Let’s do another one of these things.
After the relative success of my Top Ten Ridley Scott Films a couple of weeks back, I feel ok enough with these to take another crack at them. This time up? A Top Ten with an even higher level of difficulty, the Top Ten Tom Cruise Movies.
Mr. Cruise has been in a number of high quality films over the years, this was an extremely difficult list to whittle down. There are a number of really excellent films that didn’t make my cut… including some of his truly iconic roles.
Please keep in mind, these aren’t necessarily ordered by his performances, this would be what I would consider an attempt to rank his best movies. Of course, there are a few films of his I havent seen, I think I have all the major bases covered though.
With those disclaimers out of the way, read on!!
The toughest choice of all for me actually, because whichever ones I didn’t select wouldn’t get represented on the list… In the end I had to go with Cruise’s breakout role, Guido the killer pimp, and the iconic scene where Cruise slides across the floor in his fruit of the looms. It’s actually Cruise’s highest rated film on rotten tomatoes @ 98% (although reviews that pre-date the actual site skew high). Sometimes, you’ve just gotta make “Risky Business” your number 10.
The consummate action movie. Fast moving, slick and filled beginning to end with memorable set pieces. Cruise steps back into his role of Ethan Hunt after five years and doesn’t miss a beat. Aided by incredible special effects work and a strong supporting cast, MI:4 is an adrenalin charged thrill ride. The sequence on the side of the Burj Khalifa is absolutely unforgettable. If this movie had a memorable villain it would be talked about as one of the greatest action movies ever.
Needing to resurrect his career after a string bizarre behavior incidents, scientology videos, and coming off horribly in an interview with Matt Lauer, Cruise donned the fat suit and gave us all Les Grossman. The foul-mouthed, volatile, hip-hop dancing Grossman reminded us that Cruise could be funny (and likeable). The movie itself is a hysterical comedy, thanks in large part to Cruise’s sizeable contribution.
Cruise plays a sports agent who makes the mistake of thinking his company would want to do the right thing. Forced out on his own with only one client, Maguire has one chance to make it. Along the way, he finds romance with an ex coworker and her insufferably cute kid. With Cameron Crowe calling the shots and picking the tunes, you know you’re in for an emotionally manipulative ride, but this one works, as evidenced by its five Oscar noms (and one win – Gooding Jr.)_____________________________________________________________________________
Directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on a story by Phillip K. Dick, “Minority Report” is a superb sci-fi action thriller. Futuristic concepts pepper a tautly paced film with a complicated plot. A harried Cruise runs for his life throughout most of it, dodging the police and fighting against fate itself. It’s a head trip at times, and “The Fugitive” in the future at others, but the meeting of Spielberg, Cruise and Phillip K Dick’s did not disappoint!
Ron Kovic, a young marine who is paralyzed in Vietnam. A true believer when he went in, he loses more than his ability to walk in the war. He loses the very foundation of his beliefs. With nothing left to stand on, literally and metaphorically, he’s forced to go journey of self discovery that ends with him protesting the war and condemning the very things he once held so dear. A powerful anti-war movie, and easily one of Cruise’s most challenging roles.
Martin Scorsese directs Cruise at his young hotshot best. Paul Newman reprises his role as “The Hustler”‘s Fast Eddie Felson, who first mentors Cruise, then comes out of retirement to challenge him. Cruise whoops and hollers around as Newman tries to channel his energy in the right direction and coach him in the way of the hustle. All the while, Scorsese’s visually striking direction makes nine-ball look cooler than it ever has.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic masterpiece on the human condition. It’s an incredible film, with an enormous, talented cast. A challenging, unique and poetic movie, Magnolia is easily one of the best films Cruise has ever been involved with. It takes a look at the fragile coincidences that connect us all as we move through life, each of us trying to do the best we can. Epic and operatic.
A rock solid courtroom drama featuring great performances, containing one of the most memorable lines in movie history. Cruise plays Daniel Kaffee, an underachieving Naval lawyer coasting by on his charm. When he’s suddenly assigned a case with enormous stakes, however, Kaffee rises to his potential. The entire movie is great, but it’s the unforgettable climactic courtroom scene with Cruise and Nicholson thundering at each other that makes the movie such a legend.
The story of the Babbit brothers may be most memorable for Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), but it’s Charlie who changes. It’s a moving story of a self-absorbed man who discovers he has an older brother he never knew about, only to learn that he’s autistic. In an attempt to gain his share of the inheritance, Charlie winds up on a road trip with Raymond, and learns that there are more important things in life than money. Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Well, there you have it. My weigh in on the top ten Tom Cruise movies ever. There were some PAINFUL omissions. I have seen but, for one reason or another, “Cut”: “Collateral”, “Legend”, “War of the Worlds”, “MI: 1-3”, “The Last Samurai”, “Vanilla Sky”, “Cocktail”, “Eyes Wide Shut”, “Top Gun” and “Interview with the Vampire”.
I mean, every one of those movies could easily place on a lesser star’s top ten with no problems. But Cruise’s filmography is filled with high quality pictures, he has no shortage of candidates for a “Top Ten” list, at all.
So what do YOU think? Which omission gets your blood boiling? Which movie do I have ranked to high, or too low? Let’s hear it, what do YOU think?