Believe it or not, Tom Cruise has churned out some of the best blockbusters of the last 30 years. Only a few actors have the rare combination of talent and charisma that Cruise has. And on top of that, doing most of his own stunts and not letting something silly like a broken bone stop him, he’s fiercely dedicated.
Eccentric may not be strong a word enough to describe one of the highest paid actors of the millennium. Still, one thing Cruise certainly can’t be faulted for is his work ethic.
He broke his ankle leaping between buildings for Mission: Impossible — Fallout, and he can be seen sprinting across unnecessarily-long tracking shots in almost every movie.
That’s the promise of action and fitness, you get from Cruise. Let’s look at some of the most amazing roles played by the actor, as Sony PIX celebrates his 58th Birthday
Edge of Tomorrow
In Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise is once more an action hero. But instead of spy tech and covert operations, he’s strapped into a robotic exoskeleton equipped with a wide and deadly array of weaponry, all meant to help his hero, Cage, kill the invading alien force that always seems one step ahead. It’s a cool premise, where in theory, Cruise could just be cool, flashing his heart-melting smile and strutting with bravado. But part of what makes Edge of Tomorrow such a fantastic ride is that Cage is no typical Cruise hero. He’s not noble, braver or flashy. Cruise forfeits his signature smiles to dig into a coward/would-be blackmailer, who will become a hero through the film’s tagline: Live. Die. Repeat. Tune in to Edge of Tomorrow only on Sony PIX.
Others may argue, but overall, ‘Jerry Maguire’ is still Cruise’s best film. Cruise is terrific in it, winning his second Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and earning nominations from both the Academy and the Screen Actors Guild. Thanks largely to Cameron Crowe, everything in ‘Jerry Maguire’ just clicks. The romance with newcomer Renée Zellweger is funny and satisfying, his “Show me the money!” scenes with an over-exuberant Rod Tidwell and the smart take on the business of sports agentry, and the result is one of the most satisfying romantic comedies of the 1990s.
The one that started it all. Cruise’s breakthrough role was as high schooler Joel Goodson, who had hopes to go to Princeton University, but when his parents go away on a trip, Joel’s good-boy self turns very bad, quickly involving him with hooker Lana and her pimp Guido. It’s not just a quintessential Tom Cruise movie. It’s also a classic piece of 80’s cinema. And the film that spawned a thousand sock-sliding concussions.
A Few Good Men
Try to imagine an actor of lesser presence holding court opposite a scenery-chewing Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. Imagine Ryan Phillippe, Josh Hartnett or, hell, even Channing Tatum in Rob Reiner’s courtroom thriller. Terrifying, no? In one of history’s great acting duels, Cruise, as a callow military defense attorney trying to save two recruits accused of murder, faces formidable officer Jack Nicholson, who bellows, “You can’t handle the truth!” Aaron Sorkin wrote this dazzling courtroom drama on cocktail napkins at his bartender job.
Mission Impossible – Fallout
As soon as Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout was released, critics were calling it one of the greatest action movies ever made. With the sixth M:I movie, McQuarrie and his star Tom Cruise were faced with a difficult task. How do you top hanging off the side of a plane during take-off? Their solution was to make a movie where every scene is this intense. Chasing helicopters, dangling from a cliff, zipping around the ‘Arc de Triomphe’ the wrong way on a motorcycle. McQuarrie and Cruise have left themselves with an even bigger challenge for Mission: Impossible 7.