We are in luck. Today Tom Hanks (Concord, California, July 9, 1956) is 66 years old.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey twenty years ago, the beloved actor offered the best explanation yet of the actor’s magnetism, why he draws us in this way without being a product of the Internet (because Tom Hanks is not a digital obsession in the style of Keanu Reeves or Nicolas Cage memes). “I try to do what I call the three E’s: educate, entertain, and enlighten. If you don’t entertain, no one will show up. But you also have to educate, because people want to find out specific things about a world other than their own, whether it’s how hard it is to go to the moon or how scary it is to be on an Omaha beach.

A story also has a chance to enlighten us,What am I going to do next time I’m scared? Would I want to say goodbye to my family for the last time? Despite the fact that behind these films there is an undeniable economic engine, the characters remind us that we are part of a greater humanity and that we can affect the world with the decisions we make once we leave the cinema,” he explained at the time. The actor is a bridge between the extraordinary and the ordinary. With these criteria he chooses his characters. If you look closely, not all actors and actresses move in the three “E” of Hanks: some educate (think Daniel Day-Lewis), others entertain (think Bruce Willis) and others illustrate (think Kenneth Brannagh).

From The Bachelor Party to Elvis, these are the best Tom Hanks movies, ordered from best to worst.

Forrest Gump (1995)

tom hanks featured as forrest gump

The voices critical of this film, which there are, have always misinterpreted its message: it is a heartfelt satire on everything the Society considers to be intelligence and everything it believes to be important. The author of the novel on which the film is based always thought that the best actor to play Forrest was John Goodman. Robert Zemeckis thought before of Bill Paxton -with whom Hanks curiously coincides in Apollo 13 and years later in The Circle– and in Bill Murray than in Hanks. With Paxton we would have taken Forrest too seriously. With Murray, just the opposite. Hanks was the perfect measure of naivety and irony. John Goodman would have been fine to educate, as would Bill Paxton. Murray would certainly have been great to entertain. Hanks’ theory of three o’clock is fulfilled.

Philadelphia (1993)

Tom Hanks with Antonio Banderas in a scene from Philadelphia

The movie will be as predictable as you want it to be, but there’s an immediate connection to Tom Hanks’ character. The role of Andrew Beckett was first offered to Daniel-Day Lewis. If you think about it, it was a good choice to give weight to a drama of this type, but what is not so clear is that that same actor would have gotten the public to agree to identify with the character, which is what Hanks achieves. With any other actor it would have been a good movie, but we would have been less involved.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

actor tom hanks characterized as captain miller in the movie saving private ryan

Harrison Ford or Mel Gibson wouldn’t have given him the moral dimension that Tom Hanks gives Captain Miller. Hanks’s eyes become our eyes, watching his men die. Ford and Gibson would have given us a hero, of course, but they would not have put a human being at the center of barbarism.

Castaway (2000)

Tom Hanks in a scene from the movie Castaway

Tom Hanks offered us an image of the castaway different from the idea of ​​Robinson Crusoe: what we would be like if we were castaways (and, of course, we survived more than five minutes). His ability to peel away layers of the onion of identity is a lesson in acting.

Toy Story 1, 2, 3 y 4 (1995, 1999, 2010 and 2019)

the character of woody played by tom hanks in the toy story saga

Yes, we have put them all together (and we left out the short ones, but if they went, they would go here too). We couldn’t decide on one of them, so together they go. Woody, we have already told you on occasion, is Pixar’s Captain America and it is thanks to Tom Hanks.

Apollo 13 (1995)

tom hanks, in a scene from apollo 13

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

tom hanks, in a scene from the movie catch me if you can

When Carl Hanratty is onstage you forget about everything else. You’re wanting me to catch Frank Abagnale Jr. so he can save you. You don’t want Frank to run away, you want his destiny to meet with Hanratty so that his life can be changed forever. Are you sure we would feel the same if he were another actor?

Road to Perdition (2002)

tom hanks, in a scene on the road to perdition

Tom Hanks says he never plays bad guys because he has no malice. He insists that he is incapable of faking her onstage and therefore runs away from such roles. The closest Hanks has ever played to a villain is Michael Sullivan, the grim reaper, in Road to Perdition. Although in the movie they give the character a moral patina that he doesn’t have in the original comic, he’s still a bad guy, and he’s still a terrific interpretation of Hanks, although it’s true that he takes her into the territory of the. Hanks also plays bad guys in Cloud Atlas and The Circle – in this movie, with tweezers.

The Green Mile (1999)

tom hanks, in a scene from the green mile

Tom Hanks had to choose between Life Imprisonment and Forrest Gump due to agenda issues. He owed director Frank Darabont one.

Captain Phillips (2013)

Tom Hanks in a scene from Captain Phillips

Hanks’ ability to show us the contradictions in his character takes his performance to another level. He makes us connect with his motivations, even if those motivations are not the noblest. But, he hears him, that’s how the human being is. At this point in his career, many people continued to criticize him for having traded his talent for comedy for his desire to apply the three is’s to his career. Since Captain Phillips all those voices have been completely silenced.

Big (1988)

Do you remember what he said at the beginning? There was a time when Hanks wasn’t trying to connect anything to anything. His talent for comedy was more than enough. And nothing else was needed to enjoy.

The Pentagon Files (2017)

tom hanks, characterized as the legendary director of the newspaper the washington post ben bradlee in the movie the pentagon papers

Oh, sucker and you who thought that Ben Bradlee could only be played by Jason Robards…

The Bridge of Spies (2015)

tom hanks, in one of the scenes of the bridge of spies

It is at this point that you realize that the order of the factors does not change the product. The Bridge of Spies could well be higher up on our list. That Brooklyn lawyer is so Tom Hanks. The story was about to be shot in 1965, with Gregory Peck playing the role of Tom Hanks. But the Cold War made history have to wait five more decades. If you think about it, only Gregory Peck could have replaced Hanks.

An Extraordinary Friend (2019)

You can’t help but think looking at Hanks’ Mr. Rogers that there’s a little bit of Hanks in that humble guy despite his success, willing to sit and talk to human beings away from the spotlight.

Elvis (2022)


Look at that trickster’s look, at the cunning confidence with which he holds the cigar and the inseparable carnival stick, at how he confuses the young Elvis. Colonel Tom Parker is one of Tom Hanks’s few villains and it makes sense for him to play him because he carries the narrative weight of a movie dealing with deception in show business . If he isn’t higher on this list it’s only because tons of makeup and Elvis Presley music can almost outshine anyone.

Sully (2016)

tom hanks runs across the bay in new york in a scene from the movie sully

Sully is the perfect example of a movie that isn’t the bomb, but in which Hanks’s performance is so worth it that it leaves you with a good taste in your mouth. We know full well how the movie is going to end, yet we are mesmerized by Hanks’ portrayal of a decent man, extravagant in his humility.

Big World News (2021)

tom hanks characterized as captain kidd in the netflix movie big world news

Well yes, Tom Hanks also makes you a Western. The chase in the middle of the movie, when the rustlers go after Johanna and Hanks defends her, is a blast.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

How is it possible that these gentlemen from Esquire put You have an e-mail so low if it is probably the Tom Hanks movie they have seen the most times -over a hundred-? At this point in the list we remind you that we are going from better to less better and as much as we like the movie, we are sincere.

At the Terminal (2004)

Hanks, in case you didn’t know, was inspired by his father-in-law to bring the character to life.

Two Clueless Hounds (1987)

The 80s of the last century gave us films without tail or tail. How are you. But it is that you had to be up to the task to maintain the type. Long live Pep Stribeck.

This House is a Ruin (1986)

Raise your hand if you have not remembered this film at some point in your life worried about the state of your home. Well that.

One, Two, Three… Splash (1984)

darryl hannah and tom hanks kiss underwater in a two three splash

The film that launched him to stardom, but above all that put him in orbit with Ron Howard.

Ladykillers (2004)

Tom Hanks doesn’t recognize his character as bad, but if this isn’t malice…

Cloud Atlas (2012)

It’s the only movie that Tom Hanks admits he’s seen more than twice. He was fascinated by working on it, he is fascinated by history and yet the box office turned its back on him.

Greyhound (2020)

Tom Hanks, in a still from the movie Greyhound

Hanks stuck in a submarine for an hour and a half without much happening. He just gives orders. And yet there is something hypnotic about him.

Something to Remember (1993)

Hanks is the perfect widower. He makes you bang your head against the wall when you watch Liam Neeson in Love Actually .

They do the coup (1992)

If we put it so low, it’s because baseball outside of the beautiful land of George Washington is a bit of a ball for us Europeans.

Larry Crowne (2011)

Here the headless movie came up with Tom Hanks. There comes a day when you realize that you see her every time you meet her on any platform. You wonder why, and the why is, dear Watson, Tom Hanks.

Bachelor Party (1984)

Before American Pie there was Bachelor Party . Politically incorrect in both 2021 and 1984, Tom Hanks attends a night out with the same stupefaction as we do.

The Wonders (1996)

The movie is very good, but we put it so low because man, Hanks, a lot of what is said doesn’t come out.

Thou shalt not kill… the neighbor (1989)

Well yes, the midlife crisis according to Dante left us a little cold. And it hasn’t gotten better with time, but Hanks, as always, is saved.

The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

actors bruce willis and tom hanks during the filming of the bonfire of the vanities in new york

Tom Hanks was not the best choice for the character. He stands up for it, but it’s clearly not a fit. Just like Bruce Willis doesn’t fit in either, huh.

The Man with a Red Shoe (1985)

In this spy by surprise there is already a germ of the common man that Tom Hanks represents.

Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

Here we discover the chemistry between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Polar Express (2004)

It’s a bit brown, really.


Meg Ryan’s war drama brings little to the genre. We don’t put it last because a favor to a friend deserves a better position… even if you appear in two scenes.

The Circle (2017)

We put it last… because Hanks knew exactly what he was getting into. Mind you, when the CEO-guru is on stage, Hanks, as always, shines.