Tom Cruise’s Sci-Fi Movies, Ranked

Tom Cruise’s Sci-Fi Movies, Ranked

We’re going to go out on a limb here with a crazy hot take. Tom Cruise has made a lot of good movies. We know! Shocking and controversial, but from Top Gun and Rain Man, to Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, A Few Good Men, The Color of Money, Jerry Maguire,and many many more, we think it’s warranted.

Cruise turns 62 today, which seems almost as crazy as the above statement. He certainly doesn’t look like a near senior citizen, but maybe that’s because he’s dabbled in so much science fiction. Throughout his career, Cruise has not only made plenty of traditional blockbusters and Oscar fare, but lots of high concept sci-fi too, many of which are fantastic, others of which are not.

Below, we’ve got our ranking of Cruise’s sci-fi/fantasy films, with a few surprises along the way.

8. The Mummy (2017)


The Mummy – Official Trailer (HD)

Ooo boy. We could write encyclopedias about everything that went wrong with The Mummy and have come close already. But one quick example is that Cruise’s take on the Universal Monsters franchise was to make the movie about himself and not the titular character. A dark universe, indeed.

7. Legend (1985)


Legend (1985) – Trailer HD 1080p

Honestly, The Mummy is the only bad Tom Cruise sci-fi movie. Legend is actually pretty good, just maybe a little less so than the films above it. Ridley Scott directs the sweeping fantasy best known for Tim Curry’s unforgettable character, Darkness.

6. Vanilla Sky (2001)


Vanilla Sky (2001) Official Trailer # 1 – Tom Cruise HD

Cameron Crowe’s remake of the Spanish film Open Your Eyes is a creepy, weird, hugely underrated tale of a man who experiences incredible loss, and tries to abuse and utilize science and medicine for his own personal gain. Not an easy movie to watch or digest, but a memorable one nevertheless. One of those movies only Tom Cruise could do.

5. Oblivion (2013)


Oblivion – Trailer

I honestly kind of love Oblivion. Sure, it’s just a remix of every sci-fi idea made popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but it’s sprawling, it’s beautiful, and doesn’t really get the attention it deserves.

4. Interview with the Vampire (1994)


Interview with the Vampire – Original Theatrical Trailer

Cruise stars alongside Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst in this early adaptation of the Anne Rice novel, which has seen some new life of late due to the AMC show. This version, written by Rice herself, is more faithful to the original text than that show, but no less gothic and engaging.

3. War of the Worlds (2005)


War Of The Worlds (2005) – Trailer

Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg teamed up for this adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel about a father protecting his children during an alien invasion. It’s big and bold in all the ways one would expect from Spielberg, but maybe just falls a bit short because of the director’s other films, and the pair’s previous collaboration.

2. Minority Report (2002)


Minority Report – Trailer

If Minority Report didn’t exist, War of the Worlds would be just a tad more special. But it does exist and it’s great. It’s Cruise and Spielberg together at last giving us a phenomenal, exciting sci-fi adventure about a man who stops crimes before they happen, and then finds himself the object of a chase. We wrote a ton more about it here.

1.5 Trapped in the Closet

Though he’s not explicitly in, or a part of, this iconic episode of South Park, we thought it was at least worth mentioning before getting to number one…

1. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)


Edge of Tomorrow – Official Main Trailer [HD]

Edge of Tomorrow isn’t just Tom Cruise’s best sci-fi movie, it may be one of his best movies, period. Director Doug Liman, from a script co-written by Christopher McQuarrie, creates an electric, intense, roller coaster ride of time travel and alien invasion. Cruise shines along with co-star Emily Blunt and we’re still holding out hope that a sequel happens.

Honorable Mention: The Mission Impossible Movie

The Mission: Impossible movies aren’t sci-fi of course, but they are what we at io9 likes to call “spy-fi.” It’s a very specific cross-section of believable action with fictionalized technology that we love and cover on the site but, for purposes of this list, have chosen to ignore. But the MI movies are great and, well…6-1-4-3-5-7-2.

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