All 42 Tom Cruise movies, ranked from worst to best

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Ever since that iconic moment in 1983's "Risky Business" when Tom Cruise slid across the floor pantless, he has been one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

That's 35 years of being Hollywood royalty!

And he's had that longevity at the top thanks to making some of the most memorable movies of all time over those three-plus decades.

"Top Gun," "Jerry Maguire," all the "Mission: Impossible" movies; he doesn't just bring a unique intensity to every role he does, but over his career has had the talent to do it in every genre a movie star can be placed in including romance, drama, and most recently, action.

With his latest movie "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" hitting theaters Friday, we've decided to dissect all 42 Tom Cruise movies and rank them from worst to best:

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42. “Rock of Ages” (2012)

42. “Rock of Ages” (2012)

Somehow Cruise got roped into being part of this feature film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. But leave it to him to lay it all out there. Though the movie is unwatchable, Cruise gives the movie’s only memorable moments when his rock star character belts out classic songs “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

41. “Endless Love” (1981)

41. “Endless Love” (1981)

Cruise’s first-ever appearance in a movie is this 1980s teen romance drama starring Brooke Shields that’s known most for giving us the Diana Ross/Lionel Richie title song. Cruise gets a brief bit of screen time as one of the male lead’s friends. It’s quite forgettable.

40. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” (2016)

40. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” (2016)

In between “Mission: Impossible” movies, Cruise tried to kick off another action franchise by bringing the main character of the Lee Child novel series to the big screen. Though the first movie just got over the $200 million mark at the worldwide box office, the performance (or lack thereof) by the sequel proved that no one wanted any more Mr. Reacher. It barely made $162 million worldwide.

39. “The Mummy” (2017)

39. “The Mummy” (2017)

Cruise also was to be the Robert Downey Jr. of Universal’s Dark Universe, as he was the face of its first movie — with promises of more creature pictures to come. But playing a soldier of fortune who tries to stop an ancient Egyptian princess from taking over the world didn’t grab audiences. It was another franchise not to be.

38. “Losin’ It” (1983)

38. “Losin’ It” (1983)

Still getting his legs under him in the move biz, Cruise signed onto this teen comedy where he’s one of four friends who go on a hard-partying road trip to Tijuana in hopes of losing their virginities. Yes, even Cruise couldn’t hide from the teen sex comedy genre when he started out his career.

37. “Mission: Impossible II” (2000)

37. “Mission: Impossible II” (2000)

Man, John Woo deserved better than this. The legendary Hong Kong director took over the “M:I” reins after Brian De Palma kicked things off with the first movie, but Woo didn’t find the same success. “M:I II” did go on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of 2000 with over $546 million earned worldwide, but with its weak plot and character development, it has not aged anywhere near as well as the first movie (or the other movies in the franchise).

36. “Jack Reacher” (2012)

36. “Jack Reacher” (2012)

Though it was the first time Cruise worked with his “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” (and “Rogue Nation”) director Christopher McQuarrie, and features legendary director Werner Herzog playing the movie’s villain, Cruise as Jack Reacher is a seen-it-before character who isn’t exciting.

35. “Oblivion” (2013)

35. “Oblivion” (2013)

Here, Cruise attempted to go the sci-fi route with hopes of having a breakthrough “Minority Report”-like experience for the audience. But the story was nowhere as sharp and its post-apocalyptic vibe left us all feeling disinterested.

34. “Lions for Lambs” (2007)

34. “Lions for Lambs” (2007)

Marking the first movie released by United Artists after Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner took over (the two left UA after a couple of years), Robert Redford directed this tense drama set around the war in Afghanistan. Cruise gave his all playing an agenda-pushing senator, and has some strong scenes opposite Meryl Streep. But the movie is just dull.

33. “Far and Away” (1992)

33. “Far and Away” (1992)

Cruise and then-wife Nicole Kidman paired together on screen for the first time in this 1890s-set epic directed by Ron Howard. Playing Irish immigrants seeking a fortune in America, outside of the lush photography there isn’t much to enjoy about this movie. And don’t get me started on Cruise’s awful Irish accent.

32. “Vanilla Sky” (2001)

32. “Vanilla Sky” (2001)

At the tail end of Cruise’s heartthrob phase, director Cameron Crowe reteamed with the star after their hugely successful collaboration on “Jerry Maguire” to make a very different love story. Based on the Spanish movie, “Open Your Eyes,” Cruise plays a vain New York City media playboy who has a different outlook on life after being in a horrific car accident. Though Cruise, Cameron Diaz, and Penélope Cruz (who also starred in “Open Your Eyes”) all give top performances, Crowe goes too weird with the story leaving viewers out in the void by the time the movie gets into the home stretch.

31. “American Made” (2017)

31. “American Made” (2017)

Mixing action and dark comedy in telling the real-life story of drug runner Barry Seal seemed like a nice pivot for Cruise, but at the end of the day, director Doug Liman’s movie is just too glossy to be taken seriously. Accent update: Cruise delivers a tolerable southern drawl.

30. “The Last Samurai” (2003)

30. “The Last Samurai” (2003)

Cruise stars as an American soldier in 19th Century Japan who embraces the Samurai culture. The movie went on to receive four Oscar nominations, but it’s one of those titles that if you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it enough times. And on a side note: Wow, would this movie get hammered on social media if it came out today.

29. “Valkyrie” (2008)

29. “Valkyrie” (2008)

Another release from the time Cruise was calling the shots at UA, here he plays one of the rogue Nazi officers who attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Accent update: Cruise (and basically most of the other Nazi officers) decided to not even bother with a German accent. Good choice, the audience didn’t even notice [holds back giggles].

28. “Cocktail” (1988)

28. “Cocktail” (1988)

It’s one of the movies in Cruise’s career that rides fully on his good looks. Honestly, this movie should have just been titled “Sex.” Cruise plays a hot New York City bartender who has dreams of making it big and it’s his hotness that’s going to get him to the top. It’s classic Hot Guy Cruise (who cares that the story is garbage).

27. “War of the Worlds” (2005)

27. “War of the Worlds” (2005)

Steven Spielberg teams with Cruise after “Minority Report” for this blockbuster remake of the classic sci-fi movie. Though it made a lot of money, it was extremely dark in tone — maybe a little too dark. Be honest, have you wanted to see this movie again?

26. “Knight and Day” (2010)

26. “Knight and Day” (2010)

This is one of those movies that doesn’t get enough credit. Director James Mangold cleverly takes all the common action hero traits and has Cruise make complete fun of them. You might want to give this one another viewing.

25. “Taps” (1981)

25. “Taps” (1981)

Unlike “Endless Love,” Cruise really capitalized on this small role. As a military cadet who takes his responsibilities way too seriously, he’s a standout in the movie and really showed audiences (and Hollywood executives) that he had leading man potential.

24. “Mission: Impossible III” (2006)

24. “Mission: Impossible III” (2006)

J.J. Abrams takes over the franchise for this one and does an impressive job. It also helps that you have the talents of Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the villain. It’s better than “M:I II,” so we’re going in the right direction.

23. “The Outsiders” (1983)

23. “The Outsiders” (1983)

Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of the classic novel brought all of the biggest names from young Hollywood together, and Cruise was right there in the mix. Starring alongside Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Emilo Estevez, and Rob Lowe, the movie is pretty heavy handed with the drama, but it's fun to watch all these amazing talents on screen together.

22. “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation” (2015)

22. “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation” (2015)

Rebounding from the so-so performance of “Jack Reacher,” Christopher McQuarrie jumps on the “M:I” franchise and ups the action stakes. Yep, this is the one where Cruise hangs from the side of a giant plane taking off. The movie also got an extra jolt with the inclusion of Rebecca Ferguson to the supporting cast.

21. “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” (2018)

21. “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” (2018)

The latest “M:I” could go down as one of the best action movies ever. Its stunts and action sequences are that amazing. This time around, McQuarrie gives us a deeper look inside what makes Ethan Hunt tick and the values that he lives by, but it’s really the action that stays with you.

20. “Minority Report” (2002)

20. “Minority Report” (2002)

With its breakthroughs in CGI and tech, the first-ever teaming of Spielberg and Cruise lived up to the hype. This is one of those movies that was so advanced in its execution and what it showcased, it had a “Jurassic Park” ripple effect, in the sense that countless action/sci-fi movies have been influenced by it since.

19. “Tropic Thunder” (2008)

19. “Tropic Thunder” (2008)

Though he doesn’t have a lot of screen time, Cruise’s presence in this movie cannot be ignored. Playing despicable movie executive Les Grossman, he brings that patented intensity to a role that for most actors would have been a mail-it-in cameo role. In Cruise’s hands, it’s one of the best comedic performances of the early 2000s.

18. “All the Right Moves” (1983)

18. “All the Right Moves” (1983)

Two months after Cruise hit theaters with his first lead movie, “Risky Business,” he was back again with this very different movie about a Pennsylvania high school football player who clashes with his coach. Both “Business” and this showed Cruise had no problem being the face of a movie, but “All the Right Moves,” showed that he could be more than the charming lead with good looks. This movie proved Tom Cruise could be a serious actor.

17. “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol” (2011)

17. “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol” (2011)

It’s the movie that breathed life back into the “M:I” franchise. It came five years after “M:I III,” and in that time Cruise had struggled with an image problem and a string of movies that underperformed. He had a lot to prove with this one. And with the casting of Jeremy Renner, Cruise probably could tell he could lose his beloved franchise if the movie didn’t work. However, Brad Bird’s direction and Cruise’s disregard for common sense (in this one he climbs the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building), put him back on top as the movie became a global hit.

16. “The Firm” (1993)

16. “The Firm” (1993)

Based on the best-selling John Grisham novel, Cruise gives a fantastic performance as a hot-shot lawyer who signs on with one of the most prestigious law firms in the country, only to find it has quite a dark side. The era of “Tom Cruise runs” really launched with this movie.

15. “Collateral” (2004)

15. “Collateral” (2004)

We really don’t talk enough about this one enough. Michael Mann’s slow burn crime movie stars Cruise as a hitman who forces a cab driver (Jamie Foxx) to drive him around Los Angeles as he goes on his “jobs.” The acting by both Cruise and Foxx in this movie is some of their best work.

14. “Legend” (1985)

14. “Legend” (1985)

Ridley Scott’s beautiful fantasy movie is still a marvel of moviemaking. Back when CGI was scarce, the practical effects and production design put into this movie are a treasure. And at the center is a fresh-faced Cruise who tries to get his girl back from the villain that gave me the most nightmares as a kid: Darkness.

13. “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999)

13. “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999)

Cruise and wife Kidman team up again, but this time under the watch of Stanley Kubrick, in what would be his final movie. Both actors are pushed to the limits as the movie explores a marriage at a crossroads. Though it’s not close to Kubrick’s best work, Cruise and Kidman are riveting on screen.

12. “Days of Thunder” (1990)

12. “Days of Thunder” (1990)

It’s pretty much everything you would think would be in a Tony Scott movie: lots of fast cars and big egos. Cruise is in his glory in every scene playing hot-shot NASCAR driver Cole Trickle (and Kidman is back as his love interest).

11. “Risky Business” (1983)

11. “Risky Business” (1983)

It’s the movie that made Tom Cruise a star. A coming-of-age story that doesn’t shy away from its mature storyline, Cruise delivers a playful performance but also shows sparks of his dramatic chops that he’ll showcase in the decade to come.

10. “Mission: Impossible” (1996)

10. “Mission: Impossible” (1996)

Boy have things changed since the first “Mission: Impossible.” With Brian De Palma at the helm, the movie had its action, but it was encased in a tense who-done-it thriller. Since then the action has only gotten bigger (and the story, well, less of a concern), but Cruise has always been fantastic as Hunt. The first movie is his best acting work of the franchise. Accent update: Cruise delivers another Southern accent while disguised in the beginning of the movie (one of those classic face rip off disguises). It’s brief, but effective to the scene.

9. “Interview with the Vampire” (1994)

9. “Interview with the Vampire” (1994)

Cruise gives one of his best performances as Lestat, a vampire from the 1700s who finds a lot of drama in his undead life once he turns Louis (Brad Pitt). Accent update: his little hint of a French accent to stay true to the character’s portrayal in the classic Anne Rice book is perfectly subtle.

8. “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)

8. “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)

Whether you want to call it “Edge of Tomorrow” or “Live. Die. Repeat,” it’s just a really great action movie. Directed by Doug Liman with Christopher McQuarrie as one of the screenwriters, Cruise is surrounded by people he trusts to make a really risky project — a soldier who relives the same day. But the MVP of the movie is Emily Blunt, who delivers a performance that makes Cruise kick it up a few gears.

7. “Top Gun” (1986)

7. “Top Gun” (1986)

Before “Days of Thunder,” Cruise and Tony Scott teamed for what would become one of the actor’s most iconic roles: playing fighter pilot Maverick. What Cruise doesn’t pull off acting-wise he makes up for with brooding looks and shirtless volleyball skills.

6. “Rain Man” (1988)

6. “Rain Man” (1988)

Always at his best when he’s playing a character with major conflict, here Cruise is a guy always looking to capitalize on the angles until he finally is in a situation where he has to be on the level: building a relationship with his autistic savant brother (Dustin Hoffman).

5. “Jerry Maguire” (1996)

5. “Jerry Maguire” (1996)

Receiving a best actor nomination for his performance as a slick sports agent whose life turns upside down after having a moment of clarity, thanks to this movie, Cruise was at his supreme height in stardom and power in Hollywood.

4. “A Few Good Men” (1992)

4. “A Few Good Men” (1992)

Rob Reiner's courtroom drama has Cruise going up against Jack Nicholson and it's pure magic. Yes, there's the "can't handle the truth" scene, but for us it starts earlier in the movie when both characters meet for the first time. Thanks to the incredible dialogue by Aaron Sorkin, both actors trade off one another in a subtle manner, but it's the fire being held back that makes the ending when they are face-to-face again so memorable.

3. “Magnolia” (1999)

3. “Magnolia” (1999)

No matter what you think of Paul Thomas Anderson's epic look at family, love, and forgiveness, it's hard to dispute that it has Tom Cruise's most powerful performance of his career. Playing a pick-up artist whose used his talents to build a public speaking career, Cruise is like we've never seen him before. Anderson and Cruise connected over dealing with the loss of their fathers, and they took the experiences into creating the character of Frank "T. J." Mackey, which went to a dark and very personal place.

2. “The Color of Money” (1986)

2. “The Color of Money” (1986)

Paul Newman only won one Oscar in his iconic career and it was for this movie, and you have to give a big assist to Cruise for Newman's win. Playing the protégé to pool player "Fast Eddie" Felson (the role Newman first played in 1961's "The Hustler"), Cruise is a cocky player and you can never tell if he's on the level with Felson or not. Cruise proves once again that he's more than just a pretty face.

1. “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989)

1. “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989)

Cruise got an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Vietnam veteran and activist Ron Kovic, who became paralyzed fighting in Vietnam. Oliver Stone traces Kovic's journey from being a wide-eyed soldier thinking he's doing what's right for America, to coming home from the war to find everything has changed, including how he views his own country. Cruise has never been better as he delivers a tour-de-force performance that still gives us chills.

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