Tom Cruise’s War Movies

This post could also have been a quiz. How many war movies or/and war related movies starring Tom Cruise do you know? I have counted 9. That seems quite a lot. Although I’m not exactly a Tom Cruise fan but he is very good in some of the movies below.

Valkyrie (2008) This is a must-see movie based on a true event. Cruise plays von Stauffenberg, the man who attempted to assassinate Hitler. Too bad it didn’t work. It’s suspenseful despite that we know the outcome, interesting and tragic.

Tropic Thunder (2008) Bad taste and hilarious, in this movie nothing is sacred. A parody of war movies (especially Vietnam/Platoon), the film industry and a few other things. Cruise is extremely funny in this. He’s the ruthless greedy producer who is willing to send a film crew to certain death if success is guaranteed. (Here is my review)

Lions for Lambs (2007) Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in a movie that has been called great by many. I have seen it but remember zero. I think because it didn’t have a good story line, just a fairly good idea. Here is the IMdB blurb: “Injuries sustained by two Army ranger behind enemy lines in Afghanistan set off a sequence of events involving a congressman, a journalist and a professor.”

War of the Worlds (US 2005) Yes, this is stretching the genre a little bit and I haven’t seen it. No clue whether it is any good. It’s not my type of movie. Here’s another IMdB blurb: “As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.”

Last Samurai (2003) I just watched this, so the review is upcoming. Very beautiful movie starring Tom Cruise as hardened Civil War veteran who is hired to teach combat techniques to Japanese soldiers. (See my review)

A Few Good Men (1992) This is one of my favourite guilty pleasures. A gripping court-room drama with a great cast: Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland and Jack Nicholson.

Born on the 4th of July (1989) Based on Ron Kovic’s memoir. Cruise gives an outstanding performance of Kovic who volunteered to go to Vietnam, came home as a cripple and joins the Anti-Vietnam movement.

Top Gun (1986) Action and romance about aspiring fighter pilots in an elite US flying school.  A really corny movie but the favourite guilty pleasure of many.

Taps (1981) Story of some military cadets who want to save their academy at any price.

My favourite Tom Cruise movie regardless of the genre is Magnolia but my favourite Tom Cruise war movie is Valkyrie. I really liked the movie and his performance in it a great deal. And I liked him in A Few Good Men.

Which one is your favourite?


7 thoughts on “Tom Cruise’s War Movies

  1. warmoviebuff says:

    Interesting topic. I am not a fan, but he has done some good work and takes too much criticism for things unrelated to acting.

    Valkyrie – a gutsy decision to make a movie that had no real market; the movie is excellent and he does well, but his talents and resources could have been better spent on a differnt topic

    Tropic Thunder – the funniest war movie ever made and Cruise is part of the reason; his spectacular jaw dropping performance rehabilitated his image

    LIons for Lambs – have not seen

    War of the Worlds – one of the three movies I dispise the most (along with Independence Day and Braveheart)

    Last Samurai – Dances with Wolves in Japan; actually quite good and Cruise is outstanding; nominated for Golden Globe

    A Few Good Men – not really a war movie, but excellent; Cruise holds his own with Nicholson; nominated for Golden Globe

    Born on the Fourth of July – very good and important film; he was nominated for Best Actor ( lost to Daniel Day-Lewis in “My Left Foot”)

    Top Gun – this is a Val Kilmer movie, not a Tom Cruise movie LOL; not a fan

    Taps – never seen

    • Yes I think a lot of the criticism isn’t related to the acting. I know a lot of people and was among them who didn’t watch his movies when they found out he was a member of Scientology. I’m glad he chose to do Valkyrie. Maybe it is more popular in Europe.
      I might need to watch Lions for Lambs again. I see we agree on most of the movies.

    • Mr. PG says:

      Pretty accurate assessment. I agree his off screen antics and a hungry press have combined to distract from his talent. It’s a limited talent, though: best when he plays hyperbolic characters (as in Magnolia or Tropic Thunder).

      • Seen that way, it is a limited talent. I just saw two of his recent movies Oblivion and Jack Reacher and he isn’t too good in them. A bit robotic as someone said on another of my posts.

  2. tuulenhaiven says:

    I’ve only seen three of these – I don’t particularly care for Tom Cruise, although for no particular reason – I simply don’t care one way or the other. I of course LOVE Tropic Thunder for a million reasons including Cruise’s rad role. Valkyrie was an interesting story and I have enjoyed The Last Samurai on more than one occasion. I don’t feel compelled to watch any of the other movies on this list, although there are a couple that I ought to watch eventually I guess…

    • I recently saw The Last Samurai for the first time and will review it. It’s beautifully filmed and I thought he was ok in it. But you should, if you haven’t done so already, watch Magnolia. It’s one of the best movies and his best role.
      The only other one on the list that you might like is A Few Good Men. I’m a Jack Nicholson fan and it’s a great role for him. Plus it’s really anti-military.

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