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Top 10 Bradley Cooper Performances

Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean From acting student to superstar, he’s now Hollywood’s golden boy! Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Bradley Cooper performances. For this list, we’re taking a look at those performances that show off this actor at his finest and/or most memorable.

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Top 10 Bradley Cooper Performances

From acting student to superstar, he’s now Hollywood’s golden boy! Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Bradley Cooper performances.
For this list, we’re taking a look at those performances that show off this actor at his finest and/or most memorable.

#10: Ben 
“Wet Hot American Summer” (2001) 

In his cinematic debut, Bradley Cooper assumes the role of a counselor with a dashing blond haircut and a very raunchy relationship with another man. Now a cult classic, this summer camp parody may’ve had a few hits and misses, but one of its highlights is this fabulous individual getting married on a lake to the man he loves. Though Ben could definitely be described as an unorthodox character un an unorthodox film, Cooper commits to the part fully. That’s why we were happy when, over a decade later, he reprised the role in the Netflix prequel, having hardly aged a day.

#9: Rocket Raccoon 
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) 

In this highly successful Marvel outing, Hollywood’s heartthrob lent his voice to a genetically altered, violent and foulmouthed raccoon – which, to us, just sounds awesome. Cooper’s portrayal of the beloved comic book character has the perfect amount of brashness, sarcasm and loyalty you’d want – fake laughs and all. But with an Academy Award-nominated actor, you’ve got to tug at the heartstrings too, and the performance manages to do that. In a galaxy filled with interstellar tyrants, space pirates and a dash of half-naked Chris Pratt, the only way this cosmic adventure could get better would be a fuzz-ball with a huge gun and the enthralling voice of Bradley Cooper.  

#8: Sack Lodge
“Wedding Crashers” (2005)

Have you ever been to a friend’s wedding and there’s that one douchenozzle who won’t stop flirting with the bridesmaids and acting like a complete tool? Well, say hello to the King of those d-bags. But, of course, what do you expect from a character named Sack Lodge? In what would normally be a pretty cardboard and stereotypical role, Cooper brings a twisted charm to the overly violent and selfish jerk of a character by portraying him as an ironic source of entertainment. You love to hate him, but where would the movie be without him? 

#7: Rory Jansen
“The Words” (2012) 

And here’s where our main man moves from the selfish to the sympathetic. This romantic drama features a story within a story, as the character Clayton Hammond reads “The Words,” a novel with Bradley Cooper’s Rory at the center. Despite being nothing more than a construct, Rory’s plights in his career as a writer and in his relationships jump off the page and the screen. Despite being nothing more than words on a page, Rory is the most moving part of the entire film, thanks to Cooper’s stellar work. He represents the everyman who just wants his accomplishments to be recognized, who lives life according to a strong moral compass.

#6: Eddie Morra
“Limitless” (2011) 

Don’t do drugs kids – even if they give you superhuman intelligence. Eddie Morra is a down on his luck shell of a man who is given a chance to better his life with the help of a drug that gives him access to 100% of his brain power. Cooper does a marvelous job portraying the different sides of Morra, be it the societal loser, the superman capable of mastering anything, or the drug addict suffering from withdrawal symptoms that prove just as deadly for others as they do for him. And Cooper’s skill at keeping us guessing which of those sides we’re watching is just, well, limitless.

#5: Avery Cross 
“The Place Beyond the Pines” (2012) 

The sins of the father often extend to their children, no matter how hard they try to prevent it. In “The Place Beyond the Pines,” Cooperplays a beat-cop just trying to do his job, who becomes burdened by guilt after he accidentally kills a bank robber and has to cover up the details. His own son unknowingly befriends the bank robber’s child, setting off a chain of events that end in blood, pain, and revelations. Despite his mistakes and questionable behavior, Cooper’s performance shines through and keeps the audience utterly invested in the internal struggle of a man who just wants to be a good father. 

#4: Phil Wenneck
“The Hangover” franchise (2009-13) 

No matter how old they get, a lot of guys yearn for the bachelor life, but there comes a time when everyone should hang it up. Cooper’s character Phil Wenneck is definitely one of those bachelor wannabes: he’s the slickest and loudest dude in the room, and never apologizes for what comes out of his mouth. Of course, he’s also an amazing addition to the comedy trifecta of Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, all three of whom make us laugh time and time again as they proceed to relive their wild and crazy night. While we wouldn’t want to share in the series of hangovers he’s sustained over the trilogy, sharing a beer with Phil Wenneck would be just plain awesome. 

#3: Richie DiMaso
“American Hustle” (2013) 

If you thought Bradley Cooper was cool as an amnesiac drunk, wait to you see him as this FBI officer straight out of the ‘70s! Aside from looking smooth as hell, this Oscar-nominated performance showcases Cooper’s strengths as a fast-talking, morally ambiguous agent whose main concern is ensuring he’s the one who lands on top in the end. In a film where nobody is a good guy but everyone wants a happy ending, this hotshot stands out against the other acting-giants occupying the silver screen. And believe it or not, Cooper even gets to stretch his comedy muscles! 

#2: Chris Kyle 
“American Sniper” (2014) 

Despite the controversy surrounding the film’s portrayal of the Iraq War and the killing of Iraqi natives, there’s no denying that BradleyCooper completely immersed himself mentally in the character of America’s deadliest sniper. And talk about bulking up for the role as well!Cooper’s performance is a nuanced one, and as it unfolds audiences get a glimpse inside the mind of a man who is at once lethal, but utterly broken and dependent on, yet also traumatized, by war. It’s no wonder he scored another Oscar nod for this portrayal of the real-life U.S. Navy SEAL.

Before we reveal our number one pick here are a few honorable mentions! 
- Gus
“New York, I Love You” (2008)

- Neil Walker 
“Joy” (2015)

- Will Tippin
“Alias” (2001-06) 

- Templeton ‘Face’ Peck
“The A-Team” (2010) 

#1: Patrick ‘Pat’ Solitano, Jr. 
“Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) 

Bradley Cooper’s most raw, emotional and heartfelt performance is none other than the moving character of Pat in David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” a man who’s holding onto life a thread due to his bipolar disorder. Constantly bombarded with everyday struggles and surrounded by those suffering in their own way, Pat’s journey is a difficult one, and it seems like he’s destined for bleakness and misery. However, despite the nature of his disorder, and with a little help from the equally damaged Tiffany, Pat moves forward to seek a silver lining, and Cooper helps us experience every ounce of joy and pain he feels along the way. 

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Bradley Cooper performance? For more top tens published every day be sure to subscribe to MsMojo! 

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