Top 10 Movie Moments That Made Us Love Brad Pitt
VOICE OVER: Emily - WatchMojo
WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
These are the movie moments that made us love Brad Pitt. For this list, we're taking a look at Brad Pitt's sexiest, funniest and/or most endearing big screen moments from his illustrious career so far. Our countdown includes “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Fight Club,” “Burn After Reading,” and more!
Don’t be surprised if this list never ends. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Moments That Made Us Love Brad Pitt.
For this list, we’re taking a look at Brad Pitt’s sexiest, funniest and/or most endearing big screen moments from his illustrious career so far. Let’s get to it.
#10: Fixing the Roof
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019)
Full disclosure: we were already madly in love with Brad Pitt long before we saw him in this scene from Quentin Tarantino’s self-proclaimed magnum opus, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. The scene in question features a shirtless Pitt fixing a TV antenna; and while it’s hardly the first time the actor’s bared his upper body on screen - having memorably done so in films like “Troy” and “Fury” - it’s the way he goes about this seemingly innocuous task that truly wins us over. From strapping on his tool belt like an old west gunslinger preparing for the final shootout, to the way he effortlessly scales the walls of the property, Pitt shows us that despite his age, he’s still every bit the movie star he was 20 years ago.
#9: Shaking Down Osbourne Cox
“Burn After Reading” (2008)
Some have described Brad Pitt as being a character actor trapped in the body of a movie star; with his performance in “Burn After Reading” often cited as a prime example. Pitt plays Chad Feldheimer, a witless personal trainer who attempts to blackmail former CIA analyst, Osbourne Cox, after coming across a disc loaded with what he believes is classified information. During a phone call with Cox, Feldheimer’s ineptitude is on full display, as he deepens his voice to sound menacing and repeatedly says Cox’s full name. Pitt hams it up throughout the film, but few scenes had us in stitches quite like this one.
#8: Touring the Mental Institution
“12 Monkeys” (1995)
In preparation for his role in “12 Monkeys”, Pitt spent time at Temple University hospital - specifically the psychiatric ward - interacting with and studying the patients and environment. All that research paid off, as the role netted Pitt his first Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. While Pitt is fantastic throughout the film, this scene is on a whole other level. It’s here that the audience is introduced to Jeffrey Goines for the first time, in all his manic, paranoid glory. Goines is basically a pre-Tyler Durden Tyler Durden - minus the swagger - and Pitt infuses him with the same energy and gusto he’d later use to bring the “Fight Club” antagonist to life. Speaking of which…
#7: “I Want You to Hit Me...”
“Fight Club” (1999)
With “Fight Club”, Brad Pitt created a character that was so charismatic, so stimulating, so refreshing, audiences never thought for a second that he wasn’t real; spoiler alert for those of you still living in the 20th century. Tyler Durden’s introductory scene was enough to peak the Narrator’s interest, but it’s this scene, in which Durden asks, nay, demands the Narrator hit him as hard as he can, that ultimately reeled him, not to mention the viewer, in. Pitt is so effortlessly cool in this scene it’s a wonder he didn’t spontaneously combust, only to reveal he’d been James Dean all along. Contrasted with Edward Norton’s bland Narrator, which actively heightens Durden’s allure, Pitt delivers one of his – and cinema’s – greatest moments.
#6: Floyd Encounters the Mob
“True Romance” (1993)
“True Romance” sees Brad Pitt playing a stoner by the name of Floyd, in one of the actor’s earlier film roles. It’s a bit part in a star-studded movie, but Pitt elevated what could have been a one-note character and turned him into one of our favorite cinematic stoners of all time. While getting high, Floyd is visited by a crew of mobsters, who’re looking for protagonist Clarence Worley. Floyd's initial reaction to the gun-toting associates is to giggle uncontrollably, but it isn’t long before he’s willingly offering them prized information and asking if they’d like a toke. When asked how he got into character, Pitt wryly replied, “I'm a method actor.”
#5: The Speech
“Inglourious Basterds” (2009)
In Brad Pitt’s first collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, he played Lt. Aldo Raine, the leader of a WWII military unit made up of Jewish-American soldiers. In this scene, Raine tells his men that they are to be dropped behind enemy lines in order to sabotage, confuse and terrorize the German army from within. It’s easily one of the best character introductions in all of Tarantino’s impressive filmography, and Pitt, sporting a thick southern accent, delivers his lines with the perfect mixture of vitriol and humor. Pitt gets a chance to show off his Italian accent later in the film, with, uh, mixed results…
#4: Teaching Linus How to Converse
“Ocean’s Eleven” (2001)
Of all the characters Brad Pitt has played, Rusty Ryan might just be the coolest. When we first meet him, he’s teaching celebrities how to play poker, and from that point on he remains cool, calm and collected regardless of the circumstances. So he was a natural fit to teach Matt Damon’s bumbling pickpocket, Linus Caldwell, how to stay relaxed during a very important sit down with antagonist, Terry Benedict. Watching as Rusty analyzes Linus’ movements in real time is a thing of beauty, and Pitt inhabits the effortlessly cool character like it’s a walk in the park. If we didn’t love Brad Pitt before this flick, we certainly did afterwards.
#3: The House Fight
“Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (2005)
In “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie played a married couple who discover that the other is an assassin. With stakes like that, confrontation is inevitable. Things come to a head in their sprawling suburban home, with both characters armed to the teeth thanks to an armada of weapons hidden in various spots around the house. Fight scenes between a man and a woman often feature sensual undertones, but this one may as well have had a giant neon sign screaming “SEX IS IMMINENT!”. This is Pitt and Jolie at their absolute sexiest, going toe-to-toe in a battle to the death. However, it isn’t long before love and lust get in the way. Buzz cut Brad Pitt, you have our approval.
#2: Young Benjamin Returns
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008)
Heartbreaking. That’s how we’d describe this scene, in which a digitally de-aged Brad Pitt returns to his beloved Daisy. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is about two lovers aging in opposite directions, a situation that audiences knew could only end one way. Despite Daisy’s pleas for Benjamin to stay away, knowing his presence will only cause her despair, he returns; now just a teenager. Pitt plays the scene with a quiet grace, knowing his character shouldn’t be there. Pitt was in his mid-40s at the time, so watching the film turn back the clock to reveal a man who resembles the one we all fell in love with in the early ‘90s, was a truly special moment.
Before we unveil our number one pick, here are some honorable mentions:
“Is There No One Else?”
"How Can You Not Be Romantic About Baseball?"
“The Big Short” (2015)
“Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (2005)
#1: A Real Outlaw
“Thelma & Louise” (1991)
At long last, we arrive at the scene that started it all. “Thelma & Louise” saw Brad Pitt play J.D., a fugitive robber whom Thelma falls for; and it’s easy to see why. Pitt is dripping in magnetism and sexual energy, particularly in this scene, in which the two characters make love and J.D. explains to Thelma how he goes about robbing a place. Many credit this role as being the catalyst for Pitt’s sex symbol status. As he stood shirtless in that grungy motel room, wearing a cowboy hat and brandishing a hair dryer, Pitt had no idea that this would be the scene that would make women, and even some men, fall madly in love with him.