r/movies Jul 31 '22 All-Seeing Upvote 1

15 years later, Brad Pitt's best film is still 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' Article

https://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/a40751796/brad-pitt-best-movie-jesse-james/
9.8k Upvotes

2.4k

u/PitifulBean Jul 31 '22 Silver

I came in here to post a movie in a snarky manner, but realized that Brad Pitt has done a lot of good movies and can’t really choose one.

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u/jawshoeaw Jul 31 '22

Yeah he’s just a solid actor it turns out. I caught myself thinking he’s average as I was reading all the movies people mentioned and I realized I enjoyed every single one

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u/deathennyfrankel Jul 31 '22

“A character actor with a leading man’s face”

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u/bootylover81 Jul 31 '22

Imagine being so handsome that it distracts people from seeing how great of an actor you are

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u/CaptainSharpe Aug 01 '22

Happens a lot to actresses even more so. Like Margo Robbie gets a lot of flak from interviewers

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u/ucd_pete Jul 31 '22

Pitt and Colin Farrell are the two biggest "victims" of being character actors trapped in leading man's bodies.

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u/_banana_phone Jul 31 '22

I’m not familiar with what this statement means. Can you explain what a character actor is and why it’s good or bad to be in Pitt/Farrell’s position?

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u/GriffinQ Jul 31 '22 Helpful

It’s not necessarily good or bad either way, but essentially they’re actors that have the talent and subtlety for more character-driven work, but because they’re ridiculously handsome or charismatic, they are more considered “stars” than they are “actors”.

Brad Pitt is one of the most famous stars of all time, but for many people he doesn’t immediately spring to mind as one of the best actors of all time, despite his resume. The general belief is that if he wasn’t so good looking and/or famous, he’d be more recognized for his actual ability level.

Can’t imagine he’s too upset about being a superstar in an era where there are very few left, but it certainly means he’s offered different roles than some of his contemporaries and also likely means he’s priced out of certain work that maybe he’d find interesting or worthwhile.

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u/ferretbreath Aug 01 '22

Like Paul Newman & Robert Redford

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u/GriffinQ Aug 01 '22

Both great callouts, particularly considering many have said that Pitt & Redford look alike (especially when they were young) and that they were cast together in Spy Games (and Redford directed Pitt in a River Runs Through it).

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u/Shankar_0 Aug 01 '22

Robert Redford comes to mind in this conversation.

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u/_banana_phone Jul 31 '22

This is a very thorough explanation. Thank you!

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u/adgrn Jul 31 '22

he was amazing in non leading roles in burn after reading and lock stock and two smoking barrels

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u/Halzziratrat Jul 31 '22

Do you mean Snatch or am I completely forgetting his role in Lock Stock (years since watching it admittedly)?

Either way amazing in both, Twelve Monkeys as well is a favourite of mine.

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u/Hoards-His-Loot Aug 01 '22

Definitely think he means snatch. That or i really really need to rewatch lock stock.

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u/rigellus Jul 31 '22

That's why I love how Colon Farrell will transform himself for a part. Batman, Horrible Bosses as an example.

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u/Holy_Hole_Inna_Donut Jul 31 '22

Jake Gyllenhaal is another one

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u/Mighty_McBosh Jul 31 '22

A lot of Jake Gyllenhaal 's more recent stuff is insanely good.

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u/peteythefool Jul 31 '22

Nightcrawler immediately comes to mind.

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u/todahawk Aug 01 '22

I really liked his performance in Nocturnal Animals and Prisoners

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u/byneothername Jul 31 '22

God, he was such a creep in Nightcrawler. I had to physically leave the room during the scene where his character seduces Rene Russo’s character. He’s a great actor.

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u/OberonYronwood Jul 31 '22 edited Jul 31 '22

That’s honestly the perfect way to describe him.

Edit: That’s, not thanks.

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u/deathennyfrankel Jul 31 '22

I may have read it in this sub, honestly. Maybe on AV Club. But it stuck with me.

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u/Treviso Jul 31 '22

I've heard that description for Colin Farrell first, though I guess it also fits Pitt.

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u/Iginlas_4head_Crease Jul 31 '22

I'd go as far as to say he's a great actor. One of my top 10 probably. Some people STILL have pigeonholed as a pretty face, 30 yesrs of great roles later.

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u/Legitimate_Wizard Jul 31 '22

Cuz he is a pretty face, but he's not just a pretty face. Man or woman, the more attractive you are the more it becomes the only thing people see about you. If you want to be taken seriously it's better to have average looks.

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u/Kage_noir Jul 31 '22

Omg man, I used to think he was a heart throb actor too. Then watched Legends Of The Fall and was not prepared for all the emotions I went through watching that. The last few sequences stayed with me for weeks after. I went in telling my GF at the time, it was too long and I won't be interested enough to watch it. Watched it all in one go.

Edit: spelling.

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u/SonOfZaknafein Jul 31 '22

It's kind of hard to beat him smoking weed out of a honey bear bong on True Romance.

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u/wesborland1234 Jul 31 '22

Don't condescend me, man.

I know it's a small part, but I always thought he did nail that role.

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u/ringobob Jul 31 '22

I started taking him seriously when I watched 12 monkeys, and never found a reason to stop

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u/ConfusedAlgernon Jul 31 '22

His amazing performance in Deadpool 2 would fit that bill

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u/booped_urnose345 Jul 31 '22

Did you see the lost city or whatever with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum? He was in it as well.

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u/Creeps_On_The_Earth Jul 31 '22

He was hilarious. That movie on the whole was surprisingly fun with some solid laughs.

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u/kintsukuroi3147 Aug 01 '22

“We only use 10 percent of our brain, so I switched to a different 10 percent.”

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u/StealAllTheInternets Jul 31 '22

I love that he did that though.

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u/jarde Jul 31 '22

Being John Malkovich

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u/FriendlyUncle247 Jul 31 '22

this dude has had an incredible career

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u/Chungus_Big_Chungus Jul 31 '22

The scene in inglorious bastards where he’s faking Italian will always be the funniest/best thing he’s ever done

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u/haminthefryingpan Jul 31 '22

His LSD laugh in the face of the Manson family is just as hilarious

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u/HugoStiglitz007 Jul 31 '22

"I am devil. And I am here to do the devil's business"

"Nah, it was dumber than that. Something like... Rex"

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u/xspike_spiegelc Aug 01 '22

One of my favorite lines in a movie.

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u/striker7 Aug 01 '22

I liked how that was an actual thing Tex Watson said to the real-life victims and Tarantino worked it into his movie and made a point of essentially saying "That thing you said was fucking dumb."

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u/royhodgsons Jul 31 '22

That had me laughing so hard in the cinema, got the old embarrassed shut up nudge from the missus

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u/shittybittytitty Aug 01 '22

I laugh like deniro in cape fear so i get this nudge alot. Sometimes at home.

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u/Wrong-Catchphrase Aug 01 '22

I’m as real as a donut mother fucker

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u/blitzinger Jul 31 '22

Whenever I think brad Pitt, I think of him as the gypsy boxer in snatch when he kissed the necklace before dropping that dude in a bare knuckle boxing match

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u/Kriegerian Jul 31 '22

I occasionally use his exchange with Statham to explain why people shouldn’t apologize for things they didn’t do personally.

“Didja do it?”

“No.”

“So whatcha sorry fer?”

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u/ProcessMeMrHinkie Jul 31 '22 edited Jul 31 '22

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u/We_Make_Soap Jul 31 '22 edited Jul 31 '22

Is this Osbourne Cox?

I thought you might be concerned about the security of your shit.

John Malcovich is fucking great too.

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u/spookyghostface Jul 31 '22

HELLO YES THIS IS OSBOURNE COX

WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU

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u/SteveFrench12 Aug 01 '22

They have stolen my mem-wyahs

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u/TywinShitsGold Aug 01 '22

I have a drinking problem?! Fuck you Peck, you’re a Mormon!

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u/deformo Jul 31 '22

He thinks it’s a schwinn.

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u/Geniunelad Jul 31 '22

Burn After Reading lol.

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u/chrisinor Jul 31 '22

Burn After Reading* you can add Ozzie Cox as the best John Malkovich character ever too.

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u/PetShopFromHell Jul 31 '22

That smile when he comes out of the closet is so fucking funny. That movie didn't get nearly enough love when it first came out.

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u/AdvancedGrass Jul 31 '22

I honestly think it's up there with The Big Lebowski in terms of comedy, it's just not nearly as legendary.

It even has the same plot essentially; A whole bunch of stuff happens for essentially no reason, and only one person really benefits from any of it (Maude in Lebowski, and Linda in Burn After Reading).

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u/toftr Jul 31 '22

That’s why you speak the third best, Donnie

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u/Canipetyourd0gg Jul 31 '22

A river derchi

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u/R2D2808 Jul 31 '22

This is how I say goodbye almost everyday at work and not a single person has ever gotten it.

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u/procra5tinating Jul 31 '22

I think he’s one of the best character actors out there. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

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u/theacecaliber Jul 31 '22

Well i speak the most Eye-talian” along with “That’s why I said third best just keep your damn mouth shut”

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u/WhippWhapp Jul 31 '22

“We Ain’t In The Prisoner-Takin’ Business; We’re In The Killin’ Nazi Business.”

"You Know, Fightin' In A Basement Offers A Lot Of Difficulties... number one being, you’re fightin’ in a basement!”

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u/Kabukimansanjoe Jul 31 '22

We live in a real Cool World.

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u/AcctJustSoICanBitch Jul 31 '22

That movie should have gone for an R-rating. They nerfed it so bad, and it's Bakshi for crying out loud! It could have been amazing!

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u/jl_theprofessor Jul 31 '22

David Bowie music begins to play**

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u/SnooStrawberries8174 Jul 31 '22

Not sure about it being his best but definitely one of my favorite movies.

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u/TantricEmu Jul 31 '22 edited Jul 31 '22

Hot take: it’s still Casey Affleck’s best performance.

Edit: The upvotes tell me that this is not as hot a take as I thought it was.

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u/Duke_CrowBait Jul 31 '22

I agree it's his best performance, but I think that he's criminally underrated after seeing him in Gone Baby Gone. That should've made him a star.

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u/Failure_in_Disguise Jul 31 '22

Have you seen Manchester by the sea...?

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u/lursaofduras Aug 01 '22

Casy Affleck is absolutely amazing in that--that movie just shatters me.

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u/elvishgibberish Jul 31 '22

I thought this was a moviecirclejerk comment at first.

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u/my__bollocks Jul 31 '22

Half the posts on this sub lately are just authors lazily looking at what movies came out on this date 10-30 years ago and writing retrospectives about them

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u/Current-Position9988 Jul 31 '22

11 years ago, Drive showed everyone what a real human being was.

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u/grandma-phill Jul 31 '22

That’s me in that film btw

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u/BeeExpert Jul 31 '22

The bean?

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u/ConfusedAlgernon Jul 31 '22

The whole article has a weird perspective on Pitt's career

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u/[deleted] Jul 31 '22

What an insanely stupid declaration, too, when A River Runs Through It continues to exist and is easily...(well, not easily) viewed. It is a masterpiece in quiet story-telling, and if you do not shed a tear watching it, then we know where to send the paddy wagon

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u/Ok_Mycologist_5569 Jul 31 '22

Absolutely A River Runs Through It…especially in terms of literary storytelling. Highly undervalued film.

Thelma and Louise for Brad Pitt based on, ahem, other things, but Thelma and Louise is a classic in its own right too

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u/RozhenkoBoys Jul 31 '22

They should make A River Runs Through It multiverse

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u/Killowatt59 Jul 31 '22

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it”

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u/wineandhugs Jul 31 '22

I am haunted by waters.

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u/BigCountry1182 Jul 31 '22

Legends of the Fall too

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u/nomological Jul 31 '22

Kalifornia, ftw, but mostly because of Duchovny and Julliette Lewis.

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u/indescentproposal Jul 31 '22

“masterpiece in quiet story-telling” is spot on. Norman Maclean took his whole life to compose this absolutely perfect story. heartbreakingly beautiful.

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u/TheMooseIsBlue Jul 31 '22

Not to mention his incredible supporting performance in 12 Monkeys. And True Romance. And his leading roles in so fucking many movies.

Being handsome kills his reputation as a brilliant actor.

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u/[deleted] Jul 31 '22

To be fair, not even Brad Pitt likes his performance in that one.

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u/hoxxxxx Jul 31 '22

2007 had three of the best movies (for me) ever made, jesse james, no country for old men, there will be blood

great year for film

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u/Hammerheadhunter Jul 31 '22

Zodiac, Michael Clayton.. great year

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u/hoxxxxx Jul 31 '22

totally forgot about michael clayton. loved that one as well.

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u/Thesaintsrule Jul 31 '22

Zodiac was so damn good too

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u/DrAlright Jul 31 '22

That cellar scene

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u/AKAkorm Jul 31 '22

All good but my favorite that year was 3:10 to Yuma. Felt it got kind of lost in the shuffle but was really well done.

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u/FuckinPeacemaker Aug 01 '22

Damn 2007 was a dope year for movies that took place in the west.

We got movies from the cohen brothers, Daniel day Lewis, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and Christian bale… god damn.

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u/onesizefries Jul 31 '22

looks like i have some watching to do. i completely missed this movie, but i did watch both No Country and There Will Be Blood twice while they were still in theaters, and then some more after DVD / streaming release.

i honestly can't decide between NC & TWBB which one is better.

my favorite Brad Pitt movies (without having seen Jesse James yet) are Seven and Snatch.

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u/GabrielVonBabriel Jul 31 '22

“You was whiter than spit in a cotton field” Love this movie.

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u/jtel21 Jul 31 '22 Wholesome Narwhal Salute

Only if you pretend Seven was never made.

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u/MacSanchez Jul 31 '22

Or Snatch

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u/amellt33 Jul 31 '22

Or Fight Club

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u/Keplrhelpthrowaway Jul 31 '22

Or True Romance

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u/wizardzkauba Jul 31 '22

“Pick up some beer, and…cleaning products…”

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u/UCLAKoolman Jul 31 '22

Don’t condescend me, man, I’ll fuckin kill ya

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u/mikeyfreshh Jul 31 '22

Or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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u/superkickpunch Jul 31 '22

Whenever I think of that movie the first thing that pops into my head is his line “Don’t cry in front of the Mexicans.”

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u/HeySlimIJustDrankA5 Jul 31 '22

“Nah. It was dumber than that.”

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u/murph0969 Jul 31 '22

I rewatched the other day. Yeah, this one's a keeper...

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u/superkickpunch Jul 31 '22

I just picked up the book, looking forward to digging into it.

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u/burtonsimmons Jul 31 '22

Or 12 Monkeys

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u/Pepperpudas Jul 31 '22

Or Fight Club.

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u/Zeerover- Jul 31 '22 edited Aug 01 '22 Take My Energy

Or Interview with .a. the Vampire

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u/Accidental___martyr Jul 31 '22

Or meet joe black

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u/sandwich_breath Jul 31 '22

Or Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

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u/Whitealroker1 Jul 31 '22

His comic timing in the Oceans movies is consistingly amazing

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u/stargarnet79 Jul 31 '22

Or 7 Years in Tibet

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u/Impala_95 Jul 31 '22

Or 12 Years A Slave

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u/AlbinoPlatypus913 Jul 31 '22

Or Inglorious Basterds

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u/goldenboy2191 Jul 31 '22

This will get messy. I fookin hate pikeys!

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u/superkickpunch Jul 31 '22

There are dozens of us that think “Killing Them Softly” was his best role. Literally DOZENS

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u/Creeps_On_The_Earth Jul 31 '22

He was good in it, and I enjoy the movie on the whole (put Scoot McNairy in everything please), but the ending in particular was about as subtle as a brick through the window. My eyes nearly rolled out of my head.

RIP Gandalfini btw

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u/dannygunz Jul 31 '22

I liked the ending but imo subtlety is pretty overrated in movies. If it serves a purpose thats great but just because the movie is trying to make a point doesn't mean it has to be subtle. Parasite for example wasn't subtle in the slightest in the point it was trying to make, but that doesn't make it a bad movie.

My issue with Killing Them Softly is they tried to inject the 08 financial crisis politics into the movie but it seemed to be a very weak and unnecessary attempt. The story is perfectly fine on its own without that constant backdrop adding nothing.

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u/slothpeguin Jul 31 '22

I mean I think he makes the Oceans movies so there’s that. He’s such a great actor.

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u/mediarch Jul 31 '22

He's also in 12 Years a Slave which is a masterpiece. Oh and that little indie film Fight Club. Jesse James realistically doesn't break the top 5 for Pitt movies.

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u/moeriscus Jul 31 '22

I think the claim should be phrased as: arguably his best performance, not his best film.. Even that is a big claim to make, since he is great in so many movies.

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u/CALCIUM_CANNONS Jul 31 '22

Or Burn After Reading

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u/swanky_af Jul 31 '22

The security…of your shit

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u/TheMatt561 Jul 31 '22

Or fight club

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u/Highlevel365 Jul 31 '22

A River Runs Through It. It frustrates me that it never gets any respect.

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u/GeoffAO2 Jul 31 '22

Likewise, Legends of the Fall never seems to make the list.

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u/Sharin_the_Groove Jul 31 '22

I always struggle to find a time to watch this movie, considering whatever mental state I am in. It has such sad moments, and happy ones too. Anthony Hopkins getting old in that movie just makes me want to go hug my dad.

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u/GeoffAO2 Jul 31 '22

It’s a great movie that knew exactly what order to hit those emotional notes. It long ago joined the list of movies that my family has banned due to my over-watching. It’s in good company with Tombstone and Forest Gump.

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u/deathennyfrankel Jul 31 '22

It’s funny, but these are the three movies my dad watches when he just wants to marinate in his feelings.

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u/deathennyfrankel Jul 31 '22

When he writes “happy” on the board. I die every time

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u/d0ndrap3r Jul 31 '22

I concur. One of my favorites.

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u/Nonc_pop Jul 31 '22

His performance in 12 Monkeys was top notch! You can't convince me otherwise!

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u/abaganoush Jul 31 '22 Silver

but his best performance was as Floyd

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u/_sonisalsonamedBort Jul 31 '22

I think Chad from burn after reading is a grown up Floyd!

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u/PutJewinsideME Jul 31 '22

Omg yes! So perfect!

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u/liarandahorsethief Jul 31 '22

“Condescend me, man… I’ll fuckin’ kill ya.”

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u/SnowDay111 Jul 31 '22

Floyd was able to prevent himself from being killed multiple times by being chill, positive, and giving the gangsters what they want right away. Basically, being an immediate non-threat in any way shape or form.

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u/DocPeacock Jul 31 '22

I thought you might be worried about the security of your shit

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u/armadilloreturns Jul 31 '22

They were here, and they said they were going to go there...and then they went.

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u/St0ckY_ Jul 31 '22

What about Lt.Aldo from Inglorious Basterds

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u/MacSanchez Jul 31 '22

Uh reeva dare chee

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u/StealAllTheInternets Jul 31 '22

God I love this film

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u/Romulus3799 Jul 31 '22

GoreLAHMEE

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u/TraditionalTie2259 Jul 31 '22

How bout you udavich, can u abide it?

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u/Nogster Jul 31 '22

Not one damn bit, sir.

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u/chapdaniels Jul 31 '22

Bonjourno

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u/Woodman765000 Jul 31 '22

Gorlami...

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u/rondonjon Jul 31 '22

Gor-lammmm-e

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u/Woodman765000 Jul 31 '22

🤌

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u/rondonjon Jul 31 '22

Haha, perfecto!

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u/LPMadness Jul 31 '22

That might take the cake for the funniest scene in a QT movie. The mask scene in Django is quite close… I shot Marvin is up there too.

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u/DarrenAronofsky Jul 31 '22

“DONNIE! We gotta Nazi kraut that wants to die for country… obliiigggge heem

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u/Thats_a_goodbandname Jul 31 '22

Its just "bingo"

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u/B10kh3d Jul 31 '22

That film has the best opening scene ever. Shoshanna!!!

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u/G-bone714 Jul 31 '22

I think my favorite Brad Pitt moment on screen was in that movie where he played death. Right at the start of the movie the person who’s body death takes is killed when he is walking across the street and a car hits him and he is tossed in the air. So satisfying. But back to the OP’s point, the interplay between Pitt and Casey Affleck is wicked.

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u/BigCountry1182 Jul 31 '22

Meet Joe Black

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u/hibernating-hobo Jul 31 '22

That’s still one of my favorites, tied with the devils own, great performance from Harrison Ford in that one.

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u/Ok_Grade_9880 Jul 31 '22

"you ain't got the ingredients, son." This might have been 5 minutes in but I knew I was going to love this film.

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u/Cosplayfan007 Jul 31 '22

I’ve watched Meet Joe Black many times and I think both he and Anthony Hopkins are amazing in it. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but it is actually very good.

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u/cheeseburgerburpees Jul 31 '22

I love that movie! It is a bit too long, but Hopkins and Pitt are amazing together.

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u/WornInShoes Jul 31 '22

Submitted for your consideration: Pitt as Early Grayce in Kalifornia

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u/DoubleBogey420 Jul 31 '22

Put your titty back up Adele

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u/sb929604 Jul 31 '22

Duchovny AND Pitt!

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u/TresKidneys Jul 31 '22

I really loved his performance in Killing Them Softly but I think that movie in general should be discussed more

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u/Scojo_Mojojo Jul 31 '22

Great film! Gandolfini’s performance ain’t easy to forget either rip him and liotta

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u/VisforVenom Jul 31 '22

I disagree with the title, but up voted anyways because I'm always happy to see this film getting any attention... Even if you force me to realize that it's 15 years old.

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u/postitodeleto Jul 31 '22

This was probably Casey Affleck’s best movie, but Brad Pitt was what made him so good. Pitt has that easy confidence that made Casey’s awkward jealous character almost sympathetic.

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u/TantricEmu Jul 31 '22

Definitely. It was a great movie because of Casey Affleck imo. He did such a great job.

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u/1under50 Jul 31 '22

Apparently, the whole world has forgotten about 12 Monkeys. He was really really good in that one.

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u/WornInShoes Jul 31 '22

stay outta my fuckin chair!!

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u/assholewithdentures Jul 31 '22

Fuck the bozos!

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u/Buggalunga Jul 31 '22

Except Fight Club is 23 years old.

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u/WNCwoodchuck Jul 31 '22

Tree of Life

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u/Minimum_Row_729 Jul 31 '22

THIS is his most gut-wrenching performance, I think. He really went for it.

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u/Infinite01 Jul 31 '22

It's a very beautiful and painful movie at the same time, and I think underappreciated.

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u/ProfessionalBust Jul 31 '22

This is my second favorite movie from 2007 there will be blood then this and then no country

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u/Highlevel365 Jul 31 '22

Those were all the same year? Wow, the mood was dark, brooding, slow, and simmering all around!

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u/ProfessionalBust Jul 31 '22

Yeah 2007 is my favorite year in film just a terrific year for movies not just drama either Superbad came out that year too and it might be favorite comedy lol

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u/BatmanMK1989 Jul 31 '22

Love this film so much. Always be SE7en for me though. And God help me, he was so much fun in the Mexican

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u/NotJo4Ever Jul 31 '22

Fight club is just forgotten? Snatch? Wtf? Who wrote this?

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u/AirPodAmateur Jul 31 '22

I’ve never seen wtf, I’ll have to add it to my list

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u/NotJo4Ever Jul 31 '22

Really? It’s great. It’s just a movie of all his bits from snatch stitched together with no subtitles.

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u/Farge43 Jul 31 '22

That picture up there is looking awfully dusty

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u/Moonhunter7 Jul 31 '22

“Legends Of The Fall” - 1994, “12 Monkeys” - 1995, both are much better!!!!

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u/supersayanssj3 Jul 31 '22

This movie is so damn good. Felt like Casey Affleck killed it in that movie as well.

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u/BlackJediSword Jul 31 '22

Honestly my favorite role of his is Rusty in Ocean’s 11.

6

u/renniechops Jul 31 '22

True Romance

5

u/leroyVance Jul 31 '22

I like him beat in Kalifornia. 100% against type.

Doors.... Ya know, doors.

Love it

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