Underrated movies with Brad Pitt
Since 1987 No Exit to 2022 High-speed train, Brad Pitt’s decades-long career has catapulted the star to the heights of Hollywood fame, giving him the opportunity to work with many of the film industry’s greatest writers, directors and cinematographers.
That said, Brad Pitt’s projects haven’t received the same accolades, and for every brilliant film that’s deservedly received critical praise and commercial success, Pitt has an underrated film that didn’t get the respect he deserves. In some of these films, it’s the strength of the directing or the writing that elevates them, and in others, it’s Pitt’s own performance. Here are some of Brad Pitt’s most underrated movies.
seven Meet Joe Black
1988 Meet Joe Black brings together Brad Pitt and the legendary talent of Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins plays an aging businessman who, on the eve of his 65th birthday, is informed by none other than Death himself (Pitt) that his time on earth is coming to an end.
Meet Joe Black certainly has its flaws, but it’s a beautiful film that is – most importantly – backed up by the phenomenal acting of its two protagonists. Hopkins and Pitt play each other to perfection, and watching Pitt’s character’s cold confidence play with suddenly shaken Hopkins is a great viewing experience, regardless of the film’s three-hour runtime and other missteps.
Kalifornia is a road movie directed by Dominic Sena and starring Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes. This is the story of a journalist and his girlfriend who travel across the United States as part of their research on serial killers, only to find themselves catapulted into their own research when they encounter the psychopath Early (Pitt) and his girlfriend.
Although it won awards at the Montreal World Film Festival, Kalifornia fell apart at the box office, fading into obscurity as quickly as it appeared. Although it is by no means a perfect film, Kalifornia is as stunning as it is uncomfortable, and Pitt’s performance is at the center of it all. While the other main cast also put in strong performances, it’s their chemistry with Pitt that makes this thriller shine.
There are a multitude of films about virtually every historically documented war. That moviegoers prefer to see the grit and grime of the trenches, the “what ifs?” from sci-fi, macro-strategizing and politicking between heads of state, or modern fireteam tactics, there’s a great war movie that fulfills that desire.
Movies featuring planes, ships, and tanks tend to get a lot of attention, as aficionados of these vehicles always want more, and the WWII tank movie Fury is one of the many to answer this call. Fury doesn’t cover the big themes that war movies often deal with, but it provides a ton of satisfying tank combat, and the trials and tribulations of Pitt and his allies in the European theater should receive more praise than they have.
4 Ocean’s Thirteen
The oceans franchise, starting with Ocean’s Eleven, has always been about its ensemble cast. Yes, it’s also extremely convoluted, multi-stage makeshift heists by master thieves, but the storylines are still just the backdrop for the real treat: watch a dozen of the industry’s most talented actors and actresses compete against each other.
However Ocean’s Twelve was widely seen as a faux pas for the franchise thanks to its absurd plot, and Ocean’s Thirteen never returned to commercial or critical heights of Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Thirteen is still a terrific heist movie and a phenomenal scene to showcase Brad Pitt’s ability to act alongside some of the best in the business.
3 Mr and Mrs Smith
There are movies that tackle the more emotionally challenging and intellectually challenging aspects of life: movies that ask the big questions and, if exceptionally brave, even try to answer them. Then there are films that can be summed up by the phrase “pretty explosion go boom”.
Mr and Mrs Smith is shameless in this latter camp, an action-comedy about a married couple (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) consisting of two hitmen, each unaware of their partner’s work and doing their best to hide the truth about their own murderous occupation. It’s light, fun, and features the dazzling chemistry of Pitt and Jolie, which is more than enough to recommend.
2 Killing them softly
What do Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta have in common? Killing them softly, a dark comedy and thriller about a poorly designed robbery and the mob hitmen who are sent to clean up the mess afterwards.
Brad Pitt may be the movie’s star and lead actor, but the greatness of Killing them softly stands on so much more than his acting chops alone. Great writing, directing, and themes make this Andrew Dominik picture one of Pitt’s best unsung films. In other words, people don’t talk about Killing them softly often enough for the quality of a film.
1 Interview with the Vampire
Anne Rice is one of the most influential and prolific voices in vampire fiction and goth culture, and the 1994s Interview with the Vampire (based on Rice’s novel of the same name) is a testament to his emotional insight and literary talent. A film that is at once lush, frightening and hesitant, Interview deviates from the original text while still managing to capture much of what made it great.
Interview with the Vampire is many things: a dark romance, a cautionary tale, and a supernatural plot to be just a few. While the film doesn’t capture all of the book’s thematic nuances or complement every character as it should, it’s still one of the best goth movies out there, and a lot of that lies in Brad Pitt’s performance as Louis of Pointe du Lac under the direction of Neil Jordan. Although audiences enjoyed it, the reviews were much harsher and it remains a point of contention for many Pitt fans.
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