Bradley Cooper’s Best Movies, According to Rotten Tomatoes

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Bradley Cooper’s Best Movies, According to Rotten Tomatoes

Bradley Cooper is one of Hollywood’s most high-profile actors, appearing in various acclaimed and popular movies. While primarily playing characters known for their abrasive, coarse, and mean demeanors, Cooper has shown a knack for providing them nuance and more profound emotions than what appears on the surface.

Of course, many of his most acclaimed films, especially on websites such as Rotten Tomatoes, involve his portrayal of Rocket Raccoon in the MCU. But it speaks to his talent as an actor that he still brings something new and exciting to the character in every new installment. Nominated for nine Oscars and six Golden Globes, it’s clear he’s made an impactful mark in the movie industry.



10 ‘Nightmare Alley’ (2021)

Image via Searchlight Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Directed by Guillermo Del Toro, Nightmare Alley is a seedy film noir tale of betrayal and manipulation. Cooper plays Stan Carlisle, an ambitious man who manipulates and even kills his way up to grow a con act as a famous psychic. However, he grows into a smooth, confident, and satisfied man who plays the people around him like a fiddle.

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But soon, his lies and plans fall around him to the point where he becomes a shell of what he wants to be. By the final scene, he’s smiling through tears as he reaches the ultimate low, and Cooper delivers his karmic pain with frightening devastation.

9 ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ (2023)

Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) stares into the light in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
Image via Disney

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Rocket Raccoon could be Bradley Cooper’s most famous character, and his performance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the pinnacle of this great character. While Rocket seems out of action for most of the film, his heartbreaking and intense past is finally explored.

The audience learns exactly why Rocket is the sarcastic, self-loathing creature he is and how he’s grown into the hero we know and love. Cooper immerses himself in Rocket’s tragic story, tugging at the heartstrings with some of the best celebrity voice-acting in years.

8 ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (2017)

Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) stares into the fireworks in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Image via Disney

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

While Vol. 3 showcased Rocket’s more heroic qualities and his backstory, Vol. 2 allowed Cooper to showcase Rocket’s feelings of self-sabotage. As a result, he intentionally begins to drive the others away, assuming the worst in people but also believing himself unworthy of their respect and love.

The only one able to get through to him is Yondu (Michael Rooker), someone who’s had similar feelings but realized how damaging that mindset is. The film even closes on Rocket’s foundational beliefs he had about himself broken and ready for him to open up again.

7 ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2018) – 85%

Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) stands on a spaceship in Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Image via Disney

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

After 18 movies of build-up, the MCU comes together for an event that would change their universe forever. Thanos (Josh Brolin) is close to finding all the infinity stones and is ready to use them to wipe out half the universe’s population.

While Rocket’s development takes a back seat in favor of telling a universe-spanning narrative, he still plays a vital role as he teams up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Cooper shows more of Rocket’s emotionally sensitive side, helping Thor with his depression and delivering quiet despair as Rocket watches Groot (Vin Diesel) die in front of him again.

6 ‘A Star Is Born’ (2018)

Jack Maine (Bradley Cooper) plays the piano with Ally (Lady Gaga) in A Star is Born (2018)
Image via Warner Bros

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

On top of A Star is Born making for a solid directorial debut, Cooper delivers a tragic and incredible performance as troubled country music star Jackson Maine. While his career is successful, he battles depression and addiction behind closed doors. But things change when he takes young musician Ally (Lady Gaga) under his wing.

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In the third remake of the 1937 original, Cooper’s direction and performance brought a modern edge to this classic love story. His chemistry with Gaga is genuine and entrancing, making the ending all the more tragic.

5 ‘Licorice Pizza’ (2021)

Jon Peters (Bradley Cooper) screams between two cars in Licorice Pizza (2021)
Image via United Artists

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

While most of Licorice Pizza has meandering moments and questionable character choices, Cooper shines in a scene-stealing performance as real-life Hollywood producer Jon Peters. The film’s lead characters meet Peters halfway through the film when they deliver a waterbed to his house, wherein he proceeds to make their lives hell for the rest of the night.

Cooper’s performance as Peters takes after descriptions of his real-life counterpart. That is to say, an erratic, unpredictable, fighting-obsessed nutbag who happens to be dating Barbra Streisand. Peters almost seems like a personification for the film’s depiction of Los Angeles in the ’70s – wild, eccentric, and violent when provoked.

4 ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (2012)

Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) walks down a street in Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Image via The Weinstein Company

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

In Silver Linings Playbook, Cooper’s turn as an unconventional romantic lead is so strong it earned him his first Oscar nomination. In this romantic comedy-drama, he plays Pat Solitano Jr., a recently divorced man with bipolar disorder.

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Setting out to restart his life after leaving psychiatric care, he decides to enter a dance competition with widow Tiffany Maxwell (Jenifer Lawrence). However, what begins as a plan to win back his ex-wife (Brea Bee) becomes a re-evaluation of their lives. Cooper plays Pat with passion and sensitivity, honoring his character’s true-to-life mental state.

3 ‘American Hustle’ (2013)

Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) talks with Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) in American Hustle (2013)
Image via Sony

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Much like his role in Nightmare Alley, Cooper’s performance in American Hustle as corrupt FBI agent Richie DiMaso exemplifies a man ruined by ambition. DiMaso catches local con artists Irving (Christian Bale) and Sydney (Amy Adams). Then, seeking to boost his career, he blackmails them into exposing the corruption present in New Jersey.

While his skills are unparalleled, his ego gets in the way of his goals, which spells trouble for the leads. As DiMaso’s targets get bigger and bigger, the more he descends into drug addiction and paranoia to the point where his sanity and his career are gone.

2 ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014)

Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) shouts angily in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Image via Disney

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

From the get-go, Cooper’s performance as Rocket Raccoon left a strong impression on viewers who saw his debut in Guardians of the Galaxy. Rocket seems to be the film’s comic relief, and many would believe that given that he’s a talking raccoon whose best friend is a tree.

But midway through the film, Rocket’s pent-up emotions of self-loathing and distrust release after one insult too many. This was when audiences and critics realized celebrity Bradley Cooperwasn’t just playing another wisecracking cartoon animal. Rocket has deep flaws and complex emotions and is one of superhero cinema’s most compelling characters.

1 Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) smiles with pride in Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Image via Disney

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Like Infinity War, Rocket’s story seems limited in Endgame, but he does show vital signs of development. Rocket has taken the loss of his fellow guardians, minus Nebula (Karen Gillan), hard. Quieter and less abrasive than usual, he’s joined the Avengers to keep things on Earth stable.

While teaming with Thor to get the reality stone, Thor’s depression almost overtakes him. However, Rocket quickly and calmly reminds him of what’s at stake, even confessing how much he thinks of the Guardians as his family. It’s a brief moment, but Cooper’s delivery helps make it an impactful scene.

KEEP READING: Bradley Cooper Is Great as Rocket, but Let’s Hear It for Sean Gunn

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