film guide without 12 Monkeys, Se7en, Moneyball, Inglorious Basterds, Thelma and Louise and Meet Joe Black (as one to avoid)...this is a very very lazy feature empire. Is Oceans 11 really essential viewing over any of the above? At least pretend to love films! More

Posted by snowmonster on Saturday September 22, 2012, 00:59

18 SEVEN??
Where is seven for essential viewing More

Posted by reeceh46 on Friday September 21, 2012, 18:31

19 There's only one choice for one to avoid......
Two words: Cool World. More

Posted by Goverch on Friday September 21, 2012, 17:37

20 Whats In The box
Id have Moneyball instead of Tree Of Life, Mr. & Mrs. Smith as the one to avoid and Interview with the Vampire and Johnny Suede for the fan. Troy is also very good, dont know why that gets a bad rap. More

Posted by burtbondy on Friday September 21, 2012, 17:32

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