Best: True Grit (2010)
Jeff Bridges scored a 2011 Oscar nomination when he got back in the saddle with the Coen brothers for this second stab at adapting Charles Portis' novel.
Ignore those who are knocking Bridges' Rooster Cogburn for his incoherent drawl; despite the fact you can actually understand what he's saying, the physicality of his performance alone is enough to capture the larger-than-life character perfectly.
John Wayne famously took home the Oscar for his portrayal of Cogburn. While it's looking unlikely that Bridges will topple King Colin (he did best him last year, anyway), Rooster is another superb portrait in his exemplary back catalogue.
Worst: King Kong (1976)
Even the swagger of a young Jeff Bridges can't save this diabolical redo of the 1933 monster movie. Peter Jackson's indulgent reboot has its detractors, but there's no denying his version is bolstered by passion, respect, and astounding, engaging visual effects.
This Dino De Laurentis-produced take has the least convincing ape of all three movies (a ginormous robot Kong ended being scrapped for Rick Baker's man-in-a-suit), and transfers the action from a film shoot to an oil expedition.
It lacks the sense of adventure and, importantly, the sympathy for the monster that make the other movies such cinematic titans.
Best: The Last Picture Show (1971)
Bridges' role as Duane in Peter Bogdanovich's seminal 70s movie saw him leap out from beneath his father Lloyd's shadow to establish himself as a credible actor in his own right.
Bogdanovich's eye for 1950s period detail makes the movie feel much older than it is. Bridges finds hidden depths in a character who could have been a one-dimensional jock, nailing the confusion and doubt lurking beneath the high-school hunk exterior.
Bridges revisited the role in Texasville , and has expressed interest in starring in further adaptations of Larry McMurty's book series.
Worst: Stay Hungry (1976)
Bridges has starred as part of some truly electrifying ensembles in his career, but he doesn't exactly produce his best work opposite a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Craig Blake isn't Bridges' most endearing character either. A spoilt, lazy young man who was born into a ton of money, he gets involved in running a gym that his company is planning to buy.
No amount of natural charm can make the obnoxious character likeable, and you'll know exactly where this is going (and you'll be able to accurately map out the kinks in the road) within 10 minutes.
Best: Iron Man (2008)
Jeff Bridges has always sported an enviable mop of tousled locks, but he wasn't afraid to shave the lot off and go bald as Iron Man 's big bad.
Obadiah Stane has the actor's trademark charisma, albeit with a subtle sinister bent. He may have been almost 60 years old, but Bridges is still an imposing physical presence.
As Jeff's only comic book movie, it showcases his chameleon-like acting skills, and his nose for crowd-pleasing movies that are still a little bit quirky and offbeat.
Worst: Seabiscuit (2003)
Bridges' warm and avuncular presence can have a negative impact when thrown into unashamedly cheesy fare. His best movies are seasoned with a bit of edge, and Seabiscuit acts as a cautionary tale against overdosing on schmaltz.
Here Bridges plays one of three men whose life is changed by the little horse that could in depression era US. Seabiscuit hits all the required feel-good notes, but does so with the restraint of an unbroken gee-gee.
Bridges isn't the only highly competent thesp rendered useless by the syrupy script: William H. Macy and Chris Cooper also struggle to find their footing in the sugar avalanche.
Best: The Contender (2000)
Jeff Bridges is the kind of man you'd want running your country. He has bags of authority, but pairs it with a genuine likeability, so it's easy to buy into the idea of him as the US president in this political thriller.
His prez is faced with an unusual quandary when his VP dies during his second term. The decision to enlist a lady (Joan Allen) to fill the role doesn't come without controversy.
Bridges is backed by an ace Allen and a never sleazier Gary Oldman (as the rival politician looking to rock the boat). Pacy and accessible, regardless of your interest in politics.
Worst: The Vanishing (1993)
It's hard to comprehend how this horror remake ended up being so atrocious, especially as it shares a director with the chilling original.
Bridges is on villain duty, but even he can't bring any momentum to the proceedings. He plays a sadistic professor who kidnaps Kiefer Sutherland's girlfriend, before tormenting the future 24 star on his quest for answers.
The revised ending is a pretty solid argument for Hollywood to never remake another European thriller, ever again.
Best: Fearless (1993)
Bringing his zen-like calm to Peter Weir's high-concept drama, Bridges plays Max Klein, a guy who's entire outlook on life is rocked after he survives a plane crash he believed would finish him.
A character obsessed with existential peace could quickly become highly irritating, but in Bridges' hands he's utterly compelling, see-sawing between daredevil day-seizing and heavy-minded contemplation.
Worst: The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go (1970)
Jeff's youthfulness and relative inexperience are the only possible excuses you can muster for the big man's appearance in this nonsense.
Burgess Meredith (best known as Rocky's trainer, or The Penguin to Adam West's Batman) called the shots on this utterly bizarre Bond spoof.
Babyfaced Bridges turns up as Nero Finnegan- presumably he was hoping it would gain cult status rather than disappearing with an ignominious whimper.
Best: Texasville (1990)
Bridges reunited with Cybill Shepherd, Randy Quaid and director Peter Bogdanovich in this Last Picture Show sequel, which gains added potency from the real-life ageing of its cast.
Reprising the role of Duane Jackson, Bridges boyish grin now comes with a lived-in weariness, as his marriage and oil company are in poor health.
The re-arrival his high-school sweetheart Jacy (Shepherd) brings a richly nostalgic sheen with it, in this touching treatise on life and love.
Worst: Masked and Anonymous (2003)
This dystopian vision of American was just too oscure to appeal to film fans, even those partial to a bit of Bob Dylan. The folk-legend plays an ersatz version of himself, in a near-future of political unrest.
Dylan is joined by Bridges and many other recognisable actors, but the film comes nowhere close to unravelling the man's enigma, and offers a totalitarian vision that feels distinctly uninspired.
Director Larry Charles poked fun at society's absurdity much more incisively in Borat , and has been behind some hugely funny TV shows, but none of that stinging wit is in evidence here.
Best: The Big Lebowski (1998)
After working for almost forty years, Bridges had essayed a wide variety of characters, but none have stuck like Jeff Lebowski, so much so that it's now practically obligatory to refer to Jeff as 'The Dude'.
The Coens' film noir triumph is typically idiosyncratic and unique, cramming colourful characters into a convoluted plot that's never short on tension, despite the fact you're often crying with laughter.
Bridges buries his movie star visage beneath a fuzzy goatee and shaggy stoner locks, and spouts lines that still feel zingingly fresh, despite being quoted endlessly over the last 13 years.
Worst: The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)
This is one of Bridges' more forgettable movie outings. Here he plays Maths teacher Gregory Larkin, who proposes marriage to literature professor Rose Morgan (Barbara Streisand, who also directs, produces and sings the theme tune).
The problem is, he's not interested in sex, and wants their union to be purely platonic. After trying to swallow that, you've then got to put up with Babs trying to see if a good makeover can't just sort everything out.
Only those with endless amounts of patience will be able to sit still while this couple work through their (frankly silly) problems.
Best: Against All Odds (1984)
This ludicrously-80s noir from Taylor Hackford, a remake of Robert Mitchum-starrer Out of the Past , features Jeff at his hunksome high-point (his digitally de-aged TRON: Legacy self was based on his appearance here).
It's as cheesy as the Phil Collins theme song, but this is one of the guilty pleasures of Jeff's back catalogue. He plays Terry, a former pro-footballer who finds himself working for James Woods' unscrupulous 'businessman' to earn a bit of cash.
So it probably wasn't a smart move to send someone as devastatingly handsome as Bridges to collect your missing girlfriend, but he's great fun to watch as the pressure slowly mounts.
Worst: 8 Million Ways to Die (1986)
Another trashy noir-tale for Bridges, but this one lacks any of the enjoyment factor of Against All Odds .
It's even more disappoint considering the talent behind the film: it was the last movie from Hal Ashby as a director, and Oliver Stone worked on the screenplay.
Bridges is a fine screen drunk, but when his washed-up cop finds himself in rehab, he seems to be a bad luck curse for a hooker who comes to him for help. Unfortunately it's too straight-faced to even enjoy for comedy value.
Best: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
Pairing a young, cocky Bridges with the straight-shooting Clint Eastwood was an inspired decision that really makes this crime caper. After Thunderbolt (Eastwood) is double-crossed by his gang, he teams with Lightfoot (Bridges) to reclaim his loot.
As the reluctant partners-in-crime, Bridges and Eastwood make a sublime double act, with Bridges earning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his troubles.
Director Michael Cimino combines the buddy comedy and action with panache.
Worst: Heaven's Gate (1980)
Michael Cimino has a short, but extremely interesting CV: his first three features comprise Thunderbolt and Lightfoot , The Deer Hunter and Heaven's Gate .
After the punchy antics of T & L , and the insta-classic, Oscar-snaffling achievement that followed, he directed this ambitious mess, which flopped big-time at the box office. Bridges turns up relatively briefly, but you're likely to have lost interest before he makes it to the screen.
The film has gained some respect from certain supporters in the years since its release, though it just isn't the classic it so badly wants to be.
Best: Surf's Up (2007)
All of Bridges' post- Lebowski roles are tinted with knowledge of The Dude, but this animated penguin movie embraces that laid-back persona to the full.
Eschewing the po-faced environmental messaging and lifelike rendering of Happy Feet , Surf's Up has fun with its surfing penguins premise, bagging bonus points for its mockumentary stylings.
Bridges lends his drawl to Big Z, a surfing legend who winds up a hermit. Some nice humorous touches blow the dust of the familiar story beats.
Worst: The Last Unicorn (1982)
An earlier foray into animation wasn't so successful for Bridges. Ugly character design, wishy-washy magic, and a plodding, episodic narrative mean this is unlikely to keep kids happy.
The horned horse of the title is off on a quest to search for the remainder of her kind, but she's transformed into a drippy princess en route. While in human form she fails for Prince Lir (Bridges, disappointingly bland), and helps to overthrow a tyrannical king.
The folksy soundtrack adds to the overall hippie vibe.
Best: Crazy Heart (2009)
Bridges finally scored an Oscar for his turn as washed up country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart . Bridges' body of work no doubt nudged him towards the award, but there's no denying that this is a fine performance in its own right.
He disappears so far into the role it's impossible to see the joins, and while his throaty drawl, laconic mannerisms and bristly beard help him meld with the character, he also shows off a decent singing voice.
A perfect example of Bridges' ability to bring charm to potentially detestable characters.
Worst: How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)
Simon Pegg was attempting to crack the US with this underwhelming adaptation of Toby Young's memoir.
The generic script hops from set-piece to set-piece, and fails to play to Pegg's quirky comedic strengths (on this evidence, he's much better suited to British material).
Bridges is the domineering editor of the magazine Pegg cuts his teeth on, but he's given little to play with, and you can hardly blame him for getting riled by the totally unsympathetic hero.
Best: The Fisher King (1991)
Demonstrating his versatility again, Bridges plays sleazy shock Jack, who questions his wild ways when one of his prank-victims goes on a killing spree.
This is director Terry Gilliam at the top of his game, as he manages to balance Bridges' despondent, suicidal DJ with Robin Williams' manic energy, and he integrates the fantasy sequences smoothly.
Bridges' performance rides the movie's undulating tone, as he goes on a literal and metaphorical quest for redemption.
Worst: Stick It (2006)
If you have never heard of Stick It , a gymnastics equivalent of the likes of Step Up and Bring It On , you're advised to move swiftly on.
That way you'll never have to know that Bridges reduced himself to playing the wise, wizened coach to a bunch of irritating, sub- Mean Girls ninnies.
Missy Peregrym plays rebel Haley (note the Kristen Stewart scowl), who's forced to return to her gymnastics academy after a brush with the law, where, just maybe, she'll redeem herself for past wrongs, and possibly even shake-up the fusty old practice in the process.
We doubt Bridges is faking that look of bored indignation.
Best: Cutter's Way (1981)
This underrated 80s thriller has much to recommend, not least superb performances from Bridges and John Heard as Bone and Cutter.
When Bone (an aptly named man-ho) witness a dead body being dumped, his best friend, unhinged army veteran Cutter, becomes obsessed with the case, and is determined to bring the tycoon he believes is responsible to justice.
The film oozes seedy menace, and the post-'Nam anger is palpable.
Worst: The Lolly-Madonna War (1973)
This southern spin on Romeo and Juliet (teens from rival families fall for each other) tries hard, but even a gravelly cast (Bridges, Rod Steiger) fail to bring the story the intensity it needs.
Instead, it's tonally uneven, veering from farcical comedy to uncomfortable drama, with a smattering of soppy romance.
The film does manage to create an impressively sweaty period feel, but it's not enough to salvage the movie, and Bridges broods blankly in his role.
Best: Tron (1982)
While Tron 's pioneering visual effects have dated embarrassingly badly, Bridges' boyish charisma endures.
The unlikeliness of his casting as the action lead in a sci-fi movie makes his presence all the more appealing (his likeable everyman is cool, but believable).
And as TRON: Legacy 's digitally de-aged Clu proved, when you want the young Bridges, accept no substitutes.
Worst: The Moguls (2005)
One of Bridges' ill-advised recent forays into dodgy comedy territory. It's not like there's not a decent premise here either: a bunch of neighbourhood friends get together to produce a skin flick in an attempt to get rich quick.
In spite of its first-rate cast, this struggles to induce a few smiles, let alone any actual laughs, as the concept drowns in a sea of stereotypes and slapstick.
You'll be pretty fed-up before the movie resorts to tooth-rottingly sweet sentiment in the final reel.