SPECIAL: The 25 Best Tom Hanks Movies

Image: DreamWorks Distribution

Image: DreamWorks Distribution

Chris Luckett

There are few actors as beloved as Tom Hanks. Long before social media quantitatively measured the “real-life” personalities for their fans, Hanks was widely known for his jovial demeanour and Genuine Nice Guy status.

Some movie stars over the last half-century have had a spotty record for quality movies, but the ones that foster long careers become savvy enough to mostly make above-average pictures. In his 36-year career, Hanks has become one of the best at it — in no small part because of what a powerful actor the Bosom Buddy became over the years.

While digesting his latest picture, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons sequel Inferno, consider these 25 pictures that made him the beloved star he is today.

25. SPLASH (1984)

Image: Buena Vista Pictures

Image: Buena Vista Pictures

Ron Howard’s comedy about a man who falls head over heels with a mermaid was the first comedy Hanks tackled on the big screen, making for a bold argument for his career in comedies.


Image: Warner Bros.

Image: Warner Bros.

The “unfilmable” novel of a young boy with Asperger syndrome trying to solve a puzzle left by his deceased father was largely able to escape the gravity of the dark subject matter through Hanks’ touching performance.


Image: Magnolia Pictures

Image: Magnolia Pictures

Playing Colin Hanks’ father may not have been too much of a stretch for Tom, but thankfully The Great Buck Howard’s comedy is riotous enough to support itself even without the senior Hanks’ help.

22. SAVING MR. BANKS (2013)

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The polishing of Walt Disney’s actual rough edges aside, Hanks is the perfect person to play the mogul of children’s entertainment, hell-bent on acquiring the rights to P.L. Travers’ book Mary Poppins, despite the objections of the ornery Travers (Emma Thompson).

21. THE TERMINAL (2004)

Image: DreamWorks Distribution

Image: DreamWorks Distribution

One of Steven Spielberg’s lighter movies but also one of his most enjoyable, The Terminal features Hanks as a man without a home country, stuck in international limbo at JFK Airport. Stanley Tucci, as a slimy U.S. Customs official, is the perfect foil for Hanks.

ON THE NEXT PAGE: Big, Cast Away, and Philadelphia…


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