Bradley Cooper is the personification of versatility. He is one of those actors who isn’t tied to a particular genre. Instead, he has made a strong mark in just about every film genre – be it thriller, comedy, action, or romance.
We take a dive into 22 years’ worth of Bradley Cooper’s filmography to put together our list of his best movies to watch. Do you agree with our picks? Or have we missed out on a gem that you think is deserving of a place on this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
American Hustle (2013)
Captivatingly funny, American Hustle is the result of a vibrant story, phenomenal direction, and impeccable performance from actors. Because they have been caught red-handed by an FBI agent, two con artists are forced to do a sting operation that lands them on the web of the big-time mafia.
In the meantime, the wife of one of the con artists is concocting a plan of her own. Troublesome, to be precise. Cooper is outstanding as an FBI agent – a role that gives the film its direction. This 2013 dark comedy-drama features qualities that will keep you coming back to it after you have watched it once.
Limitless is a very well-crafted sci-fi thriller that subtly poses important questions about human psychology and drug dependence. A struggling writer takes a special nootropic drug that unlocks the 100% potential of his brain. As his life completely transforms, he is introduced to a new world full of dangers.
Though there are little gaps in the script, Cooper’s solid performance makes up for every bit of it.
Nightmare Alley (2021)
This Academy-nominated psychological thriller is for every Cooper fan who is ready to see him embodying a terrible soul. Undoubtedly one of Cooper’s best performances to date, Nightmare Alley tells the story of a conman who employs deceitful methods to make his way to the top as a revered psychic medium. However, he has a competitor who will go to any lengths to expose him.
Despite being a bit slow in its progression, Nightmare Alley is nicely made movie, and a true pleasure to watch. Caution: You won’t like what Cooper does in the film!
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Based on the 2008 novel The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, this romantic comedy is unpredictably funny, containing unparalleled humour and clever dialogues. After being discharged from a psychiatric hospital, Pat moves in with his parents and plans to fix his marriage. However, situations take an unexpected turn when Pat meets a girl who convinces him to join her in a dance competition.
Cooper delivers exactly what we have come to expect from him in comedies – tons of entertainment with a dab of style.
American Sniper (2014)
A loose adaptation of Chris Kyle’s memoir of the same name, American Sniper is as interesting as it is thoughtful. Chris Kyle is a very skilled and valorous sniper who returns home after his duty. However, there is something that doesn’t allow him to take his mind off the war.
American Sniper is a touching tale with a powerful impact to influence and inspire generations. What’s more, Cooper’s portrayal of Chris Kyle almost ties you to your screen until the very last minute.
The Mule (2018)
The crime drama surpasses expectations, to say the least. Based on The New York Times article on Leo Sharp by Sam Dolnick, The Mule follows the story of a 90-year-old World War II veteran who becomes a drug mule for a Mexican cartel.
Truth be told, this film is not up everybody’s alley, but if you are big on serious crime dramas, you will surely love what The Mule is.
A Star is Born (2018)
The fourth adaptation of the 1937 movie of the same name, A Star is Born is a beautiful musical drama that may prove to be tearjerking for the soft-hearted.
An established musician helps a girl find her way to fame as his own career deteriorates due to alcoholism and age. Since it’s a popular story, it’s natural to believe the movie can’t really hook one’s interest. But, that’s not the case here. In fact, A Star is Born proves that a good story can get better when it’s retold in a nice manner.
This film is also a double dose of Cooper for viewers, as A Star is Born is also Cooper’s directorial debut!
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
Smart is the word that best describes the idea and execution of The Place Beyond the Pines. This is the tragic story of love, hate, feuds, and forgiveness.
An ambitious rookie policeman and a small-time robber cross paths – an event that changes their lives and the lives of their respective kids for good. It’s a somewhat different kind of role for Cooper compared to his roles in other movies. To no amazement, he pulls it off fantastically.
With its special freshness, creativity, and execution, The Place Beyond the Pines sets a difficult bar for moviemakers who experiment with new ideas.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Although Cooper’s role isn’t that significant, Wet Hot American Summer played an important role in launching Cooper’s career. It was unofficially the first time Cooper’s talent came into the spotlight. It’s the last day of the summer camp which for the counsellors is the last opportunity to have a romantic encounter with their respective crushes. Will they succeed in getting a partner? Or, will they be leaving with nothing but a regret that they didn’t try?
Wet Hot American Summer is pleasing to watch, despite being a somewhat worn-out concept.
The Hangover (2009)
The Hangover is an iconic comedy that doesn’t fray no matter how many times you watch it. Four buddies arrive in Las Vegas for a bachelor party. As they wake up hungover, they find out the groom-to-be is missing. With no recollection of the events during or after the party, the three friends set out to find their missing buddy before his wedding.
Cooper is sharp, quick, and holds up well even though the odds are stacked against his team. Simply put, the trio led by Cooper are a sight to see.
Spoiler: Julius Ceasar didn’t have anything to do with the Ceasars Palace.
And there we have it, our picks for 10 favourite Bradley Cooper movies!
What do you think of our list? Have we included your favourites? Or have we missed any must-watch movies? We love to hear from you so do feel free to let us know in the comments below!