Your Top Three is a series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
We’re all in agreement now that Tom Cruise is the greatest living movie star, right? If you’re still not convinced, hopefully you’re going to give Edge of Tomorrow a shot this weekend. It’s an intense and entertaining movie that is especially winning because of his strong yet also servile performance. Cruise is a workhorse and show horse at the same time, and there’s not really anyone else with that combination right now. The fact that he also chooses an interesting array of projects makes him even more of a valued talent.
Also because of that variety of movies he’s in, it’s difficult to pinpoint which is his best. There are the dramas with their Oscar-nominated performances and the thrilling blockbusters and the chilling blockbusters and the immensely quotable romance flick and the immensely quotable buddy road-trip flick and of course the oddest of all, the slow-moving fantasy film by Ridley Scott. Or should that be the recent jukebox musical?
There’s the most Tom Cruise movie, Top Gun. And there’s the least Tom Cruise movie, Tropic Thunder. There’s the almost self-parody Tom Cruise movie, Cocktail. And there’s the almost self-destructive Tom Cruise movie, Eyes Wide Shut. Or Magnolia, which I’m realizing I need to see again because it’s been 15 years and all I recall is falling frogs. This installment of Your Top Three is definitely a trip into the “danger zone.” Let’s give it a shot.
Here are my top three Tom Cruise movies:
Minority Report (2002) – His first real collaboration with Steven Spielberg (not counting the latter’s cameo in Vanilla Sky) and an immediate return to sci-fi (after Vanilla Sky), which would be a major new wheelhouse for him ever since. Honestly, I don’t completely love him in this, but the movie itself is a stunning work that came out rather presciently in tune with the post-9/11 world.
War of the Worlds (2005) – This time, in another dark sci-fi collaboration with Spielberg, he’s perfectly suited to the role of a divorced father doing everything he can to survive and protect his son and daughter during what appears to be the end of the world. It’s the intentional post-9/11 movie, but to me it’s more timeless and universal, a depiction of a nightmare that ends — disappointingly for some, but not for me — with everything all fine in the morning.
Far and Away (1992) – I’ll never get why this Ron Howard immigration tale is so uncool to like, but I’ve always been swept away by the historical setting, the adventure, the romance, the chemistry between Cruise and Nicole Kidman, even the Razzie-nominated Enya song on the soundtrack. I know it’s not a great film, but it’s a good enough one that I wouldn’t call it a guilty pleasure.
And here are your picks (your top three being Magnolia, Minority Report and Collateral):
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