12 Best Tom Cruise Movies of All Time

Imagine making such a big name that it alone becomes a compliment. Touching all milestones of looks, stunts and charm, Tom Cruise earned fame like no other. With some blows, he still has one of the most successful reigning careers of all time without any long-term series of flops. Talking of his contribution to the silver screen, it is never easy to pick his best ones because the list always falls short to accommodate his greatness. Let us try to summarise the best romance, thriller and classic offerings of Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise Movies

12 Best Tom Cruise Movies of All Time

  1. Mission: Impossible

    Director: Brian De Palma

    Writers: Bruce Geller, David Koepp, Steven Zaillian

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller

    Mission: Impossible (1996) on IMDb

    Jim Phelps and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) are assigned a mission by the US government. The unfortunate turn of events leaves only Ethan as the sole survivor of his team. Convinced that he is responsible for the failure, the organization suspects him of the murder. As everyone turns their back on the American agent, he clears his image. Hiring excellencies Luther Stickell( hacker) and Franz Krieger (pilot), he is all set to gather proof of his innocence and unveil the one who set him up.

    This movie is the first and finest movie of the Mission: Impossible franchise. An action-packed film with originality and a plot that keeps you invested. The over-the-top stunts are not only delivered well but seem just so fine, nothing overdone.

  2. Collateral

    Director: Michael Mann

    Writer: Stuart Beattie

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith

    Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

    Collateral (2004) on IMDb

    In this movie, Cab driver Max is driving on the streets of Los Angeles like his usual affair until a whooping offer of $600 is made to him. With the donning beauty of evening comes his devastating next fare, Vincent(Tom Cruise), a contract killer. Unaware of his intentions initially, Max agrees to drive him to five spots till a corpse falls on his car. Coming face to face with reality, Max feels the terror of death. With a hope to survive to see the next sunrise, he has a question: will he survive?

    So is it an escape, or will he make a move to stop the hitman? The battle of life and death continues on the night-long drive.

    This movie is no less than a gem. If it’s Tom Cruise, there has to be splendid action. The characters build gradually in the film, consolidating connection. The plot is exciting and holds the suspense throughout, preventing predictability. Towards the end, it gets intense, and the twists ensure a nail-biting experience.

  3. A Few Good Men

    Director: Rob Reiner

    Writer: Aaron Sorkin

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore

    Genres: Drama, Thriller

    A Few Good Men (1992) on IMDb

    Guantanamo Bay Naval Base becomes a ground of murder mystery. Two marines, Harold Dawson and Louden Downey, are accused of murdering their fellow Santiago. The case is handed over to the military lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), who is more familiar with filling plea bargains. A fellow lawyer Lt. Cdr. Joanne Galloway, steps in to convince Kaffee that “code red” has been used to discipline the weak after a command from higher authority. The suspicion points out Col. Nathan R. Jessep. The interrogation begins, and Kaffee tries to make both ends meet to save the innocent.

    The performance delivered by Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, and even the rest is a delight. The script is interesting, and even after revealing some major parts ahead, surprisingly, it keeps you glued. Expecting some gory action comes naturally when it’s Tom Cruise, but this movie sustains the interest without much effort. Nevertheless, the courtroom clash is nothing less than action.

  4. Top Gun

    Director: Tony Scott

    Writers: Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr., Ehud Yonay

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis

    Genres: Action, Drama

    Top Gun (1986) on IMDb

    Naval Aviator Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) and his fellow Goose arrive at Top Gun, the Naval Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar. Ambitious Maverick is ready to go miles to win the Top gun trophy. The top-notch weapon school becomes the hub of friction between Tom Kasansky, a rival lieutenant, and Maverick. Meanwhile, the flames of love ignite when top gun instructor Charlie has an encounter with Maverick at a bar. With love, competition, rivalry, accident, and tragic memories, Maverick keeps pushing to be the best pilot.

    Tom Cruise nearly became a genre of his own after this movie. Action combined with outstanding performance and always serving breathtaking looks. Besides his charm, the soundtrack doubles the beauty of the film with well-choreographed action scenes. A little angle of romance adds up to the spice of the movie.

  5. Minority Report

    Director: Steven Spielberg

    Writers: Scott Frank, Jon Cohen, Philip K. Dick

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton

    Genres: Action, Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    Minority Report (2002) on IMDb

    The world has entered 2054, and technology is so advanced that crimes can be predicted. The trio of psychic cognitive people, called pre-cogs, constitute the special unit Precrime. With the organization’s amazing work, the murder rate has been reduced to zero in the past six years in Washington, D.C. Events take a drastic turn when John Anderton(Tom Cruise), the cop, is now accused of murder soon. Unaware of the man’s identity, he runs away from the system he works for, looking for the “minority report,” and tries to prove his innocence in thirty-six hours.

    Based on a science fiction story by Philip K. Dick, the imagination that goes into the plot is beyond crazy. Visuals and special effects offer a virtual trip to 2054. It has enough mystery, action, funny moments, and of course, Tom Cruise to keep you glued to the screen.

  6. Jerry Maguire

    Director: Cameron Crowe

    Writer: Cameron Crowe

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger

    Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport

    Jerry Maguire (1996) on IMDb

    Jerry Maguire is a beloved classic romantic comedy that follows the story of a sports agent, Jerry. His conscience gets the better of him and causes him to put his principles ahead of the profit motive. Despite losing his job and all of his clients, Jerry sets out to prove what he believes in and rebuild his career while learning the true meaning of success. They find true love with some outside help from Dorothy Boyd, an ambitious single mother and one of his clients. Jerry discovers a deeper understanding of life’s priorities as he helps her reclaim control over her professional career and negotiate more money for Rod Tidwell, one of his former clients who had been initially overlooked by everyone else in the industry.

    The movie aged well and continues to live its legacy. Once you see Tom Cruise playing Jerry, you can not imagine any other actor doing a better job. As far as the supporting cast is concerned, it worked like magic. The characters’ emotional connection, humor, and iconic music are all beautiful elements of the movie. The one-liners of the movie are so catchy and have a separate fanbase. We are still awestruck all these years since the release of this gem.

  7. Magnolia

    Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

    Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore

    Genre: Drama

    Magnolia (1999) on IMDb

    The weather in San Fernando Valley is unusual. Heavy rain downpour takes us to nine people’s drowning lives. A dying father, Earl yearns for his son, but his misogynistic son Frank T.J. Mackey(Tom Cruise), is hurt by betrayal. Meanwhile, another dying father is waiting for his estranged daughter, who is the love interest of a police officer. The male caretaker, a young wife, and two bright quiz show geniuses are all involved in different stories till one day when they all intertwine to connect. All are craving forgiveness, love, and peace of mind.

    When Tom Cruise has given all thriller hits, this one also hits but emotionally. Deep down, he needs the motivation to play the relationship guru and motivational speaker role. With the undealt trauma of childhood, he is trying to sail ahead continuously. The emotional turmoil in this movie feels so real that it connects. Not only were the characters written well, but the cast and acting were spots.

  8. Edge of Tomorrow

    Director: Doug Liman

    Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, War

    Edge of Tomorrow (2014) on IMDb

    The alien race Mimics have attacked the earth. When they have the world in their claws, Major William Cage(Tom Cruise) is assigned the mission of fighting them. All odds are against the soldier as he has never seen a day of combat. He dies only five minutes into the battle after killing a mimic. Surprisingly, he finds himself alive to discover that he has been caught in a loop. With the magic ability of the mimicked blood Cage killed, he is revived each time he dies. With repeated combat with the mimics, he improves his fighting ability. On his mission to kill the mimic leader Omega, he is joined by Rita Vrataski. The brutal fight and death repeat their course each time while Cage grows one step closer to Victory.

    The movie is so futuristic and amusing. It feels fresh to see a plot without needing knowledge of the prequel, characters etc., as it is standalone. The pace is fast-moving, with enough suspense and action. Tom Cruise is breathtaking, always playing the part of a coward-turned-hero well. The alien weapons, explosions and brutality are too much but never enough.

  9. Risky Business

    Director: Paul Brickman

    Writer: Paul Brickman

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano

    Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Romance

    Risky Business (1983) on IMDb

    Chicago high school student Jeol Goodsen is a teen overburdened by parents’ expectations. The peak of his frustration meets an outburst when his parents are out on vacation. Trying to make the most of his freedom, he tries to have some fun with Jackie. However, her high bill challenges the limits of his pocket. One after another, breaking the rules and messing things up, he crashes his father’s Porsche. Before his parents arrive, he has to collect a handsome amount of money. Restless, Joel decides to turn the house into a brothel for a night to earn money.

    This movie made the best use of Tom Cruise’s youthful days. With the epic dance scene being a highlight, it offers much more. The acting is convincing and reminds everyone of their careless teenage days. The mistakes and innovations that come around the corner are exceptional. Full of humor, this movie is a rejuvenating watch.

  10. Mission impossible: Fallout

    Director: Christopher McQuarrie

    Writers: Bruce Geller, Christopher McQuarrie

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) on IMDb

    Two years after the successful arrest of Solomon Lane, he manages to flee. Ethan Hunt(Tom Cruise) and his IMF team are to be blamed. Meanwhile, a newly organized terrorist group called Apostles was formed under the leadership of John Larke. Their malicious plan is to execute a nuclear attack using stolen plutonium cores on Mecca, Jerusalem and the Vatican. Ethan and the team must join special activities division agent August Walker to prevent the disaster before it’s too late. Solomon sides with the Apostles against Ethan. The rivalry takes a new turn as the explosive weapons are to be captured just in time which is nearly “impossible”.

    So far, it is the last movie of the mission impossible series. It survives and even tops the expectations from an action perspective. Tom Cruise does justice as the lead of the franchise. The movie is indeed breathtaking and keeps you craving for the next sequel.

  11. Rain Man

    Director: Barry Levinson

    Writers: Barry Morrow, Ron Bass

    Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino

    Genre: Drama

    Rain Man (1988) on IMDb

    Charlie Babbitt(Tom Cruise), a selfish wheeler-dealer, receives the news of his father’s demise. Returning to Cincinnati, he hopes to make a fortune with the 3 million dollars left by his father. To his dismay, he finds out that the money is being given to an unnamed trustee. Looking into the matter, he discovers his older autistic brother stays there. He kidnaps him to get hold of his father’s wealth, but a change of heart occurs during the cross-country trip, which changes the life of the Babbitt brothers.

    This movie captures everything from shallow, materialistic lust to the depth of relationships. It offers hearty laughs and ugly cries. Tom Cruise delivered one of his best performances, with Hoffman putting an equally beautiful showcase of talent. It is not something you’ll watch but feel too.

  12. Eyes Wide Shut

    Director: Stanley Kubrick

    Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Frederic Raphael, Arthur Schnitzler

    Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field

    Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

    Eyes Wide Shut (1999) on IMDb

    Dr. Bill Harford and his wife Alice enjoy a luxurious and happy married life with their daughter Helena when an unpleasant confession comes during a Christmas party. Alice admits to having a sexual attraction toward other men and unfulfilled fantasies. Startled by the truth, a frustrated Bill starts exploring new doors open for him outside the marriage. After failed attempts, one day, his musician friends inform him about secret parties being held where he works as a blindfolded pianist. When Bill makes his way to the party, he faces a threat of identity revelation. With constant turmoil and a change of heart, Bill finds himself drowning.

    The movie captures emotion and reality. The complex situation, tension and every little detail are thought-provoking. The slowed-down scenes with music and the crazy, well-portrayed role of Tom Cruise make this one an addictive masterpiece.

Kierra Rowsey
Kierra Rowsey

Kierra Rowsey is a freelance TV, Film and anime critic for over 12 years, living in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. She graduated from NYU College of Arts & Science in 2008.

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