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Tom Cruise's top 5 performances

From Top Gun to bloodsucking vampire and in the middle of it all? Assassin, snooker ace and Nascar driver. Tom Cruise is the next guy to appear on Top Five!

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In terms of film stars who have been able to sell virtually any film to any type of audience, there are few actors who have had more star power and more charisma than Tom Cruise, and below I have listed what I consider to be his five finest performances.

5. Rain Man (1998)

As the money-hungry, egotistical and arrogant Charlie, a young Cruise showed an impressive range and it's easy to see why he became such a superstar when you rewind the tape and return to his early gems. Cruise's ability here to truly own the role of egocentric and duplicitous and then slowly but surely replace his pursuit of money with values such as compassion, loyalty and honesty - should of course be applauded.

Tom Cruise's top 5 performances

4. Collateral (2004)

Despite director Michael Mann being behind blockbusters such as Ali, Insider, Heat, Miami Vice and Public Enemies, and despite all of those films housing memorable characters, there is no character from any of his films that sticks in my mind with such tenacity as Vincent from Collateral. Part of that, of course, is down to a skilfully crafted script and a great supporting cast in the form of a Jamie Foxx on top form, but most of it is down to Cruise, pure and simple. He really is fantastic in this role.

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Tom Cruise's top 5 performances

3. Magnolia (1999)

Grief and regret are the themes of Paul Thomas Anderson's remarkable drama to say the least, and while parts of this film feel rather stale today, there's certainly nothing wrong with Cruise's performance as the burly life coach Frank T.J. Mackey. Cruise does an outstanding job of conveying confidence and bravado on the surface while on the inside he's as broken as they come, driven by a pitch-black hatred of his abusive father.

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Tom Cruise's top 5 performances

2. The Last Samurai (2003)

There is of course no doubt that Edward Swick (Legends of the Fall) looked for inspiration for his own samurai film in James Clavell's book about John Blackthorne, but where Clavell's Shogun often focused on the war between Catholics and Protestants, Swick chose instead to build a more human story about the industrialisation of Japan and the Western-influenced war power that made the Satsuma uprising possible at the end of the 19th century. Cruise, as we all know, plays Captain Nathan Algren who is captured by samurai and slowly but surely - as in Dances with Wolves, Avatar and Pocahontas - not only begins to understand their ways but changes sides. Cruise is brilliant here as a wounded, damaged, broken man - lost and afraid but slowly but surely beginning to build trust in those he was once ordered to shoot.

Tom Cruise's top 5 performances

1. Interview with the Vampire (1994)

I remember the noise when Cruise signed on to play the vampire Lestat in the lavish film adaptation of Anne Rice's iconic book. Many a Cruise lover hated the idea of a pilot hunk in white hair and fangs and during one particular episode of Oprah I remember the women crying, in protest. The women didn't have to shed any tears, however, as it turned out that the casting decision to hire Cruise as the vampire was a stroke of genius. This is because Cruise owned the role of a ruthless, 1200-year-old bloodsucker in a way that very few others had managed to do, and played off the back of Brad Pitt's counterpart in a number of memorable scenes. Cruise portrays Lestat with a flamboyant, sometimes foolish view of life's little meaning and does so with a charisma and intensity that still enchants.

Tom Cruise's top 5 performances


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