Box Office Analysis: Tom Cruise

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Top Tom Cruise Movies

Couch jumping nut job, avid supporter of Scientology, one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, take your pick, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV is definitely not your average actor.

Over the course of 30 years Tom Cruise established himself as a true Hollywood star, the kind that is born, not made. From his famous Risky Business dance in 1983 to almost killing his career with that Oprah incident and finally Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol today, Hollywood is a lot less boring thanks to Tom Cruise. Here are the top Tom Cruise movies based on his biggest worldwide box office hits, unadjusted for inflation.

10. The Firm (1993) $270.2 million – Sydney Pollack’s thriller is the story of law school graduate Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise). He is offered a great job by ‘The Firm’, a sinister company with more than a few dubious clients. When the FBI gets involved and asks for his help, Mitch must make a choice that will change the rest of his life. If you haven’t seen The Firm yet definitely check it out.

9. Jerry Maguire (1996) $273.6 million – Successful sports agent Jerry Maguire has a moral epiphany, realizing the wrongs of his life and career. The next day he is fired by his boss and loses all his clients except a so-so football player Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr in an Oscar winning performance). Helped by a former secretary that still believed in him (Renee Zellweger), Jerry Maguire tries to rebuild his career from scratch. Among my favorites of all time, Jerry Maguire is great movie you have to see at least once in your life.

8. Top Gun (1986) $353.8 million – Arguably one of the most popular action movies of the 80’s, Top Gun put Tom Cruise on the map for good. Even after 25 years Top Gun is still an exhilarating film.

7. Rain Man (1988) $354.8 million – Rain Man is one of those instant classic films that you can watch over and over again, year after year. Dustin Hoffman here plays an autistic man in one of his most memorable roles, receiving an Oscar for his performance. In 1989 Rain Man also won Best Original Screenplay, Director and Movie.

6. Minority Report (2002) $358.4 million – The first collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise, Minority Report is a fantastic sci-Fi thriller, ranking up there among the best of the best in the genre.

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5. Mission: Impossible 3 (2006) $397.9 million – My favorite Mission: Impossible before I saw Ghost Protocol, this was an action-packed spy film that featured the best villain in the series history. That villain is obviously Owen Davian played insanely well by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Directed by J. J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8), Mission: Impossible 3 didn’t receive from audiences as much love as it got from critics, making it the lowest grosser of the series.

4. The Last Samurai (2003) $456.8 million – An epic historical drama that’s often overlooked by many, The Last Samurai marks quite a departure for Tom Cruise. We’ve seen him playing a jet pilot, a parent and a super spy, but a samurai certainly wasn’t on anyone’s list. The plot is summed up perfectly on IMDB: “An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.”

3. Mission: Impossible (1996) $457.7 million – Based on the 60’s and 70’s popular TV show, this is the movie Tom Cruise wanted to make since he bought the rights to the franchise. Fortunately for everyone Mission: Impossible turned out great and spawned a series that’s still going even today, more than 15 years later.

2. Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) $546.4 million – Action director John Woo handled this hectic, extremely flawed but still very enjoyable movie. Mission: Impossible 2 became the highest grossing movie of 2000 worldwide and still ranks first in the series (Ghost Protocol might want to change that in the future).

1. War of the Worlds (2005) $591.7 million – Based on the popular H. G. Wells science fiction novel, this was the second collaboration between Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg. Now I saw this in theaters and honestly, I had no problems with it. It’s enjoyable and different enough from other alien-attack films. Certainly not a cinematic masterpiece, War of the Worlds is a good movie that I recommend you watch if you haven’t before.

This was just a part of Tom Cruise’s career and if you haven’t guessed yet, while not a fan of his personal life, I very much enjoy Tom Cruise the actor. Finally I’ll give a special mention to Risky Business, the 1983 comedy that put him on the radar but didn’t make it on this top 10.

What is you top Tom Cruise movie?

  • Dean Fox

    Tom Cruise was born not made and yet he attributes all his success not to mention contributing a shed load of money to the abusive, corrupt and corrupting organisation that calls itself the church of scientology.

    As an actor I think he’s over rated. As a person his involvement with the church of scientology and his bizarre behaviour which stems from that make him somewhat bizarre. He’s an excellent advert for why not to get involved with the church of scientology.

    • Alex

      I agree about everything you said minus the overrated part. He has a certain charm to him that’s very rare. You don’t see actors this days with that charm and thus why I said born, not made.

      Hollywood has been trying to create actors for a very long time and usually they fail. Tom Cruise, with all his craziness (that I briefly mentioned in the intro) is not a product of Hollywood. That’s what makes him great, at least that’s my opinion.

      • Alex

        Sorry, I meant to say “to create stars”, not actors.

  • Manish meena

    he is the greatest actor of all time…he is superb…

    he is the freatest…..tom cruise rocks…

  • Betty b

    He’s very fortunate you are a fan.


    “Collateral” was one of his best !