Many actors have taken up producing at one point or another, whether it’s their own passion project or something they’ve simply invested money in. More often than not, actors then get a taste for it, producing more and more. Such is seemingly the case with Bradley Cooper.
The actor had not one but two production companies in the past. The first was 22nd And Indiana Pictures, and the second is Joint Effort, which he owns with director Todd Phillips. Between some passion projects and the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, Cooper has had as much success producing as he has in acting.
8 The Words (2012) – 7.0
The Words was the first of Bradley Cooper’s movies as a producer and, as to be expected, it wasn’t the most successful. The movie is a complex mystery romance, and it follows a struggling writer who finds a manuscript and decides to pass it off as his own.
Though The Words had a low budget, the movie only made $16 million worldwide. That was largely due to how it was overwhelmingly negatively received by critics, as it holds a rotten score of just 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it’s a movie where critics and audiences disagree, as general audiences were more won over by the ensemble cast. And though the movie isn’t as clever as it thinks it is, it’s still an entertaining mystery.
7 War Dogs (2016) – 7.1
Led by Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, War Dogs is one of only two films Cooper has produced that he doesn’t star in. Directed by Cooper’s producing partner, Todd Phillips, it does what all Phillips’ movies do best, which is straddling the line between being a satire and glamorizing bad behavior.
War Dogs is the only true story that the filmmaker has directed, as it’s about two arms dealers who fall backward into a billion-dollar job, and it ended up being one of Todd Phillips’ best movies. And though he doesn’t star in the movie, it does feature a hilarious cameo from Cooper, as he plays the Swiss arms dealer, Henry Girard.
6 American Hustle (2013) – 7.2
Bradley Cooper doesn’t only have a great actor-director partnership with Todd Phillips. He also has a great relationship with David O’Russell, who directed the actor in Joy and Silver Linings Playbook. But their most entertaining collaboration is American Hustle, a thrilling crime caper inspired by Martin Scorsese movies, and it sees Cooper’s character with a perm.
Cooper executive produced the movie, which doesn’t mean much more other than that he invested money into it and that he gets a percentage of the box office gross. And given how the movie made over $250 million, it was no doubt a decent payday for the actor.
5 American Sniper (2014) – 7.3
American Sniper is one of the most harrowing war movies of recent years. Between Clint Eastwood’s intimate directing technique and Cooper’s powerful acting, it made for a fascinating character study. The movie perfectly captures the exhausting impact that being on the front lines has on even the most accomplished military marksmen.
The war movie was the last film that Cooper’s company 22nd & Indiana Pictures produced before he joined forces with Todd Phillips. And it was a high note to end on, as American Sniper was a massive box office hit, making almost $550 million worldwide. It proves that Cooper is not just a bankable star, but an expert producer too.
4 Limitless (2011) – 7.4
Everyone knows that humans only use 10 percent of their brains, but Limitless asks the age-old question of “what if people used 100 percent?” Like The Words, Limitless follows a struggling author, but the movie approaches the concept in an entirely different way.
It’s a movie that’s visually stunning in a Christopher Nolan kind of way that will have audiences asking how the effects were pulled off. But it’s also an exciting popcorn flick full of high-octane action. The movie was another massive moneymaker for Cooper, and in more ways than one. Not only was it a box office success, but it got a TV show spin-off too, which Cooper also produced.
3 A Star Is Born (2018) – 7.6
A Star Is Born was a huge artistic statement for Bradley Cooper, as not only did he produce and star in the movie, but he also wrote and directed it too. The 2018 movie is about the relationship between an alcoholic singer/songwriter and his protege, and though it’s a remake, it was a brand new and refreshing take on the story.
The actor directed a sensory delight, as it’s full of amazing and new music, the cinematography is spectacular, and it takes an emotional toll on the audience too. Even established directors would have struggled to pull off a movie like this, never mind a first-time director like Cooper.
2 Silver Linings Playbook (2012) – 7.7
Of all the movies that Cooper and David O’Russell worked on together, Silver Linings Playbook is the crown jewel, but it’s also thanks to an ensemble cast including Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. The movie tackles some tough subject matter, as it follows a former teacher who returns from a psychiatric facility to live with his parents.
But it erupts into absolute joyful bliss, as the teacher finds contentment in practicing dance routines. It’s one of Bradley Cooper’s best movies according to Metacritic, and again another big moneymaker for him, as it earned $236 million at the worldwide box office.
1 Joker (2019) – 8.4
When it comes to producing movies, Cooper’s batting average is much better than most, even better than some who have been in the industry for decades. But the biggest movie to his name so far is Joker, and it’s not even close.
Both critically and commercially, the movie was a huge success, and for an unsettling psychological drama, its one billion dollar box office gross is unprecedented. Joker is the second of two movies produced by but not starring Cooper, and if he was in the movie, it would have been very different. It’s hard to imagine anyone but Joaquin Phoenix in the role of Arthur Fleck, and he’s largely to thank for its success.