Cruise Control: Tom's Top 5 Roles

Cruise Control: Tom's Top 5 Roles

Tom Cruise is a force to be reckoned with, love him...or less than love him. The man can't be kept down and, as it turns out, bad press and multiple divorces are no match for his drive, talent and mile-wide smile as he continues to own the box office and churn out an incredible amount of performances per year. And he's not getting any younger, though his shirtless part in Rock of Ages would beg to differ.

From his early roles as eye candy to his transformation to action star, Cruise is one of the world's biggest stars and he next takes on the title role of Jack Reacher, an ex-military drifter who gets involved in a multiple murder case in the upcoming movie directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun) that opens December 21.

Though he hasn't slowed down, and has a handful of upcoming movie projects, we like us some vintage Cruise, when he was more willing to play with his image (that whole Les Grossman stunt does not count) and gave us performances that solidified his status as one of the most successful actors of his generation. So drift back in time with us as we count down the Top 5 Tom Cruise Roles.

#5 Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

The most recent movie on our list, despite the fact that it came out 13 years ago, is also directed and written by the masterful Stanley Kubrick, inspired by the novella "Traumnovelle," and represents a shift in Tom Cruise's career trajectory, choosing an erotic mystery as his follow-up to the feel-good hit Jerry Maguire. Notable because it co-starred his then-wife Nicole Kidman as his sometimes-castrating on-screen wife and for its sexually charged masquerade ball scenes, Eyes Wide Shut remains one of Cruise's riskiest roles and, we think, most successful as he pushes past typecasting and expectations to deliver a stand-out performance.

#4 Jerry Maguire (1996)

This infinitely quotable movie is the kind of easy-going rom-com that demands to be watched when it pops up on TV during rainy Saturday afternoons and Cruise's charming sports agent Jerry Maguire is definitely one of the main reasons to watch. When he has to scream over the phone to prove his dedication to Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), who turns out to be his only client after a nasty office shake-up, Cruise makes the inherent shame, energy and passion palpable and when he says all the right things to Renee Zellwegger's single mom, he solidifies himself as a worthy leading man.

#3 Cocktail (1988)

With a tagline like, "When he pours, he reigns," Cocktail is a perfect, late-'80s gem about Brian (Cruise), an eager young bartender who gets taken under the wing of charismatic and experienced Doug (Bryan Brown) and the two soon bond - as seen in many a bottle-swinging montage set to something by the Beach Boys or Bobby McFerrin - and start raking in cash which leads, as it does in these movies, to Jamaica. And to the girl, played by certified '80s babe Elisabeth Shue. Cruise as the young stud was believably cocky and had that heartthrob thing down, making the cheeky movie a hit and him an even bigger star.

#2 A Few Good Men (1992)

In a cast stacked with bold names like Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Kiefer Sutherland, Cruise not only held his own, he lit up the screen as a young, ambitious lawyer who takes on the case of young marines accused of murder who claim they were following orders. As Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Cruise was all over Aaron Sorkin's witty dialogue and A Few Good Men stands out as a taut legal thriller thanks, in big part, to a mature performance from Cruise.

#1 Top Gun (1986)

As hot shot Maverick, a cocky young pilot who feels invincible and acts superior to mask massive insecurities and a daddy complex, Cruise soared to new heights of success. Though Top Gun wasn't entirely embraced by critics, it's an action movie that spawned its own parody (Hot Shots!) not to mention fashion trends thanks to the movie's stylish cast including Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards. Directed by the late Tony Scott, Cruise embodied his character's bravado and conflicted nature and had the goods to deliver some truly goofy lines with conviction remaining likeable. If you feel the need for speed, you've got Cruise to thank!


HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Interview with the Vampire, Magnolia, Minority Report

Over to you - what are your favourite Tom Cruise movies? Share below!

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