For an actor to have continued success over four decades is incredibly rare, and is something to be revered. Over the course of his illustrious career, Tom Cruise has been able to churn out one massive hit movie after another, and he's one of the most successful actors to have ever graced the big screen. His success is both a testament to his talent, and to his hard work paying off. With the recent release of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Cruise has starred in yet another film to gross over 100 million dollars. With two films slated for release in 2017, fans will be treated to the next series of Cruise hits.
With any amount of success comes bumps in the road, and that's not a bad thing. For the most part, Cruise has been the star of a huge number of excellent movies. Whittling down fifteen to include on this list was quite the task, as Cruise has very few movies that I haven't enjoyed. That being said, I was able to dive into his catalogue, and sift through his hits to pluck out a few of my favorites.
Some of the movies on the list are some that you love, some that you may be on the fence about, and some that will have you grabbing your pitchforks and calling for my head on a silver platter. Did that stop me from putting it together? Not a chance. So, without further ado, here is our list of "15 Tom Cruise Movies That Actually Don't Suck."
15 The Outsiders (1983)
Back before he was one of the biggest and most recognizable movie stars on the planet, Tom Cruise was a just a young actor paving his way through smaller roles in Hollywood. In 1983, Cruise would find himself along a slew of Hollywood talent on the cusp of superstardom in The Outsiders. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola (who also directed a little movie called The Godfather), The Outsiders would become one of the best movies in Cruise's expansive repertoire.
14 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
2011 proved to be a good year for Tom Cruise as the fourth entry into the storied Mission: Impossible would make an enormous amount of money at the December box office. The latest instalment in the franchise grossed over 690 million dollars, and solidified Tom Cruise as a bona fide action star that was capable of having a decades-spanning career.
13 Magnolia (1999)
Throughout his career, Tom Cruise has had an innate ability to make a fortune at the box office. This, however, would not be the case for 1999's Magnolia, which seemed to have a rough go of things, especially when compared to a number of Cruise's previous films. The film managed to grab a modest 48 million dollars at the box office, but, financial success does not determine the quality of a film (I'm looking at you Pearl Harbor).
12 War of the Worlds (2005)
With director Steven Spielberg at the helm, 2005's War of the Worlds was primed to take the box office by storm. Led by solid performances from Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, the summer blockbuster smashed its competition, and would go on to rake in a staggering 591 million dollars at the box office. Based off of the H.G. Wells novel, War of the Worlds was action-packed, entertaining, and very well done. The pairing of Spielberg and Cruise was fantastic.
11 Minority Report (2002)
Once again, the pairing of Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise would catalyze a film to make a huge sum of money, and to be enjoyable at the same time. In 2002, the duo gifted us the movie Minority Report, and it made the summer that year exponentially better than it was before. The movie garnered its share of critical acclaim, and hauled in over 350 million dollars at the box office.
10 Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Looking back at this film now, it's crazy to see the chemistry between Tom Cruise and his now ex-wife Nicole Kidman. The two were no strangers to working together, and they once again teamed up to make a fantastic film. Directed by film legend Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut found its place with other odd and off-beat films in Kubrick's canon, and was the final film that the legend directed before he passed in 1999.
9 Collateral (2004)
Boy, oh boy, this movie was absolutely fantastic. Loaded with an all-star cast that boasted the likes of Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Mark Ruffalo, 2004's Collateral was a film that was poised for massive success. Written by Stuart Beattie and directed by Michael Mann, Collateral is a fantastic crime thriller that wowed audiences, and grossed over 217 million dollars.
8 Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Fresh off of the critically acclaimed film Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise was in the driver's seat for yet another box office hit. Released in 1989, Born on the Fourth of July showcased the horrors of returning home from war, and Cruise's performance of Ron Kovic was brilliant. Directed by Oliver Stone (who also happens to be a Vietnam veteran himself), Born on the Fourth of July is heartbreaking, and Stone's experience with war gave the film a genuine feel.
7 Interview With the Vampire (1994)
This movie is a shining example of perfect casting, despite what the masses wanting something different. In 1994, Interview with the Vampire hit theaters, and those who doubted the casting of Tom Cruise as Lestat were quickly silenced, as the actor delivered one of the best performances of his career. Based off of the Anne Rice novel of the same name, Interview with the Vampire saw the pairing of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt executed brilliantly to much critical praise, and to massive box office success.
6 Risky Business (1983)
This, my friends, is the film that started it all for Tom Cruise. Having already appeared in The Outsiders that same year, Risky Business would be the first film to find box office success with Cruise as its leading actor. Set in suburban Chicago, this shenanigan-filled romp would prove to be one of the best high school movies in a decade that also housed the likes of The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Sounds crazy, but, then again, those movies didn't have a high school kid turn his house into a brothel to make some cash. That's one hell of a way to stand out.
5 Mission: Impossible (1996)
1996 was a huge year for Tom Cruise. Not only did the dawn of the Mission: Impossible franchise set the world ablaze, but, Cruise would double-dip in smash hits that year with the release of Jerry Maguire. In regards to the former, Cruise was only two years removed from Interview with the Vampire, and knew that he needed to keep his box office momentum going. That May, Cruise would drop Mission: Impossible, and he would continue his reign as a box office star.
4 Rain Man (1988)
The 1980's were the first decade to give us Tom Cruise movies, and helped shape a career that has been one of the most financially successful careers that any actor has ever had. 1988 was one of the biggest years in that decade for Cruise who found massive success with both Cocktail and Rain Man. Though Cruise may have not received as much acclaim as Dustin Hoffman for his acting in the film, he was able to deliver a great performance, and he and Hoffman made quite the tandem.
3 Top Gun
One of the seminal movies of the 1980's, Top Gun took the world by storm in 1986, and took our breath away (pun fully intended). Centered on the story of Navy fighter pilots in training, Top Gun was a movie that was had great acting, great stunt work, and a soundtrack that still has people singing along 30 years later. As a Navy veteran, I must admit that this film is a guilty pleasure of mine.
2 A Few Good Men
Rob Reiner has made some stellar films over the course of his career, and his directing of A Few Good Men is incredible. Starring a star-studded cast that includes Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, and Demi Moore, A Few Good Men is yet another movie that finds Tom Cruise portraying a military character in Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee. With such a prolific cast, it's hard to imagine any one actor standing out; yet, Cruise is able to make it happen.
1 Jerry Maguire
The number one movie on our list may be Cruise's most recognizable role to date, and had audiences rushing to theaters everywhere to help Cruise help himself to a smash hit at the box office. As I mentioned earlier, 1996 was Tom Cruise's year. Directed by Cameron Crowe, Jerry Maguire is one of the best movies of the 1990's and is one of Cruise's most critically acclaimed films.
Jerry Maguire saw Cruise net an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and was also nominated for Best Picture. Cruise, along with Cuba Gooding Jr (who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Renee Zellweger, and Regina King would deliver stellar performances. The movies had cameos galore (which as a massive sports fan, I loved), and went on to make over 273 million dollars. With all of the success that he has had, I cannot wait for more Tom Cruise movies to hit theaters, as he is truly talented at his craft.
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