The 5 Best Tom Cruise Movies

The 5 Best Tom Cruise Movies
The 5 Best Tom Cruise Movies
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Hollywood had always been his home since he started acting in the 80s. This is the time when we used to get completely entertained by him at the theaters while his personal life became a tabloid favorite of all time. He is hardly ever disappointing, whether it is shooting down Russian MIGs, running from danger or towards danger, or just being handsome and charming. So here is The 5 Best Tom Cruise Movies.

Rain Man (1988)

Throughout the ‘80s, you could always count on a Tom Cruise comedy or action movie where he played various shades of sexy and capable leading men characters with great smiles. However, in 1989 Rain Man showed that Cruise was also a good dramatic actor.

In this movie’s early scenes, it turned out that Cruise’s character was a real jerk. In this case, Charlie Babbitt as played by Cruise was an offensive car dealer who did not care about anyone else around him. After discovering his autistic brother whom he never knew, played possibly in Hoffman’s most iconic role Charlie went through a maturation and personal growth journey. While initially, Charlie tries to exploit Raymond for his superhuman memory and math skills for profit eventually he develops deep caring feelings for him. It then goes on to discuss the ethical concern pertaining to Raymond’s situation whereby should Charlie take care of his brother and let him be part of a real family? Or should Charlie return Raymond to an institution where the majority of his adulthood has been spent?

Hoffman may have been more prominent in this film project but essentially it was about Charlie at last. Here, Cruise brought together just enough charm and emotional range mixed with arrogance to nail this role.

A Few Good Men (1992)

Like many other films starring Tom Cruise, there is always one scene everyone knows even if they have never seen the entire movie before such as this one. For instance, toward its conclusion, there is this showdown between Cruise and Jack Nicholson in the courtroom where he says “You can’t handle the truth!”

In this film (which was adapted by Aaron Sorkin from his stage play), Cruise portrays an Army lawyer named Daniel Kaffee. In order to defend two Marines who have been accused of murdering a fellow Corpsman. One who was about to expose an international incident at Guantanamo Bay, Kaffee teams up with the overzealous investigator JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore). The mastermind behind the murder cover-up is Colonel Nathan Jessup (Nicholson) who is bitterly racist.

Some traits of Cruise’s typical leading man role could still be seen in this part. Amidst all the complexities of this movie’s courtroom and the Odd Couple rapport between Galloway and Kaffee, his character was allowed more room to grow while Cruise showed off his dramatic chops.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Jerry Maguire is definitely the most quotable film of Tom Cruise. It is a bit strange how that movie ended up being both a romantic comedy and an athletic drama, with Cruise himself representing the main character who works as a sports agent whose ethics are awakened by the corrupt nature of his industry. While this might be good for him personally, it’s not so good for his career. However, during the course of the film, Maguire finds hope again through his romance with a single mom (Renee Zellweger) and possibly an NFL player (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who could resurrect his career.

In this role, Cruise didn’t go too far off type. But Jerry Maguire was a movie designed to showcase his on-screen appeal and good looks. This was arguably Gooding Jr’s finest hour as it got him an Oscar win and broadened his horizons giving us such options as Snow Dogs and Daddy Day Care. This is one of the best movies out of the 5 best Tom Cruise movies.

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Oliver Stone has made some questionable choices in directing recently. However, he was at the top of his art when he made a trilogy dealing with the Vietnam War. The second part is called “Born on the Fourth of July”, while 1986’s “Platoon” comes before it and 1993 Heaven & Earth comes after it. Once in this undertaking, Cruise acquired Ron Kovic’s role who acted as the basis for writing this film from Vietnam War veteran’s autobiography. Consequently, someone will see Kovic moving from an idealistic young American boy to a soldier facing many battles into an anti-war advocate using a wheelchair.

No other performance in cinema in that decade spoke more about Cruise’s potential as an actor than this one. At first, Kovic is exactly what you’d expect from Cruise – handsome and charming. However, by gradually becoming more tormented physically and mentally over time due to his numerous scars we observe a different persona on the screen. Even 25 years later, it remains one of his greatest performances. The only reason behind not winning an Oscar that year was that he came up against a monster called Daniel Day-Lewis.

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

In a previous edition of this list, we had 1986’s Top Gun as number one. Well, following our rule of having only one film from a franchise in the list – the best entry among them all —Maverick takes the top place today. There may be some “recency bias” at play here, I suppose (note we have movies from different decades). But Top Gun: Maverick is a sequel that is truly amazing after decades and is not only better than the original but also managed to become Tom Cruise’s biggest-ever hit by making 1.5 billion dollars globally owing to its fantastic run in cinemas around the world over time. Everything has developed there; storylines, stunts and even acting by Cruise himself. Truly touching yet simultaneously entertaining, Maverick stands out as a true representation of what Cruise’s career has turned out to be like.

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