Best Tom Cruise Movies & Performances Ranked – Variety

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By Clayton Davis
Senior Awards Editor
With six decades around the sun, Tom Cruise still feels the need for speed and has crafted himself into one of the most successful and undeniably talented movie stars of his generation.
Variety is ranking his 15 best film performances to celebrate the actor’s 60th birthday.
With a breakthrough that started in the coming-of-age film “Risky Business” (1983), the Syracuse, N.Y.-born actor became a darling of Hollywood and consumer audiences around the world. As Joseph Kosinski’s “Top Gun: Maverick” still goes strong, making more than half a billion dollars domestically, Cruise has continued to etch himself into the cultural zeitgeist, crossing multiple generations.
Also a producer, Cruise has continued to elevate the entertainment medium with the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, which began in 1995. With five very successful sequels and two more on the way, he continues to push the boundaries for himself as a fearless stuntman and an advocate for the silver screen.
A career that only the most daring actors and creatives can dream of, Cruise has worked alongside two best actor winners — Paul Newman (“The Color of Money”) and Dustin Hoffman (“Rain Man”) — and has earned himself three Oscar nominations in “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989), “Jerry Maguire” (1996) and “Magnolia” (1999). But it hasn’t been about the accolades for Cruise. In May 2021, he returned his three Golden Globe Awards after the expose on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of diversity, specifically no Black members.
Cruise’s films have grossed over $10 billion dollars worldwide and there are no signs of slowing down. Will he ever win a coveted Oscar? That remains to be seen, but the narrative is there, if the Academy decides to reward an upcoming project.
Read Variety’s rankings of Tom Cruise’s best performances below:
Honorable mentions: “Far and Away” (1992), “The Last Samurai” (2003), “Top Gun: Maverick” (2022)
The Business of Entertainment


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