7 best Tom Cruise movies to stream on Netflix, Prime Video and more
Where to stream these iconic movies starring Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. For good reason, too. With jaw-dropping stunts, a gleaming smile and an intense gaze unmatched by many, Tom Cruise is a household name in Hollywood. He's had the lead actor role in at least 39 films and counting and has a box office total that has grossed over 10 billion. He has also produced some of his own films, including the hit Mission: Impossible franchise.
While Cruise may be known as an invincible action star, he has also played numerous characters with incredible depth and range. He has been the charming yet competitive romantic lead, the cold, calculating killer, and the greedy but misguided younger brother. Cruise has worked alongside some of the most famous actors and directors of our time. While it's hard to narrow down his greatest roles in such a short list, we've put together a few of the best Tom Cruise movies.
In the Oscar award-winning film, Rain Main, Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, the selfish brother of Raymond as played by Dustin Hoffman. Charlie finds out that his brother Raymond has inherited a great deal of money. Determined to get hold of what he believes is rightfully his, Charlie absconds Ray away from his residential home, sending the two on a memorable road trip neither will forget.
Hoffman took home an Academy Award for his role. So did the director, the screenwriter, and the picture as a whole. While Tom Cruise may not have received an Oscar nomination for his role in the film, he is the perfect actor to play alongside Hoffman. You have the reward of watching him shed his character's shallow, flashy demeanor and embrace a subtle maturity as he learns why his brother was sent away. A must-watch film that is one of Tom Cruise's best.
Watch on Prime Video
No one but Cruise could have played the part of Mitch McDeere in The Firm, an adaptation of the book by John Grisham. It could be why the 2012 television series of the book was canceled after only a single season. In the film, Cruise's McDeere is hired by a "small" firm from Memphis right out of law school. Although everything seems on the up-and-up, it isn't long before he realizes that he is surrounded by crooks.
It's the transformation of McDeere's smugness over landing such a top-notch job into an intensity over uncovering the truth and protecting his career — and life — that makes this such a powerful Tom Cruise film. However, what may surprise many is that Holly Hunter took home the Oscar for her role as Tammy Hemphill, the secretary of the private detective that McDeere hires. Despite Cruise's lack of Oscar recognition, this is one of his best movies.
Watch on Netflix , Prime Video or Paramount Plus
A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men is a movie best known by many for its famous line spoken by Jack Nicholson who retorts, "You can't handle the truth!" However, it wouldn't be the same without Cruise playing the cocky Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee.
When defense lawyer Kaffee gets to defend two Marines accused of killing one of their colleagues, many expect him to simply settle the case out of court. Cruise's natural overconfidence as portrayed in his character, Kaffee, becomes a quality that people plan to manipulate to keep the truth a secret. When he realizes this raw reality, Cruise's stone-cold determination to take the case to court shocks many. Nicholson, who plays Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, was nominated for the Oscar. However, Cruise wows the audience when he plays opposite Nicholson in the famous court scene that prompted the line we all know so well.
Watch on AMC Plus
Going against his typical role, Tom Cruise plays a ruthless killer in the movie, Collateral. Vincent, as played by Cruise, is visiting Los Angeles to finish off a few people who are supposed to testify in court against a drug lord as well as a couple of other lawyers involved in the case. When he gets into the cab of Max, played by Jamie Foxx, not everything goes according to plan.
Cruise takes out all the charm in his personality to depict a heartless killer — although what remains is a certain reasonableness to his personality as he almost convinces Foxx's Max to stick with him for the long haul. However, Foxx's Max becomes braver by the moment. In yet another film where another actor was Oscar-nominated over Cruise — this time it was Jamie Foxx — it still remains one of Cruise's most complex characters, making it one of his best movies.
Watch on Paramount Plus
This time an Oscar nominee, Cruise plays the part of Jerry Maguire, a sports agent at the top of his game. However, Cruise's Maguire gets a crisis of conscience when one of his clients gets seriously hurt. Confronted by the client's son, Cruise realizes he has no heart for those he is supposed to represent.
When Cruise's Maguire writes a mission statement, encouraging his agency to change their ways, he loses it all. However, despite the falling out, he connects with potential love interest, Dorothy Boyd, played by Renee Zellweger. He also manages to keep a single client, Rod Tidwell, played by Cuba Gooding Jr. It's a perfect blend of excellent acting, a strong script, and superb directing that makes this one of the most memorable romantic comedies. It also happens to include the famous Tom Cruise line that gives us all the feels, "You complete me."
Rent/buy on Amazon or Apple
Top Gun: Maverick
Timing is everything, as the old adage says. That is possibly why the movie Top Gun: Maverick was such a success. Cruise starred in and produced the film, a sequel to his career-making film, Top Gun. While it was ready to go in 2020, he delayed its release for when people could actually see it in theaters. And for good reason. With incredible stunts and minimal usage of CGI, the movie is an experience as much as it is entertainment.
Playing a character many became familiar with in the '80s, Cruise adds a level of maturity to his role as Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. Cruise's Maverick returns to the school that molded him to train younger pilots, one of whom is the son of his now-deceased best friend. The emotional depth Cruise brings to the film makes it almost better than the original, a feat that's near impossible for sequels.
Watch on Prime Video or Paramount Plus
How can any of us forget that famous scene when Cruise dances in his underwear to the Bob Seger song, "Old Time Rock & Roll"? One of the movies that made him who he is today, Cruise plays Joel Goodsen, a college-bound high school senior who itches to cut loose from his parents' ties. Finally having the opportunity to live a little when his parents go on vacation, things for Goodsen go from bad to worse as each rule is broken.
Acting alongside Rebecca De Mornay who plays the elusive and appealing call girl, Cruise's Goodsen learns about life, love, and consequences in this iconic film. Coupled with a strong script and excellent music from the 80s, this is one of Tom Cruise's best and most memorable movies.
Rent/buy on Amazon or Apple
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Nicole Pyles is a writer in Portland, Oregon. She loves movies, especially Lifetime movies, obscure TV movies, and disaster flicks. Her writing has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Mental Floss, WOW! Women on Writing, Ripley's Believe it or Not, and more. When she isn't watching movies, she's spending time with family, reading, and writing short stories. Say hi on Twitter @BeingTheWriter.
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Before it became a staple of classic rock radio, Bob Seger’s ‘Old Time Rock & Roll’ turned Tom Cruise into a star thanks to its iconic needle-drop moment.
Of all the recognizable songs in Bob Seger’s catalogue, “Old Time Rock & Roll” may be the most recognizable of all. We can almost guarantee that if you pull a random stranger off the street and play them Barry Beckett’s indelible, eight-note piano intro, they’ll immediately respond with, “Just take those old records off the shelf…”
An iconic needle-drop
Thanks to its placement in movies and TV, beginning with Tom Cruise’s memorable lip-sync in Risky Business , “Old Time Rock & Roll” is the best-remembered track on Seger’s blockbuster 1978 album, Stranger In Town , and it’s practically the official theme song of classic-rock radio . It’s worth remembering, however, that it didn’t start out that way. As the follow-up to his commercial breakthrough, Night Moves , Stranger In Town was a key album for Seger.
He’d gotten the hit album after ten years of trying and needed to prove that Night Moves was no flash in the pan. And he succeeded by building on Night Moves ’ strengths. Once again, Seger divided the album between two back-up groups (his touring group, The Silver Bullet Band, and the Muscle Shoals session aces) and two mindsets: arena-ready rockers on one hand, reflective ballads on the other. In both cases, Seger, now hitting his mid-30s, wasn’t afraid to write about characters who’d done a bit of living.
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A flair for storytelling
Stranger In Town hit FM radio with a handful of obvious killer cuts, but “Old Time Rock & Roll” wasn’t one of them. Radio went instead with the ballad “Still The Same” and the widescreen rocker, “Hollywood Nights,” both of which showed Seger’s flair for storytelling. Next came “We’ve Got Tonight,” the first Seger hit that was a straightforward love ballad. All three songs were released as singles and crossed over to AM radio, and all three hit the Top 20, meaning he’d now bettered Night Moves commercially. But FM radio still wasn’t done with Stranger In Town . Many stations now went with “Feel Like A Number,” the album’s toughest rocker. With its defiant sound and anti-authority lyric, “… Number” proved that Seger wasn’t all that far from the punk movement.
Only then, after Stranger In Town had been in the stores for nearly a year, did “Old Time Rock & Roll” get taken off the shelf. In the context of the album, it’s something of a ringer, more light-hearted and self-consciously retro than the rest of the songs, and one of the album’s only two non-original songs, penned by George Jackson and Thomas Earl Jones III.
“The dumbest thing I ever did”
“Old Time Rock & Roll” was a late addition to the album sessions, brought in by the Muscle Shoals players. The song’s co-writer George Jackson was an Alabama local with a couple of previous hits to his credit, including The Osmond Brothers’ first hit, “One Bad Apple” (so if anyone asks you the trivia question, “What do Bob Seger and Donny Osmond have in common?”, now you know). Seger liked the song but thought it needed some work. As he explained in an interview at the time, he kept Jackson’s chorus lyric but rewrote all the verse lyrics himself – and because Seger didn’t peg the song as a hit, he never bothered to take a writing credit. “That was the dumbest thing I ever did,” he told a radio interviewer in 2006.
Released as a single in March 1979, “Old Time Rock & Roll” was given a place of honor at Seger’s live shows, as part of a string of hits played early in the set; and it took on a whole other life onstage. The live version (captured on the 1981 double album Nine Tonight ) is a whole lot grittier, with the piano intro replaced by Stonesy guitar riffing, and the whole band getting loose. There’s a raucous sax solo from Alto Reed, and the piano pounder is none other than Craig Frost from Grand Funk Railroad .
A second life
So the song was a modest hit, but it didn’t really become a signature tune until after the fact. Risky Business , of course, helped that along. It was also one of Tom Cruise’s iconic moments: when he removes his pants and slides into the song’s intro, the party is officially underway. After that there was no stopping the song, which went onto numerous TV shows and commercials, becoming the flagship song for Guitar Hero: World Tour. And, of course, classic rock radio, which was just starting up at the time of the song’s release, couldn’t have asked for a better endorsement than a song about the old rock being the best rock.
But those lyrics may be the one thing about the song that doesn’t quite ring true. How jaded did you have to be to feel that “today’s music ain’t got the same soul” in 1978? Sure, Seger’s fans probably loved its quick dismissal of disco , but 1978 was also a year when punk , funk, and mainstream rock were all at high-water marks: from the Stones’ Some Girls to Funkadelic’s One Nation Under A Groove , Springsteen ’s Darkness At The Edge of Town and The Cars’ debut album. 1978 practically overflowed with energy and had soul to spare, with Bob Seger being one of the many reasons why.
Listen to the best of Bob Seger on Apple Music and Spotify
February 3, 2020 at 2:09 am
March 4, 2020 at 10:16 pm
Nine Tonight was recorded in 1980, but not released until fall of ’81
March 4, 2021 at 6:35 pm
Thanks for the heads-up, Tom! That’s been fixed now.
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1983, Comedy, 1h 36m
What to know
Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes. Read critic reviews
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Risky business videos, risky business photos.
Ecstatic when his parents leave on vacation for a few days, high school senior Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) cuts loose with his best friend Miles. After an attempt at securing the services of a prostitute goes slightly awry, Joel hires gorgeous Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) for a night of delight. Stunned by the amount of Lana's "bill" the next morning, Joel grows frantic after he crashes his father's Porsche. In an effort to raise lots of money fast, a desperate Joel turns the house into a brothel.
Original Language: English
Director: Paul Brickman
Producer: Jon Avnet , Steve Tisch
Writer: Paul Brickman
Release Date (Theaters): Aug 5, 1983 original
Release Date (Streaming): Sep 1, 2008
Runtime: 1h 36m
Distributor: Warner Home Vídeo, Warner Bros.
Production Co: Geffen Pictures
Sound Mix: Dolby, Surround
Cast & Crew
Rebecca De Mornay
Bruce A. Young
Derelict on Train
Detective with Bullhorn
William J. Cassidy
Robert De Mora
News & Interviews for Risky Business
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Critic Reviews for Risky Business
Audience reviews for risky business.
This is the movie that is arguably ranked as Tom Cruise's best. It mixes coming of ae with the dark overtones of adulthood and responsibility, with a great soundtrack.
Kind of overrated to be honest, since people basically hold this up as "the" 80s movie. But that being said, this is still a pretty enjoyable film.
"Risky Business" is a great drama film of 1983. "Risky Business" has great acting from "Tom Cruise" and "Rebecca De Mornay". "Risky Business" has a great plot to it. The plot is great but not the most exciting. The music in "Risky Business" is great as well it makes scenes more dramatic. I recommend you watch "Risky Business" as it is a great drama film of 1983. I give "Risky Business" an 8/10.
Potentially, this is Tom Cruise's second best film in his entire career, though not necessarily his best performance. Risky Business found, with surprising easiness, its pop-culture status among modern viewers. 75% of that popularity image has Tom Cruise dancing to the beat of "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, a scene which barely represents the entire dark atmosphere of this teen drama. Risky Business is yet ANOTHER movie that puts us in the perspective of the rebellious young generation that came out from such an irresponsible previous generation: their parents. It was typical to see the parents playing passive antagonistic roles while these lost boys sought for liberty, either financial, carnal or intellectual, in several ways possible, from organizing massive parties to taking "days off" like a good Ferris Bueller would do. In this case, however, the perspective is less comedic. I wouldn't catalogue this as a comedy, but as an exercise in the irony of negative outcomes of irresponsible actions, maybe even with a touch of peer pressure. The execution of certain scenes was excellent, from the opening dream sequence, to the "Are you ready for me?" encounter, to the subway sequence. Remarkably, the film ends with a sarcastic tone. It may seem that Joel Goodson got away with it from every single angle, but what matters is also what will happen in the long run, and that perspective is scary. The conclusion seems as uncertain as driving in foggy highway. Good film, and somewhat underrated. 79/100
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A Smell of Wine and Cheap Perfume
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By Manohla Dargis
- June 14, 2012
“Rock of Ages,” a jukebox musical turned junky big-screen attraction about making it in the music biz back when it still existed, is just entertaining enough to keep you from dark thoughts about the state of Hollywood. The movie is too insipid for such hand wringing, in any event, and the attention-grabbing turns by Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and especially Tom Cruise as a rock-star crazy help enliven its overlong two hours. All singing, some dancing, the movie brings to mind “Glee,” but its truer, superior progenitor is that 1933 Cinderella story, “42nd Street,” the one in which the producer tells the chorine, “You’re going out a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star!”
The chorines this time around are Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) and Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough), who early on meet cute on the Sunset Strip, that asphalt ribbon distinguished by its clubs, eateries, high hopes, low prospects and celebrity deaths that winds through West Hollywood. She’s a little bit country, newly arrived from Flyover, U.S.A.; he’s a little bit hair-metal, with a menial gig at the Bourbon Room and dreams of guitar-rock divinity. The make-believe Bourbon sits next to the Whisky a Go Go although in reality it and the rest of the conspicuously faked Strip were shot in a tricked-out neighborhood in Miami. Mostly, though, the whole thing rests on a, er, bedrock of clichés from Hollywood’s favorite genre: movies about itself.
“Rock of Ages,” directed by the former dancer and choreographer Adam Shankman, is based on a musical — nicely described by Lina Lecaro, a Los Angeles scenester, as a “headbangin’-to-the-oldies revue” — that originated in a Hollywood club in 2005 and eventually migrated to Broadway, where it continues to pull in fans at the Helen Hayes. (Mr. Shankman directed the 2007 movie “Hairspray,” which was based on the Broadway musical that was, in another testament to entertainment industry self-cannibalization, based on the 1988 John Waters film.) Like the musical, the movie “Rock of Ages” is set in 1987, the year that “Appetite for Destruction,” the first album from Guns N’ Roses , and Tipper Gore’s book “Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society,” both hit the cultural fray.
Appetite for Depravity
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Written by Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo (who wrote the original show) and Allan Loeb, the movie resurrects these two forgotten events through a pair of opponents: an Axl Rose-like rocker, Stacee Jaxx, played with uncharacteristic heat and an undulating bare torso by Mr. Cruise, and a crusading neo-Puritan, Patricia Whitmore, energetically embodied by an underused Catherine Zeta-Jones. Whitmore has vowed, as part of the campaign to have her husband, Mike (Bryan Cranston), elected mayor, to clean up the Strip. In actuality it was Prince’s album “Purple Rain” that triggered Ms. Gore’s outrage over rock ’n’ raunch, an indignation that led to the Parents Music Resource Center, Senate hearings about dirty minds and government regulation, and eventually her wider pop-cultural attacks. Bringing in Prince would have made the movie listenable, but it would have complicated its white-bread world.
That’s less a reference to the picture’s homogeneous racial and ethnic makeup, which debatably reflects that of the music milieu it seeks to replicate. (Mary J. Blige, as Justice, the owner of a strip club, and the character actor Angelo Donato Valderrama, as a club busboy named Chico, are among the movie’s few tokens of diversity.) Rather, this Wonder Bread banality comes from how thoroughly Mr. Shankman has vacuumed his rock-scene simulacrum of anything recognizably rock, including the lust, juice, heat, bad behavior and excesses that characterize its real-life analogue. There isn’t any grit to these people or their art, not a speck of dirt anywhere. It looks like Disneyland and sounds, well, like a bad Broadway musical, with all the power belting and jazz-hand choreography that implies.
To put it another way, there’s way too much Journey on the soundtrack, and Foreigner. There’s also an REO Speedwagon ditty, a few from Twisted Sister, Def Leppard and Poison, and at least two hits that were released after 1987 (“More Than Words” and “I Remember You”). All the songs are sung, mostly without shame or distinction, by the actors themselves, who slide into the warbling as if into a conversation. A grizzled, bewigged Mr. Baldwin enunciates through his songs, in the Rex Harrison mold, to play a rock survivor, Dennis Dupree, who runs the Bourbon with his sidekick, Lonny (Mr. Brand). They make their stale buddy routine and romance amusing and, as with the rest of the adults, make the movie bearable. A whispering and writhing Mr. Cruise makes it watchable.
“Rock of Ages” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). No sex, few drugs, some rock ’n’ roll.
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Whatever Happened to Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon’s Rodeo Romance?
We were this close to a Western love story with Witherspoon and Cruise.
The Big Picture
- Tom Cruise's career took a different turn in 2011, as his attempts at branching out into non-action roles were largely unsuccessful.
- Cruise's interest in a romantic Western comedy called Paper Wings suggests a different path his stardom could have taken.
- Cruise's past successes in romantic and comedic roles, such as in Risky Business and Jerry Maguire , highlight his versatility and talent beyond the action genre.
Any discussions about Tom Cruise being “past his prime” are completely ridiculous, as Cruise has proven time and time again why he’s the biggest movie star on the planet. The combined critical and box office success of Top Gun: Maverick and the last few installments within the Mission: Impossible franchise have proven that Cruise is still an immediate box office draw for audiences across the globe. However, Cruise’s career was in a far different place a decade earlier, as his efforts to branch out into non-action roles had been largely unsuccessful. During this brief period of uncertainty, Cruise nearly signed up for a Western romance film that he would have co-starred in with Reese Witherspoon . Although the project never took off, it suggests a very different path that Cruise’s stardom could have taken under different circumstances.
Tom Cruise's Career in 2011 Was Very Different
In early 2011, Game of Thrones director Brian Kirk was reportedly circling a romantic Western comedy that was tentatively titled Paper Wings . The premise felt like a strange cross between Urban Cowboy and Rhinestone , as it followed a rough and tough rodeo star that fell in love with a country singer. The script had been developed by Twilight writer Marty Bohen , and was first sent to New Line Cinema in 2006. Witherspoon first got involved with the project when The Pursuit of Happyness director Gabriele Muccino was attached to helm it. Cruise was reportedly seriously interested in taking on the project. While it now seems unbelievable that Cruise would ever pop up in a Western romance , his career was in a much different state back in 2011.
It had been a rough few years for Cruise. In the aftermath of Mission: Impossible III , Cruise attempted to reestablish himself as a dramatic actor with Robert Redford ’s political drama Lions and Lambs and Bryan Singer ’s World War II thriller Valkyrie . Both films fell flat, indicating that Cruise didn’t quite have the capability to break into any serious award season conversations at this time. Although he scored a surprising Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Tropic Thunder alongside his co-star, Robert Downey Jr. , Downey’s performance was the only one that received any recognition from the Oscars. Cruise tried to trek back into familiar territory in 2010 with James Mangold ’s action comedy Knight and Day , but it became one of the rare critical and financial disasters of his career.
Unfortunately, Paper Wings remained in development hell as Cruise, Witherspoon, and Kirk all began working on other projects. Witherspoon would end up earning a well-deserved Academy award nomination for her performance in Jean-Marc Vallee ’s Wild . She soon became just as popular on television as she was in film thanks to the success of The Morning Show , Big Little Lies , and Little Fires Everywhere . Kirk continued to work in television, directing episodes of Lucifer , Boardwalk Empire , and Dexter . He later made the leap to the big screen when he directed the late, great, Chadwick Boseman in one of his last movies , the 2019 crime thriller 21 Bridges .
'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' Was a Box Office Hit
Given that Cruise had failed in just about every genre, signing up for an exciting script alongside a star like Witherspoon would have been a great way for him to show off his versatility. However, no one could anticipate just how successful Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol would be when it hit theaters in December. Cruise proved why Ethan Hunt was still the definitive action hero of a generation, and managed to remain at the center of the franchise, even when it was suggested that Jeremy Renner could take over as its new lead . Within the next few years, it became more clear than ever that Ethan Hunt was the only character that Cruise could rely on.
While it appeared like Cruise might have been able to kickstart another franchise in 2012 with Jack Reacher , the film’s disastrous 2016 sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back killed any potential for the franchise. (The character would later be rebooted in the television series Reacher on Amazon Prime Video with Alan Ritchson .) Cruise’s other critical failures included his first musical ( Rock of Ages ), a middling science fiction adventure ( Oblivion ), and his attempt to take part in a cinematic universe (2017’s The Mummy ). Their collective failures indicated that Cruise was best when he was working with familiar material. Perhaps this inspired him to take a nostalgia-heavy look back at one of his most iconic roles with legacy sequel Top Gun: Maverick .
Tom Cruise Needs To Do More Movies Like 'Jerry Maguire' and 'Risky Business'
The failure of Paper Wings to move forward is disappointing, as Cruise is rarely given enough credit for how romantic and funny he could be. Even though he’s now almost exclusively associated with the action genre, it's easy to forget that Cruise’s breakout role was in 1983 with the coming-of-age romantic dramedy Risky Business . The sensitivity and earnestness that Cruise showed at such a young age is largely responsible for the success that he received thereafter. He would also give one of his best performances ever in 1996 with the romantic comedy Jerry Maguire . It was one of the biggest hits of Cruise’s career and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, even though the role was originally written for Tom Hanks .
Cruise also took chances on many different types of romantic films. Vanilla Sky took the rom-com formula into science fiction territory, and Cruise showed a more sensitive version of masculinity with his performances in the arthouse dramas Eyes Wide Shut and Magnolia . Unfortunately, these sorts of projects now seem few and far between for Cruise. 2017’s American Made was the last time that he appeared in a non-action film, and its dismal reviews may have inspired Cruise to narrow his focus on blockbusters even further. The Mission: Impossible franchise is one of the best franchises that is currently running (no pun intended). However, Cruise can only push his physical limits for so long before he is forced to retire from the action genre. Perhaps when Ethan Hunt’s story finally comes to an end, Cruise will circle back to work on something like Paper Wings again. Who doesn’t want to see Cruise play a cowboy?
A Film Blog by Leah Carlson-Downie
“i’m a slave to rock and roll”: tom cruise in rock of ages (2012).
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of an electric guitar must be in want of a groupie.
Or something like that. Starting a band to get a girlfriend is a time-honored tactic employed by teenaged film protagonists, after all. Even today, with rock and roll reportedly dead, the idea persists that the sexy sheen of rock music automatically confers some sex appeal upon its practitioners. It’s one of the most unshakeable myths of the twentieth century, informed by the profound connection in the cultural imagination between sex and rock and roll.
Because if sex and rock and roll go hand-in-hand, then it follows that rock stars are mega-studs. In certain cases, a rock star’s sex appeal absolutely has to do with physical appearance—consider Elvis Presley’s matinee idol good looks, Robert Plant’s bare chest and mane of golden hair, Bruce Springsteen’s butt in rigid ‘80s denim—but it’s only the pop stars who have to look pretty. If somebody as weird-looking as Mick Jagger can become a sex symbol through the power of rock and roll, then surely there’s hope for every other man with a guitar in his hands. The implicit promise is that he, too, can harness rock music to become a chick magnet, and why wouldn’t he want to?
In Rock of Ages —Adam Shankman’s 2012 film adaptation of the surprise-hit, jukebox stage musical of the same name—Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) is the biggest rock star in the world. Everyone else in the film utters his name reverentially, as if he’s the embodiment of rock and roll itself. Initially, it seems as though Rock of Ages might take a conventional, if humorously exaggerated, route with its characterization of Stacee as a quintessential rock star/sex symbol.
Stacee Jaxx first appears on screen to the sounds of a steamy jungle beat and a dramatic electric guitar riff.* He emerges from a literal pile of women, four certified babes who have sensually draped themselves over his passed out body and obscured him from view. Stacee’s manager (a perpetually gum-smacking Paul Giamatti) calls the rock star’s name, and Stacee shifts, sending a ripple through his groupies. The women lazily disentangle themselves from Stacee and each other, parting the veil so that Stacee can get up from his bed. The first part of Stacee Jaxx’s body they reveal is his crotch, adorned with a bejeweled codpiece.
As is immediately evident from this introductory scene, Rock of Ages explicitly, outrageously conflates sex and rock ‘n’ roll in the figure of Stacee Jaxx. Because Stacee is rock ‘n’ roll incarnate, he is also, naturally, sex incarnate. Or, at least, everyone reacts to him that way. The film’s perspective on sex and its relationship to rock and roll isn’t all that straightforward, and this complicatedness is what has prevented me, for a decade, from writing off Rock of Ages as a totally mindless guilty pleasure. Perhaps this understates the case. Let me be more clear: I’ve been utterly fascinated with Cruise’s Stacee Jaxx since I first laid eyes on his naked, tattooed torso. (And what tattoos! The pistols on his hips pointing down his pants? That’s art .)
The entire plot of the film version of Rock of Ages (adapted for the screen by Justin Theroux and Chris D’Arienzo) revolves around Stacee Jaxx, even if he isn’t technically the lead character. At the start of the movie, the Bourbon Room, a fictional stand-in for places like the Whisky and The Roxy, is on the brink of bankruptcy. The club’s proprietors (Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, vibing on jarringly different frequencies from one another) are counting on Stacee Jaxx to save their business with a guaranteed sell-out attraction. Stacee has agreed to play one last show with his band, Arsenal, at the venue before going solo. All of the main characters in Rock of Ages , aside from Stacee himself, work at the club, so this farewell show becomes the focal point of the film. But the primary driver of the plot isn’t just Arsenal’s final show at the Bourbon. The source of conflict, for all three major plot arcs , stems directly from the question of who Stacee Jaxx has or hasn’t had sex with.
Despite turning the film’s villains into Regan-era Republican politicians—a change from the German real estate developers of the stage version—Shankman’s Rock of Ages is decidedly conservative. For the sake of a PG-13 rating, it’s glaringly conservative about drugs, for one; there’s not a powder or pill in sight in this movie. The illegal substances are hilariously conspicuous in their absence, particularly since the narcotics are so heavily implied in Cruise’s drugged-out performance as Jaxx. And Shankman’s Rock of Ages is also, less obviously but no less deeply, conservative about sex.
The film’s treatment of Stacee Jaxx serves as the site of the film’s most muddled and curiously convoluted assertions about sex and its relationship to rock and roll. In the stage version of Rock of Ages , Stacee is a true supporting character and a much more traditional rock star/sex god. Cruise’s Jaxx, by contrast, is the centerpiece of the film version and an ambivalent sex god at best. There’s a tension between the film’s repeated adulation of the “rock and roll” lifestyle and its distinctly un-rock-and-roll attitude towards sex; the film uses Jaxx, its resident rock god (the figure in which rock and roll and sex most clearly merge), to explore and questionably resolve these tensions.
Tom Cruise’s mesmerizing, off-putting performance gives Shankman’s Rock of Ages exactly what it needs. Only Cruise could convincingly bring this version of Stacee Jaxx—the rock star/sex god whose magnetism isn’t exactly sexual but is mistakenly assumed to be—to life with such clarity and comedic precision. Cruise’s casting electrifies Jaxx’s anxieties over his perceived sex appeal and how integral it is or isn’t to his fame. This isn’t some meta layer the audience brings to the film. Cruise knows exactly what he’s doing here, which makes the performance enthralling.
Cruise’s casting in Rock of Ages was a point of interest and speculation as soon as it was announced. His decision to do his own singing in the film garnered repeated comparison to his dangerous Burj Khalifa stunt in the recently-released Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol . Entertainment Weekly reported , with a barely disguised hint of incredulity, that Cruise had worn “perhaps the skimpiest outfits of his career,” including assless chaps, for the film. W asked Cruise about all of the “ sexy scenes ” in the movie after noting that Cruise would be fifty by the time the film came out.
It might not be correct to say that Tom Cruise was never a sex symbol, but I think it’s more than fair to say that he’s never been known for generating much heat on screen. He’s routinely described as a compelling but cold presence—“ sexless ,” “ robotic ,” a “ beautiful android .” This coldness can veer into creepiness, something the actor has effectively tapped into on occasion to play against his clean-cut leading man persona of the ‘80s and ‘90s. He’s also known for being a try-hard, someone who commits to his roles with an almost maniacal, single-minded intensity. There’s nothing wrong with this, per se, but most people understand sex appeal as something effortless, whether that’s accurate or not. An actor can’t train to be sexy the way he can train to perform death-defying stunts. Generally, paradoxically, the harder one tries to be sexy, the less sexy one seems.
When Rock of Ages hit theaters, there was one thing everyone wanted to know: “ Does Tom Cruise embarrass himself? ” (The assless chaps get another mention here.) The movie received poor reviews and even worse box office receipts, turning out to be one of the few bona fide financial flops of Cruise’s career. But the general consensus was that, no, Cruise didn’t embarrass himself. In fact, many critics singled out Cruise’s Stacee Jaxx as the only worthwhile thing about an otherwise completely forgettable movie.
The narrative goes like this:
Rock of Ages is a cheesy, saccharine piece of fluff. Although the film takes place on the Sunset Strip in 1987, during the heyday of the legendarily libidinous and druggy hair metal bands that ruled the rock scene there, Shankman presents a determinedly sanitized, grit-less simulacrum of this setting. Rock of Ages uses the hits of Guns N’ Roses, Poison, Foreigner, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and others to punctuate a generic story of boy-meets-girl. This being a musical comedy at heart, the movie conclusively, shamelessly proclaims that the most rock ‘n’ roll thing of all is… true love.
The leading boy and girl, Drew (Diego Boneta) and Sherrie (Julianne Hough), barely make an impression. Supporting player Tom Cruise upstages everyone as Stacee Jaxx, the only character who brings any real rock and roll energy to the proceedings. Dana Stevens wrote, in her review of the film for Slate , that “ Cruise’s portrait of the rock star as empty-eyed nihilist doesn’t really belong in this gaudy pop trinket of a movie.” In his positive (and mostly bang-on) review of the movie for Salon , critic Andrew O’Hehir lamented, “Stacee belongs in some other movie, maybe the great film about ’80s rock that Cameron Crowe has never managed to make. In this one [ Rock of Ages ], he’s like a wild thing, the tragic, dying spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, trapped in a cage made of candy.” Cruise is not only good, he’s too good for the silly film Shankman constructed around his performance. Cruise’s Stacee Jaxx injects a little danger, a little darkness, a little sex into an otherwise safe, light, and sexless movie.
I agree to an extent with this analysis. Stacee Jaxx does steal the movie, and I return to Rock of Ages again and again mostly for the joy of watching my favorite Weird Tom Cruise performance. I don’t agree that Cruise’s Stacee Jaxx doesn’t belong in the version of Rock of Ages that we got.
There’s something undeniably perverse about casting Tom Cruise, an actor known for failing to generate much chemistry with his co-stars on screen, as a rock star/sex god. Intriguingly, however, Stacee Jaxx turns out to be a rock god who doesn’t want the sexual attention he receives. It’s implied that maybe Stacee is just over it, that he’s lived that debauched lifestyle long enough and, after a decade plus of rock star excesses, he’s seen it all. What’s another beautiful woman when you’ve had hundreds? Here’s the catch, though, and what makes Stacee a supremely comedic creation rather than a cliché: I don’t believe that Cruise’s Jaxx has ever enjoyed having sex. Not once.
Stacee Jaxx’s sex appeal is entirely manufactured, a product of his status as the biggest rock star in the world, and this only registers so clearly because there’s not much that’s actually erotic about Cruise. The whole set up works to parody the idea that being a rock star makes someone sexually desirable as a matter of course. Cruise leans in, playing the poor little rock star—confused by, ambivalent about, and resentful of the way women respond to him—like a sad sex clown. He’s a rock star, and he’s expected to be sexy. So he’s performatively lewd, permanently shirtless. He gives the people what they want, but he’s totally trapped and perplexed by his sex god persona. Rock of Ages takes this joke about as far as it can go, and Cruise, I would argue, is in on that joke.
At the time of the film’s release, critics picked up on how Cruise might be better positioned than most to understand the psyche of an impossibly famous entertainer who’s been on top for too long. It’s tempting to read Cruise’s performance as some fun-house mirror expression of his own feelings of isolation and pain and disillusionment, and maybe it is, subconsciously. I think Roger Ebert got closer when he claimed in his review of Rock of Ages that “all the stars except the leads are essentially satirizing themselves.” He applauds Cruise for being “the most merciless on himself,” playing Stacee as the worst version of a megastar, a narcissistic ego-maniac.
Sure, Cruise has a reputation for being a demanding perfectionist, and he’s probably as narcissistic as can be expected when a person’s been world-famous for four decades. But with Jaxx, Cruise isn’t just broadly satirizing megastars, himself included. I find the satire rather more pointed. As Jaxx, Cruise sends up the image of himself as sexless and plays with audiences’ perceptions of his sex appeal (or lack thereof).
Cruise’s sex appeal has been a much-debated topic in Hollywood for decades now, and addressing this through surprising role choices wasn’t new territory for Cruise by 2012. Two fan-favorite Weird Tom Cruise roles, Lestat de Lioncourt in Interview with the Vampire and Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia , serve as clear predecessors to Stacee Jaxx. Lestat, like Stacee, is circumstantially sexy; being a vampire, like being a rock star, brings with it an immediate seductive allure. Mackey’s a wannabe rock star, with his leather vest and cuffs, teaching disgusting “Seduce and Destroy” seminars about how to get women to fall at men’s feet the way they literally fall at Stacee’s. All three roles require Cruise to be sexual, often obscenely so, but he isn’t necessarily sexy in any of these films. All three characters are intentionally repellent to different degrees.
If Lestat and Mackey are nods to and subversions of expectations regarding how sexual Tom Cruise can or should be on screen, only Stacee directly addresses how fame as an entertainer distorts and influences a person’s perceived sexual desirability. And while a mischievous sort of humor infuses Cruise’s performance as Lestat, Stacee is the only character of the three calibrated primarily for comedic effect. Cruise’s performance in Rock of Ages , while clearly coming from some place deeper and more committed than the other actors’ work in the film, is just as funny, just as outlandish, and just as artificial. Cruise’s Jaxx doesn’t illuminate some truth about fame or rock stardom. Cruise’s Jaxx is an impossible fantasy creation that simultaneously lampoons the idea of a famous entertainer who doesn’t enjoy the sex that comes with the territory and provides a bizarre argument for the disentanglement of sex appeal from value as an entertainer (especially entertainers like rock stars or movie stars who are expected to be sexy).
This slipperiness is what makes the movie version of Jaxx so fascinating and Cruise’s performance so rich. If Cruise had simply brought a genuinely hot rockstar energy to the role, played it straight like so many others who played the role on stage before him, I don’t think I’d be thinking about his Stacee Jaxx a decade later.
Stacee Jaxx gets three musical numbers in the film, and they come almost all in a row, smackdab in the middle of the movie. “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” form the high point of Rock of Ages . They’re all killer numbers.
Cruise turns “Wanted Dead or Alive” into a song about how tiring it is to be sexually desired by literally everyone. The “wanted” here gets a plainly sexual connotation; as Cruise struts through the number, looking off into the distance as he sings his tale of woe, a group of women trails him, touching him, trying to get a piece of him. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” begins with Jaxx on stage, shaking a bottle of beer in front of his pelvis with his back to the crowd (giving them the impression that he’s jerking himself off) before “ejaculating” the foam spray. Cruise lays it all out in this number, performing the whole song on stage, being the rock god we’ve been promised Stacee is.
The crown jewel, however, and the number that gets to the heart of Stacee’s (and maybe the film’s) whole deal, is “I Wanna Know What Love Is.” Before Arsenal’s show at the Bourbon, Stacee’s manager has arranged for the star to give an interview to Rolling Stone reporter Constance Sack (Malin Åkerman, maybe never better than she is here). Stacee’s first number, “Wanted Dead or Alive,” is framed as Stacee’s answer to Constance’s first interview question. She asks him, “What’s it like to be the Stacee Jaxx?” And he launches into the Bon Jovi song.
Constance doesn’t buy Stacee’s bullshit. She tells him he’s not a cowboy, but a “man-child stuck in a rut.” She dresses him down, telling him he’s not great any more. Stacee suggestively eggs her on, moaning, “I love it when you talk dirty” and growling, “That’s right, just give it to me rough.” He wears his sex god persona like an armor.
“I think you get this sense of entitlement due to the fact that you’re a rock god,” Constance says to him, thinking that she’s seen right through him. “But it’s not real. It’s not love.”
“No, it’s not love,” replies Stacee, startling Constance with his self-knowledge.
“Then what is it?” she asks.
“Off the record?” Jaxx pauses before leaning in close to Constance and obscenely hissing, “Ssssss-ex.”
After letting that land, he launches into one hell of a monologue, continuing, “And other people’s projections of what they want me to be. Of what you and all your readers want me to be. Sex. And it keeps me from going out and getting the thing that could save me. But I can’t have that now. I’m a slave to rock and roll. I am searching for the perfect song, the perfect sound that will make you want to live forever.”
This initiates a positively incredible duet between Stacee and Constance, in which the two of them sing Foreigner’s power ballad to each other as they shed their clothes. Stacee puts the charm on Constance, using his inexplicable rock star sex magic on her until she’s so worked up that she throws him down on a pool table to straddle him. Stacee’s also just telling Constance what she wants to hear. He’s singing that he wants to know what love is, with her , the only person who’s perceptive enough to understand him. Although Stacee later comes to realize that she is special, he’s sort of manipulating her in the duet scene, showing her how powerful it is when he gives in and becomes “what they want me to be.” Constance starts to understand this when she watches Jaxx perform “Pour Some Sugar on Me” in front of a crowd his next scene, working the magic. Cruise’s face remains contorted in anguish for the whole Foreigner number; and it’s purposefully unclear if Stacee is anguished because Constance has seen his vulnerability, or if he’s anguished because he’s being forced to be sexy again.
This scene is uproariously raunchy. Constance begins her part of the second verse on her knees with the laces to Stacee’s pants in her teeth. He starts the second chorus, belting “I wanna know what love is,” with his face inches from her ass. He sings into her boobs. He sings into her crotch. (Eat your heart out, Adam Driver.) She almost falls off the pool table in her haste to climb on top of it and, by extension, Stacee.
The duet is a quasi-sex scene. I’m not sure if we’re meant to understand that the two of them actually have sex or not. Most critics read it this way, even though both parties keep their pants on, and the camera angles keep that unambiguous. This is a musical, a genre where songs regularly stand in for sex. The “I Wanna Know What Love Is” duet takes this idea to its limit, showing Constance and Stacee “climaxing” at the big high note at the end of the song. But the camera keeps Constance’s cotton panties in the frame for most of the time that she’s writhing on top of Stacee, and she still has her panties on when she rolls off of him and onto the floor. This comically literal fusion of sex and rock and roll, in which Constance and Stacee erotically sing a power ballad to eachother seemingly in lieu of sex, is the joke.**
Later in the film, when Stacee calls the Rolling Stone offices looking for Constance after she’s published the interview, he doesn’t mention that they had sex. He says instead, with a supremely pained look on his face: “She stuck her tongue in my ear. She blew my world up.” The face Stacee makes when Constance performs the tongue-in-ear action in their duet does, indeed, suggest that the moment made him reevaluate his whole life.
As Drew and Sherrie perform the finale number, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the film checks in on the newly reunited Constance and Stacee. They’re making out, throwing each other around the bathroom of the Bourbon, destroying sinks and knocking a condom machine off the wall. When the camera cuts back to the couple, they’re on the floor of the bathroom, kissing with Stacee on top. Seemingly in the middle of whatever sex stuff they’re doing, Stacee looks up as he hears Drew’s song. Stacee appears to interrupt his sex with Constance so that he can go to the door of the bathroom to hear the song better. If I wasn’t sure before, this scene again suggests that there’s something weird going on with Stacee’s mental inability to separate sex and rock and roll after years of conditioning.
It’s striking that the film’s villain, a conservative politician’s wife named Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones, originating the new role for the movie), also conflates sex and rock and roll to a ludicrous extreme. She’s determined to “clean up” the Sunset Strip with the help of her husband and LA mayoral candidate Mike (Bryan Cranston), seemingly motivated by some personal vendetta against Stacee Jaxx. At one point, Patricia angrily condemns Jaxx by asserting, “He’s like a machine that spews three things. Sex! Hateful music! And… sex!” (Another instance where the lack of drugs in this film is so obvious that it becomes the punchline.)
It turns out that Patricia’s hatred of rock and roll has nothing to do with the music and everything to do with a one-night stand she had with Stacee Jaxx many years ago. The first time I watched this film, I thought, ever so briefly, that the movie might insinuate that Jaxx’s encounter with Patricia wasn’t consensual.*** But Jaxx’s only crime seems to be that he merely had sex with Patricia’s once, since he left LA on his tour bus the next day, and she wanted more.
Near the end of the movie, Jaxx neutralizes the threat Patricia and her group of church ladies pose to the Bourbon by approaching her as she leads a protest outside of the club. He gropes her breasts, looks deep into her eyes, and addresses her by name. “Patty,” he says. “Your tits have held up well.” Cruise’s Jaxx only uses his unwanted powers of sexual persuasion for good, apparently. Patricia loses her cool, turns to putty in Jaxx’s hands, and her past with the rock star gets revealed to the public. In the final number of the film, Patricia’s decked out in leather and enjoying a rock concert. She can only enjoy rock music again once she’s been assured that her favorite rock god, Stacee Jaxx, still finds her sexually appealing.
The whole thing is so goofy that it’s impossible not to question the entire assumption that it’s normal to enjoy a rock star’s music because of your sexual attraction to him. This, combined with Stacee’s apparent psychological anguish at having to fulfill everyone’s sexual fantasies of him, reads as the film’s attempt to justify its strange investment in separating sex from the spirit of rock and roll. And, ten years later, it’s hard not to read it as Cruise’s justification for fully committing to a radically asexual kind of movie stardom from Rock of Ages on out.
Rock of Ages is, to this day, the last non-action film that Cruise has starred in. Most of his roles this century have been action flicks, but there’s been a purposeful escalation of the sexlessness since his divorce from Katie Holmes a decade ago. For good reason, since it nearly derailed his career, Cruise no longer wants us to think about his sex life at all. This pivot has worked. Cruise’s recent disinterest in being sexy/sexual/romantic on screen has gotten him praised as “ the best place for women in action movies ,” and, in light of Hollywood’s recently puritanical bent, his sexlessness doesn’t feel so out of place. In the wake of the massive success of Top Gun: Maverick , Cruise has been worshipfully lauded as The Last True Movie Star.****
In hindsight, it’s difficult not to see Stacee Jaxx as Cruise’s final, brilliantly contradictory word on the subject of anxieties over his own sex appeal. Jaxx is, on the one hand, ridiculous. The film gets laughs out of imagining a rock star who doesn’t seem to like sex. Of course all rock stars (and movie stars) like having sex. Only someone hilariously pathetic, someone like Stacee Jaxx, wouldn’t. But on the other hand, the film sympathizes with Jaxx’s burden. It’s also ridiculous, the film seems to say, to buy into the myth, to give rock stars (and movie stars) such sexual power. It’s ridiculous to be like Patricia, enjoying an entertainer’s work solely through the lens of their sex appeal.
By the end of the film, Jaxx is still making popular music, still a rock star performing to a huge arena crowd, and he’s happily partnered with Constance. (The only evidence provided that Stacee and Constance ever actually have sex is her visible pregnancy in the final scene.) He’s not groping anybody, getting groped, or thrusting his hips. He even has a shirt on. Sort of. It’s an open vest, but it’s more clothing than he’s worn on stage at any other point in the film. This fits with Rock of Ages ’ most conservative assertions about sex, art, and fame. Of course famous men have and enjoy sex: procreative sex with blonde women who love them. But good art—good entertainment—should have nothing to do with that sex. Why should it? No sex, no drugs, just pure rock and roll .
* The character of Stacee Jaxx was, reportedly, modeled at least in part on Axl Rose. In this introductory scene, Stacee’s green room is ostentatiously jungle-themed, which seems like a clear visual nod to the Guns N’ Roses’ hit “Welcome to the Jungle.”
** It’s also worth noting here that the film adaptation of Rock of Ages changes the story so that Stacee and Sherrie never have sex. In the stage version, the duet is between Stacee and Sherrie, and they unambiguously hook up. This leads Drew and Sherrie to break up. In the film version, the Rolling Stone reporter’s role is expanded to become Stacee’s love interest, and Drew only thinks Sherrie and Stacee have slept together based on a misunderstanding.
*** This would be much more in line with the Stacee Jaxx we get in the stage musical, who is a straightforward lech—a famous man who takes whatever he wants when it comes to sex. Not for nothing, by the end of the stage show, Jaxx has fled to Uruguay to evade charges of statutory rape.
**** As someone who became pop culturally aware in the aughts and learned who Tom Cruise was basically because of the Oprah couch thing (I was eleven when it happened), I never thought I’d live to see the day.
1 thought on “ “I’m a slave to rock and roll”: Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages (2012) ”
This was an incredible analysis! I watched Rock of Ages with my friends this week, and was relentlessly mocked for being obsessed with this movie. You’ve hit the nail right on the head – while Sherrie and Drew’s storyline is mediocre at best, Jaxx is nothing short of dazzling.
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Rock of Ages
A small-town girl and a city boy meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. A small-town girl and a city boy meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. A small-town girl and a city boy meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams.
- Adam Shankman
- Justin Theroux
- Chris D'Arienzo
- Julianne Hough
- Diego Boneta
- 469 User reviews
- 357 Critic reviews
- 47 Metascore
- See more at IMDbPro
- 2 wins & 8 nominations
- Sherrie Christian
- Stacee Jaxx
- Dennis Dupree
- Little Girl on Bus
- (as Matt Sullivan)
- Rocker Thief
- (as Anthony Bellissimo)
- Bartender Jimmy
- (as Alan Shane Hartline)
- Doug Flintlock
- Mike Whitmore
- Patricia Whitmore
- Mayor's Secretary
- (as Angelo Donato Valderrama)
- Tour Manager - Stacee
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
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Did you know
- Trivia Tom Cruise based his performance of Stacee Jaxx mostly on Jim Morrison and Axl Rose.
- Goofs The record store has an Edward Van Halen "Wolfgang" guitar from the early 1990s.
Sherrie Christian : I'm a stripper at the Venus Club.
Drew Boley : I'm in a boy band.
Sherrie Christian : You win.
- Alternate versions The R-Rated Extended Cut runs ~13 minutes longer than the Theatrical release.
- Connections Featured in American Idol: Top 4 Perform (2012)
- Soundtracks Paradise City Written by Steven Adler , Slash (as Saul Hudson), Duff McKagan (as Duff Rose McKagan), Axl Rose (as W. Axl Rose) and Izzy Stradlin Performed by Tom Cruise
User reviews 469
- Jun 19, 2012
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- What are the differences between the Theatrical Version and the Extended Cut?
- June 15, 2012 (United States)
- United States
- Official site
- Kỷ Nguyên Rock
- Miami, Florida, USA
- New Line Cinema
- Corner Store Entertainment
- Material Pictures
- See more company credits at IMDbPro
- $75,000,000 (estimated)
- Jun 17, 2012
- Runtime 2 hours 3 minutes
- Dolby Digital
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Tom Cruise Gets Back to His Rock Musical Roots
Tom Cruise is no stranger to musicals, having starred in several over the course of his long career. But he’s about to take on a new challenge: a rock musical.
The actor has signed on to star in the upcoming film “Rock of Ages,” based on the Broadway musical of the same name. The jukebox musical, set in the 1980s, tells the story of a small-town girl who falls for a big-city rocker and features classic hits from artists like Journey, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard.
Cruise will play rockstar Stacee Jaxx, a character that was originated on Broadway by actor Constantine Maroulis. “Rock of Ages” marks Cruise’s return to musicals after starring in films like “The Color Purple,” “Legend,” and “Rock of Ages.”
The film, which is currently in pre-production, is set to begin shooting this spring.
Tom Cruise is known for his iconic roles in movies like “Risky Business,” “Top Gun,” and “Mission: Impossible.” But before he was a Hollywood A-lister, he was a musician.
Cruise took up the drums when he was just seven years old and played in a number of bands throughout his teenage years. In fact, music was his first love – not acting.
“I always wanted to be a drummer in a rock ‘n’ roll band,” Cruise said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I loved doing it. It was my passion.”
And although he eventually found fame and fortune in Hollywood, he has never forgotten his musical roots. In recent years, he has even taken up the guitar and has been spotted jamming with some of the biggest names in music, including Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.
So next time you see Tom Cruise on the big screen, remember that there’s a real rock star hiding behind that famous smile.
Tom Cruise is returning to his musical roots with a new film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Rock of Ages.” The movie, which hits theaters on June 15, features Cruise as rock star Stacee Jaxx.
The role is a departure from Cruise’s recent action-packed roles in movies like “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Jack Reacher.” But it’s not the first time he’s taken on a musical role. In fact, Cruise has a history of starring in musical movies, including 1988’s “Cocktail” and 1992’s “A Few Good Men.”
Cruise isn’t the only one returning to his musical roots in “Rock of Ages.” The movie also features songs by classic rock bands like Journey, Def Leppard, and Bon Jovi.
Tom Cruise is no stranger to musicals. He’s starred in several over the course of his career, including “Rock of Ages” and “Edge of Tomorrow.” In his new film, “American Made,” he returns to his musical roots, playing a pilot who becomes a drug runner for the CIA in the 1980s.
The film features several original songs, written by Oscar-winning composer Tyler Bates (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), that blend action and comedy with Cruise’s trademark charisma. Bates says he was inspired by ’80s rock bands like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen when creating the film’s soundtrack.
“American Made” hits theaters on Friday, September 29.
Tom Cruise’s new film, “Rock of Ages,” has been receiving mixed reviews from critics. Some say that Cruise is too old for the role of a rock star, while others praise his performance.
Critics have been far less kind, with many reviews panning the film as an unintelligible, overblown mess. However, it has found some support among members of the rock music community, with Dave Grohl and Flea both praising it as a return to form for Cruise.
Tom Cruise’s new film “Rock of Ages” is a bit of a return to his roots. The actor got his start in Hollywood with two very successful musical films, “Risky Business” and “Legend.” In “Rock of Ages,” Cruise plays a rock star who is struggling with the ups and downs of fame.
The role has personal significance for Cruise, who has spoken about how he related to the character’s struggles. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cruise said, “I understand that level of fame… It’s very isolating.” He went on to say that he hopes the film will help people understand the challenges that celebrities face.
“Rock of Ages” is not just a nostalgia trip for Tom Cruise. It’s also a chance for him to explore a character that he can relate to on a personal level.
It’s been a few years since Tom Cruise was last seen in a musical, but it looks like he’s getting back to his roots. The actor is reportedly in talks to star in a new rock musical called “Frankie Goes to Hollywood.”
The movie is said to be set in the ’80s and will follow a group of friends who form a band and try to make it big. Cruise is reportedly being eyed for the lead role of Frankie, the band’s frontman.
This wouldn’t be the first time Cruise has starred in a musical – he made his debut in the 1983 film “All the Right Moves” and also starred in “Rock of Ages” and “Legend.” He’s also no stranger to rock music, having performed with his band, Tomato Cruise, on several occasions.
If the reports are true, it looks like we can expect to see Tom Cruise back on the big screen – and singing his heart out – very soon.
Tom Cruise’s new film “Rock of Ages” is a musical about the 1980s rock scene, and it features some of the biggest hits of that era. The film’s soundtrack includes classics like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard, “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi, and “We Built This City” by Starship.
The film’s release is sure to have an impact on the music industry, as it will introduce a new generation of fans to these classic songs. It also has the potential to reignite interest in the rock genre among older fans who may have lost touch with it over the years. Either way, it’s clear that Tom Cruise is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to music.
Today, Tom Cruise is best known for his work in action and science fiction films, but in the early days of his career, he was firmly entrenched in the musical genre. In fact, some of his most iconic roles were in musical films. Here’s a look back at the legacy of Tom Cruise’s musical career.
Cruise made his film debut in 1981’s Endless Love, but it was his role in 1983’s Risky Business that made him a household name. The film was a box office success and Cruise’s performance was well-received by critics. But it was his turn as Joel Goodson in the film that solidified his place as a Hollywood leading man.
In 1986, Cruise starred in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money, which reunited him with actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Cruise received strong reviews for his work.
The following year, Cruise starred in Oliver Stone’s Vietnam War drama Platoon. The film was a huge hit with audiences and critics, and it earned Cruise his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
After appearing in a string of successful films throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Rain Man (1988), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Days of Thunder (1990), and A Few Good Men (1992), Cruise took on one of his most iconic roles: Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the blockbuster film Top Gun (1986). The film was a massive hit with moviegoers and it helped to cement Cruise’s reputation as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Cruise continued to appear in successful films throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including Jerry Maguire (1996), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Magnolia (1999), Vanilla Sky (2001), Minority Report (2002), Collateral (2004), War of the Worlds (2005), Tropic Thunder (2008), Knight and Day (2010), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016), The Mummy (2017), American Made (2017), Mission: Impossible – Fallout
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Tom Cruise is facing another box office delay, now that Paramount Pictures has announced that the eighth installment of "Mission: Impossible" is being pushed back by one year.
The ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike halted production, forcing the studio to move the release date from June 28, 2024, to May 23, 2025.
It's not the first time Cruise has faced production problems on his films, especially with the action-packed "Mission: Impossible" franchise, where Cruise stars and performs his own stunts as agent Ethan Hunt.
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Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell starred in "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One." (Paramount Pictures/Skydance / Fox News)
Production came to a grinding halt on "Mission: Impossible – Fallout" in 2017 when Cruise broke his ankle while performing a stunt where he jumped between buildings. He got the shot, of course, and went back to filming despite not being fully healed.
Director Christopher McQuarrie told Empire in 2017 that the stunt never involved Cruise successfully making the jump and landing on the roof of the second building.
"He was always supposed to slam into the side of the building. That’s what gives the stunt its energy," McQuarrie told Empire in August 2017. "On the fourth try, he hit the building at a slightly different angle, and he broke his ankle."
While on "The Graham Norton Show," Cruise and the rest of the "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" cast watched footage of the actor's accident , with Norton pointing out that Cruise continued acting and finished the scene even after the break.
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"I didn't want to do it again," Cruise said. "I knew instantly it was broken, and I just run past camera. We got the shot, it's in the movie. That profile shot, both the shots are in the movie. . . . I just went, I said, ‘Sorry guys, it’s broken. Take me to the hospital, it's broken. That's a wrap.' The crew got on the phone and made their vacation arrangements."
Cruise broke his ankle after jumping off a building while filming "Mission: Impossible — Fallout." (Alberto Pizzoli / Getty Images)
Tom Cruise flew through the air while performing a stunt in "Mission: Impossible" in Paris. (Pierre Suu / Getty Images)
The following installment ("Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One) was shut down twice due to the pandemic. In addition, Cruise faced scrutiny for leaked audio where he chastised crew members for not adhering to social distancing rules.
Forbes reported that Cruise paid $700,000 for the cast and crew to live on cruise ships, essentially creating a safe environment for the team to work without risking a COVID-19 outbreak.
"Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" earned $567.5 million worldwide and received some of the best reviews in the franchise's 27-year history.
"Top Gun: Maverick" also faced multiple setbacks due to the pandemic, but it ultimately landed in the right gear as Cruise's highest-grossing film and the second-highest-grossing movie in 2022 with $1.4 billion worldwide.
Cruise isn't afraid to give whatever it takes for a role, and he waited years for "Top Gun: Maverick" to be released. (Paramount Pictures / AP Newsroom)
The "Risky Business" star reflected on his career and his decision to perform all of his own stunts in his action movies.
"I am a very physical actor, and I love doing them," Cruise said during an appearance on "The Graham Norton Show." "I study and train and take a lot of time figuring it all out. I have broken a lot of bones."
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"The first time of any stunt is nerve-wracking, but it's also exhilarating. I have been told a few times during shooting a stunt to stop smiling."
Tom Cruise performs all of his own stunts, even at the risk of injury. (Paramount Pictures via AP / Associated Press)
Cruise revealed last year that "Top Gun: Maverick" would "never" make its theatrical debut on a streaming network despite years of setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Maverick" was initially supposed to be released in July 2019 through Paramount Pictures , but it was postponed in August 2018 "to allow the production to work out all the complex flight sequences," according to Deadline.
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When asked whether he felt pressure to release the film in any capacity on a streaming network, Cruise assured the audience at the Cannes Film Festival, "That was not going to happen ever. That was never going to happen," according to excerpts published by The Hollywood Reporter,
He talked about insisting on performing his own stunts despite the obvious safety risks at hand: "No one asked Gene Kelly, ‘Why do you dance? Why do you do your own dancing?'"
"Maverick" became Paramount Pictures' biggest hit, grossing a worldwide total of $1.488 billion. The Oscar-nominated film also marked Cruise's personal best when it crossed the $800 million mark in June 2022.
How Tall Is Tom Cruise? Everything You Need To Know About The Star’s Height
Posted: October 24, 2023 | Last updated: October 24, 2023
Tom Cruise is arguably the last Real Movie Star in Hollywood, as the man who took the industry by storm in the 1980s still has an uncanny ability to get people to head to the theater to see any film he’s in. Most people are very familiar with the actor, but there’s one topic that remains a bit of a mystery: his height.
Cruise had a handful of minor parts under his belt prior to landing his breakout role in 1983’s Risky Business . Three years later, he cemented his status as a force to be reckoned with thanks to Top Gun, and he’s been pumping out hits ever since.
The actor has spent decades in the spotlight while living under the microscope that comes with being one of the most bankable names on the planet. There’s been plenty of attention paid to the more secretive aspects of his personal life, but there’s also been a bit of mystery surrounding a trait that’s impossible to hide thanks to a borderline obsession with his true height.
While I can’t tell you why there’s so much attention paid to the physical stature of Tom Cruise , I can at least attempt to get to the bottom of the supposed mystery.
Tom Cruise’s Real Height
Cruise may have a fair amount of range based on the roles he’s played over the years, but it wouldn’t be unfair to describe him as an “action star” based on the parts most members of the public associate with the actor. However, plenty of people are surprised by the fact he’s managed to carve out that particular niche for himself in movies based on his height.
Characters like Mission: Impossible ‘s Ethan Hunt and Jack Reacher frequently harness their brute strength to gain an edge over their foes, and the fact that the man who plays them is 5’7″ in real life has required some viewers to suspend their disbelief more than they already needed to.
It would be a stretch to call him short, but when you consider the average American male measures in at 5’9″, he does fall on the more diminutive side of the spectrum.
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Being on the shorter or taller side can have a major impact on an actor’s career, as casting directors frequently take height into consideration when it comes to determining the best fit for the role.
It’s hard to think of many accomplished stars out there who are shorter than Danny DeVito , who is only 4’10”. There are also plenty of vertically challenged guys who’ve done pretty well for themselves, including Michael J. Fox and Joe Pesci (both 5’4″), Daniel Radcliffe (5’5″), and Jack Black, Elijah Wood, and Al Pacino (all 5’6″).
On the other end of the spectrum, there are some actors who’d make you turn your head if you cross paths with them in public thanks to how tall they are.
Vince Vaughn and Tim Robbins typically tower above their costars thanks to their 6’5″ frames. You might also be surprised to learn Jeff Goldblum is 6’4″, as is the case with Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, and Alexander Skarsgård.
Tom Cruise’s Career and Influence
Based on what Tom Cruise has been able to achieve during his time in Hollywood, it’s pretty clear his height hasn’t been a major hindrance when it comes to his career.
As I mentioned above, he burst onto the scene in the 1980s with largely crowd-pleasing projects and entered the Serious Actor phase of his career the following decade.
He earned a couple of nominations for Best Actor at the Academy Awards thanks to his performances in Born on the Fourth of July and Jerry Macguire (he secured a Golden Globe for both) and added a Best Supporting Actor nod to his résumé thanks to Magnolia (which earned him another Golden Globe).
He’s also worked with some legendary directors over the years, as he teamed up with Stanley Kubrick for Eyes Wide Shut and joined forces with Steven Spielberg while starring in War of the Worlds .
Spielberg actually credited Cruise with “saving Hollywood” after Top Gun: Maverick played a major role in luring moviegoers back to the theater in the wake of the pandemic, and he’s also been praised for his borderline psychotic commitment to performing his own stunts in the Mission: Impossible franchise and other films.
That approach has worked out pretty well for him, as he has an estimated net worth of $600 million thanks to his ability to continue to appeal to the fans who’ve spent decades flocking to his films as well as younger audiences who are attracted to the projects he continues to pump out.
I also don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest plenty of people started focusing on his height thanks to his previous relationships, as he was once married to Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, both of whom stand at 5’9″.
Is Tom Cruise sensitive about his height?
Cruise has been somewhat candid about how he’s grappled with his height.
There were plenty of people who questioned if he was the right person to play Jack Reacher, as the books the character is featured in describe the former military police officer as a 6’5″ mass of muscle who tips the scales at upwards of 250 pounds.
He admitted he was “very sensitive” to the criticisms concerning his casting, although it’s worth noting Lee Childs (who created the character) gave Cruise his full seal of approval.
Does Tom Cruise wear elevator shoes?
It seems like the actor is somewhat self-conscious about his height when you consider he was spotted rocking shoes with an elevated heel at the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick in London in 2022 (people noticed something was slightly amiss when he appeared to be the same height as Kate Middleton, who is 5’9″).
A producer on the original Top Gun also said they had Cruise use shoe lifts in his insoles to try to reduce the height difference between himself and his co-star (and love interest) Kelly McGillis, who is 5’10”.
Is Tom Cruise really 5’ 5”?
The fact that Cruise has gone out of his way to boost his height has led plenty of people to believe he might be even shorter than 5’7″. However, there’s no reason to believe that’s the case.
Dustin Hoffman (his co-star in Rain Man ) is 5’5″, and his counterpart clearly had a couple of inches on him in the film. There are also pictures of Cruise standing next to the 5’6″ Pacino, and it’s clear the former has a slight edge.
How does Tom Cruise deal with his height?
In addition to the aforementioned physical tricks Cruise has employed to boost his height, he’s also mastered the art of purposefully posing in front of taller people (especially women) while taking pictures to take advantage of the forced perspective, which probably stems from the camera tricks that are employed on movie sets for similar results.
How much does Tom Cruise weigh?
It’s believed Cruise tips the scales at around 150 pounds, which puts him in the average (and healthy) range for guys who are 5’7″.
The post How Tall Is Tom Cruise? Everything You Need To Know About The Star’s Height appeared first on BroBible .
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Inside Rosie O'Donnell And Tom Cruise's Relationship
For the past 25 years, Rosie O'Donnell and Tom Cruise have maintained a friendship that is both sweet and simple. She first met Cruise when he appeared on her talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," which ran from 1996 to 2002. Cruise appeared several times, and, before she eventually came out as gay, there was a running joke that O'Donnell had quite a crush on Cruise, who was in the prime of his career at that point in time, per Us Weekly . Cruise often played along with this joke, and, during a segment on the last episode of O'Donnell's talk show, pretended to be mowing her lawn and serving her lemonade.
Since meeting O'Donnell in 1996, Cruise has become a very active member of the controversial Church of Scientology. During an appearance on Andy Cohen's "Radio Andy" SiriusXM show, O'Donnell praised former Church of Scientology member Leah Remini for crafting her damning documentary on the religion, "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath," and admitted that she was worried about Cruise's role in the church. "Since seeing all the documentaries, it does make me worry about him and his life," O'Donnell told Cohen, according to Pop Culture . "I've always had a little 'ick' factor with Scientology. [But] he's never brought it up to me. We've never spoken about it. He keeps it very private. It's not like he tries to convert people."
Despite Cruise's controversial views, the pair have maintained a strong friendship over the years.
Rosie O'Donnell says Tom Cruise never forgets her birthday
Approximately a quarter of a century after they first met, Rosie O'Donnell reveals that Tom Cruise has never forgotten her birthday. Yesterday, during an appearance on "The Jess Cagle Show" on SiriusXM, O'Donnell shared that the pair were still close friends. "In knowing him for 25 years now, he has never missed my birthday or an event in my life," O'Donnell said, per Us Weekly . "Every year, I think what a classy guy he is that he never has forgotten my birthday. A lot of people say to me, 'It's just his secretary,' but I don't believe that. I think he knows in early March, 'Oh, it's Rosie's birthday coming up.' And he sends me something every single year for 25 years."
Back in 2019, Cruise's thoughtfulness became a topic of interest when "How I Met Your Mother" actress Cobie Smulders appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and it was revealed that both she and Fallon had received a cake from Cruise during the holiday season, per ET Online . Smulders and Fallon joked with one another about being on Cruise's "list" of celebrities that receive the famous white chocolate coconut cake each year. It appears as though O'Donnell also receives this cake, as she has posted photos of it on her social media profiles in the past.
How can celebrities tell if they've truly made it in Hollywood? They receive that special white chocolate coconut cake from Tom Cruise.