Jeff Bridges' five greatest onscreen performances

  • Jeff Bridges' five greatest onscreen performances

Jeff Bridges’ returns to screens this Friday in Hell or High Water (watch the trailer), the stunning new crime thriller from Brit director David Mackenzie.

His grizzled Texas Ranger, Marcus Hamilton, sets out to run down robbers that have been holding up local banks in a performance that really is Bridges at his best - so we’re taking a look at some of his other finest characters out there...

5. The Fisher King

Teaming up with Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges brings the 1991 comedy-drama to life with his amazing performance - it just fills you with emotion and it takes the audience on a heartfelt journey.

In a popular New York bar, a madman carries out a terrible massacre after hearing 'shock jock' radio DJ Jack Lucas rail against yuppies.

After hearing of the news, Lucas becomes extremely disheartened and regrets what his outburst caused.

In his time of remorse, the DJ befriends a man by the name of Parry (Williams), a former professor who lost control of his life after witnessing his wife die during the bar shooting.

After learning this story, Lucas attempts redemption by helping Parry in his journey to recover an item that he truly believes is the Holy Grail, and to win the heart of the woman he loves.

4. Crazy Heart

Jeff Bridges channels his inner country singer, taking the audience on a deep journey of self-discovery and love, and bagged himself an Oscar for his work.

Based on the 1987 novel by Thomas Cobb, Crazy Heart sees fifty-seven-year-old alcoholic country & western singer, Otis “Bad” Blake, who, despite being a minor legend, can’t even get to perform at b-list venues like bowling alleys.

Although his status doesn’t get him far, he does have a standing gig to perform at his friend Wayne Kramer's bar in Houston.

A doctor has warned 'Bad' that his unhealthy lifestyle will lead to his early death, but that doesn’t stop him from being an overweight, chain-smoking alcoholic.

This behaviour has led him to have several failed marriages and a grown son who he has not seen since he was four, and has no idea what he is up to and how he is doing.

One day, after a performance 'Bad' meets Jean Craddock, a journalist who wants to do a piece on him for her newspaper.

One thing leads to another and this takes 'Bad' on a crazy life journey where his lifestyle could jeopardise him from having a happy future. 

See also | Win a brilliant prize bundle with new crime thriller Hell or High Water

3. Fearless

Jeff Bridges takes on a whole new level here when explores the complex struggle of post-traumatic stress disorder with his character in Fearless.

Bridges plays Max Klein, one of few survivors of a horrible plane crash on a flight from San Francisco to Houston.

As the plane descends, Max becomes at peace and accepts his inevitable death, only for him to survive.

After the crash, Klein keeps his inner-peace and helps the other survivors, leading him to be  praised as a hero by the media.

The plane crash changes Max Klein, and when he returns home he feels detached from his wife and struggles to connect to his former life, all of this leads him to feel completely invulnerable.

Psychologist Bill Perlman is sent by the airline to help the survivors recover, but he is unable to help Max, and instead, asks Max to help him out with another one of his patients from the plane crash, Carla Rodrigo, who is racked with grief and guilt since her baby died in the crash.

2. The Big Lebowski

The 1998 Coen Brothers classic is a quite possibly the most popular and greatest of Bridges' films.

Two Jeffrey Lebowskis - one is a lazy, pot-smoking, White Russian-drinking hippie who goes by the self-moniker 'The Dude', and the other is a self-made, handicapped, multimillionaire war veteran who lives in a huge mansion.

Their paths cross one day when, in a case of mistaken identity, the millionaire Lebowski's trophy wife's debts lead to hired thugs assaulting The Dude and urinating his rug.

Wanting payback for his now destroyed rug - which "tied the room together" - The Dude seeks out the millionaire Lebowski to recompense him.

Unfortunately, things don’t get any better for The Dude, and what follows takes him and his bowling buddies Walter and Donnie on a bizarre adventure filled with kidnapping, pornography, nihilists, and White Russians.

This is a fun-filled film with Jeff Bridges completely knocking us off our feet and putting us into hysterics.

See also | 6 unwanted sequels and reboots that turned out to be amazing

1. True Grit

Many fans would agree that 'Rooster' Cogburn was the man that Jeff Bridges was born to play.

Drastically different to the pot smoking Lebowski or to the country music playing Bad, plus a lot more serious and rough.

After the father of 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) is murdered by hired hand Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), she sets out to bring her killer to justice.

To help bring in her father's killer, Mattie hires the toughest U.S. Marshal she can find, Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn - a man with "true grit".

Mattie insists on joining Cogburn to find the killer, due to his drinking, sloth, and her general uneasy feeling about him.

Against his wishes, she joins him in his journey into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney.

Eventually, they are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), who is also after Chaney for his own reasons.

The unlikely trio find danger and surprises and each has their own "grit" tested.

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