It’s hard to think of a Hollywood star who divides opinion quite as much as Tom Cruise. On one hand you have a man who is one of the highest paid actors of all time; was at one time Forbes’ most powerful celebrity; and even has a day named after him in Japan, October 10th if you’re wondering!
On the other hand you have a sofa dancing scientologist who is partly to blame for the travesty that was Vanilla Sky.
That being said, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV has been the star of some truly great films and even in his less stellar efforts he usually delivers a top acting performance, Vanilla Sky included!
In recognition of this I have compiled a list of 10 of Mr Cruise’s best movies, and if you haven’t seen any of these I’d recommend you give them a go.
- Tropic Thunder
If you’re not paying attention you may well miss his scene stealing performance as movie producer and egomaniac Les Grossman. A lot of make-up and prosthetics help add to a brilliant comic turn from Cruise, so brilliant he’s getting his own spin-off movie!
- Edge of Tomorrow
Adapted from the Japanese Manga, the most recent entry on the list sees Tom Cruise cast once again as the saviour of the world however this time he’s not particularly good at it and dies… a lot! (Un)fortunately he’s stuck in a time loop, and with some guidance from super soldier Emily Blunt he may just be able to save us all!
- Jerry Maguire
Rom-com’s don’t often get nominated for Academy Awards but 1996’s Jerry Maguire was nominated for five, including Cruise for Best Actor. With strong performances across the board there are worse ways to spend an evening in with your significant-other than watching this rom-com. Grossing over $270 million worldwide Cruise and co. were probably shouting “show me the money!” for quite a while after release!
- The Firm
One of a slew of John Grisham adaptations from the 90’s, Sydney Pollack’s version of the Firm is arguably the best. Seduced by money and power Cruise’s character, Mitch McDeere, finds himself caught between the mob and the FBI in this tense legal thriller.
Often typecast as the hero, Cruise delivers a standout performance as the mysterious and threatening hitman Vincent, who is about to ruin taxi driver Jamie Foxx’s day!
- Minority Report
Philip K. Dick’s short stories have been responsible for some of the greatest sci-fi films of all time and Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report is up there with them. In a future where murder has been eradicated by pre-cognition, Captain John Anderton has to fight to prove the system that he helped put in place is wrong when he is named as the next murderer.
- Rain Man
An absolutely iconic film, which has been referenced and parodied innumerable times, Tom Cruise plays a greedy and selfish man trying to manipulate his estranged autistic brother for financial gain. While it’s rightly remembered for Dustin Hoffman’s Oscar winning portrayal of savant Raymond, Cruise’s performance as Charlie enables Hoffman to shine.
- A Few Good Men
One of the classic courtroom dramas, this film features a whole host of a-list talent and one of the most quoted lines in movie history. It would’ve been easy for Cruise to get lost amongst all the great performances but he holds his own.
- Born on the Fourth of July
Hot on the heels of Rain Man, Tom Cruise delivers arguably the best performance of his career in this biopic of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic. In a hard hitting drama which pulls few punches, you get an insight into the horrors of war and the scars it leaves behind. Cruise narrowly missed out on Best Actor honours to Daniel Day-Lewis at the 1990 Academy Awards.
- Top Gun
One of the most iconic films of the 80’s, a decade which for my money has produced more outstanding films than any other. Top Gun has pretty much everything; action, romance, a great soundtrack (9x platinum), tear jerker moments and a seemingly endless list of cult quotes. Not to mention it probably invented the bromance, long before anyone knew what that even was!
So what’s your verdict? Let me know what your favourite Tom Cruise movie is in the comments below.
By Mark Jankowski