He’s one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. He’s had several high profile marriages but is now back on the market since his split with wife Katie Holmes, which threw tinseltown for a loop. His movies are almost always a HUGE box office draw not to mention he isn’t too bad to look at on that silver screen. He recently turned 51 on July 3 but shows no signs of slowing down. So, as a belated birthday honor, here is my Top 10 list of the best Tom Cruise movies.
10. Far and Away: One of Cruise’s early films, in this 1990 period piece, Cruise shined as Irish immigrant Joseph Donnelly, who’s only dream was to own his own land. Here he teamed up again with his Days of Thunder co-star Nicole Kidman, who he married in December 1990. Together, they fought for independence and property in America and ended up falling in love. His youthful looks also didn’t make him hard to look at and his Irish brogue made female moviegoers swoon.
9. A Few Good Men: 1992’s A Few Good Men brought about one of the most famous bit of dialogue ever as Cruise’s Lt. Daniel Kaffee cross-examined Jack Nicholson’s Col. Nathan Jessup about his culpability in the death of a fellow marine, “I want the truth!” Kaffee screamed at Jessup, who replied, “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Cruise was absolutely riveting as the Navy attorney defending two marines against murder charges. His witty banter with co-stars Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Kevin Pollak lighten things up occasionally but overall, Cruise put forth an outstanding performance as a lawyer unsure of both himself and his clients’ innocence but who didn’t stop until he learned the truth!
8. Interview with the Vampire: In this 1994 film adaptation of the best-selling Anne Rice novel, Cruise gave an absolutely chilling performance as the evil vampire Lestat de Lioncourt. Cruise’s sexy demeanor got downright creepy as he brought Lestat to life on screen as he sucked the life out of his human prey. Fans weren’t sure if they should love or hate this character, who seemed to have no regard for human life. This was a departure for Cruise, who was usually billed as the hero not the villain, but as Lestat, Cruise proved he could play both ends of the moral spectrum exceedingly well.
7. Minority Report: This 2002 actioner set in the year 2054 where murders were prematurely stopped thanks to three “pre-cogs,” Cruise gives a pulse-pounding performance as Chief John Anderton, who was out to prove that he wouldn’t kill the man the “pre-cogs” have predicted he would. Phenomenal special effects pervade this movie as Anderton went to great lengths to prove his innocence. A character with his own demons, Cruise gave Anderton an inner depth as he strived to find out who set him up and reclaim his own life after a horrible tragedy destroyed his. Cruise doesn’t stop in his full-out performance that will keep anyone who watches this movie on the edge of their seat!
6. Cocktail: Another one of Cruise’s early films, this 1988 romantic drama had Cruise as bartender Brian Flanagan, who wanted to be more than just a boytoy. Cruise’s playful demeanor no doubt won female fans over as he portrayed this talented New York bartender out to make something of himself. His sex appeal in the movie skyrocketed even further when Flanagan went to Jamaica and fell for Elisabeth Shue’s character Jordan. Yet, Cruise’s dramatic talent was also shown as Flanagan lost his best friend, played by Bryan Brown, to suicide. In Cocktail, Cruise conveyed a range of emotions and showed audiences that he was an actor on the rise!
5. The Firm: The 1993 film adaptation based on the best-selling John Grisham novel of the same name. Cruise played young attorney Mitch McDeere, who was recruited by a prestigious Memphis law firm only to discover “The Firm” engaged in murder, money laundering and other illegal acts. Cruise portrayed McDeere’s moral dilemma exceedingly well and kept viewers captivated!
4. Jerry Maguire: The role that earned Cruise his second Academy Award nomination in 1996. He played sports agent Jerry Maguire, who grew a conscious overnight and strived to succeed with his one remaining client. Cruise showed vulnerability and a boyish charm alongside his then-unknown co-star Renée Zellweger. In my opinion, he should have taken home this Oscar for this role.
3. Mission Impossible: Based on the television of the same name, this 1996 explosive action film had Cruise playing secret agent Ethan Hunt, accused of disloyalty. The action kept coming in this action thriller filled with secrets and mistaken identities. Cruise proved he could play the consummate action hero while still maintaining his boyish swagger and intense vibe.
2. Risky Business: The movie that put Cruise on Hollywood’s radar! In this 1983 dramedy, Cruise played Chicago teenager Joel Goodsen, who was looking to have a good time while his parents are away but things inevitably got out of control. No female moviegoer could forget Cruise dancing around in his pink dress shirt, underpants and socks to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock N’ Roll.”
1. Knight and Day: In this 2010 action comedy, Cruise played spy Roy Miller, who was trying to clear his name when he met June Havens, played by Cameron Diaz. Together they travel the world as June tries to sift through the secret identities, lies and bullets to find out who Roy really is. In this movie, Cruise got to show his comedic chops while still playing the sexy spy. His chemistry with Diaz made them an unbeatable action/comedy duo. This being their second movie together, the first was 2001’s Vanilla Sky, I hope they team up again because they were absolutely electric on-screen together!