Running Hollywood: Tom Cruise’s 5 best films
Few actors have sustained career a career as long and prolific as Tom Cruise; this is only more impressive when one considers that most of Cruise’s films involve high-octane action and visceral thrills. Love him or hate him, the world’s most famous Scientologist has amassed an impressive filmography. With his most recent film — “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” — killing it at the box office, let’s take a look back at Cruise’s best work.
5. “Edge of Tomorrow”
A more recent film in his repertoire, “Edge of Tomorrow” worked because it very carefully deconstructed our preconceived notion of “Tom Cruise.” In “Edge of Tomorrow,” Cruise plays William Cage: a coward with no intention of fighting the enemy and a willingness to play dirty to avoid his duty; Cage’s only talent comes from the fact that he can mysteriously come back to life after being killed. This power allows us to watch as Cruise slowly chisels himself into the familiar, hardened killer we know him to typically play.
4. “Mission: Impossible”
A series not without its ups and downs, it remains the franchise that Cruise has come back to again and again. Although some sequels have fared better than others, we have opted to select the 1996 original film from the franchise. It doesn’t rely on overly dangerous stunts or a body count — if anything it’s incredibly tame — but instead utilizes Cruise’s charisma and legitimate acting chops to sell the tension as secret agent Ethan Hunt.
3. “Risky Business”
Of all the movies featured on this list, “Risky Business” is the one starring Tom Cruise before he was a superstar. A dark comedy, the film tells the story of Joel Goodsen, a high school senior with ivy league aspirations — and a house devoid of parents for a few days. Although everyone remembers the famous “Old Time Rock n Roll” scene, the movie actually has just as much pathos as it does laughs; it proved that Cruise had range and could carry a movie on the weight of his own shoulders.
2. “Top Gun”
If “Risky Business” showed the world that Tom Cruise could carry a movie, then “Top Gun” established him as a bonafide superstar. Starring as Maverick, a hot shot Navy fighter ace, “Top Gun” became a cultural milestone in the 80’s with an iconic soundtrack, adrenaline-charged dog fights, and slightly homoerotic undertones between Maverick and Ice Man. With a sequel on the way, we will get a chance to see if his F-14 still has any gas left in the tank.
Michael Mann’s “Collateral” was a surprise back in 2004, perhaps most notably because it revolved around Cruise as a villain. Not a cheeky, loveable villain like in “Tropic Thunder,” Cruise’s Vincent is ruthless, cunning, and downright diabolical hitman. As an actor who has saved the world countless times, “Collateral” showed the darkness that Cruise could achieve in his work and proved that he really should do more villainous roles before his time in front of the camera is up.
What other Tom Cruise movies do you love? What types of roles do you want to see him play in the future? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!