An "impressive career" has been used to describe Tom Cruise in Hollywood, and there's no doubt that Mr. Cruise has become and is still one of the most successful male actors in the biz. He is the first actor to star in five consecutive films to gross 100 million dollars in the United States.
Cruise is regarded as one of the most popular actors and "powerful forces" in Hollywood today. As a producer, he is ranked alongside heavy weights George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer, as they are the few Hollywood producers to guarantee the success of a billion dollar franchise.
Armed with indescribable charisma, Tom Cruise has been named one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. On screen, his charisma is even more exceptional.
Cruise was only 24 years old when he filmed Top Gun. Cruise's performances and roles have varied greatly throughout his career. In his career as an actor, he has worked with the legends in film: Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Tony Scott, Francis Ford Coppola, Oliver Stone, Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Rob Reiner and way too many to list.
So what movies was Tom Cruise in?
In this hub, we're going to take a look at Mr. Cruise's distinguished career and the films he's been in. We'll also see the latest Tom Cruise movies to come for all you Tom Cruise fans!
Cruise's first film was the supporting role of Billy in the 1981 movie ENDLESS LOVE, starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt.
His second film appearance was also in a supporting role in the film TAPS also in 1981. He played crazed military school Cadet, Captain David Shawn. Sean Penn, Timothy Hutton, and George C. Scott co-starred in the film.
In 1983, Cruise co-starred in the Francis Ford Coppola movie, THE OUTSIDERS, based off the book by S.E. Hinton. Tom played the character of Steve Randle, the best friend of Soda Pop Curtis (Rob Lowe) and brother of the main character, Pony Boy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell).
It was during the filming of The Outsiders that he met director, Paul Brickman, for the role of the main character of the movie Risky Business. However, before Risky Business, Cruise would play Woody in 1983s Losin' It. It would be his first starring role.
His second starring role would also come in 1983 in the movie ALL THE RIGHT MOVES. Cruise starred as Stefen "Stef" Djordjevic, alongside co-star Leah Thompson. The film has both actors in a full, nude love scene that would later gain a lot of buzz.
Tom Cruise's breakout role that jump-started his acting career was of Joel Goodson in the cult classic RISKY BUSINESS. His performance as Joel Goodman earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
Rise to Stardom!
In 1986, the movie TOP GUN catapulted Cruise to international stardom with his role as Top Gun fighter pilot Maverick. This role is still one of his most memorable, and the movie was the highest grossing film of 1986.
Directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, Top Gun also co-starred Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan, Michael Ironside, Tim Robbins, and Tom Skerritt.
Actors such as Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, and Anthony Edwards would become prominent and successful actors. However, it would be the role of Maverick that would push Tom Cruise into the pantheon of "sex symbol."
In the same year, Cruise followed up Top Gun with the film THE COLOR OF MONEY, co-starring with Paul Newman and directed by the legend Martin Scorsese. Cruise plays the role of Vincent Lauria, a naive yet exceptionally skilled pool player.
The Color of Money is the follow up sequel to The Hustler, which starred Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson. Both The Color of Money and The Hustler were based on novels by Walter Tevis.
The Hustler was written in 1959 and it's film adaptation was released in 1961. The Color of Money novel was written in 1984.
Paul Newman won the Academy Award for his performance in The Color of Money.
In 1988, Hollywood saw Cruise star in COCKTAIL as Brian Flanagan, a young bartender who seeks to make it big business. The film was critically panned.
However, in the same year, Tom Cruise starred in the movie RAIN MAN, which co-starred Dustin Hoffman. Cruise played Charlie Babbitt, brother to autistic Raymond Babbitt played by Hoffman.
The film was the highest grossing film of 1988, beating out Twins starring Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rain Man won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Dustin Hoffman), Best Director, and Best Writing, Original Screenplay.
Born on the Fourth of July
One year later, in 1989, Tom Cruise would give one of his most riveting performances as Ron Kovic in the critically acclaimed drama, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. Directed by Oliver Stone, Born on the Fourth of July was based on the real life of Ron Kovic and details his life before the Vietnam War, during the war, and his troubles adjusting back into American society as a paraplegic.
Stone would be awarded with an Oscar and a Golden Globe for directing while Tom Cruise received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Born on the Fourth of July also garnered Cruise's first Academy award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
CAREER DURING THE 90s
Kicking off the new decade for Tom Cruise during the 90s was the high adrenalin racing movie DAYS OF THUNDER which came out in 1990. The role was that of race driver Cole Trickle and co-starred legendary actor Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes, and Nicole Kidman.
This would be the second time that Cruise would work with director Tony Scott (Top Gun), and the movie was often compared to it. Days of Thunder also featured real life Nascar racing drivers such as Rusty Wallace, Neil Bonnett, and Harry Gant.
Days of Thunder would be the first of three films Tom Cruise would star with Nicole Kidman.
FAR AND AWAY - Directed by Ron Howard, this film would be the second flim Cruise would star in with Nicole Kidman. Tom Cruise played the role of Joseph Donnelly, a hard-working Irishman who happens to be good with his fists and seeks out a new beginning in 1890s America.
The movie received negative reviews and was a box office bomb.
Despite Far and Away being a disappointment, Cruise would star in the well received film, A FEW GOOD MEN. Starring alongside fellow acting powerhouses Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Keiffer Sutherland, and Jack Nicholson, the movie was a huge success.
Cruise plays the role of Daniel "Danny" Kaffee, an inexperienced U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps lawyer who leads the defense in the court-martial of two Marines. Tom Cruise would receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for this film.
A Few Good Men would also be nominated for four Academy Awards including: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jack Nicholson), Best Film Editing, and Best Sound. The film was directed by Rob Reiner and was released in 1992.
In THE FIRM in 1993, Cruise would have another success playing the role of Mitchell McDeere. The movie The Firm was directed by Sydney Pollack and garnered mostly positive reviews.
Based on the 1991 book of the same name written by John Grisham, The Firm was the highest grossing R-rated film of that year, as well as the highest grossing film of all the movie adaptations from Grisham's novels.
The Firm also co-starred Gene Hackman, Holly Hunter, and Ed Harris.
Interview With a Vampire
1994 saw Tom Cruise play a villainous role in the movie INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, in which he played the murderous and eccentric vampire, Lestat. The movie was based on Anne Rice's beloved vampire novel of the same title.
Before Cruise stepped into the role, outcry quickly followed. There was no bigger outcry than from the author Anne Rice herself. She wrote a letter about her objections to Cruise playing her beloved Lestat. The letter was printed.
Rice wanted Julian Sands to play the role. Director Neil Jordan sided with Anne, but both were overruled by studio executives who wanted Cruise. After seeing the film, Anne Rice retracted her initial statement and said that Tom played the role perfectly.
River Phoenix was to play the interviewer but died before. Christian Slater was cast to fill in his role and donated what he earned from the movie to River's favorite causes and charities
Interview With A Vampire was a commercial success and also starred Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, and Antonio Banderas.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE - Cruise's first film that he and partner Paula Wagner produced under their production company Cruise/Wagner Productions. Tom also played the lead role of Ethan Hunt.
Directed by legend Brian De Palma, the film was based on the seventies TV show that bore the same name. Mission Impossible was a huge commercial success, and the movie franchise has been deemed one of the most successful ever. The first film grossed over $450,000,000.
JERRY MAGUIRE was written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starred Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire. The film also co-starred Rene Zelwegger, and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film was another major commercial success and critically well received.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rod Tidwell, and the movie also garnered Cruise's second Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Jerry Maguire was Renée Zellwegger's breakout role.
Jerry Maguire came out in 1996 and debuted at number one at the box office, earning $17,084,296 its opening weekend.
Three years after the success of Jerry Maguire, Cruise starred as Dr. Bill Bill Harford in legendary director Stanley Kubrick's EYES WIDE SHUT in 1999. It was Kubrick's last film, and the movie was based off Arthur Schnitzler's 1926 novella Traumnovelle.
Eyes Wide Shut also co-starred Nicole Kidman and was received well. The film also holds the Guinness World Record for the longest constant movie shoot of 400 days.
Ending the 90s would be the critically acclaimed movie MAGNOLIA. Cruise co-starred in an ensemble cast with Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, and Jason Robards. The film was Jason Robard's last film.
Tom Cruise got his third nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 72nd Academy Awards for his performance as Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia. Cruise's character in the film teaches men how to seduce women. The character was modeled off of Ross Jeffries, a well-known, real life attraction guru, in which writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson would later admit.
Cruise won the award of Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes of 2000.
Tom Cruise in 2000
2000 would start with Cruise returning to the role of Ethan Hunt in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 or M:I-2. This time the film would be directed by legendary Hong Kong action film director John Woo.
The sequel surpassed it's Brian De Palma directed predecessor in commercial success. The film grossed $57,845,297 in it's opening weekend, and eventually grossed $215,409,889 in its North American release and $330,978,216 in other territories, totaling $546,388,105 worldwide.
The next year, in 2001, Tom Cruise would narrate the documentary film STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE WITH PICTURES, which detailed the extraordinary life and work of the famed director. He was also interviewed during the documentary, a long with those who worked with Kubrick and those film makers like Martin Scorcese whom Kubrick inspired.
VANILLA SKY would be the second film that Cruise would star in the new millennium, and the second collaboration he would have with director and writer Cameron Crowe. Vanilla Sky is a remake of the 1997 Spanish movie Abre los ojos (Open Your Eyes).
Cruise would play David Aames in this film, and it also co-starred Cameron Diaz with Jason Lee, Kurt Russell, and Penelope Cruz. Penelope Cruz actually played in the original Spanish movie Abre los ojos, and repeated her performance in Vanilla Sky.
MINORITY REPORT - In 2002, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise would team up in the science fiction thriller Minority Report. Tom Cruise would play John Anderton, a Pre-Crime cop who ends up being hunted down by his own team when he is accused of murder.
The film is based on the short story of the same name by legendary science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. If you do not know Philip K. Dick he has written some of the most influential science fiction stories, many of which became adapted to screen. Click the link to visit a great hub by Steve Lensman, who details all the movies that were adapted from Philip K. Dick stories.
Minority Report also stars Collin Farrel, Kathryn Morris, and Max von Sydow.
AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER - Tom Cruise would have a short cameo in this film and plays himself.
The Last Samurai
In 2003, the epic drama film THE LAST SAMURAI was released to mostly positive reviews. The film is directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick. Cruise also co-produced this film.
Set in Japan in the wake of the Meiji Restoration in 19th Century Japan, Cruise plays Nathan Algren. His character is an American military advisor, who is captured in battle and later embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy.
The wonderfully shot period piece also co-starred Ken Watanabe, Shin Koyamada, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada, Timothy Spall and Billy Connolly.
The Last Samurai was nominated for both Academy Awards and Golden Globe awards. Cruise would be nominated for another Best Actor award for the Golden Globes for his performance in The Last Samurai.
COLLATERAL - In 2004, Tom Cruise once again takes on another villain in the movie Collateral. This would be his second film as a murderous killer, this time in the form of a slick hitman named Vincent.
Directed by Michael Mann, Collateral was well received and co-star Jamie Foxx. Foxx was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance of taxi driver, Max Durocher, whose path crosses with Cruise's character, Vincent.
Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise would reunite in the 2005 blockbuster WAR OF THE WORLDS, adapted from the H. G. Wells' novel of the same name. On the set of Catch Me If You Can, Cruise visited Spielberg with three scripts. Spielberg chose War of the Worlds.
Cruise plays Ray Ferrier, a container crane operator at New York city port and has an estranged relationship with his two children until a group of alien forces invade earth, set on destroying the human race.
The film also has Tim Robbins in a small role, and the two actors haven't been in a film since Top Gun. The movie's narration is also done by famed actor Morgan Freeman. The movie grossed $591,745,528 world wide.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 would once again have Cruise return to the role of Ethan Hunt in 2006. Mission Impossible would be directed by J. J. Abrams, and his first ever film as director. The movie was well received and a commercial success, though it was the lowest grossing film out of the Mission Impossible franchise.
2007 would have Cruise star alongside Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in LIONS TO LAMBS. Robert Redford directed the movie and it was the first Cruise/Wagner Productions film with United Artists. Cruise had a falling out with Paramount Pictures the year prior.
Despite the powerhouse cast, the political drama film, in which Cruise played Senator Jasper Irving was widely panned. Lions to Lamb was a box office bomb and was the lowest grossing film Cruise had been in since The Color of Money.
Once again, Cruise would bounce right back from a colossal disappointment to a commercial success with VALYKRIE in 2008. Cruise played Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg a Nazi officer, and the movie was based on the real plot of 20 July plot in 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitler and use the Operation Valkyrie national emergency plan to retake control of the country.
The film had a lot of mixed reviews, mostly from German critics, but the film was a commercial success and grossed $200,276,784 world wide.
Also in 2008, Cruise would play a minor but hilarious role as Hollywood producer Les Grossman in the comedy TROPIC THUNDER, starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. He was nominated a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor for that role.
KNIGHT AND DAY saw Cruise and Cameron Diaz reunite on screen in an action/comedy in 2010. Cruise's character Roy Miller is a secret agent who's mission somehow gets June Havens (Diaz), simple and normal life caught up in a wild, action packed adventure.
Knight and Day garnered average reviews but was a commercial success. It grossed $261,930,436 with a budget of $117 million.
Latest Tom Cruise Movies
Last year in 2011, Tom Cruise would once again go back and reprise the role of Ethan Hunt in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4: GHOST PROTOCOL. The film was once again directed by J.J Abrams, marking Cruise's second collaboration with the hot, new director.
The Film grossed over $693 million worldwide and is the highest grossing installment of all all the Mission Impossible films. It's also the highest grossing film Cruise has ever starred in. The film has received wide critical acclaim and a huge amount of positive reviews.
LATEST TOM CRUISE MOVIES COMING SOON!
June 15th, 2012 will see Cruise playing in an ensemble cast in ROCK OF AGES, based off the Broadway Musical. His role will be 80s rock icon and legend Stacee Jaxx. It's also rumored that he actually sings in it, namely to Bon Jovi's song Dead or Alive.
The film also stars Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta Jones, Russel Brand, Paul Giamatti, and Mary J. Blige.
ONE SHOT - Based off the popular novel by Lee Child, Tom Cruise will play the lead role of Jack Reacher, an ex army cop who is found connected to a psycho-killer, and starts investigating the case in an action-packed journey.
Much like Interview With A Vampire, fans of the character have already cried out in protest against Cruise playing the role. The main reason for such outcry? Tom's height. At 5'7", Cruise is relatively short. Jack Reacher is over six feet tall.
Although Cruise has admitted to being sensitive to these concerns, he did get the blessing to play the role from author Lee Child. Tom has stated that he would have not done the role otherwise. One shot comes out this winter on the 21 December 2012 (USA).
OBLIVION - A post-apocalyptic sci-fi feature, Tom Cruise will play a lone soldier who fixes drones. The earth's surface is uninhabitable, and the drones protect the planet and it's clone citizens, who live above the polluted clouds -- from hostile aliens.
When he discovers a fallen ship with a beautiful woman in it, an awakening of a past life soon follows. Oblivion is slated to come out next year in 2013.
TOP GUN 2 - Yep, Hollywood is going back to Top Gun and giving the famed movie a sequel. Yep, Tom Cruise will be returning to the role of hotshot pilot Maverick. However, the film will be set more up to date of how modern air combat is done.
Yes, this could mean fighter drones, and possibly Maverick being a test pilot for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — a plane that could be the last manned aircraft fighter made in the West. The sequel to Top Gun 2 is slated to come out next year.
More Movie Goodness
- Tom Cruise New Movie Rock of Ages Has Him Playing A Rock Star?
Yep, you heard it right. Tom Cruise is going to play Rock Star Stacee Jaxx in his new movie Rock of Ages, based on the smash hit Broadway musical of the same name. This should be interesting.
- The History of Gangs of New York! A Look Behind The History That Inspired The Movie!
A brief look at the real history of Gangs of New York that inspired the amazing film by Martin Scorsese. This hub will detail the real historical events, attitudes, and figures that played a huge role in both history and the film.
- Iron Man 3 To Start Phase Two of Marvel Comic Movies Coming Soon!
Next year, Iron Man 3 is set to start of "phase two" of marvel comic movies coming soon concerning the epic saga of The Avengers movie! Read more about what's in store for the Avenger's characters and their tie-in films!
- Amexicano! Review of the Indie Gem - Amexicano Movie.
A quiet charmer, Amexicano is a film that takes place within the reality of illegal immigration and the world of "day laborers," but with a unique approach and fresh spin on the subject. This is my review of 2007's indie film Amexicano.
Alexandr on April 22, 2013:
BekaS1974 on April 17, 2013:
Vic (author) on April 24, 2012:
Thanks bro, that's a great story...Mission Impossible was really the first flick you saw in a movie theater? Wow, what a great first film to have for your first theater experience. Right on!
Glad you liked the hub, and his upcoming films sound pretty interesting. Thanks for commenting, bro!
Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on April 24, 2012:
Hey Rabbit! Here you are once again... with a hub about an Actor I adore ... and as a child the first Hollywood movie I saw in theaters was M.I first... so Tom has to be my top gun... eh!
Great about the movie life of tom and again some insiders on the upcoming films making me hungrier....
Personally I loved cocktail! The best movie for me though is A FEW GOOD MEN... lovely piece of acting there!
Great hub bro!