In Defence of Tom Cruise

I love Tom Cruise. There, I’ve said it. The break-up of Tom-Kat seems to have sparked another round of Tom Cruise bashing in the media. I really don’t understand the crazy tag that got assigned to him after jumping on Oprah Winfrey’s sofa. Why was that such a big deal? What’s wrong with showing a bit of passion?

The other area of criticism is his belief in Scientology. Critics deride this as a cult. They’re probably right, but to me so is Christianity; both involve a heaped tablespoon of delusion. Scientology is all about the money they say. Really, and Christianity isn’t? I’ve been to that blinged-up palace of opulence that they call The Vatican. According to the bible ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Mark 10:25). Tell that to those evangelical TV preachers or the Vatican’s bank manager.

Who knows what Tom Cruise is like in real-life? Who cares? All I know is that his movies are awesome. They may not be up there with Citizen Kane in the usual all-time best movies list, but so what, those lists have nothing to do with the enjoyability quotient of films.

Here’s a list of my top-ten Tom Cruise films:

  1. The Firm
  2. Jerry Maguire
  3. Cocktail
  4. Top Gun
  5. Risky Business
  6. Mission Impossible
  7. Collateral
  8. A Few Good Men
  9. Mission: Impossible 3
  10. Minority Report

See, I haven't even included Rain Man in the top ten and yet Rain Man is a great film

His films are enjoyable, memorable and quotable. There’s hardly a day goes by when I don’t say to Lauren ‘Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full’ in response to any one of her ‘Daddy can I please…’.

He’s not immune to the odd dud movie. Vanilla Sky was extremely misjudged, Days of Thunder gets called Top Gun on wheels but it’s no where near as good, and All the Right Moves, one of his early movies, is very forgettable. Mission Impossible 2 was an abomination. They should have never let John Woo anywhere near it.

Eyes Wide Shut gets a lot of criticism but I don’t mind it. Despite the strange, drawn-out dialogue, I found the plot quite compelling, if not a little weird. I didn’t like Magnolia the first time I watched it but it has since grown on me.

The Outsiders is a great adaptation of a modern classic novel, and I loved TAPS when I watched it as a teenager. War of the Worlds is good as is Born on the Fourth of July - a performance deserving of his Academy Award nomination.

A few of his films are watchable but a bit ordinary: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Knight and Day, Valkyrie, Lions for Lambs, The Last Samurai, and Interview with a Vampire I would put in this category.

Tom Cruise was the best and perhaps only good thing about Tropic Thunder.

I haven’t seen Rock of Ages yet but it looks good fun, and I’m really looking forward to Jack Reacher.

There’s still a few more that I haven’t mentioned but that just goes to show what a great back-catalogue he has.

So leave off!