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Podcast: Top 3 Tom Cruise Performances

Podcast: Top 3 Tom Cruise Performances

This week on the InSession Film Podcast, we discussed Edge of Tomorrow, which was a pleasant surprise for us, given the marketing for the film was average. At any rate, going off of that we decided to discuss our Top 3 Tom Cruise Performances. Cruise tends gets a bad rap from some people or stereotyped a little but the dude has some really solid work. Some of his dramatic work is just phenomenal and his action films have at least been entertaining on some level. Either way, he has a ton of work to choose from that made this a really tough Top 3. This is different from Episode 9, where we discussed our Top 3 Tom Cruise Movies, where here we focused strictly on his performances.

That being said, which movies would make your list? Here are the one’s that made ours (Keep in mind we all have different criteria for our lists as well):

JD (Top Gun and War of the Worlds were not included via criteria)
1) Ron Kovic – Born on the Fourth of July
2) Frank T.J. Mackey – Magnolia
3) Lt. Daniel Kafee – A Few Good Men


1) Jerry Maguire – Jerry Maguire
2) David Aames – Vanilla Sky
3) Les Grossman – Tropic Thunder


1) David Aames – Vanilla Sky
2) Ron Kovic – Born on the Fourth of July
3) Joseph Donnelly – Far and Away

Honorable Mentions (Combined)

Top Gun, War of the Worlds, Rain Man, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, The Last Samurai, Minority Report, Days of Thunder, pretty much anything by Tom Cruise can be an honorable mention

Hopefully you guys enjoyed our lists and if you agree or disagree with us, let us know in the comment section below. As we mentioned, this list could really go any way since he’s done a lot of good work. So, what would be your Top 3? Leave a comment in the comment section or email us at

For the entire podcast, click here or listen below.

For more lists done by the InSession Film crew and other guests, be sure see our Top 3 Movie Lists page.

InSession Film founder and owner. I love film. Love art. Love how it intersects with our real lives. My favorite movies include Citizen Kane, The 400 Blows, Modern Times, The Godfather and The Tree of Life. Follow me on Twitter @RealJDDuran. Follow us @InSessionFilm.

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  1. Gayle Johnson

    Love this topic! I could talk Tom Cruise all day.

    My personal Top 3:

    1) Collateral
    2) The Color of Money
    3) Edge of Tomorrow (a very recent addition)

    • InSession Film

      Thank you…yeah we had fun with it too! Good Top 3…pretty cool to see Edge of Tomorrow make your Top 3. I’d need for it to sit with me a little longer but as far as his action films go, it’s def up there for me. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Jonathan Berry

    Magnolia was the first time I saw Tom Cruise as more than a pretty boy stunt man, and saw him a as an actual actor. He deserved best Supporting actor for that role.

    • InSession Film

      I would agree, and I would argue the same thing for Born on the Fourth of July.

  3. The Vern

    Really cool list of movies you have here. Glad to see Magnolia on here I think that one was just great. I liked him alot more in Minority Report then I did in War of The Worlds. need to rewatch Born on the Fourth of July. I will put Eyes Wide Shut and Mission Impossible was one of his best movies.

    • InSession Film

      Yeah Magnolia was fantastic. And I agree he’s great in Minority Report but I find a better transformation of his character in War of The Worlds. Mission Impossible will always be one of his funnest, for sure. Thanks Vern!