Brad Pitt has returned to the big screen with bullet train, marking his first leading role in three years. However, Pitt has been away from the action genre as the main actor even longer, which brings significant interest to bullet train. It has also sparked intrigue toward the actor’s previous films in the genre.
These range from war movies like Inglourious Basterds and fury to zombie horror flicks like world War Z. Everyone has their favorites, but the Rotten Tomatoes scores of Pitt’s action movies are a good way to determine which ones are the pick of the bunch and suss out why critics loved them. They focus on films with pure action rather than crime thrillers or capers like Fight Club and war machinewhich don’t qualify for contention.
10 Troy (2004) – 53%
Troy remains one of Brad Pitt’s biggest hits, where he starred as the warrior Achilles. It is set during the Trojan War, as Achilles leads his troops to invade the city against the forces of Troy’s Crown Prince Hector. Troy was a major commercial success, although received relatively mixed reviews.
Troy’s main criticism was the lack of emotional connection made toward the characters. But fans of the action genre will find a lot of brutal entertainment to be derived here. Pitt himself indulges in fight sequences that aren’t historically accurate but do their job in delighting viewers with a slice of ancient warfare.
9 Bullet Train (2022) – 54%
bullet train brought Brad Pitt back into the action genre after years, with the actor not having lost a step. It’s arguably Pitt’s greatest physical challenge since the film employs a hard-hitting style that sees the characters engaging in over-the-top brawls.
bullet train sees Ladybug trapped in a train over the course of a night where multiple assassins are also onboard and each one of them attempts to eliminate the other. The film has received praise for its stunt choreography and adrenaline-pumping atmosphere, with some criticism toward the extended runtime.
8 mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) – 60%
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were a super couple for a decade, and it was mr. & Mrs. Smith that started it all. The film is about two married assassins from opposing sides who become each other’s targets before deciding to take down the ones who want them eliminated.
mr, & mrs. Smith received positive reviews for the chemistry between Jolie and Pitt as well as the blend between action and comedy. The movie has several fight scenes that play to the characters’ strengths and the tone is kept to a funny level. However, some criticism went toward mr. & Mrs. Smith for being too hammy in certain areas.
7 Spy Game (2001) – 66%
Spy Game is an underrated entry in the action genre and among Pitt’s filmography. It co-stars Robert Redford as he and Pitt play CIA agents where Redford’s character attempts to free Pitt from his captors. Spy Game is firmly rooted in its action backdrop with a whole lot of destruction to follow.
Reviewers noted that there isn’t as much depth to the film’s proceedings as there could have been, but those looking for classic action tropes will be delighted. Redford and Pitt’s team-up was also seen as a plus point, as the A-list actors had a good dynamic with each other onscreen.
6 World War Z (2013) – 67%
Brad Pitt engaged in the zombie horror genre with world War Z which saw him play United Nations investigator Gerry Lane in his quest to find a cure for the outbreak. world War Z was a big hit at the box office and managed to secure a good response from critics as well.
It was highlighted for its breathtaking cinematography and fight scenes, with zombies wreaking havoc everywhere. Pitt was praised for carrying a film whose genre he wasn’t associated with before, as the actor did justice to a plotline that has a balance between evading the monsters and locating a cure.
5 Megamind (2010) – 72%
Brad Pitt returned to animation with Megamind, which is a satirical take on the superhero genre. Pitt voiced the superhero Metro Man, who becomes disillusioned with being a hero and stages his death so that the titular villain can find his own heroic spirit.
Megamind didn’t exactly set critics and the box office on fire but it has a dedicated fanbase of its own. Pitt’s voiceover work was praised for being highly comedic, as the character of Metro Man is a spoof on Superman. Megamind has the usual superhero action to follow, although the majority of it has a comedic twist involved.
4 Killing Them Softly (2012) – 74%
There’s not as much action to check out Killing Them Softly as the title might imply, but there’s still enough entertainment for it to be included in the genre. Killing Them Softly is about two hitmen played by Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini as they search for three crooks who have robbed a mob-protected gambling racket.
Killing Them Softly was praised for averting genre tropes by focusing on the protagonists’ characterizations over mindless violence. There’s still enough to go on, though, as the hitmen encounter quite a bit of conflict from the crooks during their attempts to eliminate them.
3 Fury (2014) – 76%
The war movie fury is about the final weeks of WWII when a US tank crew fights for their lives in Germany. Pitt heads the ensemble cast as Staff Sergeant Don Collier who fronts the “Fury” tank that the protagonists control. The film is a mix of war action and tragedy, as the heroes go down swinging.
fury was lauded for its depiction of violence in its purest form, with the film not holding back on the horrors that are very real in this junction. Pitt was also praised for delivering a dramatic performance as a surrogate father to his men, with fury both packing in great fighting sequences and emotional beats.
2 The Lost City (2022) – 79%
Brad Pitt appeared in a supporting role in The Lost City, which is mainly about Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s characters, Loretta and Alan, trapped on an island attempting to escape the people after them. Pitt played human tracker Jack Trainer, who’s enlisted by Alan to rescue Loretta.
Pitt’s extended appearance was met with great reviews for its hilarity, as he played an overqualified mercenary who’s supposedly killed off just when he seems to have fixed the entire situation. The Lost City was similarly well-received for its humor and surprisingly explosive action that has a feel-good element as well.
1 Inglourious Basterds (2009) – 89%
Easily the most notorious of all of Brad Pitt’s action movies, Inglourious Basterds took the world by storm upon release due to director Quentin Tarantino’s masterful screenplay. It features an intertwining story of multiple attempts to kill Adolf Hitler in an alternate history that all come to a head in the climax.
Inglourious Basterds was acclaimed for its dark humor, interesting characters, and intriguing premise. The violence is by no means toned down, as Pitt’s character, Aldo Raine, leads the titular team to wreak havoc on their enemies, leaving little to separate the designated good guys from the villains.
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