It’s Tom Cruise’s Birthday; Watch Some of His Most Iconic Movie Moments

By July 3, 2014

Despite being a spectacular sci-fi action adventure that’s way funnier than the trailers made it out to be, Tom Cruise’s latest film, Edge of Tomorrow, is tanking at the box office. That’s unfortunate news, because it’s one of the best films in Cruise’s incredibly impressive filmography. Hear my plea: instead of seeing Transformers: Age of Extinction this weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July, chekc out Edge of Tomorrow instead. You won’t regret it.

Today is Tom Cruise’s birthday, and he just turned fifty-two years old. So instead of writing a list of my personal favorite Tom Cruise films, I figured it’d be more fun for you guys to have a chance to look back at some of his most iconic career moments. I think Cruise is a legitimately great actor, and while he sometimes gets a bad wrap for seemingly playing a version of himself, he’s not one of the biggest movie stars in the world for no reason: the dude has delivered some knockout performances, and has made an indelible mark on cinema history. In no particular order, let’s take a look at some of Cruise’s biggest movie moments:

How many times has this been parodied over the years? You know you’ve done something iconic when younger audiences who have never even seen Risky Business still recognize this scene.

HBO has been playing the original Mission: Impossible a lot recently, and I caught this scene the other day and it was just as suspenseful then as it was the first time I saw it.

Cruise’s steely-eyed assassin in Collateral proved he could play a bad guy with the best of them. This is one of my favorite Cruise performances.

Everyone raves about Nicholson’s performance in A Few Good Men, but Cruise does some truly excellent work in it as well. Forget about Jack this time and pay close attention to Cruise; though he’s not quite as loud, he’s still just as intense and into the scene as Nicholson.

Jerry Maguire gave TC an opportunity to meld romance, drama, and comedy, but his dramatic chops were on display in this iconic moment.

Tropic Thunder was a big movie in Cruise’s career because it was the turning point for audiences to start to like him again after the whole couch-jumping incident. Plus, he eviscerates that dude on the phone in the exact way you’d think a Hollywood executive would lay into someone. NSFW language in that clip, by the way.

Sure, some of this is standard movie magic, but Cruise actually went outside and was harnessed up to the world’s tallest building. It’s one of the coolest action scenes of the past few years, and it basically only involves one guy fighting the elements, gravity, and the fear of a really, really long fall.

What are your favorite Tom Cruise moments? I didn’t include any from Top Gun, and I know that has to piss a lot of people off. What iconic moments would you have put on this list? Let us know below. Happy Birthday, Tom.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.
  • Evil Lynn

    I would rather watch paint dry.