The man we’d all love to go for a beer with and the man our partners would all love to be with, Brad Pitt, celebrates his 54th birthday this week. But rather than get too down about the fact we’re never going to look that good at his age, we thought we’d celebrate the occasion by giving a run-down of our favourite Pitt films. Enjoy!

Top 5 Brad Pitt Films

5) Moneyball (2011)

We’ve always found that sport movies can struggle to capture the pure theatre of sport, often over-playing the drama with grandiose scores, long slow-mos and inauthentic action. Which is why we think Moneyball will stand the test of time more than most. Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, a real life GM for the Oakland A’s. Having been minnows of the MLB for years, Beane turned the conventional wisdom of baseball on its head by using statistics to shape his team. The film itself had been floating around for years with the likes of Steven Soderbergh attached to the project before departing acrimoniously. Moneyball isn’t a sporting epic in the mould of Every Given Sunday, but it does give Pitt a chance to show off that boyish charisma in a performance that elevates the film – alongside Aaron Sorkin’s stellar script – from small-screen, two-part Sunday night drama, to one of the more complex sports films in recent memory.

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4) 12 Monkeys (1995)

Up until 1995, Pitt had struggled to land himself a role that didn’t involve him simply standing there (usually topless) looking broody. But this was the year that changed everything. Having starred in David Fincher’s brilliant Seven earlier in the year, Pitt took on Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkey’s – confirming he had the talent to back up those annoyingly good looks in the process. Pitt starred alongside Bruce Willis as institutionalised activist, Jeffrey Goines, tapping into his nervy side in a dystopian sci-fi thriller which became one of the year’s biggest surprise hits. It may not have catapulted him into super-stardom, but 12 Monkey’s did debunk the idea Pitt was just another pretty face.

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3) Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt were always destined to cross paths at one time or another, and when it came it was… well… inglorious. In Inglorious Basterds, Pitt plays the cheerfully violent Nazi-hunting, Lieutenant Aldo Raine. As expected, the World World II war revenge thriller was tense and bloody, but it was also painfully funny – much of which was down to Pitt’s impeccable comic timing and colourful expression. Alongside his turn in the Coen Brother’s Burn After Reading, we make it Pitt’s funniest performance to date.

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2) Seven (1995)

On paper, Seven may just look like another buddy cop movie. Pitt (the maverick rookie) is paired up Morgan Freeman (the nearly retired pro) to chase down a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who picks off his victims sin by sin. But Seven is so much more with a seriously dark twist on the well-trodden genre. It’s filthy to look at and is packed with rage and profound sadness thanks to Darius Khondji’s gripping cinematography and David Fincher’s notorious eagle eye for direction. It also features an ending that will take years to leave the psyche. Seven was the first of Pitt’s films with Fincher in a fruitful relationship which produced three critically acclaimed films.

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1) Fight Club (1999)

By the end of the 90s, Brad Pitt was suffering a bit of a slump. Though he’d had hits during the decade, the likes of Seven Years in Tibet, The Devil’s Own, and Meet Joe Black had received almost as much of a battering at the box office as they had in the critical reviews. But Fight Club ensured the turn of the Millennium would greet Pitt with a warm punch in the gut. Reuniting with Seven director David Fincher, Pitt starred opposite Edward Norton in an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s hit novel. Though some found Fight Club’s violence and bro-ness a little too much for the palette, many, including us, found Fight Club to be one of the most challenging films of the decade, with Pitt arguably producing his most memorable role ever as the unhinged Tyler Durden. It’s also a sure sign of a great film when you just have to watch it again as soon as it finishes.

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Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below and check out our Top 5 Matt Damon Films too!

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