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Summary

  • Brad Pitt has several universally loved movies in his filmography, but some have left reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes divided.
  • Movies like
    Bullet Train
    and
    Troy
    were preferred by audiences, while critics had harsher criticisms.
  • Ad Astra
    and
    Killing Them Softly
    received high critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences’ scores were significantly lower.



Brad Pitt has played in a lot of great movies over the years, some of which left critics and audiences divided on Rotten Tomatoes. In most cases, the scores from both groups are relatively close to one another, with both the professionals and average-joe viewers citing similar issues or praises for a film. However, there are times when critics rave about a movie while general audiences are left feeling so-so or vice versa. In these cases, defining a movie’s critical success is a little more complicated, and Pitt is among the actors who frequently leave people divided.

Pitt has been a household name since his breakout role in the 1991 movie Thelma & Louise, a project with a critic score of 86% and an audience score of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. Since then, the actor has taken part in a variety of movies, many of which, like his highest-rated 2013 movie, 12 Years a Slave (critic: 95% and audience: 90%), left viewers on the same page regarding approval. Of course, Pitt has had a few duds over the years, such as the 1992 movie Cool World, which only managed a 4% critic score. Still, some of Pitt’s best films were slightly more divisive.


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10 Babylon (2022)

Critic Score: 57% – Audience Score: 52%

The 2022 movie Babylon is a touch meta in that it is about the birth of modern Hollywood after the industry transitioned from silent films in the 1920s. Pitt played real-world figure Jack Conrad and has been praised for an excellent performance, along with costars like Margot Robbie. However, Babylon as a whole left reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes divided. This time, critics and general audiences were on the same page but were split amongst themselves regarding whether Babylon checked all the necessary boxes.


With the critic and audience scores for Babylon falling around 50%, the reviews from each group flip-flopped between approval and criticism. While half of both found the provocative movie engaging and impactful, the other half noted that Babylon was too long, which made its themes of excess and disgusting ambition exhausting rather than interesting.

Babylon New Movie Poster

Babylon

Babylon is a film by director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) that focuses on characters during the great Hollywood boom – when silent films moved to talking pictures, and the medium was reinvented. During this era of decadence and glamorous lifestyles in pure excess, Babylon explores the rise and fall of fictional Hollywood greats that mirror nonfictional actors and actresses throughout American history. 

Director
Damien Chazelle

Release Date
December 23, 2022

Runtime
189minutes

Budget
$78–80 million

9 Bullet Train (2022)

Critic Score: 54% – Audience Score: 76%


2022’s Bullet Train features Pitt as Ladybug, an assassin determined to make his current job go as smoothly as possible. Of course, it doesn’t quite work out that way, and along with costars Joey King, David Leitch, Bad Bunny, Logan Lerman, and more, things quickly begin to go off the rails. Considering the chaotic nature of Bullet Train, it’s no surprise that it left reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes divided. This time around, critics were only moderately impressed, while general audiences had considerably more praise to give.

Critics’ 54% Rotten Tomatoes score was largely due to the long runtime and monotonous concept, which many felt grew old by the film’s halfway point. Others called Pitt’s film “cartoonish” and silly. These same criticisms are also present in audience reviews, but the over-the-top concept went over far better for those just looking for a good time.


Bullet Train

Packing a stellar cast with the likes of Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, and Zazie Beetz, David Leitch’s Bullet Train tells the story of an assassin for hire who bumps into multiple dangerous criminals aboard a high-speed Shinkansen trip from Tokyo to Kyoto. The 2022 action comedy is an adaptation of Kōtarō Isaka’s novel “Maria Beetle”.

Director
David Leitch

Release Date
July 29, 2022

Cast
logan lerman , Karen Fukuhara , Hiroyuki Sanada , Joey King , Brian Tyree Henry , Andrew Koji , Aaron Taylor-Johnson , Masi Oka , Brad Pitt , Zazie Beetz , Michael Shannon , Sandra Bullock

8 Ad Astra (2019)

Critic Score: 83% – Audience Score: 40%

Pit’s 2019 sci-fi movie, Ad Astra, saw the actor get a short haircut and step into an astronaut’s suit, and critics were entirely on board. The film sees a man named Roy McBride head to Neptune to discover what happened to his astronaut father, with the goal of also saving the world. Pitt starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Kimmy Shields, and Natasha Lyonne in a film that was a little outside his wheelhouse.

Ultimately, critics seemed awed by the special effects, while audiences had hoped for a stronger plotline.


This worked well for critics, who gave Ad Astra an 83% “Certified Fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes. Words like “stunning” and “powerful” were used, with a lot of praise aimed specifically at Pitt’s performance. Audiences seemed to agree on this front, but their surprisingly low 40% score came down to a lack of an interesting story and a disappointing payoff. Ultimately, critics seemed awed by the special effects, while audiences had hoped for a stronger plotline.

Ad Astra

Brad Pitt stars in Ad Astra as astronaut Roy McBride, who embarks on a mission to Neptune to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) in the outer reaches of space. Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland appear in this 2019 sci-fi movie directed by James Gray.

Director
James Gray

Release Date
September 17, 2019

Cast
Anne McDaniels , Liv Tyler , Ruth Negga , John Ortiz , Loren Dean , Kimberly Elise , John Finn , Brad Pitt , Tommy Lee Jones , Jamie Kennedy , Donald Sutherland , Greg Bryk

7 Killing Them Softly (2012)

Critic Score: 74% – Audience Score: 44%


2012’s Killing Them Softly is an action movie through and through, with plenty of mobster violence and gunfights to get the blood pumping. Pitt played mob enforcer Jackie Cogan, tasked with taking care of a couple of low-ranked thugs who somehow managed to get hold of his boss’ money. Killing Them Softly also starred James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and many more, and is another film that pleased critics far more than it did general audiences.

Killing Them Softly also managed a “Certified Fresh” score from critics (74%), who praised the film’s fast pace and poetic balance between action, violence, comedy, and impactful discourse. On the other hand, audiences gave Killing Them Softly a collective 44%, calling the story paper thin, weird, and even dull. One reviewer noted that the writer “thought they were witty or something,” but it seems only critics got the joke.


Killing Them Softly Movie Poster

Killing Them Softly

Brad Pit stars as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly, a crime drama film based on the novel Cogan’s Trade, released in 1974. Cogan is a hitman who is sent to hunt down those responsible for a poker game where mafia members were robbed. However, Cogan will have to dig deeper than two amateur robbers to get to the bottom of this off-kilter crime.

Director
Andrew Dominik

Release Date
December 13, 2012

6 Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

Critic Score: 60% – Audience Score: 58%

2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith is among Pitt’s most memorable films and has developed a minor cult classic status over the years (inspiring the Prime Video 2024 Mr. & Mrs. Smith series starring Donald Glover and Maya Erskine). Despite this, the movie has fairly mediocre scores across the board on Rotten Tomatoes, with both critics and audiences giving the action romance movie a collective score of just around 60%.


Once again, the critical response to Mr. & Mrs. Smith was divided, this time with both critics and audiences split on whether the movie is any good. In both categories, reviewers criticized Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s 2005 movie for its lack of originality, noting that the film offered nothing new regarding action sequences, technology, or weaponry. Others, however, praised Mr. & Mrs. Smith‘s comedy, saying that the premise was original enough to make up for the cliche action.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Director
Doug Liman

Release Date
June 7, 2005

5 Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

Critic Score: 55% – Audience Score: 60%


Though the 2001 movie Ocean’s Eleven has critics and audiences predominantly on the same page (earning an 83% critics score and an 80% from audiences), the 2004 sequel Ocean’s Twelve left viewers far more divided. The film sees Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) crew come back together to pull off another massive heist, this time to pay off the debt they accrued following the previous one. It was a fun return to an enjoyable story, but reviewers couldn’t agree much further than this.

Half of Ocean’s Twelve‘s critics praised the charismatic cast, while the other half accused the sequel of milking the first film of all its fun. Audiences were similarly split, with some claiming that the movie managed to outdo Ocean’s Eleven, while others chastised Ocean’s Twelve for bringing in far too many characters to the point that the plot got lost.


4 Troy (2004)

Critic Score: 53% – Audience Score: 73%

2004’s Troy came at a time when such stories were all the rage, so it’s no surprise that it was a success with general audiences. The film is based on the legends within Homer’s Iliad and features Pitt alongside notable stars like Eric Bana, Diane Kruger, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, and much, much more. It brings legendary characters like Achilles (Pitt), Odysseus, and Hector to life. Twenty years later, it’s still a classic, but critics weren’t as fond of Troy.


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While audiences gave Troy a collective 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, critics were split down the middle, only managing to give the film a very medium 53% score. Some praised Troy for its balance between romance, drama, and action, while others couldn’t get past the historical inaccuracies or the over-the-top and sometimes cheap-looking costumes.

Troy
is available to stream on Apple TV.


Troy

Director
Wolfgang Petersen

Release Date
May 14, 2004

Cast
Brad Pitt , Eric Bana , Orlando Bloom , Julian Glover , Brian Cox , Nathan Jones , Adoni Maropis , Jacob Smith

3 Snatch (2001)

Critic Score: 74% – Audience Score: 93%

In all, critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes agreed that 2001’s Snatch was a good movie. Pitt starred alongside Jason Statham and Alan Ford, who played a boxing promoter and dangerous gangster, respectively. Snatch is full of action and violence and an intriguing hunt for a stolen diamond. It’s one of Guy Ritchie’s first films, and reviewers generally agreed that it is an early sign of the director’s eventual genius.


Still, critics and audiences aren’t entirely on the same page regarding just how good Snatch is. The professionals gave the movie a 74% score, with plenty of praise for the script and direction but some criticisms regarding Snatch’s pandering to “lad culture.” Audiences, on the other hand, had overwhelming praise for the 2001 movie, giving it a whopping 94% score with very few criticisms.

Snatch

Snatch is a comedic crime film by director Guy Ritchie that centers on several different groups of characters’ paths that begin to cross after a missing diamond becomes central to their stories. From a fight promoter trying to make pay his bookie to a group of inept bank robbers that fumble a bookkeeping heist, a stolen diamond ends up in the stomach of a dog, setting off a hectic chain of violent but darkly comedic events.

Release Date
January 19, 2001

Cast
Benicio Del Toro , Jason Statham , Lennie James , Alan Ford , Stephen Graham , Dennis Farina , Brad Pitt , Vinnie Jones

2 Meet Joe Black (1998)

Critic Score: 45% – Audience Score: 81%


Meet Joe Black certainly gets points for its unique premise and remains one of Pitt’s more iconic roles. The actor stars alongside legend Anthony Hopkins and Claire Forlani in the 1998 film, which sees Death (Pitt) take the form of a man named Joe Black to experience what it is to be human. It’s romance paired with a uniquely creepy theme, and while it thrilled audiences, critics weren’t too impressed.

One reviewer from the Wall Street Journal even called it “dramatic flatulence.”

Meet Joe Black has an impressive 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, owing to its intriguing story, spectacular acting, and captivating musical score. However, critics, who came up with a collective 45% score, criticized Meet Joe Black for its gimmicky premise, lousy dialogue, and “painfully” slow pace, with one reviewer from the Wall Street Journal even calling it “dramatic flatulence.”


1 Legends Of The Fall (1994)

Critic Score: 59% – Audience Score: 87%

The 1994 movie Legends of The Fall is one of Pitt’s earlier successes and is again regarded as a classic today. Pitt gave a gripping performance alongside costars Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Henry Thomas, and Julia Ormond in a story about a family torn to pieces after a death in World War I led to a complicated love triangle.

Once again, Legends of Fall is a movie that touched the hearts of general audiences but left critics a little more on the fence. Though 60% approved of the film, the remaining critics called its premise silly and melodramatic. This contrasts significantly with audiences’ assessment of this Brad Pitt movie, where it was called “one of the most iconic movies ever made.”




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