It's the tiniest of cameos, so consider this a bonus pick. But in less than a minute of screen time, Cruise makes the film’s opening gag work, combining a glossy Hollywood version of Austin’s British befuddlement with his own maniacal grin. Cruise murmurs, “Shall we shag now…or shag later?” and turns it in a passable piece of Bond dialogue.
Tom Cruise might be the world’s last true movie star. It’s been roughly three decades since he became one of Hollywood’s most bankable names, and in his sixth decade, there’s still hardly another actor out there that can slot into just about any movie and feel quite as confident in the results, in terms of both performance and box office.
At this point, the man’s done it all: big-budget popcorn flicks, intense character studies, violent actioners, Oscar-winning dramas, even ribald comedies where he’s purposely played against his image. There have been a few stumbles along the way, sure – not to mention all the Scientology stuff – but the guy’s batting average remains remarkably high. With Cruise having worked magic yet again with Top Gun: Maverick – easily the best post-pandemic blockbuster and maybe the best legacy sequel ever – we decided to take a deep dive into his long, iconic career and rank his best movies to date. Was the mission impossible? No. But we wouldn’t say it was easy.