It is one of Brad Pitt’s biggest failures and for that reason it is a hidden gem: a ‘thriller’ where he gives a brilliant performance.

The actor is not used to poor box office results, but his career is so long that he keeps some hidden gems.

Brad Pitt is not used to failure. Throughout his career he has premiered films such as World War Z, Mr and Mrs smith either troy, all around 500 million dollars in collection. In fact, that is the usual trend of his productions and the strange thing is that they collapse at the box office, but since his career is so long, we also find small productions that did not even get to recover the investment. It is what happened with california.

california is a 1993 film directed by Dominic Sena in his film debut. Among the protagonists are Juliette Lewis, David Duchovny, Michelle Forbes and a Brad Pitt who was not yet as popular as he would become. At that moment, Pitt was still taking the first steps of his career and his failures weren’t as famous as they could be now, but luckily, we always have streaming to remember him. california can be seen on Amazon Prime Video.

The film centers on a journalist (Duchovny) who travels the United States with his partner (Forbes) looking for serial killers. Chance makes them share the journey with a psychopath (Pitt) and his girlfriend (Lewis). Sort of like the worst Bla Bla Car ride you can imagine long before the ride sharing app existed.

This role suited Pitt, an actor who at the time he was America’s ‘pretty boy’. After Thelma & Louise (1991) and The river of life (1992), what he was looking for was to take off that title that he really didn’t want and he threw himself fully into giving life to an aggressive man who kills in cold blood. He nailed the role of him and showed that he could be multi-talented. He did it despite being a particularly complicated shoot, with very little time to shoot in certain locations and with the help of his partner at the time, Juliette Lewis, with whom he rehearsed every afternoon at his roadside hotel in the middle of the desert.


Gramercy Pictures

The reception was quite lukewarm. Critics gave it a scratch-off, praising Brad Pitt’s performance but condemning his level of violence. The public did not fill the rooms either and the collection was 2.5 million dollars against a budget of 8.5, well below the forecast. After first impressions, the truth is that california it has aged very well to become a pretty decent thriller.

It is a violent, terrifying and intriguing film. Many critics were outraged by this aspect, but the reality is that it is just the best value of the film for those looking for a gritty and realistic serial killer story. “unflinchingly honestand so well acted that for most of the film I abandoned any detachment and just watched it as if I were observing the lives of real people,” said film critic Roger Ebert.

“Two of the most heartbreaking and compelling performances I’ve ever seen,” Ebert continued, singling out highlights from Sena’s film. On top of that, a very strong aesthetic that is supported by strong storytelling and great performances. It has all the ingredients for a good film session.