The upcoming Mission Impossible Fallout movie coming to cinemas soon got me both excited for it, and thinking…what are the best Tom Cruise movies? Which then in turn made me go….well I guess I should just make a list. So here is my list of the top 10 best Tom Cruise movies. I judged them both on critical acclaim, fan appreciation, and some of my own personal opinion.
First off is my honourable mention, and that goes to:
Oblivion – Oblivion doesn’t get the most love from critics, but I’m not the only big fan it has. Its a great story centred around a memory wiped Tom Cruise who has to finish his job before he can be relocated off world to the new home for all of humanity. Of course things don’t go to plan, and lots of twists and turn ensue. This is an absolutely beautiful movie though, with an amazing sound track by M83, and I think if you know what you’re getting yourself into, and you like Tom Cruise, check this one out. Now onto the list.
10. Interview with a Vampire:
1994 brought us the adaptation of the novel and lead by Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, Interview with a Vampire gave us one of the most deep and atmospheric looks at the age old tale of the vampire. Nominated for Art direction and Original Score just show the level of detail this movie went into to create this world, and good enough for number 10 on the list.
Another dark and atmospheric movie, but this time with a decidedly different style to it, we have 2004’s Collateral. When a hitman takes a taxi driver hostage, and forces him to take him from murder to murder, we get the soundly engaging, supremely acted, and well directed action thriller that is this movie. Michael Mann delivers his signature style of hyper real fire fights, done with some of the best and most intense sound design of any director. Nominated for Editing and a best supporting actor nod for Jamie Foxx, Collateral definitely deserves to be on this list, and is at number 9 on mine.
8. Jerry Maguire:
Cameron Crowe has a way of creating off beat stories, that always seem like they won’t connect with audiences, but then somehow do, and thats what he did in 1996 with Jerry Maguire. Most famous for its now infamous “show me the money” scene, Jerry Maguire tells the story of a sports agent who loses his job for expressing who he is, and then puts that character to the test, by taking his only remaining client, and trying to get them both to the top of the industry. Nominated for 4 oscars, but winning the best supporting category for Cuba Gooding Jr., Jerry Maguire is one of Cruise’s most acclaimed films, and number 8 on our list.
7. Mission Impossible (1 & Rogue Nation):
There is probably no Tom Cruise movie or franchise, more closely linked with the mega star than Mission Impossible. One of those franchises that started so well, then had its share of ups and down, and is now back full on top, Mission Impossible was the real catalyst to the action star version of Tom Cruise most of us know to today. Starting in 1996 and still going strong more than 20 years later, the combination of action, stunt work, and pushing the edge of the spy action genre, Mission Impossible with always be a fan favourite around the world. More than deserving of a number 7 spot.
6. Minority Report:
What do you get when you mix Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg? One of the best sci-fi action thrillers around in 2002’s Minority Report. Staring Cruise as a detective in a special future crimes task-force, where crimes can be predicted and prevented from happening, until the entire system is has to be questioned when Cruise himself becomes the centre piece of a yet to occur murder. Minority Report takes viewers in a pulse pounding journey through a future landscape, but with old questions being asked and answered in new ways. Add to that the directing pedigree of Steven Spielberg, and you have a perfect recipe for blockbuster that doesn’t let down.
5. Edge of Tomorrow (Live Die Repeat):
We can’t talk about blockbusters, and not talk about Edge of Tomorrow. Based on a manga, and brought to the big screen in 2014, Edge of Tomorrow takes on us on a groundhogs day type adventure, but with robot mech suits, aliens, and amazing action that never seems to get old even when we’re seeing a scene for the 40th time. Cruise stars along side Emily Blunt as a coward who is forced to become the man he wished he always was, and help guide the human race to a fighting chance at survival. Boasting one of the better critical and fan reactions of his more recent movies, Edge of Tomorrow is one of those movies that everyone saw because someone they knew said they had to go see it, and it had to be on this list, and at number 5.
4. Risky Business:
The film that really started the Tom Cruise craze has to go to 1983’s Risky Business. Staring a then 21 year old Tom Cruise as a teenager with a dream and a will to get there. Risky Business took us on the ride of our lives in more ways than one. To this day, some of the most iconic moments in Cruise’s film career are from this movie, and its ability to connect with audiences through time because of its themes of adolescence, sex, and everything else teenagers think they want, Risky Business will always be a classic. Filled with the music, cars and iconography of its time, Risky Business is truly a cult classic that will live on for a long long time.
3. Top Gun:
If Risky Business made Tom Cruise a star, Top Gun made him the coolest man in the world. Take a full on action movie, and merge it with a 80’s romance movie, and thats basically Top Gun in a nutshell. It gave audiences everything they wanted. High flying acrobatics and action, and vulnerable romance. This movie almost single handedly made Tom Cruise the coolest, made Take My Breathe Away the most popular song in the world, and I’m sure increased the number of Naval recruits in 1986. 4 Oscar nominations, and one win for best original song, Top Gun will forever be one of Tom Cruises most remembered roles, even if part of the reason is all the supposed homo-erotic undertones many have accused the film of having.
2. A Few Good Men:
You want the truth? Just when we people thought all Tom Cruise had was action in him, along came the 1992 movie, A Few Good Men, regarded by many as some of Cruises best strictly acting work on the big screen. A Few Good Men put Cruise along the likes of Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore to really give this drama thriller all the acting chops it needed to help land it some of its 4 Oscar nominations. This movie though showed the world, that Tom Cruise was really here to stay, and could handle whatever was asked of him, and good enough to snag the number 2 spot on our list.
1. The Last Samurai:
Though over the years this movie has come under some criticism in its use of a white actor in the telling of a traditional samurai tale, I still think this movie deserves the top spot. 2003’s The Last Samurai is a brilliant and beautiful film, that tells the story of what happens sometimes when opposing cultures collide. I think also this film might mislead some into believing that its meant to make Tom Cruise the last samurai, but in fact he is simply the conduit to allow for the telling of this story. 4 Oscar nominations, and I think the most balanced performance we’ve ever gotten from Cruise. This movie takes us with him from brash American military advisor, to meek and defeated POW, to curious and learning pupil, to finally someone the samurai respected as one of their own, on their own tragic march to oblivion. The Last Samurai in my opinion, gives us the best of all worlds, and is the best of the man himself, Tom Cruise.