With a cinematic career spanning four decades, Tom Cruise is arguably the biggest movie star of this century. Cruise looks to have been a movie star for as long as anybody can remember — the dance in “Risky Business,” the “need for speed” yell in “Top Gun,” and “Show me the money!” in “Jerry Maguire,” to mention a few.
He was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actor for his roles in “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989) and “Jerry Maguire” (1996), as well as one for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Magnolia” (1999). These are the three performances for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. “Risky Business” (1983), “A Few Good Men” (1992), “The Last Samurai” (2003), and “Tropic Thunder” (2003) were his final four Foreign Press nominations (2008).
So, without further ado, let us raise our glasses to Tom on his birthday and have a look at his top five films:
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE SERIES
Six sequels have been announced for the film adaptation of the 1960s TV spy series, with the seventh and eighth instalments set for release in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Cruise plays Ethan Hunt in the first film, who is forced to take over as commander of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) after the team is betrayed from inside. The film’s success prompted the development of a television series, which has attracted directors such as John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird, and Christopher McQuarrie.
RISKY BUSINESS (1983)
The one who started it all. Cruise’s breakout role was as high schooler Joel Goodson, who desires to attend Princeton University, but his good-boy demeanour quickly deteriorates when his parents go on a trip, leading him to hook up with hooker Lana (Rebecca DeMornay) and her pimp Guido (Joe Pantoliano).
JERRY MAGUIRE (1996)
Cruise received his second Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, as well as Academy and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Everything in “Jerry Maguire” comes together beautifully, due in large part to Cameron Crowe. His amorous bond with newcomer Renée Zellweger is amusing and satisfying, as are his “Show me the money!” exchanges with an overly enthusiastic Rod Tidwell and his witty take on the sports agent business.
TOP GUN (1986)
In one of his most iconic roles, Cruise leads a crew of close-knit naval aviators onboard the USS Enterprise as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Maverick and his sidekick Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards) are sent to the Top Gun school for remedial training when their superiors disapprove of their dangerous flying style. One of the most memorable films of the 1980s is “Top Gun.”
BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989)
Cruise received some of the highest honours of his career for his depiction of disabled Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic in Oliver Stone’s acclaimed film based on Kovic’s biography. For his portrayal of the campaigner who was confined to a wheelchair due to combat injuries, Cruise won his first Golden Globe Award and received his first Oscar nomination.