Tom Cruise’s action comedy Knight and Day is one of many instances he’s worked with an outstanding director throughout his career. Knight and Day auteur James Mangold is the latest, but his past collaborators are widely considered to be among the very best of all-time.
Tom knows how to pick a director! Not that awards are everything, but these movie maestros combine for a total of 9 Academy Awards for Best Director. Even further, filmmakers Tom’s worked with garnered an astounding 28 nominations for this highest directing honor!
That’s impressive! You could get sore arms carrying that many little statues.
Tom has said many times that he loves movies and loves the study of filmmaking. Nothing proves that more than his desire to work with the best – other than the best’s desire to work with him!
Check below for quick summaries of some of the highlighted directors, including many of those Oscar winners and nominees along with some masters of genre movies Tom’s appeared in.
Let us know who your favorite directors are!
WAR OF THE WORLDS, MINORITY REPORT – Steven Spielberg: Quite possibly the most successful director in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg worked with Tom Cruise twice in his last seven movies, the science fiction blockbusters War of the Worlds and Minority Report. Spielberg not only has broken box-office records with legendary summer movies like Jaws, E.T. and the Indiana Jones series, but he scored a Best Director Oscar for his gritty drama Schindler’s List. The filmmaker also earned four other nominations from the Academy for the directing prize.
A FEW GOOD MEN – Rob Reiner: While not an Oscar winner, Rob Reiner guided Tom to one of his all-time great performances in the military courtroom drama, A Few Good Men. The iconic scene with screen icon Jack Nicholson – the famous “You can’t handle the truth!” moment – was pitched perfect by Reiner. The versatile moviemaker also directed fan favorites like The Bucket List andThis is Spinal Tap.
RAIN MAN – Barry Levinson: Tom’s work with Levinson on this project yielded the director an Oscar for Best Director. The serious drama also won Best Picture, and landed co-star Dustin Hoffman the award for Best Actor! Levinson went on to earn another Best Director nomination for his work on the movie, Bugsy.
THE COLOR OF MONEY – Martin Scorsese: Among the most respected filmmakers in movie history, Tom Cruise had the privilege earlier in his career of working with this movie master while co-starring with another legend of the silver screen – Paul Newman. Scorese earned an astonishing five nominations for the Best Director Academy Award – with work on classics like Raging Bull and Goodfellas – before landing a win with his work on The Departed in 2006.
BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY – Oliver Stone: Tom’s performance in the Oliver Stone war drama, Born on the Fourth of July, earned the actor his first nomination for Best Actor and won the director his second Academy Award for Best Director. Stone had previous taken home the Oscar for his work on the war drama Platoon and was further nominated for the thriller, JFK.
THE FIRM – Sydney Pollack: A respected veteran with Best Director hardware from the Academy for Out of Africa, Sydney Pollock helmed the legal thriller The Firm with Tom playing a lawyer dealing with dangerous forces within his own workplace. Pollock, also an accomplished actor and producer, had previously earned two Oscar nominations for direction.
EYES WIDE SHUT – Stanley Kubrick: One of the all-time master directors, Stanley Kubrick worked with Tom on his final movie – Eyes Wide Shut. The legendary director took years to craft this movie, considered by many critics to be among his finest! Kubrick never won an Oscar for his directing efforts, but was honored with nominations four times for renowned films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange.
MAGNOLIA – Paul Thomas Anderson: Tom connected with Anderson for his third Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Anderson went on to get a nomination of his own for the period drama, There Will Be Blood.
COLLATERAL – Michael Mann: Hooking up with the mind behind Miami Vice and Heat moved Tom into an entirely new direction – as a villain! Critics gave the performance a big thumbs up as Tom tore into the material alongside Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx. Mann had been nominated himself for a directing Oscar for his work on the drama, The Insider.
Some other noteworthy directors Tom has worked with include the following:
- THE OUTSIDERS – Francis Ford Coppola: Tom worked with the Oscar-winning director early in his career in this ensemble drama alongside now famous faces like the late Patrick Swayze, Emilo Estevez, Rob Lowe and Ralph Macchio.
- MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II – John Woo: A master of action movies who earned his reputation with classic detective movies from Hong Kong, Hard Boiled and The Killer, John Woo teamed with Tom in the second edition of the Mission Impossible series .
- JERRY MAGUIRE, VANILLA SKY – Cameron Crowe: Once a teen prodigy as a writer, Cameron Crowe has gone on to become one of Hollywood’s most respected directors. Working with Tom in Jerry Maguire, the director elicited one of the actor’s signature performances. The effort earned Tom his second Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and won co-star Cuba Gooding Jr. the prize for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
So which of these directors are your favorites? Who did we leave off the list? Who should Tom work with next!? Let us know in the comments section!
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