Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are at it again this week with Bridge of Spies, the fourth collaboration between the two movie icons. Though Spielberg has been a filmmaker whose career's been discussed by fans forever, it's hard to overlook the incredible work of Tom Hanks. With the great actor coming back for Bridge of Spies, check out the top ten Tom Hanks films:
Though he's well known for his dramatic work, Tom Hanks has shined in a vast array of comedic films. Among his best is The 'Burbs, a hilariously silly work of comedy that gives Hanks the chance to chew scenery and be incredibly goofy while still remaining true to his character. Hanks is great as Ray Peterson, a paranoid neighbor committed to discovering conspiracies.
The Da Vinci Code
As one of the most versatile actors out there, Hanks can go from intimate dramas to a high profile blockbuster role like in Da Vinci Code. Hanks is perfectly cast as Robert Langdon, combining the intelligence of the character with an action-oriented story. Along with excellent director Ron Howard, Hank helps tell an exciting story that combines history, action and conspiracies.
Even with an animated film, Tom Hanks can give personality and charm to a computer generated character. Toy Story is a great example of this, as the character of Woody the Cowboy goes from a serviceable lead to an unforgettable character. The story of the film, which explores the acceptance of differences, is shown through the relationship between two toys (Hanks' Woody and Tim Allen's Buzz Lightyear), and Hanks gives a great personality to a character that could have been bland.
Saving Mr. Banks
A fantastically acted and written film, Saving Mr. Banks brings enough joy that the word "delightful" is not inappropriate. While Emma Thompson's excellent performance is clearly the highlight of the film, Tom Hanks gives an excellent supporting performance. The movie is also incredibly well-written, which gives the film a great blend of comedy and drama that will leave audiences crying tears of joy and sadness.
A sign of a great actor is someone who can be absolutely stunning and exhilarating while onscreen alone. Hanks does this in Cast Away, in which his desire to survive and gradual descent into madness is incredible, and fits with Hanks's likability and ability to do character roles. It's a gripping story of survival, focusing on one man's story throughout times of hardship.
A classic and even magical story of success and achievement, Forrest Gump is a beautiful and touching story. Hanks is charismatic and charming as the amiable lead character and does a good job at avoiding the overblown cheesiness that could be found in this sort of story. He lends a surprising amount of humor to the film, however, he doesn't back down from the emotion, cementing the titular character as one of the great American heroes.
Bridge of Spies
Bridge of Spies is a rare film, a historical thriller that is both authentic and un-glamorized, yet still thoughtful and exciting. While it's a small story, it fits within a global and historical context and remains both an informative and entertaining journey. Tom Hanks is stellar, and while his performance isn't flashy or overblown in sentiment, there's a quite power to the willingness to do the right thing regardless of the perception of others or personal danger.
Paul Greengrass's incredibly paced thriller is more exciting than any of the summer's blockbusters and more emotional than expected. Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi deliver excellent performances in a film that feels more real than most films manage to achieve. Captain Phillips is a must see that may not be for everyone, but its last 10 minutes are more riveting than many of the films this decade.
Road to Perdition
As a well-known, nice guy in Hollywood, it's difficult for Tom Hanks to completely shock us with a performance. However, Road to Perdition is a shockingly gruesome and grittily realized film about a father and son caught within a crime ring. It's a beautiful story of family within a gritty world of mobsters and crime.
Saving Private Ryan
Once again a collaboration with Steven Spielberg, Tom Hank's best work is in the brilliant war film Saving Private Ryan. The film is perhaps the most authentic depiction of war ever committed to cinema, Hanks gives a commanding performance as the elite captain of a troop of soldiers. A heartbreaking and stunning film, Saving Private Ryan is an unforgettable cinematic experience.