Readers of AskDeb.com often ask me, “What movies has Tom Cruise been in? What are the best Tom Cruise movies?” While I’ll often respond with movie titles like Top Gun, that’s just barely scratching the surface of Tom Cruise’s long and influential Hollywood career.
In this article, I’ll start by looking at the five best Tom Cruise movies. Afterwards, I’ll end the article by listing all of the other Tom Cruise movies available on Blu-ray and DVD. When you’re through reading, you should know the answer to “What movies has Tom Cruise been in? What are the best Tom Cruise movies?”.
What Are The Best Tom Cruise Movies?
If you want to know, “What movies has Tom Cruise been in? What are the best Tom Cruise movies?”, then examining his finest films is a good place to start. In my opinion, the following Tom Cruise movies capture the actor at his best.
- Rain Man (1988) – Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a self-absorbed yuppie who takes his autistic brother (played by Dustin Hoffman) on a road trip in an attempt to gain a share of his inheritance. Cruise is great playing the shallow character who learns to care for the brother he never knew.
- Top Gun (1986) – As Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, Cruise became the poster boy for the United States Air Force. Cruise’s good looks and charm stand out, as do the eye-popping aerial dogfights. The supporting cast is also excellent, featuring Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Meg Ryan and Michael Ironside.
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989) – Tom Cruise teams with Oliver Stone to make this movie about the effects of the Vietnam War on those who fought in it. As paralyzed war vet Ron Kovic, Cruise gets to do some serious acting for a change, and in many ways it serves as the antithesis of Top Gun.
- Magnolia (1999) – Joining an ensemble cast with the likes of John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore, Cruise shines as Frank T.J. Mackey, a self-help guru who teaches men how to seduce women. But there’s more to the seemingly shallow Mackey than meets the eye, and audiences get to see Cruise range from over-the-top to absolutely anguished.
- The Last Samurai (2003) – Cruise plays Captain Nathan Algren, a man bereft of self-respect and tortured by his past. After being captured by a group of samurai, Algren begins his slow ascent back towards a life worth living. Beautifully shot, The Last Samurai allows Cruise to demonstrate a wide range of emotions (and the sword battles are pretty cool, too).
Tom Cruise Filmography
- Endless Love (1981) – As Billy
- Taps (1981) – As Cadet Captain David Shawn
- The Outsiders (1981) – As Steve Randle
- Losin’ It (1983) – As Woody
- All the Right Moves (1983) – As Stefen “Stef” Djordjevic
- Risky Business (1983) – As Joel Goodson
- Legend (1985) – As Jack O’ The Green
- The Color of Money (1986) – As Vincent Lauria
- Cocktail (1988) – As Brian Flanagan
- Young Guns (1988) – As Cowboy (uncredited cameo)
- Days of Thunder (1990) – As Cole Trickle
- Far and Away (1992) – As Joseph Donnelly
- A Few Good Men (1992) -As Lt. Daniel Kaffee
- The Firm (1993) – As Mitch McDeere
- Interview with the Vampire (1994) – As Lestat de Lioncourt
- Mission Impossible (1996) – As Ethan Hunt
- Jerry Maguire (1996) – As Jerry Maguire
- Eyes Wide Shut (1999) – As Bill Harford
- Mission Impossible II (2000) – As Ethan Hunt
- Vanilla Sky (2001) – As David Aames
- Minority Report (2002) – As John Anderton
- Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) – As Himself (cameo)
- Collateral (2004) – As Vincent
- War of the Worlds (2005) – As Ray Ferrier
- Mission Impossible III (2006) – As Ethan Hunt
- Lions for Lambs (2007) – As Senator Jasper Irving
- Tropic Thunder (2008) – As Les Grossman
- Valkyrie (2008) – As Claus von Stauffenberg
- Men (2009)
- Tourist (2010)