davidehrlich’s review published on Letterboxd:
What made Tom Cruise a movie star? It wasn’t his toothy smile or his all-American dimples. It wasn’t that he was cocky enough to be loved, but also vulnerable enough to be lovable, although that certainly helped. It wasn’t even the fact that the way he runs on screen tells us more about the fundamental nature of cinema than anyone has conveyed with a stride since Eadweard Muybridge trained his camera on a galloping horse. No, Tom Cruise became a movie star because he possessed something that galvanized all of those individual qualities into something special — a need for quality control.
Just consider those credits: “Risky Business.” “Top Gun.” “Born on the Fourth of July.” Cruise was a human seal of freshness decades before today’s Hollywood A-listers needed Rotten Tomatoes to validate their work. If “Cocktail” was the worst movie an actor made in the first decade of their career, they were doing alright. And Cruise, against all odds, has maintained his god-level batting average for much of the three decades that followed; he’s only racked up 42 acting credits since 1981, and virtually every single one of them is memorable in its own way.