Tom Cruise movies, ranked – CBS News

by Ryan

Tom Cruise movies, ranked

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Thirty-five years after the debut of the Tom Cruise classic “Top Gun,” its sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” is scheduled to arrive on November 19, 2021. 

Cruise has more action on the horizon, too: In 2022, he will reprise his role as Ethan Hunt for “Mission: Impossible 7.” 

Using data from Metacritic, we’ve listed every major Tom Cruise movie spanning his long career, from the worst to the very best. See where his latest flick falls on the list.

“Cocktail” (Metascore: 12)

Touchstone Pictures

Cruise played a New York City bartender in the 1988 film.

The role earned him a Golden Raspberry award nomination for worst actor. 

“Legend” (Metascore: 30)

Universal Studios

In the 1985 fantasy film, Cruise must defeat the demonic Lord of Darkness before the world plunges into an eternal ice age. 

The Ridley Scott film also starred Mia Sara and Tim Curry.

“The Mummy” (Metascore: 34)

Universal Pictures

This 2017 film rebooted the beloved Universal monster franchise, but critics’ reviews were scathing. 

The Wall Street Journal called the film “a movie that goes beyond defying comprehension to being truly incomprehensible.”

“The Outsiders” (Metascore: 41)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 movie is based on S.E. Hinton’s acclaimed novel.

The film featured Cruise and just about every other up-and-coming male star at the time, including Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez. 

“Vanilla Sky” (Metascore: 45)

Paramount Pictures

In the 2001 film, Cruise plays a man who has everything, before his face is badly disfigured in an accident. 

The psychological thriller also stars Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz. 

“Knight and Day” (Metascore: 46)

Twentieth Century Fox

Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise reunited for this 2010 action comedy.

Diaz plays a woman who gets caught up with a secret agent (Cruise) who is on the run from the CIA.

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” (Metascore: 47)

Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

In this 2016 sequel to “Jack Reacher,” Cruise’s character is on a quest to uncover a government conspiracy. 

The Film Stage called the movie “harmlessly generic.”

“Rock of Ages” (Metascore: 47)

Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema

Cruise doesn’t just act; he can also sing. 

He played rocker Stacee Jaxx in the 2012 screen adaption of the Broadway rock musical. 

“Lions for Lambs” (Metascore: 47)

United Artists

Cruise plays a U.S. senator and Republican presidential hopeful in this 2007 drama about the Afghan war.

The movie also stars Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. 

“Far and Away”: (Metascore: 49)

Universal Studios

Cruise and Nicole Kidman star in this 1992 film. 

The historical epic is about two Irish immigrants seeking a new life in America in the 19th century.  

“Taps” (Metascore: 49)

20th Century Fox

“Taps” was the actor’s second-ever film role. 

Cruise plays a military student trying to save his school with the help of the other cadets. 

“Jack Reacher” (Metascore: 50)

Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions

In the 2012 thriller, Cruise plays a former military officer investigating the murders of five people. 

The film also stars Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo.

“Top Gun” (Metascore: 50)

Paramount Pictures

Despite mixed critical reviews, this 1986 action drama about fighter pilots was a massive commercial hit. 

The sequel is expected to hit theaters November 19, 2021.

“Losin’ It” (Metascore: 51)

"Losin' It" (Metascore: 51)

MGM Home Entertainment

In this 1983 teen comedy, Cruise plays a young man who travels with a group of friends to Tijuana, Mexico on a quest to lose their virginity.

The film also stars Jackie Earle Haley and Shelley Long.

“Oblivion” (Metascore: 54)

Universal Studios

In this 2013 science fiction film, Cruise plays a drone repairman with the fate of humanity in his hands. 

The film also stars Morgan Freeman.

“The Last Samurai” (Metascore: 55)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Cruise was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in this 2003 period drama.

In the film, he plays an American soldier who becomes an instructor in the Japanese army. 

“Valkyrie” (Metascore: 56)

United Artists

This 2008 World War II thriller concerns a plot by German officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler. 

The film also stars Kenneth Branagh and Bill Nighy.

“The Firm” (Metascore: 58)

Paramount Pictures

This 1993 thriller is based on the John Grisham novel of the same name.

Cruise plays a young lawyer who accepts a job at a prestigious law firm. But when two associates are murdered, he has to decide whether to turn informant for the FBI.

“Mission: Impossible” (Metascore: 59)

Paramount Pictures

The first film in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise was inspired by the 1960s TV series of the same name. 

In the 1996 film, Cruise plays Ethan Hunt, an agent accused of being a mole within his intelligence agency. Hunt must uncover the real double-agent to clear his name. 

“Mission Impossible II” (Metascore: 59)

Paramount Pictures

The second film in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise came out in 2000. It received the same Metascore as the first. 

Ethan Hunt in on a quest to destroy a genetically engineered biological weapon.

“Interview with the Vampire” (Metascore: 59)

Warner Bros. Pictures

The 1994 horror flick is based on the Anne Rice novel of the same name. 

The movie also stars Brad Pitt and a young Kirsten Dunst.

“Days of Thunder” (Metascore: 60)

Paramount Pictures

Cruise plays a race car driver in this 1990 film.

“Days of Thunder” is one of three films in which he co-starred with Nicole Kidman, his wife from 1990 to 2001. 

“A Few Good Men” (Metascore: 62)

Columbia Pictures

In this 1992 Academy Award-nominated film, Cruise plays a military lawyer assigned to a murder case.

The movie also stars Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore. 

“All the Right Moves” (Metascore: 62)

Twentieth Century Fox

In this 1983 sports drama, Cruise plays a high-school football player hoping to get out of his small Pennsylvania town by earning a college scholarship. 

The teen sports movie also stars Craig T. Nelson and Lea Thompson.

“Rain Man” (Metascore: 65)


In “Rain Man,” Cruise plays a self-absorbed car dealer who comes home to collect the money his deceased father has left behind. When he gets there, he discovers that he has an autistic older brother (Dustin Hoffman). 

The film won an Academy Award for best picture. 

“Mission: Impossible III” (Metascore: 66)

Paramount Pictures

In the franchise’s third entry from 2006, Ethan Hunt comes out of retirement to take on an evil arms dealer.

The movie also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ving Rhames.

“Eyes Wide Shut” (Metascore: 68)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Cruise and Nicole Kidman starred in Stanley Kubrick’s 1999 drama about a married couple torn by jealousy and infidelity.

The film also stars Sydney Pollack and Madison Eginton.

“Edge of Tomorrow” (Metascore: 71)

Warner Bros. Pictures

In this 2014 science fiction film, Cruise plays a soldier in a war against invading aliens. Cruise’s character is forced to relive, over and over, the day he died in combat.  

The film also stars Emily Blunt and Brendan Gleeson.

“Tropic Thunder” (Metascore: 71)

Paramount Pictures

Cruise received a Golden Globe nomination for his nearly unrecognizable cameo as a volatile movie studio executive in Ben Stiller’s 2008 action-comedy. 

The film also stars Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Jay Baruchel.

“Collateral” (Metascore: 71)

Paramount Pictures

Cruise plays an assassin opposite Jamie Foxx as a cab driver in this 2004 crime thriller. 

The film grossed $220.9 million at the box office. 

“War of the Worlds” (Metascore: 73)

Paramount Pictures

Cruise plays a father on the run during an invasion by aliens in this 2005 Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi film. 

The film also stars Dakota Fanning and Tim Robbins.

“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” (Metascore: 73)

Paramount Pictures

In the 2011 installment in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, Ethan Hunt and his team are on the hunt for a terrorist. 

The film grossed $694.7 million at the box office. 

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” (Metascore: 75)

Paramount Pictures

Movie-goers love “Mission: Impossible.”

In the fifth movie of the franchise, Ethan Hunt and his team go head-to-head against an international criminal consortium.

“Born on the Fourth of July” (Metascore: 75)

Universal Studios

Oliver Stone directed the 1989 biographical film about Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic.

The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including a best actor nomination for Cruise. 

“Risky Business” (Metascore: 75)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Few can listen to “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band without thinking of this classic ’80’s comedy.  

Cruise plays a well-behaved high school student who lets loose when his parents leave town. 

“The Color of Money” (Metascore: 77)

Touchstone Pictures

In this 1986 sequel to “The Hustler,” Cruise plays a student of the craft of pool hustling. 

He’s eventually pitted against his mentor, played by Paul Newman.

“Jerry Maguire” (Metascore: 77)

TriStar Pictures

Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger star in this 1996 rom-com, for which he earned another Oscar nomination. 

“You complete me.” Need we say more?

“Magnolia” (Metascore: 77)

New Line Cinema

Cruise played a motivational speaker struggling to reconnect with his dying father in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film.

He earned an Academy Award nomination for his role.

“Minority Report” (Metascore: 80)

Twentieth Century Fox

The 2002 Steven Spielberg movie is based on a Philip K. Dick story. 

In the futuristic film, police-officer Cruise faces a world where crimes can be predicted before they are committed. 

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (Metascore: 86)

Chiabella James/Paramount

Yes, really! 

According to critics, the best Tom Cruise movie to date is also his latest — the action flick that brings back the indomitable Ethan Hunt.

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