With Tom Cruise movies it’s a bit like Keanu Reeves movies: there’s a Keany for every mood just like there’s a Tom Cruise for each of us.

And by the same token, it’s virtually impossible for two fans to agree on their favorite Tom Cruise (seriously, take the quiz). As they are also unable to come to an understanding about Keanu or even the Tom Hanks movies. In 1981, Tom Cruise made his first big screen appearance shirtless, wearing a pair of shorts and bragging about shitting fire.

Since then, he’s carved out an illustrious career, currently one of Hollywood’s few highly bankable action stars (as of 2012, he was the highest-paid man in the business).Mission Impossible , the only spy cinematographic universe capable of rivaling the mythical James Bond, which years go by and does not expire. He has also tried it with Jack Reacher, the character in Lee Child’s novels, but the results have left something to be desired. These are the best Tom Cruise roles of all time, ranked from worst to best.

The era of rock (Rock of Ages)


In this extremely unfortunate musical about ’80s hair metal, Tom Cruise plays a kind of karaoke version of a rock and roll god named Stacee Jaxx. We put it as the worst because he was committed to the project. Nobody messed him up. Cruise’s daughter Suri was a fan of Hayrspray and the actor wanted to work with the film’s director. Every time they were in Los Angeles, Cruise would tell him: “Let’s see when you do a musical with me.” So if someone is to blame…

Go lose it and get lost (Losin’ It)

Released the same year as Risky Business , Tom Cruise plays the handsome high school boy that time has made us forget. Many young people who wanted to lose their virginity and little else.

In his first screen appearance, Tom Cruise is a shirtless kid in jean shorts who brags about being an arsonist.

Nearly a decade before Trump coined the term “fake news,” Tom Cruise stars as a corrupt senator running for president using fake news delivered by a journalist played by Meryl Streep. In the end, everything revolves around a pretentious and convoluted argument that does not fully engage the viewer’s attention.

Jack Reacher – Never Go Back

Although the title seems to say he would never return, Cruise unfortunately reprized as Jack Reacher, in a sequel that feels more like a goofy, non-technological parody of Mission Impossible .

Tom Cruise and Mia Sara try to protect Tim Curry’s last unicorn, which is something of a devilish puppet. It’s also the only fantasy movie Cruise has done during his career, and it’s pretty obvious why he hasn’t done any more. In this movie Tom Cruise has the gift of looking like all our high school classmates.

A very distant horizon


Seven years before they co-starred in Eyes Wide Shut (and two years after their wedding), Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman played two love-struck Irish immigrants trying to make it in America. Raise your hand if you have never said: This movie is more boring than A Faraway Sausage .

In this post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, Cruise is a drone repairman who finds a group of survivors (led by Morgan Freeman), and begins to question the nature of all of their reality. As always, Cruise maintains what is otherwise a rather clunky plot line.

Tom Cruise stars as a German officer with an American accent who leads a group of German soldiers with a British accent in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler during World War II. It is based on a real military plot that could have been much better, but in the end it was just an entertaining movie.

In this action comedy, Cruise is once again a secret agent who accidentally draws Cameron Diaz into an international conspiracy. For all his testosterone-fuelled spy material, Cruise proves here that all action hero cinema can be taken lightly as well.

Taps, beyond honor

In his second big screen role, Cruise plays David Shawn, one of the military cadets trying to protect his academy from being turned into an apartment complex. Just entertaining.

War of the Worlds


In this Steven Spielberg reimagining of the HG Wells novel, Cruise stars as a father trying to keep his children safe during an alien invasion. Although it has all the highlights of a Spielbergian sci-fi, it wasn’t enough to cause riots like the Orson Welles radio broadcast did.

What left this movie going for a good try was that white man’s feeling of salvation from a different culture. The story of the American Civil War veteran sent to train a 19th century Japanese army is fine, but it could have been so much better.

Barry Seal: The Dealer

Cruise is a Hollywood hero, but here he shows that he can also be a lovable anti-hero. He plays Barry Seal, a real-life pilot turned drug dealer and DEA informant.

Paul Newman returns in this sequel to The Hustler as a retired pool shark who takes on a young prodigy (Cruise) as his apprentice.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

After decades as one of the biggest action stars, the Mission Impossible franchise could be Cruise’s greatest legacy, consistently providing top-notch entertainment. In this fifth film in the franchise, Hunt must reunite the now disbanded IMF to stop an international network of skilled terrorists.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol


Cruise pulled off one of the craziest stunts of his career when he scaled the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on Earth. He filmed the entire scene hanging 2,722 feet above the ground.

Some good men

Cruise is a military lawyer investigating a conspiracy that left a Marine dead, but he’s upstaged by Jack Nicholson (who wouldn’t be?).

Cruise plays a con man who learns to be a grown-up, empathetic man from his autistic brother in this Oscar-winning comedy-drama.

Stanley Kubrick’s latest film featured Cruise and his then-wife Nicole Kidman as a couple whose sexual fantasies uncover dark truths about one another.

Interview with the vampire

Cruise did his first baddie here, donning frilly shirts and blond hair as the immortal, immoral vampire Lestat. His teeth don’t fit right, but he nailed the part.

Cruise plays a futuristic cop who hunts down criminals before committing murder, until he’s accused of planning to kill someone himself.

Oliver Stone’s adaptation of Ron Kovic’s book presents us with Cruise’s first big performance as a Vietnam vet turned anti-war activist.

Groundhog day with machine guns and aliens. A very funny movie, and very underrated, where Cruise lives a hell going back to the past non-stop, and dying in all possible ways, each more hilarious.

Mission Impossible: Fallout


In the sixth installment of the saga, Tom Cruise literally puts life and limb on the line to pull off some of the most incredible action scenes of his entire career. He truly does the impossible – keeping this series not only fresh, but groundbreaking as the IMF team fights to stop multiple nuclear attacks.

In this Paul Thomas Anderson film, Cruise plays an artist with a sensitive side that is overshadowed by his daring bravado.

This Brian De Palma thriller is tense and twisted, and it’s the film that launched Cruise’s career as a full-fledged action star.

A sequel that has been worth it after 36 years of waiting. In true Tom Cruise fashion, he insisted that his co-stars train to fly the planes used in the film, which makes his enthusiasm for movies that much more admirable. This movie has it all: heart, action, great performances, and a well-rounded storytelling. You don’t have to be a fan of the original Top Gun to enjoy it, but it’s sure to bring tears to your eyes and be on the edge of your seat for several scenes.

This Cameron Crowe film proved that Cruise could grow up while still being a thoroughly desirable guy.

Cruise’s breakout role remains one of his most iconic performances. Don’t tell us you’ve never tried to recreate his dance moves, because we wouldn’t believe you.

The essential role of Tom Cruise, and the one that defined his own character archetype. Every young actor dreams of playing a guy like Maverick.