Picking the Top 10 Tom Cruise Movies: Mission Impossible

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Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol impressively landed in second place at this weekend’s box office, after opening on IMAX theaters only. Tom Cruise’s latest adventure premieres on screens nationwide today, December 21. Movie Fanatic asked you what your favorite Cruise movie was and now, to celebrate Mission Impossible 4 and its impressive return to greatness (check out our Ghost Protocol review), we give you our Top 10 Tom Cruise movies of all time.

10. Risky Business
Cruise slid across a hardwood floor as Bob Seger sang and he announced to the world that a Hollywood superstar had arrived. During a time when teen comedies chose raunch as their comedic means, Risky Business came along and not only introduced the world to Cruise, but also showed that a teen movie could be smart, sassy and raunchily funny.

Tom Cruise in Risky Business

9. War of the Worlds
Cruise hooked up with a movie heavyweight for the first time when he starred in Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. Many thought, “Why remake a classic?” Why not when you have the star power of Cruise and the visual gifts of Spielberg?!

8. Far and Away
Some adore and others loathe this Ron Howard picture that starred then husband and wife Cruise and Nicole Kidman. We love its sweeping romance, adventure and rare cinematic chemistry that transferred from real life to the screen. Normally, real life husbands and wives fail in the onscreen chemistry department. With Cruise anchoring, he and Kidman kick ass.

7. Interview with the Vampire
There was, and still is, discourse about whether Cruise was right for the role of Lestat. We think Cruise nailed it, but this is about the top movies of Cruise. What makes Interview with the Vampire an even greater film is Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst and the landscape provided by author Anne Rice.

6. Rain Man
A year before Oscar would finally recognize Cruise and nominate him for Born on the Fourth of July, he scored a stellar part opposite an Oscar winner in Dustin Hoffman and went toe-to-toe with him. Cruise showed incredible range in Rain Main and flexed his acting muscles in a role he took to prove something to himself.

5. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Ghost Protocol is not only one of the Top 10 Action-Thrillers of 2011, but one of the best films of the year and absolutely one of Cruise’s best films… period. Normally the fourth film in any franchise fails to live up to expectations. Mission Impossible’s fourth foray into the world of Ethan Hunt was a Cruise masterpiece of performance and persona meeting at the right place at the right time.

4. A Few Good Men
Speaking of going toe-to-toe with great Oscar-winning actors (like Rain Man above), the courtroom scene where Jack Nicholson barks, “You can’t handle the truth!” only works as well as it does because of the fierce questioning laid forth by Tom Cruise prior to Nicholson’s explosion. Cruise combined his The Firm legal swagger with the military panache he learned in Top Gun to craft a military legal eagle that soared.

3. Born on the Fourth of July
As an actor, pure thespian we’re talking, there is no better performance by Cruise than in Born on the Fourth of July. Perhaps it was the telling of a powerful real man’s story? It doesn’t matter how Cruise found his power for the film, his portrayal of Ron Kovic is the stuff of moviemaking legend.

2. Top Gun
If Risky Business put Cruise on the map, then Top Gun made him an A-list superstar. The Tony Scott-directed patriotic fest channeled Cruise’s innate cockiness into the character of Maverick that produced pure gold. Top Gun, in our mind, is a virtual tie with the number one Cruise film. But, because of the quality of the actual film..

Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire

1. Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire is our top Cruise movie of all time. From beginning to end, it is a cinematic journey that is not only the superstar at his best, but a film that goes down as one of Hollywood’s best. Cruise’s sports agent loses it all, only to find there was so much more to life than he ever thought. It has to be one of the top character arcs of the last two decades. That is thanks to the talent of a certain Tom Cruise.

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