Happy 48th Birthday Tom!
Top Gun (1986)
In this film directed by Tony Scott, Cruise plays the lead character Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. He plays a Navy pilot that goes to the Navy's Fighter Weapons School, which is a school the Navy sends its best pilots to.
The cast was pretty incredible too: Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Tom Skerritt, Meg Ryan, Michael Ironside, Tim Robbins, James Tolkan, and more.
I still wonder why this movie never spawned a sequel.
Days of Thunder (1990)
Strangely, I saw this movie in the theater 3 times. Long story, don't want to get into it. Funny thing is, in general, I am not a fan of NASCAR but I really liked this film.
Cruise plays the lead character Cole Trickle, a rookie race car driver.
Once again, a great cast that includes (among others), Robert Duvall, Nicole Kidman, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes, John C Reilley, Michael Rooker, and Fred Thompson (yes, THE Fred Thompson).
Another film that strangely never got a sequel.
A Few Good Men (1992)
This by far is my favorite Tom Cruise film ever. In fact, this movie regularly makes my Top 10 films of all time list.
Cruise plays Navy officer Daniel Kaffee, the son of a former Attorney General that while in the navy has a history of plea bargaining but ends up being the lead counsel in a murder trial.
As with the other two films, there was an amazing cast in this one. How can you go wrong with the likes of Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Keifer Sutherland, J.T. Walsh, Noah Wyle, Cuba Gooding Jr and Christoper Guest, among many many others.
The film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but did not win any of them. I feel that is a crime committed by the Academy, this was an amazing film. It did get beat by Unforgiven which was also a pretty amazing film but if I were the one doing the voting, I would have picked this one over Unforgiven.