It’s obvious that there are only five movies of Tom Cruise’s that really matter. They are (in no particular order):
1. Top Gun
2. Jerry Maguire
3. Interview with the Vampire
4. Risky Business
5. Rain Man
Honorable mention goes to Days of Thunder, A Few Good Men, Born on the Fourth of July, and The Firm. I only mention them because I’ve heard they’re good, but never seen them, and have no desire to do so, so I cannot critically analyze them. So, you are left really with the top 5 movies of Tom Cruise’s career that I’ve seen.
This is Cruise’s role that made him a star and household name. I think it was because he started taking Xenu classes at the local Scientology Celebrity Center and all the L. Ron Hubbard learnin’ really helped him hone his fine skills of acting like an asshole. Let’s be honest, this movie is just a homage to masculinity or homoerotic love (why can’t it be both?). You have a bunch of well-muscled bad ass dudebros, like Val Kilmer and Rick Rossovich, flexing the shit out of them in naked locker room and sand volleyball scenes. Then you have Anthony Edwards and you’re like, “hey Goose, who the hell let you in here?” But Goose has a wife who wants his D on the reg, so it’s obvious he’s a dynamo in bed. Spoiler alert, Goose dies because reasons and that’s supposed to make you cry but really you’re like, “is this necessary? Killing off the only comic relief in the movie?” This might be the best Cruise movie if it wasn’t for the complete lack of chemistry between him and Kelly McGillis. I mean, just thinking of their tongues touching in the “Take My Breath Away” love scene gives me the willies. It’s no surprise that years later McGillis came out as a lesbian. I think a Kelly McGillis/Meg Ryan love scene would have 100% more believable and palatable. 5 Cruise points.
Jerry Maguire is a movie about guy named Jerry Maguire at his full Jerry Maguireness. He’s a sports agent who gets a sudden attack of conscience (so unrealistic) when he realizes that dun, dun, dun sports is all about making money no matter what! Wow, Jer, that’s super insightful. Glad they made a whole movie about this. Jerry writes a 100 page manifesto in the middle of the night during which can only be described as a manic breakdown. I was worried about old Jerry and I’m sure he could have benefitted from a few milligrams of depakote at that point. Jerry is delusional enough to think his quirky little spiral bound manifesto will CHANGE THE WHOLE SPORTS INDUSTRY BECAUSE OF INTEGRITY! Instead he gets fired and a single mother named Dorothy agrees to follow him to his new agency because she was so inspired by his writing. (Let’s be honest, Dorothy was after the Jerry Maguire D for a while and she knew this is how she could get it). Blah blah blah, Jerry loses all his clients but one. This client is a small football player from Arizona who steals the whole movie from Jerry with his charisma. Jerry sleeps with and then marries Dorothy, like ya do with your employees just because you like their kid. And like every sports movie, small footplayer overcomes to WIN THE BIG GAME and gets his BIG CONTRACT and then everyone wants the Jerry Maguire D! Something something, you complete me, end scene. This movie does get extra points because Kelly Preston is a stone cold bitch, which makes me love her (probably also took the L. Ron Hubbard total asshole classes) and Regina King is almost the best thing about this movie. She and her husband majored in Marketing and they came to play, baby! 10 Cruise points.
Interview with a Vampire
This movie was highly anticipated because of the popularity of Anne Rice’s book of the same name. Ms. Rice was not happy with the casting of Mr. Cruise and Mr. Pitt as her much beloved vampires, Lestat and Louis. I don’t remember much about this movie except for a really weird makeout between Brad Pitt and a pre-pubescent Kirsten Dunst. What I really wanted was to see a makeout between Brad and Tom (Did this actually happen? I’m not sure. It’s been a long time since I saw the movie and I might have made this up during one of my late-night fantasies). Anyhoo, this movie loses points because I can’t really remember it well, therefore it didn’t make much of a Cruise-pression on me. 3 Cruise points.
This movie is iconic for one thing and one thing only and it’s not the late night boinking scene between Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay on an L train around Chicago. No! It’s iconic because Tom Cruise dances around his parent’s living room in his tighty whities and button down white oxford while listening to “Old Time Rock n’ Roll.” What a card! This movie is totes realistic. I mean, what kid doesn’t think the best way to earn some cash while his ‘rents are out of town is by turning the family domicile into a brothel? My sibs and I always did that when my ‘rents took their yearly wedding anniversary trip up to Glacier National Park (just kidding, dad. We mostly just sat around watching TV and eating cheetos). AND OF COURSE you fall in love with the prostitute who is just a hooker with a heart of gold. I mean that trope isn’t tired or overplayed AT ALL. This movie gets extra points for starring Curtis Armstrong as one of Cruise’s friends, Miles Dalby, who is best known for his role in Revenge of the Nerds, which also starred Anthony Edwards of Goose fame.That’s known as coming full Cruise circle. 7 Cruise points.
This is definitely, definitely the best movie Tom Cruise every starred in that featured a Cruise. This movie really is a vehicle for Dustin Hoffman to show off his best acting chops by playing an autistic man named Raymond with an asshole of a brother named, Charlie. Charlie, played by Cruise, also went to the L. Ron Hubbard school of How to be an Asshole by Really Trying. Charlie is a selfish yuppie because it’s the 80s and it’s a requirement for anyone under 30 in a movie. Charlie and Raymond’s father left a fortune to Raymond (who has savant-like characteristics) and a pittance to Charlie because he obviously has the yuppy means of supporting himself, but this pisses of Charlie because, again, he’s a yuppie asshole. They travel cross-country together and eventually Charlie learns that Raymond is A HUMAN BEING TOO! Good for you, Charlie! Developing a soul was hard in the 80s. Honestly I get Dustin Hoffman’s “Raymond” and Sean Penn’s “Sam” from “I Am Sam” confused all the time, so I may not remember all the plot points, but I know it’s a brothers gotta bro movie and we’re supposed to have special feels about Charlie ACTING LIKE A DECENT HUMAN BEING IN THE END to Raymond, because in the 80s people with special needs were only props to teach us how to be nice instead of fully-realized human beings of their own right. I’m taking off points for the disability inspiration porn, but giving points for the actual porniness when Charlie yells at Raymond listening to him porking his road-piece. I mean, give a guy a break. He’s lived in an institution his whole life! I’m sure they didn’t show movies with the humpin’ and a pumpin’ at the Walbrook Institute. 1 Cruise point.
In conclusion, upon further analysis and dissection of these movies, it’s obvious to see that the true Tom Cruise movie rankings are:
1 – Jerry Maguire
2 – Risky Business
3 – Top Gun
4 – Interview with a Vampire
5 – Rain Man