Starring as the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac in the horror film Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, based on Anne Rice's 1976 novel of the same name, his performance was poorly received. Portraying Tristan Ludlow, son of Colonel William Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins) a Cornish immigrant, many film critics praised Pitt's performance.Janet Maslin of The New York Times said, "Pitt's diffident mix of acting and attitude works to such heartthrob perfection it's a shame the film's superficiality gets in his way." His performance was critically well received, with Variety saying that it was screen acting at its best, further remarking on Pitt's ability to turn in a "determined, energetic, creditable job" as the detective.Following the success of Seven, Pitt took a supporting role as Jeffrey Goines in Terry Gilliam's 1995 science-fiction film 12 Monkeys.The movie received predominantly positive reviews, with Pitt praised in particular.As graduation approached, Pitt did not feel ready to settle down. co-production The Dark Side of the Sun (1988) gave Pitt his first leading film role, as a young American taken by his family to the Adriatic to find a remedy for a skin condition.He loved films—"a portal into different worlds for me"—and, since films were not made in Missouri, he decided to go to where they were made. The film was shelved at the outbreak of the Croatian War of Independence, and was not released until 1997.He joined an ensemble cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy García, and Julia Roberts.Pitt had two major film roles in 2004, starring as Achilles in Troy, and reprising his role, Rusty Ryan, in the sequel Ocean's Twelve.
As a public figure, Pitt has been cited as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry.
Janet Maslin of the New York Times called Twelve Monkeys "fierce and disturbing" and remarked on Pitt's "startlingly frenzied performance", concluding that he "electrifies Jeffrey with a weird magnetism that becomes important later in the film." Critical opinion was divided on his accent; "Pitt finds the right tone of moral ambiguity, but at times his Irish brogue is too convincing – it's hard to understand what he's saying", wrote the San Francisco Chronicle.
The film received mixed reviews, and many were critical of Pitt's performance.
He gave critically acclaimed performances in the crime thriller Seven and the science fiction film 12 Monkeys (both 1995), the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination.
Pitt starred in the cult film Fight Club (1999) and the heist film Ocean's Eleven (2001) and its sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). Pitt received his second and third Academy Award nominations for his leading performances in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011).