The 21 Finest Tom Cruise Performances, Ranked

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From American Made to Vanilla Sky, we salute Tom Cruise’s finest roles of all time.

For 40 years, Tom Cruise has commanded the display screen in a wide range of unforgettable roles.


DreamWorks Footage

But, with the extremely anticipated launch of High Gun: Maverick, Cruise returns to one of many roles that put him on the map practically 35 years in the past. With this in thoughts, I’ve ranked 21 of Tom Cruise’s finest and most memorable performances to remind us all of why he is thought-about the quintessential film star.

21.

Minority Report


20th Century Fox Movie Corp.  / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Though Tom Cruise did not essentially have his emotional vary challenged by the fabric of Minority Report, Cruise was nonetheless riveting in his Empire and Saturn Award-nominated efficiency as John Anderton on this esteemed sci-fi motion epic.

20.

The Outsiders


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Tom Cruise wasn’t precisely front-and-center in The Outsiders, however he definitely exuded a degree of depth and allure to seize the suitable stability of blue-collar allure and teenage angst essential to convey Steve.

19.

Jack Reacher


Paramount Footage / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Tom Cruise had an uphill battle to climb after followers of Lee Childs’ motion hero rallied towards his casting, however he defied the percentages to completely seize Reacher’s piercing ferocity and explosive dedication to justice.

18.

American Made


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Reteaming with Fringe of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman, Tom Cruise reveals off confidence and desperation in equal measure in a flashier, sleazier, and in the end underrated, efficiency as a drug runner in American Made.

17.

Mission: Inconceivable – Fallout


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Although Tom Cruise has had loads of alternatives to refine the function of Ethan Hunt from the cool-as-ice spy from the primary Mission: Inconceivable, his efficiency in Fallout is by far his most spectacular within the function, bringing a vulnerability and emotional volatility as issues “get private” for Hunt.

16.

The Coloration of Cash


Buena Vista Footage / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Early in his profession, Tom Cruise needed to take a look at his mettle towards one of many best actors of his technology, Paul Newman, on this sly sequel to The Hustler. Whereas Newman could have gone dwelling with the Oscar, Cruise proved to his critics that he was undeniably greater than his main man appears.

15.

Dangerous Enterprise


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The breakout function for a younger Tom Cruise as a Hollywood heartthrob. The actor confirmed off the stable comedic chops and slick self-assurance that will assist to outline his public {and professional} profession for a few years.

14.

The Final Samurai


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Regardless of the oft-mocked title and central “white savior” conceit, The Final Samurai displays one in every of Cruise’s extra emotionally uncooked and haunting performances as he navigates empathy, remorse, and rage in each the quiet moments and the spectacle.

13.

The Agency


Paramount Footage / Courtesy Everett Assortment

On the heels of A Few Good Males, Tom Cruise displayed vulnerability and vary towards an unbelievable ensemble of dramatic vets together with his morally-conflicted function in Sydney Pollack’s gripping paranoid thriller.

12.

High Gun


Paramount Footage / Courtesy Everett Assortment

In one of many definitive performances of his early profession, Tom Cruise’s cocky and brash flip as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell launched him into changing into a bona fide big-screen motion hero and intercourse image, the sort the place all the fellows within the viewers needed to be him and all the women within the viewers needed to be with him.

11.

Vanilla Sky


Paramount Footage / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Tom Cruise reteamed with Cameron Crowe for this mind-bending and seductive thriller by which he jumps headfirst into a formidable, against-type efficiency as a useless and pompous government whose life is torn asunder by a stunning accident.

10.

Fringe of Tomorrow


Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Cruise is an absolute delight from begin to end as a cowardly public affairs officer who turns into mankind’s solely hope to defeating an invading enemy menace in Fringe of Tomorrow, additional showcasing his capacity to completely combine his comedic abilities and his motion staging experience.

9.

Eyes Extensive Shut


Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Tom Cruise’s efficiency as a mild-mannered physician who descends down a sexually-charged rabbit gap after studying of his spouse’s contemplation of an affair is one in every of his most understated and underappreciated and has notably aged like effective wine contemplating the same old bombastic nature of his roles on the time.

8.

Tropic Thunder


Pink Hour Movies / DreamWorks SKG / Highway Insurgent / Prod.DB / Alamy

Tom Cruise dropped jaws throughout the nation because the hysterical and foul-mouthed Les Grossman, a risky studio government, loosely based mostly on the likes of Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein, who stole scenes all through this beloved satire to the purpose the place he practically obtained his personal characteristic movie spin-off.

7.

Rain Man


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Whereas Dustin Hoffman’s efficiency from the movie has been completely burned into the popular culture lexicon, Tom Cruise’s flip because the egocentric, determined, and manipulative brother of Hoffman’s Ray Babbitt proved the actor able to deeper roles venturing exterior of his squeaky clear persona.

6.

Interview with the Vampire


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Tom Cruise made an indelible impression on the horror panorama by bringing the enduring Anne Rice character of Lestat to the large display screen with equal elements class, sorrow and ferocity, guaranteeing that Interview with the Vampire has remained a gem of the style to this present day.

5.

Jerry Maguire


Tristar Footage / Courtesy Everett Assortment

In one in every of his most grounded, human performances, Cruise delivers massive as a romantic lead on this genuinely sentimental story of an obsessive sports activities agent whose disaster of conscience allows him to wager on himself.

4.

Collateral


Dreamworks SKG / Paramount Footage / Ronald Grant Archive / Mary Evans / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Tom Cruise has by no means been extra intense or scary as his sociopathic hitman in Michael Mann’s Collateral, a task which may very doubtless rise to the highest of this checklist as time goes on.

3.

Born on the Fourth of July


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Tom Cruise rightfully earned his first Academy Award nomination in his undeniably shifting and fascinating efficiency as anti-war activist, Ron Kovic, in Oliver Stone’s acclaimed adaptation of Kovic’s autobiography.

2.

Magnolia


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Talking of Cruise’s Academy Award nominations, the actor’s most up-to-date Oscar nominations happened from his completely astounding efficiency as a troubled and misogynistic motivational speaker who should reckon together with his estranged father’s impending dying, seething unfiltered rage and heartbreak with each spellbinding line.

1.

A Few Good Males


Columbia Footage / Courtesy Everett Assortment

Wielding Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue like a sword, Tom Cruise performs to all of his strengths on this masterful efficiency as a daring and reckless younger lawyer dwelling within the shadow of his legendary father as he faces a sophisticated uphill battle defending two troopers from a homicide cost. Actually, Cruise’s face-to-face climactic trade with Jack Nicholson is arguably the actor’s best hour, interval.



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