Is Brad Pitt a "great" actor?

I know he has been in lots of films, but is he considered a “great” actor?

I ask because I thought his character in “Inglorious Basterds” was a pretty awful job of acting, although I liked the film and most of the other performances. I thought he chewed the scenery in that film, and his portrayal of his character was too clownish even for the the over top nature of the movie.

But that was what the role called for. It made a great contrast to Christopher Waltz.

Also, if the movie is over the top, you can’t really complain about an actor going way over the top for the role.

In any case, Pitt has had a long list of first-class acting roles and has played everything from pretty boys, to serious drama, to broad comedy. I don’t think there’s any question he’s one of our top actors today.

I don’t consider him a great actor, but I do consider him to be an actor with the capacity for greatness. His performance in 12 Monkeys, which was the first time I ever heard of him, was amazing. He was nearly equally good in Snatch. Since then, he seems to be mostly content to act in friends projects (George Clooney pics, etc.) and in big budget pics which require little more than for him to be eye candy.

I was going to mention *Twelve Monkeys *as a great performance, as well as his work in Fight Club. I consider him very good. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t phoned in a performance or two.

He is an actor who is very good, but he isn’t great. Very good puts him in a category above most other big name film actors though.

The difference between very good and great. In Inglorious Basterds he did exactly what the role needed. Yes he was way over the top, but it was damn near perfect. He found the exact right note for that role, and it takes a very good actor to be able to do that. Particularly with a role like that, it’s easy to hit the wrong notes. Most actors in Hollywood today would not have been up to the task.

A great actor wouldn’t have left anyone questioning if he was doing it on purpose.

In my view, Pitt is competent and at times approaches excellent, depending on the role. He is certainly versatile and willing to take risks in the roles he accepts.

I point to perfomances in these movies, culled from Filmography by rating for Brad Pitt as evidence:

(8.80) - Fight Club (1999)
(8.60) - Se7en (1995)
(8.20) - Snatch. (2000)
(8.10) - Twelve Monkeys (1995)
(8.00) - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
(7.90) - True Romance (1993)
(7.70) - Babel (2006)
(7.70) - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
(7.60) - Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
(7.40) - Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
(7.30) - Sleepers (1996)
(7.30) - Thelma & Louise (1991)
(7.20) - Burn After Reading (2008)
(7.10) - A River Runs Through It (1992)
(7.10) - Legends of the Fall (1994)
(6.90) - Spy Game (2001)
(6.60) - Kalifornia (1993)
(6.40) - Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
(5.90) - The Mexican (2001)

Those are IMDB’s ratings for the films. My own ratings and rankings of those films would differ somewhat from those, and I have culled from that list things I thought were weak roles for him.

And while I wouldn’t use “great” as an adjective for Pitt’s work, I do think it would be hard to leave him out of the “good” category.

He does have great taste in women!

Well, as long as “gorgeous but batshit crazy” is your idea of the perfect woman.

I think he’s a good to very good actor with a handful of great performances, and no really bad ones.

Is she still all that crazy? She seems to have settled down and seems to be more or less normal. Not that I know Angelina Jolie personally…

Me either, so who knows?

I’m honestly surprised to see that I’ll be the first dissenting voice, but I actually think he’s overall a pretty poor actor. Beautiful to look at, but I just don’t rate him generally. My issue started with Troy - he was just so bad in that (and wasn’t alone) that when we came out, my husband and I started to think about everything we’d seen him in, and almost re-evaluating what we thought of him. It’s not something we do as a rule, honest, but Troy was just so awful it started us thinking.

I think he plays other-worldly and dumb really well, but I almost get the impression that that’s because he’s really like that. Example: Meet Joe Black, which I have a very soft spot for. His character is stilted, incapable of expressing true emotion and weird, and he does it really well. But he does a similar thing in Interview with the Vampire and True Romance and Seven and (from what I remember) Thelma and Louise, hell even his Friends turn gave me the same vibe. I’m completely prepared to believe that this is a case either of my selective perception and reinforcement, or that he’s in fact a phenomenally good actor - good enough to make me think he’s not even acting. After all, I don’t know the man personally, so I’ve no evidence to support my impression that this is his actual character.

At this point though, I’d go to see him in an Health and Safety video if it was playing on a big screen - I do love to look at the man - I just wouldn’t expect to be convinced by his performance.

I think Pitt’s a good to very good actor, but a great movie star.

I actually liked him in Troy. Sure, he didn’t handle the dialog that well, but in his defense it was really awful dialog; his was the most poorly-written and least well-defined charater in the film, which was a bit of a problem, as he was the purported star. Physically, though, he was a perfect Achilles - not just in how he looked, but also how he fought, how he moved. I really bought him as Homer’s “fleet-footed killer of men”, at least until he opened his mouth.

And, if so, I’d like to introduce you to my ex-wife.

Pitt is one of my favorite actors. As a lead actor, he pretty much by definition doesn’t have the range of a great character actor, but he has a lot more than most leading men. And he has the commanding presence you want from a lead actor.

But the best thing about him is that he knows how to pick a script. Movies Pitt has been in that I don’t like are few and far between.

He was really, really good in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. His performance was intense but measured with a lot of subtlety, particularly in what he would do with his eyes. That’s the role that made me finally admit to myself that he’s a great actor.

I thought he was great in that movie too, and in some subtle ways. He projected both the charisma and the menace that you would expect to see in the character, but there was alo a fear, a childishness and a certain sort of bafflement at his own celebrity (and the hero worship of kids like the Casey Affleck character) that came across in very understated ways.

I think Pitt is great enough that he deserves to win an Oscar someday, and in fact deserved to win one already.

But I think he’s just in the same boat as Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise, that is regardless of how good a performance they ever give they won’t win because they’re just too pretty…


Hit and miss, in my view. But the camera always loves him regardless.

He was excellent in Babel as well. I don’t know if it’s a sign of a good actor but in his scenes I physically felt what he was acting - panic, despair, hope etc. Don’t start me about any scene he cries in. I’m usually a weepy mess.