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.

The Tree of Life
Based on 43 critics

A man (Sean Penn) tries to reconcile his complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Read More