With the release of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation now officially behind us, one thing is certain: Even at the age of 53. Tom Cruise is just as capable of being Hollywood’s number one action star as he has ever been.
Despite overwhelming negative press, and pretty much the whole world accepting the fact that Cruise is a pretty weird guy, we can’t deny that the man makes great movies. He’s been in plenty of stunning dramatic roles, but here we’re taking a look at Cruise’s top ten most fun, action-packed, motorcycle riding, full tilt sprinting, entertaining flicks.
10. Top Gun
The only reason that Top Gun isn’t higher on this list is because, like Cruise’s Top Gun co-stars, it just hasn’t aged well. Have you seen Val Kilmer or Kelly McGillis lately? Cruise definitely came out on top there.
But despite the fact that Top Gun is now nearly 30 years old (how old do you feel now?), it is still a high-flying, rock-n-rollin’, awesome movie with tons of humor, action, and beach volleyball montages. And don’t forget, Top Gun even won an Oscar for its breath-taking original song (awesome pun). By today’s standards Top Gun is pretty cheesy and dismissable, it had a huge impact on 80s pop culture, and that impact still hangs around today. Phrases like “the need for speed” and “you can be my wingman anytime” (perfect for reinforcing a bromance) are just as applicable today as they were in 1986. And if you’re going to try to tell me that you aren’t excited for Top Gun 2, then I’m going to tell you that you’re lying.
The plot of Oblivion is more confusing than the fact that people think Russell Brand is cool, and it may take a few viewings to get a good handle on the story. But each time you watch Oblivion, you will discover new details, plot elements, and aspects of the film that make it more and more impressive over time.
Oblivion didn’t do too well with the critics, thanks to the mind-numbing confusion of the story. But it is a gorgeous sci-fi adventure with lots of action and drama. Cruise is his usual excellent self, and is backed up by an interesting supporting cast, including Oscar winner Melissa Leo as the happiest antagonist you’ll ever meet.
8. War of the Worlds
This 2005 adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells story flew under the radar for many, and if you missed it, it’s worth a watch. In an interesting twist on typical alien invader films, the biggest threat to humanity isn’t the extraterrestrial attackers, but humanity itself. While the huge, tripodal aliens certainly cause their fair share of mayhem, death, and destruction, the most frightening and intense portions of War of the Worlds are when Cruise’s character, Ray Ferrier, and his family are threatened and attacked by their fellow humans.
It’s not very often that Cruise gets upstaged and out-acted during a film, but this is a rare exception. The entire movie is a tour de force on behalf of a young Dakota Fanning, who’s smart, sassy, and terrified character works wonders beside Cruise’s uncertain and optimistic one. War of the Worlds doesn’t have the same reputation of other big-budget alien films like Independence Day, Alien, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but it also isn’t a typical E.T. film, either. It is dark, thought-provoking, and downright scary.