By Julie Miller at Movieline

In Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life,' Brad Pitt assumes the role of 1950s disciplinarian whose no-nonsense form of parenting complicates the evolution of his own offspring. How did Pitt transform himself from the free-spirited cowboy hitchhiker in 'Thelma & Louise' to the stern father who escorts his sons to church every Sunday in this weekend's Palme d'Or-winning drama?

You can always trace a direct line through a few important roles to illustrate what led to an actor's current success. Hit the jump to check out nine pivotal performances that track the evolution of Brad Pitt.