Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/13/14

Few movie stars have as broad and diverse a catalog of movies to choose a a top 10 list from as Tom Cruise.

With his newest movie Rock of Ages now out, in which he plays a rock star, it feels like good timing to look back on his long and rather illustrious career.

But a Tom Cruise favorite movie list is not an easy list to compile.

Tom Cruise (Photo by LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Automatically, there is disagreement because of the high degree of subjectivity involved.

For the purposes of this list, his 10 most engaging films, the main considerations are a unique plot line (non-formulaic/suspenseful and compelling subject material) and great acting. Also, do the movies maintain these qualities over time?

Many people will wonder how Top Gun, Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men and others couldn’t make the list. Though many of his movies have left indelible marks on the public for more than a generation, examining the impact of Tom Cruise on pop culture is not the purpose for this list.

So here are the 10 most engaging films in the career of Tom Cruise:

#10) Minority Report (2002)

Sci-fi genre spine-chiller taking place in Washington, D.C. with Spielberg as director.  Not a perfect movie, but gets the blood going and keeps the audience guessing.


#9) Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Cruise shows his depth as an actor, getting his first Oscar nod for his portrayal of an Army veteran who becomes a leader of an anti-war movement.


#8) Rain Man (1988)

Barry Levinson directs great human story of long-lost brothers, one who is young and cocky and the other who is older and autistic.


#7) All the Right Moves (1983)  

Cruise plays high-school football trying to get a college scholarship.  The place, relationships and time period were captured perfectly.  Interestingly, he plays a defensive player.  He did a very personal interview shortly after the filming of the movie.


#6) Collateral (2004)

Michael Mann directs a hitman, serial-killer thriller with Los Angeles as one of the characters.


#5) Eyes Wide Shut (1999) 

Probably one of the lesser commercial successes for Cruise, but this Stanley Kubrick directed film is worth seeing for its bizarre, unpredictable method for detailing marriage issues by infusing unusual amounts of sexual innuendo at every plot turn.


#4) Interview With the Vampire (1994)

From the Anne Rice novel-A great vampire movie with character development and emotions throughout.


#3) The Firm (1993)

John Grisham’s classic novel has top-notch suspense from beginning to end.  Cruise thrills in the type of role he is best known for, outsmarting the bad guys.


#2) Valkyrie (2008) 

Awesome paced movie that felt as real as the true story it portrays.


#1) Risky Business (1983) 

Great 80′s coming of age movie with many twists along the way.  There’s never a dull moment and is fun to watch again and again.  Also, accompanied by a great soundtrack.


Here is an interview shortly after the release of Risky Business in which Cruise dons the same pair of famous shades from the movie.


Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com


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