The Good: The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2008)
Pitt plays the titular character Jesse James with a flawless subtlety, portraying him as a larger-than-life character that dominates every scene he is in, despite the focus of the film being split equally between Pitt’s and Bob Ford’s character (Casey Affleck).
Multi-dimensional Pitt is dark, almost menacing yet vulnerable in his interpretation. This underrated masterpiece takes the Western genre to a new level, giving the tale of the great American outlaw a personal dimension, allowing the audience to connect with the man, the myth, the legend – Jesse James.
The Bad: Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
The worst Ocean’s film – although Thirteen comes close. The film is a ‘sequel for the sake of it’: the start is painfully sluggish, the plot complex, and the end negates the point of it all – if there even is a point…
This film is purely a vehicle for Clooney and Pitt to ‘bring home the bacon,’ and despite a stellar cast including Don Cheadle, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon, it fails to satisfy. Not one of the cast stretches the limits of their abilities, and in an attempt to be slick and sharp the script’s throwaway lines are lost and unmemorable. In a film that simply doesn’t live up to the original ‘Rat Pack’ romp Ocean’s 11, Brad Pitt delivers a mediocre performance as Rusty Ryan.
The Ugly: Se7en (1995)
A grotesque work of genius, Se7en tells the story of two detectives tracking down a serial killer whose meticulously masterminded murders correspond to the seven deadly sins.
Sinister and creative, the murders shock and disturb us, while Pitt, convincingly plays the rookie detective shocked by the extent of evil humans are capable of. The film’s intelligence is astounding; the twists and turns in the plot push Pitt’s acting skills to new limits, while the ensemble cast of Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey compliment the work of Pitt to create a chilling, neo-noir production.