Tom Cruise Movies Spotlight
Tom Cruise turns 54 today! To celebrate, we’ve got a list of some of the best Tom Cruise movies. It was hard to narrow it down, of course, because this guy has been in everything! There were so many iconic films to include that we left out things like his cameo in Tropic Thunder, his drink flipping in Cocktail, the fantasy film Legend and the crazy wig-wearing vampire in the adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel, Interview with the Vampire. With all the reporting on his personal life, it’s sometime easy to forget how long the actor has been around. Check out our picks for the best Tom Cruise movies and let us know your favorites in the comments. We’ll see Cruise next in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back later this year.
Tom Cruise Movies: Risky Business (1983)
Though Cruise appeared in both Taps and The Outsiders, he really exploded onto the movie scene in Risky Business. No one will ever forget Cruise lip-syncing in a shirt and underpants (and socks, which is ever so classy) to “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger. In the film, Cruise plays high school student Joel Goodson who’s friend wants him to live a little. What follows is a bit of harmless fun involving prostitutes (one played by Rebecca De Mornay), a pimp with a gun and a cracked glass egg.
Tom Cruise Movies: Top Gun (1986)
In this film with the famous volleyball scene featuring a lot of shirtless men, Cruise plays United States Naval Aviator LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a talented pilot who has trouble with authority. After getting into the elite Top Gun school with his best buddy Radar Intercept Officer LT (RIO) Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards), meeting instructor Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (Kelly McGillis) and dealing with some jealous fellow pilots including “Iceman” (Val Kilmer), a tragedy changes his focus. Then there is that “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” scene that has been imitated with varying degrees of success in bars all around the world.
Tom Cruise Movies: Rain Man (1988)
In this one, Cruise plays rich jerk Charlie Babbitt, whose father dies and leaves his fortune to Charlie’s brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), an autistic savant who Charlie didn’t know existed. After kidnapping Raymond and taking him on a cross country trip with him, he realizes the value of this man and starts to remember him from their childhood.
Tom Cruise Movies: Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Cruise plays Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic in the ilm adaptation of the best-selling autobiography. Kovic fights in the war, is crippled and ultimately ends up fighting for the rights of veterans and perception of the war itself. This film nabbed a Best Director Academy Award for Oliver Stone and a nomination for Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Cruise.
Tom Cruise Movies: A Few Good Men (1992)
This film about the Marines starred Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore, and was directed by Rob Reiner. It was adapted from a play of the same name and is the story of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine. Cruise plays U.S. Navy lawyer Daniel Kaffee, who thinks he’s lost the case until a major court room confrontation changes everything. From A Few Good Men we get endless attempts to do a Nicholson impression with the line, “You can’t handle the truth.”
Tom Cruise Movies: Jerry Maguire (1996)
Ever notice how many classic movie quotes come from Tom Cruise films? In Jerry Maguire, Cruise plays a sports agent who is sick of the dishonesty in his industry. He decides to change his life and take on fewer clients. One of those clients is Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), who gives us the line “Show me the money.” Renée Zellweger plays Dorothy, who, after Maguire gives a long speech about how much she means to him, says, “You had me at hello.” Cruise was nominated for Best Actor for this one as well.
Tom Cruise Movies: Mission: Impossible (1996)
Cruise plays agent Ethan Hunt, who is trying to figure out who framed him for murder. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and has spawned a lot of sequels. Cruise returned for these in 2000, 2006, 2011 and 2014, with another installment on the way. The film is based on the television series of the same name, but features incredible stunts, including Hunt hanging off a plane in the latest sequel, something Cruise did himself.
Tom Cruise Movies: Magnolia (1999)
Cruise got a Best Supporting Actor nod for this film, which also stars Jeremy Blackman, Melinda Dillon, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, William H. Macy, Alfred Molina, Jason Robards and Melora Walters. Cruise plays Frank T.J. Mackey, a sleazy motivational speaker who has become estranged from his father in this story about forgiveness and the interconnectedness of life.
Tom Cruise Movies: Minority Report (2002)
Set in 2054, Minority Report is a mystery-action film about something called “PreCrime,” which has “PreCogs” who predict the future, leading the government to arrest people before they can actually commit illegal acts. Cruise plays Chief of PreCrime John Anderton. When it’s predicted that Anderton will murder a man named Leo Crow in 36 hours, he tries to escape, setting up a series of events that lead to the PreCrime system being shut down and a TV show based on a time after the film ends. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg.
Tom Cruise Movies: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
In this film, based on the Japanese light novel “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Cruise stars as Bill Cage, who is tasked with filming a landing operation after Earth is attacked by aliens. He’s killed but wakes up the day before the battle over and over again. It turns out that he’s not the only who has had this ability. Emily Blunt plays Sergeant Rita Rose Vrataski, who was caught in a loop previous as well. They work together to save the world from the aliens.
Which Tom Cruise film is your favorite? Which ones do you think should have been on the list? Let us know in the comments!
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)