Top 5: Tom Cruise Acting Performances

Top 5 Tom Cruise movies

Tom Cruise is one of the greatest action stars of his generation. With a career spanning almost four decades, Cruise has played characters across almost all genres you can think of; from rom-com to SciFi action, to legal drama, he’s done it all. I’m not going to sugarcoat it; condensing this illustrious career into a Top 5 is difficult, but I’ll do my best to represent some of the best movies of his career in this article.

Without further ado, in no particular order, here are my favourite movies by Tom Cruise:

Top Gun (1986) & Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Top Gun further cemented Tom Cruise’s career after his big break in Risky Business (1983). The movie trails the Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying skills. When hotshot fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) is sent to the school, his reckless attitude and cocky demeanor put him at odds with the other pilots, especially the cool and collected Iceman (Val Kilmer). But Maverick isn’t only competing to be the top fighter pilot, he’s also fighting for the attention of his beautiful flight instructor, Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis).

36 years later with an unwavering demand for more by fans, Cruise returned to dominate the box office with a long-awaited sequel. Currently, Top Gun: Maverick is the highest-grossing film of 2022. That says a lot about the star-power Tom Cruise still wields. 

Rain Man (1988)

Starring opposite Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise plays Charlie, a selfish automobile dealer, who kidnaps his autistic brother Raymond (Hoffman) and tries to manipulate him into giving up his inheritance from their late father.

It’s a soulful and enduring drama that helped expires Cruise’s range as an emotional actor.

A Few Good Men (1992)

It’s almost impossible to make a list of timeless legal dramas without mentioning A Few Good Men. 30 years later, this Tom Cruise-starring drama about a lawyer defending two US Marines charged with murdering a fellow Marine continues to thrill first-timers and loyal (re)watchers. 

Mission: Impossible film series (1996 – )

The Mission: Impossible film series is Tom Cruise at his finest and most daring. It’s in a SciFi category of its own and, 26 years since the first movie, shows no sign of slowing down.

Honourable mentions: Minority Report, Collateral, Edge of Tomorrow, Risky Business, American Made, Jack Reacher, Knight and Day, Interview With The Vampire, War of the World, The Color of Money, and Magnolia,.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) tries to get back on his feet after being fired from his job. However, the only client he has is Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a disgruntled football player who wants a better contract.


What’s your favourite Tom Cruise movie? Share in the comments.

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