The heat of the summer still shines on the latest Tom Cruise action movie, Knight and Day. But that didn’t stop Associated Press film critic Christy Lemire from looking at Tom’s filmography to weigh on on his top five all-time performances!
Picking just five roles feels a little skinny when the first three are Oscar-nominated roles! Tom’s fans could quickly point to his work in action movies ranging from the Mission: Impossible series heading back to Top Gun. However, Lemire picks some of Tom’s most accomplished acting across a number of genres – ranging from mind-bending science fiction to emotionally-filled dramas.
Take a look below and let us know if you agree with the list!
Magnolia (1999): While not a staring role, Tom stood out in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble drama as Frank T.J. Mackey, a self-help guru attempting to reconnect with his father. This is one with Tom showing off his deep side!
Lemire writes about the performance:
“Pretty much universally recognized as his best work ever, it earned him the third of his three Oscar nominations, this time for supporting actor.”
Jerry Maguire (1996): A favorite performance for Tom Cruise fans throughout the world, Jerry Maguire earned Tom his second of two Oscar nominations for best actor in a leading role. The film continues as a fan-favorite through it’s lasting humor, romance and signature Tom Cruise charm.
Lamire’s take on Tom’s acting in the Cameron Crowe film:
“… his performance as a sports agent trying to rebuild his career and his personal life allowed him to show the full range of highs and lows within him. And that line from Cameron Crowe’s film remains famous largely because he’s the one who says it — just like the movie’s catchphrase, ‘Show me the money!’”
Born on the Fourth of July (1989): Tom’s first Oscar nomination for best actor in a leading role came with his portrayal of Vietnam veteran and peace activist Ron Kovic in this gritty drama helmed by Oliver Stone. Making the transition from All-American jock to paralyzed soldier in the film, Tom made believers out of the Hollywood establishment in his acting ability.
Someone hand us a tissue, it’s that good!
Lemire comments about the serious drama:
“Here’s where Cruise showed his ability to dig deep, and do more than just charm us by flashing that sexy smile of his and working his high-energy, verbal magic. ..in Oliver Stone’s searing film about Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, who returned from the war partially paralyzed and fully disillusioned, the transformation in Cruise occurred not just superficially but internally, as well.”
Minority Report (2002): Teaming with Steven Spielberg for the first time, Cruise takes a darker turn in this futuristic thriller. In an understated performance, Tom transports us on a race through a dystopic future, trying to avoid capture for a crime he has yet to commit! This Philip K. Dick-inspired story also introduced fans to the acting talents of Samantha Morton.
No need for a manicure after watching this one – our nails were chewed off!
Here’s what Lemire said about the science fiction spectacular:
“…Cruise is at the center, holding it all together confidently as the straight man in a fantastic, futuristic world, even as his detective character, John Anderton, goes on the run for a crime he hasn’t yet committed.”
Risky Business (1983): Here’s where we first saw Tom dance into a leading role, literally! In his breakout performance, Tom charms co-star Rebecca DeMornay and, by extension, audiences throughout the world. Sliding into our hearts in nothing more than an Oxford shirt and a pair of underwear, Tom’s iconic dance scene is still parodied today.
“Of course, the movie that made him a star in the first place. In retrospect, it’s a classic Tom Cruise role, the prototype: a young guy who has it all and thinks he has all the answers, only to experience a comeuppance and learn more than he bargained for. It’s a performance that solidified his place in pop culture…”
What’s your favorite Tom Cruise performances of all time? What about a personal top five list? How about top 10!? Let us know in the comments section below, or keep the conversation going on the TomCruise.com Facebook profile page or Twitter feed!
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