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Tom Cruise turns 50: Ranking his movies top to bottom


Tom Cruise turns 50 today. I'm sure he'll be able to celebrate in peace, seeing how he's kept his name out of the papers lately. I'm not going to pile on. In fact, I have a gift. A list, of course. It took some doing, but here is every single Tom Cruise movie released to date. And naturally, I have a few opinions about them. Feel free to argue whether his best work came in the '80s or '90s.

Happy birthday, Tom. Seriously, pour yourself a drink, hit your DVD collection, and play any of the movies in the top 15 and just ... relax.

34. Lions for Lambs (2007): Did anyone see it?

33. Mission: Impossible II (2000): Or this?

32. Knight and Day (2010): Or this one?

31. Legend (1985): So very, very bad. I wish this wasn't his worst '80s work.

30. Endless Love (1981): Not a great movie to begin with and even still you have a hard time spotting Tom in there.

29. Days of Thunder (1990): I don't buy Cruise as a stock-car driver or a romantic interest to Nicole Kidman. Not at all.

28. Far and Away (1992): No more Irish accents, please. And I had an easier time believing Nicole was his sister, not his lover.

27. War of the Worlds (2005): Halfway through, I was rooting for the aliens. And then for a power outage.

26. The Outsiders (1983): Rarely seen in this otherwise classic movie.

25. Eyes Wide Shut (1999): Should have kept my wallet wide shut.

24. Mission: Impossible III (2006): Zzzzzzzz.

23. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011): It scored big bank at the box office, so someone obviously liked it.

22. Minority Report (2002): Nicely twisted movie, but the special effects are the real star.

21. Valkyrie (2008): Thankfully there's no German accent attempted here. It's as if Hitler would-be assassin Col. Claus von Stauffenberg was from Ohio in this otherwise informative film.

20. Cocktail (1988): Love the movie, but we're not buying any romantic sparks between Cruise and Elisabeth Shue.

19. Vanilla Sky (2001): Tom is great, and god knows I love Cameron Crowe movies, but this one just strikes out.

18. The Last Samurai (2003): I actually own this on DVD, but I'm not sure why. Tom holds his own, but this movie belongs to Ken Watanabe.

17. The Color of Money (1986): Needs more Paul, less Tom. As Vince, Cruise is too irritating to watch.

16. Losin' It (1983): Shelley Long? Really?

15. Taps (1981): Who knew Tom could be suck a jerk? Wonder if his ex-wives had a chance to see him as the war-mongering Cadet Capt. David Shaw.

14. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
(1994): No more hair dyes, Tom.

13. The Firm (1993): I don't buy Tom as a needy law school graduate. But at least the movie's ending was better than the book's.

12. Mission: Impossible (1996): Should have just stopped making these after this hard-to-top reboot.

11. Collateral (2004): Just as he did with Rain Man, Tom is the perfect supporting actor here.

10. All the Right Moves (1983): As disgruntled football player Stefen Djordjevic, Cruise became the poster boy of high school football in the '80s.

9. A Few Good Men (1992): You want the truth? Tom and Jack Nicholson were perfect together in this movie.

8. Rock of Ages (2012): Give Tom credit. Well, go see the movie first. And then give Tom credit.

7. Jerry Maguire (1996): He's hanging on by very loose thread as the title character. And we dig that about him!

6. Top Gun (1986): Take him to bed or lose him forever.

5. Risky Business
(1983): Granted, he only had to stand there and be a horny teenager. But for two hours, every male alive wanted to be Tom Cruise. (Something that hasn't happened since.)

4. Born on the Fourth of July (1989): The movie doesn't hold up as well as Cruise and director Oliver Stone might have liked, but Tom's turn as patriot-turned-protester Ron Kovic is one to remember.

3. Tropic Thunder (2008): I know this is an odd pick, but his transformation into Les Grossman may have saved his career.

2. Rain Man (1988): Dustin Hoffman got the statue; Cruise got our respect.

1. Magnolia (1999): Not a huge fan of the movie, but Cruise was robbed of an Oscar for his turn as Frank Mackey. It's as if the director just knew: Tom Cruise is best when he's playing anyone but himself.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 5:37pm]


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