Tom Cruise Movie Named The Best Film Of The ’90s

Tom Cruise had a golden run of films in the 1990s and one of them was just declared the single best movie of the decade.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

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The unexpectedly huge box office grosses of Top Gun: Maverick catapulted Tom Cruise back to the very top of the Hollywood A-list, but it is not like he ever really left it. Since he first emerged as a star in 1983’s teen sex romp Risky Business, Tom Cruise has always been one of the most bankable actors in the world. But during the 1990s, he was also thought of as a prominent acting talent and not just really good at running on screen. IndieWire recently compiled a list of the 100 best movies of the 1990s and a Tom Cruise film is at the very top of the list: the 1999 psychological sex thriller Eyes Wide Shut

We recently wrote an entire feature on Tom Cruise and Eyes Wide Shut, particularly focusing on how it is the very creepiest movie he ever made. It is perhaps the apex of Tom Cruise the actor and his willingness to hand himself over to an acclaimed director without exerting his own personal power as a star. Eyes Wide Shut was Stanley Kubrick’s final film, with the director dying in the (presumably) final stages of post-production. There are conflicting reports of how Kubrick himself felt about the film, but it is now regarded as one of his finest and strangest efforts. It also holds the record for the longest continuous film shoot in history and Kubrick insisted on recreating an exact replica of streets in New York City’s Greenwich Village rather than get on a plane and fly there, so you know things were weird behind the scenes.

Eyes Wide Shut stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as a married New York City couple, in their third and final movie together. The movie made headlines for the then-married couple starring in what was marketed as an erotic thriller but confused audiences and critics alike for actually being a queasy, unnerving fantasy trip through the insecurities of Tom Cruise’s character as he attempts to get laid to get back at his wife for fantasizing about another man. In popular culture, Eyes Wide Shut became best known and parodied for the masked orgy scene in which Tom Cruise is not sure whether his life might be in danger or whether it is all part of a sex game, but the film is so much more than that.

In 1999, Tom Cruise starred in both Eyes Wide Shut and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (itself #22 on the IndieWire list), making it perhaps his most critically acclaimed year ever. After that, he increasingly began starring in action films, which has led to him pretty much being engaged in Mission Impossible movies with his handpicked director Christopher McQuarrie for the foreseeable future. The 1990s will likely remain the golden years of Tom Cruise as an actor, and Eyes Wide Shut will almost certainly be seen as the movie in which he most let go of his public image and let himself be a character in a movie.