Not Only Is Tom Cruise One of Our Greatest Movie Stars, He Is Also One of Our Finest Actors

Got in an argument tonight over the merits (or lack thereof) of TC's acting. My position stands above. My friend disagreed. Here is why I am right:
  1. Let's get this out of the way: Jerry Maguire.
    That is some FINE acting. He uses his body like Mohammed Ali and his language like Lawrence Olivier playing Hamlet and he makes us laugh and cry and sweat and he completes us. AND he holds his own against Jonathan Lipnicki at his cutest. Powerful. Seminal. Iconic. This alone should be argument enough.
  2. I'm gonna back that up: Risky Business, Top Gun, Born On the Fourth Of July, A Few Good Men, Mission: Impossible, Magnolia, Collateral, Tropic Thunder.
    That, my friends, is some impressive range.
  3. No one can focus like Cruise.
    Why is this important? Imagination, one of the hallmarks of great acting. When Cruise focuses on something, he is creating a bond of belief with that imaginary object. He believes, we believe. Don't believe me? Watch Going Clear. Seriously. Look at his eyes when he talks about Scientology. That is real to him, and his belief is practically contagious.
  4. No one can run like Cruise.
    Why is this important? Commitment, one of the hallmarks of great acting. He throws himself at a run the way he throws himself at every moment on film: 💯.
  5. No one does his own stunts like Cruise.
    Because he is a consummate professional and a true performer. Most people write this off as a symptom of his fanaticism. Fine. But I think it's also because he knows what the people want and he is going to give it to them. He will earn that paycheck, every time, and at his age that's especially admirable.
  6. My concessions: we all know why people discount him. And I wish he did fewer action movies and that his female costars ever aged. I am not saying he is cool--his earnestness makes him the opposite of hip. Finally: I'm not saying he is Daniel Day Lewis.
  7. But I am saying this: of all the people in the world right now who are UNDOUBTEDLY movie stars, he is one of the few who takes real risks with character work, pursues transformation instead of relying on his personality, and never ever phones it in. He gives it all, every time, even in the bad ones.
  8. Basically, have a little respect okay?
  9. Lest(at) We Forget
    Suggested by   @rakeshsatyal
  10. He brings all the pathos, intensity and subtlety needed for a lead performance in a classic Kubrick film.
    Suggested by   @teddy
  11. Movie star wise, he can hold his own with literally the best of them.
    Suggested by   @teddy