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The Best and Worst Tom Cruise Sci-Fi Movies

Minority Report (2002) - Tom Cruise 
Here are Tom Cruise's best and worst sci-fi movies. Last weekend the latest Tom Cruise movieThe Mummy (2017), opened and it looks like this is going to be his latest flop. The movie has a dismal 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and pulled in a pathetic $57.2 million in the North American box office.

Cruise has an amazing career as a dramatic and action star, but he's made a few science-fiction movies. Some have been brilliant, but some have been awful.

Here are all Tom Cruise's science fiction films ranked from best to worst.

1. Minority Report (2002)

Minority Report (2002) - Tom Cruise 
Based on the 1956 science fiction short story by the late Philip K. Dick Tom Cruise stars as a future Washington D.C. policeman with a unique organization that stops crimes before they happen. In the year 2054, a group of mutant psychic children has the ability to see visions of future murders. Using that information the "Procog" division arrests people before they can commit crimes. But then the precogs predict he will murder a man he's never met. He goes on the run to discover if the infallible psychic predictions are ever wrong.

Directed by Steven Spielberg the movie is thought-provoking without being preachy and visceral with arresting visuals. Minority Report shows a future grounded in reality. It also predicts future technology like the gesture recognition in your cell phone.

Tom Cruise is lovable and cocky but a tortured soul. The movie has all of the things you expect from a Cruise movie, including fast action, high emotion, and a strong character arc, but it also does what all good science fiction should do. Great science-fiction makes you think. Minority Report asks "does free will exists if the future can be predicted"?

2. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) - Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), Major William Cage (Tom Cruise)
Tom Cruise has played a military man in many films like Top Gun (1986), A Few Good Men (1992), and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Edge of Tomorrow (2014) turns the concept on its ear. Cruise stars as Major William Cage a public relations officer who's never been in combat. Suddenly he's forced into a war zone against aliens called "Mimics". After he's killed, he wakes up to discover he's stuck in a time loop and forced to relive the day over and over again. Together with revered Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski, played by Emily Blunt, they search for the reason for his predicament and a way to end the war once and for all.

Edge of Tomorrow is based on the popular 2004 Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. It captures many of the themes of the manga. It's action-packed and has lots of light humor and clever twists.

A brilliant premise and brilliant acting make this story work perfectly. It's not a movie you'd watch over and over again, but it's entertaining. The biggest complaint is the ending, which is completely different from the heart-breaking ending of the novel. In true Hollywood fashion, they shoehorn in a happy ending. It ruins a great film.

3. War of the Worlds (2005)

War of the Worlds (2005) - Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise)
The Mummy isn't the first time Cruise has starred in a remake. He also sang in Rock of Ages (2012) based on the 2006 rock jukebox Broadway musical. That one did OK, but this one didn't fare as well.

In this remake of the 1950's classic Cruise plays a divorced dockworker named Ray Ferrier fleeing from an alien invasion. While struggling to protect his son and daughter he witnesses the devastation of humanity.

Directed by Steven Spielberg it's a decent disaster movie and captures some of the thrills and paranoia of the original film. Cruise has a surprisingly shocking scene where he kills a man and it's hard to say if it's justified or not. That gives the character a dark side that Cruise just isn't good at.

This movie has a nice twist by focusing on the character arc of the everyman. But this is Tom Cruise so he still manages to be a larger-than-life hero. It delivers on the promise of a typical Tom Cruise action film. The story is muddled and weak though and doesn't really add anything new to the film. It's a nice film, but not a great one. Cruise's performance was nominated for a Saturn "Best Actor" and a Raspberry "Worst acting" award. Both are deserved.

4. Oblivion (2013)

Oblivion (2013) - Jack Harper (Tom Cruise)
On an Earth abandoned after an alien invasion Cruise plays a security repairmen named Jack Harper. He plans on completing his mission and leaving Earth, but he's haunted by dreams of another time and a woman that seems familiar. In his travels, he finds a crashed ship that has the woman from his dreams. It makes him question his understanding of the world he lives in.

Joseph Kosinski's direction makes this the most beautiful film you'll ever see. But the story is pathetic and falls apart halfway into the film. This is one of the few Tom Cruise movies based on an original story, but it turns out that's the biggest mistake.

Cruise does an OK job on this mind-bending story. But the ridiculous twists leave you more confused than inspired. It's a terrible movie but makes great wallpaper for your computer desktop.

Which is your favorite Tom Cruise movie? Which one do you hate? 

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  2. Agree with you about Oblivion on both counts - the plot is weak and the visuals are strong. That's not just Kosinski's direction BTW although I imagine he had a strong sense of vision, it's also the work of several talented designers led by Darren Gilford - who was also a production designer on Tron Legacy and The Force Awakens. Come to think of it, both of those films have also been described by some as having weaker plots and stronger visuals.


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