Lists, Top 10 Movies, Top 10 Performances — February 12, 2014 at 2:35 am



Yes, Tom Cruise may personally be considered kinda a douche bag.  In fact, many people boycott his movies on basis of his private personality alone.  I know at least three people that refuse to watch his movies because he’s categorized as a “man sized” ass.  I don’t disagree, but I also don’t care because the man is one of the only great real “movie stars” left and he makes good movies worth seeing.  That’s what cinema is a about; not celebs private lives, it’s about the magic they put on the big screen and steal us away from our own realities.  Just look at how great even the Honorable Mentions are. Here are my favorite Tom Cruise movies.

10. Jack Reacher


I was born in October; when I get to my birthday I’m going to pull the trigger.

Skip Oblivion, watch this.  I started the book series.  I promise.  It’s worth it.

9. Legend

tom cruise - Legend - 01

I’m afraid you’ll break my heart.

I don’t just love this film because Ridley Scott directed it, because it’s fantasy, or because Tim Curry is in it.  Or oh yeah…….that whole unicorn thing…………it is a beautiful and compelling film about another world with exceptional direction and with the conviction of talented actors to make you believe……HELLO….in the power of unicorns.

8. Interview With The Vampire


I’m going to give you…..the choice I never had….

Anne Rice is and has always been my inspiration and hero as a writer, and Tom Cruise took this role because she couldn’t imagine him as her beloved “Lestat de Lioncourt”, the brat prince….my favorite fictional character even over Sarah Connor or Ellen Ripley.   He not only made her eat her words with satisfaction, I still to this very day cannot see anyone ever being Lestat other than Tom Cruise. It would be like casting someone other than RDJ as Tony Stark.  End of Story.

7. Minority Report


I left him, because everytime I looked at him, I saw my son. Everytime time I got close to him, I smelled my little boy. That’s why I left him. And now you can leave.

This was a movie that changed a generation of science fiction.  It brought things back down to a tangible level with Tom Cruise playing the hero, but yet still maintaining the everyman point of view.  It was a beautifully written, executed and thought out film.  Smart, exhilarating, and well acted don’t often connect.

6. Rain Man


I’m a good driver.

This might be one of those movies that boasts tons of catch phrases but it is also a genuinely heart felt film that doesn’t shove it’s sentimentality down your throat and ask you to swallow it.  The performances by both Cruise and Hoffman here are what make you believe this strange relationship that ultimately becomes so important to both of them.  I get choked up rarely.  I might not shed real tears, but that last damn scene could make the toughest of souls feel humility and kindness in their hearts.

5. Collateral


Take comfort in knowing you never had a choice.

Micheal Mann?  Check.  Gritty Cinematography? Check.  Shit gets real?  We don’t even want you for this one Michael Bay.

4. The Last Samurai


I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.

Even though the more notable performance is owned by Ken Wantanabe, it doesn’t denote the great performance by Cruise, but performances aside, this is one of the most beautiful and well made films I’ve seen in the past twenty years.  Each viewing comes with a passing of time, but a deep gratification on each of those viewings.

3. Mission Impossible


This is the Mount Everest of hacks.

James Bond isn’t the only secret agent.  Ethan Hunt showed up to give us another hero to emulate. This is one of those in the theater cinematic experiences that will stay with me forever and the subsequent sequels while not as good as this brilliant film are fun and should be viewed, this movie is special.

2. Magnolia


“In this life, it’s not what you hope for, it’s not what you deserve – it’s what you take!”

Frank TJ Mackey may be the greatest pig ever created.  He is the epitome of jerk and male chauvinist, and yet there is something so enigmatic about everything he says and does that makes you unable to take your eyes off his obnoxious face.  After awhile you start to question what would make a person be that way, and realize the reason it’s so compelling is because it’s true.  It’s real.  There are Frank TJ Mackey’s in the world.  Cruise played this part so well.  It still surprises me that he would play such an unlikable character, but this was the role of a lifetime and I can’t picture anyone as Frank other than Cruise.

1. A Few Good Men


Is the colonel’s underwear a matter of national security?

My favorite role he plays? Nope.  In fact my favorite roles would be a completely different index, but my favorite film he is featured in is unquestionably “A Few Good Men” One of the best movies ever made.  Done.

Honorable Mentions: Top Gun, Cocktail, Born On the Fourth Of July, Vanilla Sky, Jerry Maguire, and Far and Away

Also don’t forget to check out Justin’s Top Ten Cruise list as it definitely differs from mine, but the affection is there regardless.  Boom Shaka laka!


  • I like about 2/3 of these picks. Magnolia, Collateral, Mission Impossible, Rain Man, and Minority Report would all be on my list. I also don’t have an issue with A Few Good Men being here. I haven’t seen The Last Samurai, but I did not care for Jack Reacher. It was so generic! Still, it is #10, so I guess I can see it.

    The ones that I would add are Jerry Maguire, Born on the 4th of July, The Color of Money, and maybe Ghost Protocol.

    Even so, given all the options, this is a very strong list!

  • Thanks Dan. Jerry Maguire was one I was hedging on. I think it was one of his best roles, but I don’t enjoy it as much as a film entirely. 🙂

  • I’m glad you included Magnolia. Your list makes me want to watch “Minority Report” and “Mission Impossible” again. I don’t remember a thing about “Collateral” so maybe I need to add that one to the queue too.

  • Fair list and i hope edge of tomorrow will make a place in this list ……

  • I just can’t get myself to like Cruise at all, but he has been in some amazing movies. Would agree on Magnolia and A Few Good Men and, of course, Rain Man — not too enthralled with some of the others though and, in particular, Interview with the Vampire, which was truly dismal compared to the book.

    Interesting list though 🙂

  • Good List, Mission Impossible has just made one place in the list. He has trained a lot to make a perfect thrillers…!