Everyone has one, a favourite Tom Hanks film, that is.
There are actors, there are icons and there are legends. In the world of film, Tom Hanks is all three. Achieving the rare triple, and with a history in film that spans four decades, it’s no wonder that he’s yours and our favourite actor.
But there’s nothing that divides movie-goers more than agreeing on his best movie. Which is of course BIG… unless you’re under 10 in which case it’s Toy Story, or if you’re a stickler for nostalgia then it’s Forrest Gump. You see, even we can’t decide!
We’ve peeked into Tom Hanks IMDB history, to bring you the top 10 movies in no particular order.
Captain Phillips (2013)
It’s quite the accolade to have your life story played by Hanks, and frankly who else would you want. It’s a job he accomplishes with depth and conviction, in whatever guise he takes on, especially as Captain Phillips.
In this story about Somali pirates hijacking an American cargo ship off the Horn of Africa, we see Hanks unusually in full action mode.
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
How to stream Captain Phillips
Cast Away (2000)
Pretty much a one-man movie, it’s hard to think of any other actor that could hold our attention for two hours like this.
Given the past year, Cast Away has aged well. In Chuck’s (Hank’s) case, being marooned on a desert island in the aftermath of a plane crash. With just Wilson, his trusted football for company, it’s a masterclass in keeping your sanity in imposed isolation. It’s also one of the many Tom Hanks movies on Netflix right now.
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
How to stream Castaway
Toy Story (1995)
Giving birth to the Toy Story tetralogy, the very first instalment was a seminal moment in film, inspiring a new age of computer-animated movies.
At its helm was Hanks, taking on the role of loveable cowboy Woody with friend Buzz Lightyear (George Clooney) by his side. It gave us laughs, it gave us tears, and it gave us the soundtrack to our lives.
IMDB Rating: 8.3/10
How to stream Toy Story
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Clocking up a mega 79 awards, Saving Private Ryan might just be the most decorated of all.
In this Spielberg collaboration, Hanks assumes the role of another Captain – this time of the military kind. Taking place during the second world war, Captain Miller must find Private Ryan (Matt Damon) and bring him home. It might just be his most acclaimed performance too.
IMDB Rating: 8.6/10
How to stream Saving Private Ryan
Apollo 13 (1995)
We all know the words ‘Houston we have a problem,’ yet it took Hanks to tell the full story, taking the lead as Commander Lovell.
Filled with suspense, it tells the true story of the blighted Apollo 13 mission to the moon in 1970, averted due to an explosion on board. Only one person can lead the rocket back to safety – take a guess who that might be…
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
How to stream Apollo 13
Forrest Gump (1994)
And the highest-ranking Tom Hanks IMDB movie goes to… the one and only Forrest Gump.
It would take a truly special actor to pull off the delicate performance of Forrest – a man of poignant words, despite his obvious learning challenges. There’s both an innocent and endearing quality that Hanks brings to the character, cementing his place in Hollywood royalty. It went on to win six Oscars, including ‘Best Actor’.
IMDB Rating: 8.8/10
How to stream Forrest Gump
Some movies transcend entertainment, leaving a cultural imprint that you can’t un-see. Philadelphia was one of those movies, tackling the emerging AIDS crisis.
Hanks plays Andrew Beckett – a gay man living with HIV, who sues his employer in a case of wrongful dismissal. Paired with an emotional performance from Denzel Washington as his lawyer, it perfectly captures the zeitgeist of its time. How far we’ve come.
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
How to stream Philadelphia
The Burbs (1989)
Glossing over the mild satanic references, The Burbs was a film all children of the 80s binged on! And so the Hanks love-in begins, as we see him play Ray, married to Carol (Carrie Fisher), living in the unassuming suburbs.
That is until new neighbours move in and give everyone the creeps. It offers a rare moment of dark comedy for the formidable Hanks.
IMDB rating: 6.9/10
How to stream The Burbs
Widely agreed as his breakthrough movie, Big is a film about never growing up. When Josh (Hanks) makes a wish using a ‘Zoltar’ machine, he finds himself waking up in the body of a 30-year-old the next day.
And so the fun beings, as we see middle-aged Hanks play a 12-year old boy with aplomb. Bringing silliness, fun and joy to our screens, it set the tone for a rich career to come.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
How to stream Big
Back in the day when he was just a ‘splash’ in the acting pool (today he’s 65!), Tom appeared in a movie that would put him on the map. And so, Splash rightfully earns itself a place in the top 10 Tom Hanks movies.
With all the Little Mermaid feels, it tells the tale of a mermaid who saves a young man from drowning, whom he falls in love with. It’s one of the many Hanks rom-coms we’ve come to cherish over the years.
IMDB Rating: 6.3/10
How to stream Splash
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