I am a huge Tom Cruise fan. I have the utmost respect for him as an actor and as a stunt man. And let’s face it he went a bit crazy there for a minute but it’s incredible how much dedication he gives to his stunts. No actor his age can do what he does. Due to Edge of Tomorrow opening in theaters this weekend, there is no better time to pick out his best and worst.
Now for his best I have four honorable mentions. There are a lot of great movies in Tom Cruise’s filmography and not a lot of bad ones which shows how good of an actor he is. My first honorable mention goes to Minority Report, which is directed by Steven Spielberg and is set in the future where crime is almost non-existent since the FBI can predict and stop murders before they are ever committed. It has an original concept and the movie is incredibly well directed by Spielberg. Tom Cruise also gives a great performance. This film is an unbelievably suspenseful thriller and not the last Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg collaboration on this list.
Next up is Collateral. Directed by Michael Mann, Tom Cruise decided to switch things around and get out of his comfort zone to play the role of the villain, alongside Jaime Foxx, who played the film’s protagonist. Tom Cruise gives a fantastic and a very different performance as Vincent who is a hit man and must eliminate targets while Jamie Foxx’s character is a taxi driver and drives him across the city night life of Los Angeles. It’s great to see him in another role than the hero and he should play the villain more often in movies because he’s great at it. Jamie Foxx is also fantastic in the film and got his first Oscar for best supporting actor. Collateral is also incredibly well shot by Michael Mann and the way the city of Los Angeles is portrayed is absolutely gorgeous.
Eyes Wide Shut is probably Cruise’s best performance. Superbly directed by Stanley Kubrick (which was also his last film he directed and died 5 days after showing the film’s final cut to Warner Brother’s studios) the film is described as an erotic thriller and follows Tom Cruise’s character Dr. William Harford who discovers that his wife (Nicole Kidman who was Tom Cruise’s real wife at the time) considered having an affair. Feeling betrayed and frustrated, he then embarks on a sexual journey of needs and desires and penetrates a secret society that performs masked orgies. But not everything goes as planned. Stanley Kubrick is one my favorite directors and the way that the camera tracks Tom Cruise as he walks around at night is breathtaking. The movie looks beautiful and each shot is just so well crafted. However, there are a few scenes that I feel could have been cut out of the film. The movie could have been edited down to a good twenty minutes by deleting a few unnecessary scenes like the shop owner and his daughter for example we’re unneeded. But the dark and bleak atmosphere and Tom Cruise’s performance is enough to recommend this film and it’s almost disturbing to watch but if you’ve seen Kubrick’s previous works such as Clockwork Orange and The Shining then you know exactly what you’re in for.
My last honorable mention goes to War of the Worlds, the second collaboration that Tom Cruise and Steven Speilberg did. While the movie is a huge departure from the novel, it’s incredibly suspenseful and at the same time extremely terrifying knowing that humanity is pretty much screwed as an alien species invades earth. Tom Cruise is great here as the father figure who wishes to reunite his family with his ex-wife. The action is amazing and the design of the alien creatures (even though we only see them twice in the film, which builds the suspense) is incredible. The only real downside of this movie is Justin Chatwin who is one of my least favorite actors. He ruins every scene he is in and he just doesn’t know how to act. (The scene where he screams “We got to get back at them!” comes to mind displaying his incredible acting ability. “Insert sarcasm here.”) But the rest of the movie is filled with nonstop action, nail-biting sequences and terrifying villains that can just wipe us out with a blink of an eye. I highly recommend War of the Worlds if you haven’t checked it out yet.
And now we’ve arrived to number one. My favorite Tom Cruise movie would have to be Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment in the Mission Impossible franchise and probably one of the best if not the best fourth entries to a film series we’ve ever had. Ethan Hunt is one of the most bad-ass action heroes we’ve seen on the big screen and that’s due to Tom Cruise’s amazing charisma and likability as an actor. He’s great in the Mission Impossible films and once again can perform stunts that no actor his age can do. And yes I’m talking about him climbing the Dubai tower which is without a doubt one of the most suspenseful action scenes ever made. The best part of that scene is that you feel like you’re there with Tom Cruise climbing this thing and you’re about to fall off. And what’s also great is the supporting cast. Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton are all amazing and have great chemistry with one another. The direction by Brad Bird is also flawless. It’s so rare in a movie nowadays when you can actually see the action clearly. The shots linger and there isn’t any shaky cam or quick cuts every two seconds. You can tell what’s going on and it makes the scenes that more thrilling. If you haven’t seen Ghost Protocol yet and you are a fan of action movies and a fan of Tom Cruise, what are you waiting for?!
Now for my least favorite I’d have to go with Oblivion, which came out last year. It’s not a terrible movie. It had redeeming qualities and Tom Cruise gave a good performance. It just got sloppy towards the second act and Morgan Freeman’s character could have been deleted from the movie and it would have been no different. It also tried to copy of 2001 A Space Odyssey which really annoyed me and it had little payoff at the end. It had an original concept which started great but it just got boring and really predictable. While Oblivion isn’t terrible, it’s certainly not great either.
Well, there you have it. Let me know what your best and worst of Tom Cruise are. I’m sure I left some out and feel free to tell me what they are!