Becoming a household name is no easy achievement. But, for the few that do, holding onto it for generations is another accomplishment. One actor, producer and activist that has done this is Tom Hanks.
Tom Hanks is a sure-fire living legend with 199 acting nominations and 89 wins including two Oscars for Best Actor under his belt, and with almost 100 acting credits throughout his career, it’s hard not to wonder ‘which film is the best?’
To find this out we have delved into IMDB, Rotten Tomato’s, Metacritic and other film critic websites to determine which are his top ten. We have also considered fan-favourite films, the box office, and nominations too.
So, if you love Tom Hanks movies as much as we do, keep reading and let us know in the comments if this would be your order as well.
10. Road to Perdition (2002)
Road to Perdition is ranked reasonable low within the fan forums. But, when the film was released in 2002 the film gained a lot of positive critical responses and high scores within review aggregation sites.
The film also did well at award season too with 82 nominations and 23 wins. Including one Oscar for Best Cinematography, which is easy to see due it’s stunning visuals. Yet, it is a little confusing as to why within all the nominations Tom Hanks only got one nomination for best actor by the UK Empire Awards. It is some people’s belief that this may be due to him being outshone by acting veteran Paul Newman in his supporting role.
Film Fact: This film is actually Chet Hank’s favourite film from his dad’s collection. In an interview with ET, he said “In most of his roles, he has qualities and mannerisms that’s, like, that’s my dad, and that one it’s, like, pshh, he is a totally different person”.
9. Captain Philips (2013)
This epic drama/thriller is based on a true story about Captain Richard Phillips. The 2009 hijacking of his U.S.-flagged vessel by Somali pirates. It’s a powerful and well-captured biopic where once again Hanks gives a master class in acting.
This picture was received well by critics despite Hanks not getting an academy award for is portrayal, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a critic score of 93% and an audience score of 89%. The film also brought in over 100 million dollars in domestic Box Office alone and another 40 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales.
Film Fact: Although Hanks didn’t get an Academy Award Nominations, other members of this incredible cast and crew did, including first-time actor Barkhad Abdi. Who got nominated for an Oscar and won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor! Abdi, who had no acting training adlibbed his famous line “Look at me! I’m the captain now!”.
8. Philadelphia (1993)
Hanks’ first Oscar-winning role was a well-deserved one! Philadelphia and his portrayal of Andrew Beckett made so many powerful moves within the movie industry and for the awareness of the AID’s crisis. The brave and ground-breaking storyline from writer Ron Nyswaner opened so many eyes to the pandemic and the gay community in the ’90s.
Philadelphia sits in the top ten highest-grossing films of 1993. Bringing in over $201 million worldwide at the box office, drowning the production budget of $26 million and bringing in quite a meaty profit for Sony.
Film Fact: For the courtroom scene, Hanks had to lose almost thirty pounds to represent his illness and to counteract this co-star Denzel Washington was asked to put on some pounds. According to IMDB whilst Hanks was on a strict diet Washington would knowingly eat chocolate bars in front of him.
7. Cast Away (2000)
Another film where Hanks had to play with his diet to fit the role, was Cast Away. To make sure he fit the character of Chuck Noland, Hanks put on a few pounds to film the first few scenes then the production was held for a year so he could lose weight (around 50lb) and grow out his hair for the later scenes.
This film earned just under $430 million at the box office as well as 15 wins and 38 nominations at award season. With Hanks being nominated for best actor at The Oscars, BAFTA Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Blockbuster Entertainment Awards.
Film Fact: Whilst the production was held for Hanks’ transformation director Robert Zemeckis utilised the same crew and filmed ‘What Lie beneath’.
6. Apollo 13 (1995)
Just missing out from the top 5 is Apollo 13. But with a weighty 7.6 out of 10 on IMDB, an extremely high score of 93% on Rotten Tomato’s it’s obvious it’s a well-deserved number six!
Based on the real-life events of the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space programme. The pressure was on for the cast and crew to make sure facts were straight and the mission was given the justice it was deserved. And according to the high ratings, 28 wins and 59 nominations during award season the movie did just that!
Film Fact: Hanks has an asteroid named after him. The asteroid is called 12818Tomhanks. This was named by a group of astronomers called Spacewatch after his role in the film.
5. The Green Mile (1999)
When ‘The Green Mile’ was released it sparked controversy because of its gritty and realistic (apart from the supernatural elements) take on Stephen Kings 1996 novel of the same name. As controversial as it may seem to some people, the biggest issue for critics with this film was its length at 3 hours and 9 minutes. In 2021 the odd 3-hour film is now deemed acceptable but back in the late ’90s, it was still quite rare to have such a lengthy film.
This film also raked in award nominations too. Even getting four Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor in a supporting role for Michael Clarke Duncan, Best Writing and Best Sound.
Film Fact: On the DVD Featurette ‘Walking the Mile’, Stephen King said that Director and writer Frank Darabont’s script for the Green Mile “is the best film adaptation that he had ever read hands down”.
4. Catch me if you can (2002)
Even though this film could have been seen as more of a Leonardo DiCaprio led film, Rather than a Tom Hanks one. Hanks still was a huge driving force of the story and for bringing his role of the frustrated cop ‘Carl Hanratty’ alive. Ranked at only the eighth fan favourite film, ‘Catch Me if you can’ did much better than some of the other films when it came to the critic’s scores. Getting an 8.1 on IMDB and a host of glowing film critic reviews.
Based on the autobiography by Frank Abagnale Jr (played by DiCaprio in the film). Most of the people in this film were based on real people but Hanks’ portrayal not only had a pseudonym, as the real ‘Carl Hanratty’ who chased him down was still in the FBI. But the relationship between Abagnale and Hanratty was fabricated for example, some of the stories involved different FBI agents and ‘Abagnale’ didn’t call ‘Hanratty’ every Christmas’.
Film Fact: This was Steven Spielberg and Hank’s 4th film together. At the end of the film in one of the scenes where Hanratty’s blackboard is in the back of the shot, there is a note at the bottom saying – “Steven and Tom’s 4th project”.
3. Toy story (1995)
Not really known for his voice acting, Hanks adds to his already remarkable back catalogue as the voice of Woody in Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’. Director ‘John Lasseter’ had Hanks in mind for Woody from the very beginning. Even using footage of Hanks’ voice from ‘Turner and Hooch’ for earlier tests.
Toy Story became one of Pixar’s biggest and highest-grossing films bringing in $373 million at the box office worldwide. It was the third highest-grossing film that year in cinemas behind ‘Batman Forever’ and Hank’s other film ‘Apollo 13’.
Toy Story blew critics away when it was first released and is a well-deserved No. 3 in our list especially as it’s got an 8.3 from IMDB, a whopping 100% from Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 95.
Film Fact: Toy story was one of the first animated films to ever be nominated for an Oscar.
2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Just missing out on the top spot and by the smallest of margins, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ is famous for its cinematography, sound effects and score. It gained a whopping Ten nominations at the 1999 Oscars, where it won five of them for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Effects.
‘Saving Private Ryan’ also brought in $482 million at the box office and was the third highest-earning film of 1998 behind Titanic and Armageddon. The critic’s scores for this film were outstanding from the first day of release and has also got an 8.6 from IMDB, 93% from Rotten Tomatoes and 91% from Metacritic. It’s also the second favourite film on Ranker. In fact, this film only just missed out from the top spot not only because it was pipped to the post on IMDB, Ranker and at the box office but because Hanks himself didn’t win any direct awards.
Film Fact: For his portrayal of Captain John Miller, Hanks was inducted into the US Army’s Ranger Hall of Fame as an honorary member in 2006.
1. Forrest Gump (1994)
Our number one spot is the one and only ‘Forrest Gump’. Not only did the film win six of its incredible thirteen nominations at the Academy Awards. Including a best actor award for Hanks. But it also got an 8.8 on IMDB and the Top spot-on Ranker thanks to the fan’s votes.
In one of the best moves an actor could do, instead of asking for a salary for this movie Hank’s wanted a portion of the film’s earnings. As the film was the second highest-earning film of 1994 and made over $677 million, Hanks probably earned double or even triple of what his salary would have been.
So, with all box office, critics scores and award nominations you can see why Forrest Gump is high on this list. However, the one extra thing that sealed the deal for us was the fact that this film is probably one of the most quoted films in his back catalogue and crosses generations.
Film Fact: On accepting the role Hanks told the casting director that he would only do it if the film was historically accurate.
With most actors that have been in the business as long as Hanks has, you would expect them to have at least one stinker in their back catalogue, right? Well, not our Tom!
Since his big break in ‘Splash’ in 1984 which scored a respectable 6.3 on IMDB and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, Tom’s ratings never dropped passed 5.5 on IMDB, with an average rating of about 6.9.
Even his delve into family comedies with films such as ‘Turner and Hooch’ (1989) raked in a massive $71 million worldwide for Disney Studios.
As you can imagine with those stats there were a lot of films that were eligible for Tom’s top ten, with five big hitters only just missing out: ‘A league of their own’ (1992), ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (1993), ‘The Terminal’ (2004), ‘Scully’ (2016) and fan-favourite ‘Big’ (1988).
So, there we have it, Tom Hanks Top Ten films of all time. Is this the order you would have put them in? Or do you have other favourites that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of movies you forgot Robert Downey Jr. was in HERE.
Read iMDB information about Forrest Gump HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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