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The 5 Best Tom Cruise Movies!!

I was so bummed that I missed my press screening of Edge of Tomorrow on Monday due to traffic. Not only do I really like Tom Cruise (and Emily Blunt), I’ve heard from many people I trust that this movie is f*cking fantastic (unlike Oblivion). I’ve also heard that it’s easily director Doug Liman’s best movie in almost 20 years.

So while I wait for a window to go check out Tomorrow this weekend, I figured I’d toss a list together ranking my favorite Cruise films. None of these are horror movies, but that’s what “The Further” is for.

This is the kind of thing where the rankings (and indeed the entries themselves) could change any day of the week, so I respect and welcome any disagreements. Check it out below!

5: Jack Reacher
This movie didn’t really set the world on fire (nor did I manage to see it in theaters), but I’d argue that Christopher McQuarrie’s 2012 film (along with Mission Impossible 4) set the stage for the Cruise comeback (in terms of public perception, his earning power hasn’t actually flagged that much) we’re seeing today. In many ways Jack Reacher is a perfect 90’s movie. It feels like the kind of film that would have been a massive budget buster in 1998, but it seems small by today’s standards. Which is great. It gives the film plenty of wiggle room to let Cruise’s character and his actions determine the stakes.

4: War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds is much stronger than people give it credit for. Spielberg made an excellent disaster film in 2005, only to see it overshadowed by the public’s response to Cruise’s personal life during the press tour. Not only is the film itself strong, but Cruise himself is fantastic here. Playing a loser dad who finally has to man up and make some intense (and morally divisive) choices during an apocalyptic event, he brings a real sense of urgency to one of his everyman roles.

3: Risky Business
Not Cruise’s first film, but the one that most assuredly launched him to stardom. And for good reason. His turn here as Joel, a repressed, wealthy high school senior struggling with college placement in the suburbs of Chicago is actually quite nuanced (and a lot of fun). He traces the arc from virgin to pimp (literally) deftly and thoroughly. And the movie itself is a blast.

2: Collateral

In Michael Mann’s 2004 masterpiece Collateral (on some days I like it more than Heat, it’s leaner and more propulsive), Cruise is able to parlay his trademark sense of urgency and intensity into the role of Vincent, a hitman with a tight schedule who happened to pick the wrong cabbie in Jamie Foxx. Watching Cruise and Foxx play off each other is a delight, and there’s a sense of fairness to Vincent that Cruise is able to get more mileage out of than most marquee names I can think of.

1: Magnolia

I’m a huge Paul Thomas Anderson fan, so naturally this was going to be near the top (even if it’s not my favorite PTA film). I imagine you’ve seen Magnolia, but seek it out if you haven’t. I’m not sure Tom Cruise actually gives the film’s best performance among the Altman sprawl here, but I think it’s a hugely brave one. It’s a testament to him that he was willing to take such a gamble on a choice this bold. Most movie stars would have likely found a way to imbue the odious Frank T.J. Mackey with sympathetic notes earlier on, but Cruise waits until the very end to sample his redemption.

Now you can go to the comments and yell at me for leaving Top Gun off. It’s a good movie, but I actually think it contains one of Cruise’s most conservative performances. I should note that I love Cruise’s take on Lestat in Interview With The Vampire, it’s the best thing in a movie that I don’t completely love.



  • Lampers

    I’d add Oblivion. Really liked that.

    • RIB

      I also like Oblivion though not many do. I understand why… the overall story is pretty weak in itself, and (I felt) theres no amazing character moments. I purely loved it for the Drones. This movie had me at flying mechanical spheres of carnage. Like, larger much more efficient Phantasm orbs…. with lasers.

  • Kane Soto

    Legend isnt on here?… i find that a little hard to swallow

    • devilgod

      Tom as a squatting little elf. You wanna call that good?

      • Kane Soto

        that movie is brilliant to anyone with a decent imagination

        • devilgod

          The movie is great – Tom is awful.

  • Jon Bell

    The last samurai.

    • areyoureallyserious

      Never really got over the idea that a white guy was the last samurai. Not because of his race as much as he grew up with an entirely different culture but the guys in Japan were immersed in the concept of being a Samurai. If you start pitching in November, would you be a better pitcher than Verlander in June? That’s how I see it…

      • Jon Bell

        the point was that he had regained his honor and found himself. the journey made the story.

  • reverenddarkness

    No, no, no, no, no. You take “Magnolia” off this list right now, unless you plan on adding “Tropic Thunder”. Cruise was not the lead in Magnolia, so it shouldn’t count.

    In order, in my least humble opinion, without having seen “Edge of Tomorrow”:

    Honorable Mentions: Risky Business, Top Gun

    5. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
    4. Rain Man
    3. Collateral
    2. Vanilla Sky
    1. War of the Worlds

    • areyoureallyserious

      Oh you SO had me until Vanilla Sky LOL.

      • EvanDickson

        I love Vanilla Sky.

      • reverenddarkness

        The only reason WotW is listed above Vanilla Sky is that I ‘bought’ him as Ray Ferrier, I truly believed him to be that guy, more than I did with his David Aames. That said, his performance in Vanilla Sky is the best thing about it. Should Penelope Cruz one day learn to speak English, I’m sure she’ll be fine, but I think she is one reason Mr. Cruise didn’t sell “Aames” as as well. From the first moment to the last, I believed that Ray Ferrier was a real person. But that’s just me…

  • JB

    Mission Impossible III
    A Few Good Men
    War Of The Worlds
    Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

  • Samantha Miller

    I actually can’t believe jack reacher or magnolia are on here. smh

    • I am surprised by Jack Reacher but Magnolia is a brilliant film!

  • areyoureallyserious

    Jerry Maguire belongs on this list. I don’t even like “relationship movies”, but it’s honestly one of my favorites.

  • JACK

    Minority Report is missing.

  • JosephPattisall

    This is an odd post for bloody-disgusting.

  • Doug Shemley

    When did BD become a shittier version of Rotten Tomatoes?

  • Grimphantom

    How much Tom Cruise is paying for BD? Not big fan of Cruise even tho Collateral was decent but others like War of the Worlds could have been better. I didn’t feel strong with Cruise in that movie and making worst hated the relationship with him and the kids, especially that shitty brat of him that you wished he died at the end but he didn’t.

    • EvanDickson

      Tom Cruise’s people paid me $25,000 for this post alone. Worth it.

  • Douglas Young

    Jack Reacher? Is this a joke?? Here a found a few zillion better ones to choose from:

    • J Jett

      nope. JACK REACHER was very good. in fact it’s getting a sequel.

  • Fantasma George

    I’m really not getting either all the love Tom Cruise is getting on this site lately. Are the Scientologists taking over this place? Are all the younger posters gonna get shipped off to that Sea Org teen gulag?

    • reverenddarkness

      Have you not seen that “Edge of Tomorrow” is a movie? Or that, no matter whether I think he is a fantastic whackadoo, Tom Cruise is an awesome actor?

      • Fantasma George

        Why are you asking me all that?! Is this the personality test?!

  • boaaa82 .


  • m-m-m-MONSTER_KILL

    I agree with all the movies on this list being great (I have always been and will continue to be a HUGE fan of Tom Cruise), but my list is slightly different:
    5. Jack Reacher
    4. Mission: Impossible 3 (I really liked Ghost Protocol as an action movie, but the third one, to me, was just an over-all stronger film)
    3. Minority Report
    2. Collateral
    1. The Last Samurai (a lot of people go “PFF! A white guy as the last samurai, shows how racist Hollywood is!” but when I first saw the movie, my assumption was that the title was referring to Ken Wattanabe’s character. Sure, Tom Cruise is the main character, but everything he learns about honor and forgiving himself comes from Wattanabe, who is the last holdout of the Samurai way of life.)

  • J Jett

    i love
    WAR OF THE WORLDS (despite the awful (in this movie only) Dakota Fanning and the douchey kid they got to play the brother).

    • Samael

      I as well enjoyed Oblivion, even if everyone else didn’t. Cheers!

  • ThunderDragoon

    I agree with some of the others, Legend should be on here. Interview with the Vampire, too.

  • Krug09

    For me man it has to be Eyes Wide Shut. A big mind f*** of a movie!

    • Iam_Spartacus

      EWS was a Stanley Kubrick film, not a Tom Cruise film. Stan the Man was the real star.

  • Maosucks

    Top. Gun.

    No contest anywhere else.

  • Samael

    Those are all really good films.

  • Chandler Of-Adelaide

    Collateral yes. The others no. Magnolia would be a worthy mention. But top 5 are (in no particular order);

    Top Gun
    Mission Impossible 1
    Interview with the Vampire

    An honourable mention to A Few Good Men and Rain Man and also to Tropic Thunder. His role in that was the only redeeming quality in that shit fest.

    Also, listing War of the Worlds just instantly discredits and devalues your opinion on anything and everything. The film was a joke in every single aspect and has no single objective positive aspect.

  • pjsteed

    If you don’t list Last Samurai or A Few Good Men, then you are insane. But your list is okay. 🙂

  • Gerry Davie

    Jack Reacher surprised me because I went in with very low expectations. Its one of his best roles cause you can tell he was having fun with it.
    My top 5:
    War of the Worlds
    Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
    Jack Reacher
    Edge of Tomorrow

  • JohnB

    Great Write up. Replace Risky Business with Last Samurai and this list is accurate.

  • Evan3

    Seriously dude. Rain Man. Minority Report. How in the fuck were those not on your list? War of the Worlds is fine until Tim Robbins shows up and the whole movie goes into the crapper. Collateral may be one of his best roles, but certainly the movie was over the top. I would easily can those two.
    But seriously…. MINORITY REPORT!?!?!?!
    (A Few Good Men should be somewhere too).

  • mav07

    2. RAINMAN
    5. TOP GUN

  • Todd Humes

    1. Last Samurai (Hands down should have won an Oscar for this role)
    2. Collateral
    3. Interview with a Vampire
    4.Born on Fourth of July (Should have won an Oscar)
    5. Jerry Maguire

  • Matthew
  • Nicolas Caiveau

    My top 5 Tom Cruise movies would be :

    Minority Report
    Last Samurai
    Interview With A Vampire

  • Anthony Gulino

    Tom Cruise killed it as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder it was the performance of a lifetime …

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