One of the last stars of classic cinema, or perhaps the last, Tom Cruise continues to rise to new heights. His most recent film, “Top Gun: Maverick,” debuted at the worldwide box office with the highest opening weekend gross of his entire career.
Cruise’s career has spanned more than 40 years, and in that time he has starred in several films that have become beloved and classic cultural phenomena in their own right.
And on the day he turns 60, we at rock radio pick the 10 best Tom Cruise movies.
Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
“Top Gun: Maverick” is the long-awaited sequel to one of Tom Cruise’s most iconic and beloved films. The sequel continues in the modern world with Maverick now teaching a new class of pilots how to fly in a world more complicated than ever. One could argue that it’s a bit early to take this score as the definitive rating for “Top Gun: Maverick” considering it just opened in theaters, but its impact is already undeniable. It had the biggest opening of Cruise’s career and received a five-minute standing ovation at Cannes. After the pandemic changed the way people watch movies, “Top Gun: Maverick” has reminded the world that there really is nothing like seeing a Tom Cruise movie on the biggest screen possible.
Rain Man (1988)
Tom Cruise is often associated with his action movies, like Mission: Impossible and Top Gun, but he’s also really exceptional at acting in straight character dramas. Barry Levinson’s Rain Man is one of his best films and won four Oscars, including the coveted Best Picture. In the film, Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a Los Angeles yuppie who is shocked to discover that his father left an inheritance to an autistic brother named Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) that he never knew existed. Charlie then takes Raymond in an effort to get the inheritance from him, but instead the two develop a relationship over their shared family connection.
The LastSamurai (2003)
“The Last Samurai” is a historical epic set in the world of 1870s Japan. It’s a perspective that, though filtered through the eyes of a white American, is underrepresented in Hollywood blockbusters. Tom Cruise stars as Nathan Algren, a United States Army Captain sent to Japan to train the newly created Imperial Japanese Army, but develops a connection to Japanese culture after being captured by the rival Samurai army, led by Katsumoto, played by the great Ken. Watanabe. “The Last Samurai” is a complex and exciting film about finding meaning in a place far from where you are.
Minority Report (2002)
Based on the short story by acclaimed science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” paints a future as vibrant as the worlds Dick creates. The film takes place in a world where the police use a special police force called the Precrime Unit to arrest people for crimes before they even commit them. The film centers on Tom Cruise as Precrime boss John Anderton, who is framed for killing someone in the near future. Anderton is on the run to clear his name and evade the very unit he has used to hunt down those in his position.
Michael Mann knows how to make a police thriller. He’s proven it time and time again with movies like “Thief,” “Heat,” and “Collateral” is no different. The film follows Max (Jamie Foxx), a Los Angeles taxi driver who dreams of bigger things. One night, he picks up Vincent (Tom Cruise), a hitman who forces Max to drive him around town and help him fulfill his contract. The key to Tom Cruise’s success is that he is undeniably likeable. So Cruise playing such a charmingly evil villain as Vincent is fascinating to watch. Even though he cold-heartedly kills people for a living, Cruise imbues Vincent with such charisma that you can’t help but like him a bit as an anti-hero.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s third film, “Magnolia,” is a masterpiece mosaic of a movie set in the San Fernando Valley. This three-hour epic follows several interrelated characters as they search for love and meaning in their lives. PTA is perhaps the best filmmaker working today, and Magnolia is arguably his best film. The cast includes PTA regulars like Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly, but the standout performance is Tom Cruise as Frank TJ Mackey, a motivational speaker trying to sell a pick-up artist program to lonely men. Cruise’s memorable performance earned him his third and thus far most recent Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Magnolia may seem like a daunting movie to watch, but, due in no small part to Cruise’s captivating performance, it’s an incredibly entertaining ride.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
“Edge of Tomorrow,” aka “Live Die Repeat,” is a clever and brilliant sci-fi action movie that takes the time-loop story device we’ve seen before and gives it the high stakes of a blockbuster hit. epic box office. The film takes place in a future where Europe has been conquered by an invading alien force. It stars Tom Cruise as Cage, an American soldier who is being sent to the war zone, but soon realizes that he is trapped in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day over and over again. He teams up with fellow soldier Rita, the role that made Emily Blunt an action star, to find a way to break the cycle and defeat the aliens.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Continuing to grow in popularity and quality over the course of more than 20 years, the “Mission: Impossible” films have done the impossible. After nearly two decades of movies, the sixth film in the franchise, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” is among Tom Cruise’s best-reviewed movies and opened the biggest weekend of his career at the time. . Fallout continues with Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and the IMF team after the events of Rogue Nation revealed an underground cabal, called the Syndicate, dedicated to world domination. Now aware that threats could be just around the corner, Ethan has to go undercover to prevent remnants of the Syndicate from gaining access to plutonium cores they could use to build nuclear weapons. Not only is it one of the best action movies of all time, but Fallout is proof that if anyone can do the impossible, it’s Tom Cruise.
A Few Good Men (1992)
From acclaimed writer Aaron Sorkin, “A Few Good Men” is one of the best courtroom dramas of all time. It has everything you could want in a movie: eye-catching, engaging performances from incredible actors; clever and clever writing; and a plot that draws you in with the way it talks about the real world. The film stars Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, who represents a group of Marines in a murder trial, in which they claim they were just following the orders of Colonel Jessep (Jack Nicholson). What follows is an exploration of the power of the military and the limits of masculinity. You’ve probably seen Jessep’s iconic monologue at the end of the movie, but you need to make sure you watch it in full.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
The final film from master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut is a wild turn of a film for someone like Tom Cruise, who is generally known for making movies that appeal to mainstream America. Eyes Wide Shut is an erotic thriller, and while fans of his have always found Cruise sexy, it hasn’t been a major component of his on-screen persona. Cruise plays Dr. William Harford, who has a strange night in Manhattan sparked by a frank argument with his wife, played by the legendary Nicole Kidman, about his unfulfilled sexual desires. The film follows Harford as he pursues his own sexual adventure, but he gets more than he bargained for when he attends a bizarre upper-class masquerade.