5 best Bradley Cooper movies, ranked

Bradley Cooper in The Hangover
(Image credit: Alamy)

Bradley Cooper is one of Hollywood’s unlikeliest movie stars. Cooper did not start acting until his mid-20s, with small parts in Sex and the City and Wet Hot American Summer. After a starring role in Alias, Cooper had a memorable appearance in Wedding Crashers. Who would have thought that Sack Lodge would go on to become a nine-time Academy Award nominee?

Cooper’s career trajectory shifted after the success of The Hangover. From that point on, Cooper would become a leading man in Hollywood. Cooper then ripped off a string of critically acclaimed hits, like Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and American Sniper. Cooper’s versatility is his strength, as the 48-year-old can act in any genre. Now, Cooper is a well-respected writer-director thanks to A Star Is Born and Maestro.

To celebrate the release of Maestro, these are the five best movies starring Cooper. 

5. American Sniper

Bradley Cooper in American Sniper

(Image credit: Alamy)

Cooper laced up a pair of army boots in American Sniper to portray Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American history. Cooper ate 8,000 calories daily to gain 40 pounds of mass to play Kyle, who stood at 6-foot-two and weighed 220 pounds. 

Directed by Clint Eastwood, American Sniper begins with Chris enlisting in the Navy in the late ‘90s, where he soon became a sniper in the Navy Seals. Before being deployed to Iraq after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Chris meets and marries Taya Studebaker (Sienna Miller). Chris excels as a sniper, saving hundreds of lives. Chris feels comfortable behind a rifle at war. Life at home as a husband and father becomes the bigger challenge. Backed by a gripping performance by Cooper and Clint Eastwood’s terrific direction, American Sniper became a financial success and critical hit, earning six Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Cooper.

Stream on Max

4. The Hangover

Zach Galifianakis as Alan (holding the baby), Bradley Cooper as Phil and Ed Helms as Stu in the elevator in The Hangover

(Image credit: Netflix)

Wedding Crashers put him on the map, but Cooper’s breakout role in The Hangover paved his path to stardom. Three friends — Phil Wenneck (Cooper), Stu Price (Ed Helms), and Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) — head to Las Vegas for Doug’s bachelor party two days before the wedding. The fourth member of the crew is Alan (Zach Galifianakis), the strange, socially awkward future brother-in-law to Doug. The quartet toast to a good night of debauchery in Vegas and head out for a night on the town.

Fast forward to the morning when Phil, Stu, and Alan wake up in a hotel room with Mike Tyson’s tiger, a random baby, and no memory of what happened the night before. To make matters worse, Doug is missing. The three friends must retrace their steps to find Doug and bring him back to Los Angeles in time to walk down the aisle. Ask yourself one question: what do tigers dream of when they take a little tiger snooze?

Stream on Hulu

3. Wedding Crashers

Rachel McAdams and Bradley Cooper in Wedding Crashers

(Image credit: Alamy)

Never leave a fellow crasher behind. No one goes home alone. No excuses. Play like a champion. John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) live their lives following these commandments. The duo are two divorce mediators who spend their free time crashing weddings. By following a strict set of rules and guidelines, John and Jeremy infiltrate weddings to meet and have sex with women. The gig works up they bite off a little more than they can chew. 

John and Jeremy crash the wedding of the daughter of Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary (Christopher Walken). Crashers can’t fall in love, but John has eyes on Claire (Rachel McAdams), while Jeremy sets his sights on Gloria (Isla Fisher). Keeping up the charade on a weekend getaway is hard enough. Trying to stay clear of Claire’s suspicious boyfriend, Sack Lodge (Cooper), proves impossible. Wedding Crashers is the type of hilarious studio comedy that audiences wish studios still made. 

Stream on Hulu

2. Silver Linings Playbook

Best romantic movies on Netflix: Silver Linings Playbook

(Image credit: TWC)

2012 was a landmark year for Cooper. This was the year Hollywood started to treat him as a serious actor who deserved critical acclaim and awards recognition. The role that changed Cooper’s career trajectory came in David O. Russell’s romantic dramedy Silver Linings Playbook.

Fresh out of an eight-month stint at a psychiatric hospital, the bipolar Pat Solitano Jr. (Cooper) must move in with his parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver). Pat is determined to win back his wife with his new, positive attitude. While running one day, Pat meets Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), who offers to help communicate with his wife. In exchange, Pat must serve as Tiffany’s dance partner. However, the Philadelphia Eagles stick a wedge between Pat’s family and Tiffany, forcing him to choose between football and family. For his efforts, Cooper received his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Stream on Netflix

1. A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born (2018)

(Image credit: Alamy)

Every decision made by Cooper led him to 2018, when he wrote, directed, and starred in A Star Is Born. Jackson Maine (Cooper) is a fading musician who spends most of his days playing guitar and drowning his sorrows in drugs and alcohol. One night, Jackson stumbles into a bar and meets Ally (Lady Gaga), a struggling musician looking for her big break. Jackson takes Ally under his wing and turns her into a household name, which, in turn, resurrects his career. 

Stardom comes at a price, however, as Jackson’s demons threaten the future of their relationship. If anyone had any doubts that Cooper could not be a filmmaker, A Star Is Born ended that debate. Because of his immeasurable talent as an actor and filmmaker, Cooper has a strong chance to become the Clint Eastwood of his generation. 

Rent/buy on Amazon or Apple

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Dan Girolamo

Dan is a talented content creator who specializes in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. His entertainment interviews have been featured on Digital Trends, where he has spoken with various actors and entertainers, including Brendan Fraser, Alison Brie, and James Cameron. Additionally, Dan is a sportswriter with The Sports Daily, breaking down the top news in the NFL and NBA while providing picks and predictions for each league. Other bylines include ComingSoon.net, Unafraid Show, Fansided, and WatchMojo. When he’s not working, Dan enjoys rooting for his favorite New York sports teams and watching the latest movie from Christopher Nolan or Martin Scorsese.