The 10 Most Memorable Tom Cruise Movies

(Last Updated On: December 31, 2016)

tom cruise movies

Tom Cruise is one of the most well-known actors of our time. In this post, we’re taking a look at which Tom Cruise movies people remember most.

The order is based on the results from the Sporcle quiz Tom Cruise Movies.  Play it below, or play it on Sporcle to see where you stack up. (NOTE: For the purposes of this blog post, movie series are combined.)

mission impossible

1. Mission: Impossible Series (1996) No surprises here, the most remembered Tom Cruise movies are the Mission: Impossible series. Based on the TV series of the same name, Mission: Impossible casts Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, an IMF agent who’s framed for the murders of his team. The first movie was wildly successful, making over $450 million in Box Office worldwide. This success allowed Cruise to reprise his role for a total of 5 movies in the series (so far). For many people, when they think of Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible is the first movie that pops in their head.

2.  Top Gun (1986) This movie turned Tom Cruise into a household name. Tom plays Lieutenant Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, an aviator aboard the USS Enterprise. Inspired by the article “Top Guns” from California Magazine, the movie follows Maverick as he starts training at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School. With one of the most popular movie soundtracks ever, Top Gun popularized the song ‘Take My Breath Away.’ This song would go on to win the Best Original Song award at the 1987 Academy Awards.

3. Risky Business (1983) A 21-year old Tom Cruise plays a high school student in the suburbs of Chicago. Risky Business has one of the most memorable dance scenes of all time. We will never be able to forget the image of Tom RiskyBusinessCruise dancing in his underwear to the tune of ‘Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll.’ This scene surely helped put Risky Business at #3 on this list.

4. Jerry Maguire (1996) Jerry Maguire (Cruise) is a sports agent working for Sports Management International. He writes a mission statement about dishonesty in his business, which leads to his termination at the company. Jerry Maguire was inspired by sports agent Leigh Steinberg, and it went on to be the top-grossing film of 1996. Full of cameos and quotable quotes, this movie had us at hello.

5. Vanilla Sky (2001) In a remake of the Spanish movie ‘Abre los Ojos’ (Open Your Eyes), Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz shine. From a prison cell, Tom Cruise tells his life story to a psychologist. The rest of the movie is told via flashbacks, as we find out how Cruise ended up in jail. The movie will leave you guessing, with an ending that’s open to interpretation, you’ll have to watch the movie for yourself to find out what it’s really about.

WOTW6. War of the Worlds (2005) Aliens are attacking the world in this movie that’s loosely based off of the classic novel with the same name. Tom Cruise is a father fighting to protect his children from an unknown threat. You’ll be at the edge of your seat as Dakota Fanning screams and Tom Cruise runs through a world being destroyed.

7. Days of Thunder (1990) Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman star in their first movie together, as Cruise plays a car driver hoping to make it to NASCAR and Kidman is his love interest, Dr. Claire Lewicki. This movie jumpstarted Kidman and Cruise’s real-life relationship, which lasted until 2001. Spawning 2 video games, Days of Thunder proves that the Tom Cruise movie formula is a successful one.

8. Cocktail (1988) Based on the book of the same name, in this Tom Cruise movie Tom works as a bartender to make ends meet in New York City. Brian Flanagan (Cruise) is a business student by day, bartender by night. Though this movie was a financial success, it received mostly negative reviews from critics, including a 5% from Rotten Tomatoes. The movie soundtrack was also successful, peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200.

9. Eyes Wide Shut (1999) In Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Tom Cruise plays Dr. Bill Harford, who finds out that his wife almost had an affair during the previous year. This leads him to a night-long adventure, complete with masks and a secret society. Winning 2 awards, and nominated for many more, this film will go down in history as part of the legacy that the great Kubrick left behind.

a few good men

10. A Few Good Men (1992) Filled with the star-studded cast of Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson, to name a few, A Few Good Men tells the story of two marines charged with the murder of a fellow marine. One of the top movies of the year, A Few Good Men will keep you biting your nails as you find out if you can handle the truth.

Tom Cruise has been in dozens of movies, these are just the Top 10. How many more can you name?

Take the Tom Cruise movies quiz.