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Flashback Five – Your Favorite Tom Cruise Movies

Tom Cruise loves a good fight. Why wouldn’t he? Whether he’s up against heavy hitter Jack Nicholson (A Few Good Men) or taking on six MiGs (Top Gun), this megastar usually comes out a winner. But when it comes to his movies, which ones rise to the top? Instead of resorting to fisticuffs, AMC viewers are settling the matter via an online Tom Cruise poll. Check out the current results below, then watch Cruise battle more bad guys when AMC Celebrates Mission: Impossible, on Oct. 1, at 8PM | 7C, and Oct. 2, at 4:30PM | 3:30C.

1. A Few Good Men (1992)
Cruise’s transformation from ambivalent lawyer to impassioned legal defender in this courtroom drama is riveting. The coup de grâce being when he vigorously questions Jack Nicholson on the witness stand with so much tenacity that the colonel finally blurts out, “The truth!” Your verdict? Cruise’s performance is No. 1 all the way.

2. Top Gun (1986)
Cruise plays a pilot whose risky maneuvers would be grounds for dismissal — if he weren’t just so damn good. Sexy, cocky, and impassioned, Cruise is at his best in this prototypical type-A action flick from the Simpson-Bruckheimer mill. Sure, other movies have mined the same territory — Iron Eagle, Fire Birds — but AMC viewers know the real thing when they see it.

3. Rain Man (1988)
Critics were impressed by Cruise’s performance as the self-absorbed little brother of Dustin Hoffman’s autistic savant. By turns arrogant and affectionate, Cruise created a complex character whose eventual change of heart isn’t just believable but genuinely moving. Rain Man was awarded five Oscars, including Best Picture, but, more importantly, it’s beloved by you as well.

4. Jerry Maguire (1996)
Cruise has to reassess his shallow existence when he loses his high-powered job as a sport agent. Is there more to life than generating cash flow? There is if you have a cherubic number cruncher (Renée Zellweger) at your side and a sagacious wide receiver (Cuba Gooding Jr.) on your client list. Existential crisis: averted. Best Actor nomination: assured. You complete us, Jerry, at No. 4.

5. Mission: Impossible (1996)
This cloak-and-dagger thriller proves Cruise’s acumen in the action genre. Its tangled plotline would take a CIA analyst to decode, but it hardly detracts from the movie’s suspenseful high-wire set pieces or Cruise’s onscreen magnetism. There are the explosive sequels too — with a fourth ready to detonate this December — but AMC viewers think the original is the one that belongs in the top five.

Honorable Mentions

6. Risky Business (1983): In his breakthrough role, Cruise is a high schooler who starts a brothel to make extra cash. (What ever happened to bake sales?)

7. The Last Samurai (1990): What’s left for Tom Cruise to play? This epic drama from the Zwick brothers offers an answer: a samurai!

8. The Firm (1993): Cruise opposite co-stars Gene Hackman, Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, Gary Busey, and Wilford Brimley put this John Grisham legal-drama adaptation above the rest.

9. Minority Report (2002): Steven Spielberg and Cruise meld minds for this trippy sci-fi flick about crime fighters whose proactive ethos makes Giuliani look tame.

10. The Color of Money (1986): Cruise battles Paul Newman in a game that’s as much about cunning and charisma as corner pockets and cue balls.

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Check out Tom Cruise when AMC Celebrates Mission: Impossible on Sat., Oct. 1, at 8PM | 9C, and Sun., Oct. 2, at 4:30PM | 3:30C.

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