10. Road to Perdition (2002)
A forgotten Sam Mendes effort, “Road to Perdition” featured an all-star cast. The film was very good, but you couldn’t help but see untapped potential by the time the credits began to roll. Hanks was exceptional as a conflicted hitman who looks to make a drastic change for he and his young son. Unfortunately for both, their past catches up with them.
9. A League of Their Own (1992)
This is a movie you can easily watch over and over again. The plot surrounding women’s professional baseball is really interesting, as is the backdrop of World War II, which is happening concurrently. The performances are really outstanding as well. Keeping all this in mind, Tom Hanks completely steals the show as crude manager, Jimmy Dugan.
8. The Green Mile (1999)
With Michael Clarke Duncan’s tragic death, this one’s more likely than ever to cue the water works. Real-life sadness aside, this film is absolutely heartbreaking on many levels. That being said, it can also be inspirational. Duncan is phenomenal and Tom Hanks is his usual self.
7. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
The true story of Frank Abignale Jr. made for remarkable drama, in one of Steven Spielberg’s more underrated directorial efforts. Hanks was the perfect foil for Leonardo DiCaprio. The northeastern accent was a bit much, but Hanks was hilarious in this one.
6. Toy Story 2 (1999)
“Toy Story” upped the ante for all the animated films that followed. “Toy Story 2” upped the ante even more with a complex plot and band of characters that could appeal to both kids and adults. The inclusion of a female lead also added an interesting dimension.
5. Forrest Gump (1994)
While this one hasnt aged quite as well as others on this countdown, Gump is still a great film with a number of timeless moments. Hanks is terriffic in his breakout role. Gary Sinese is also awfully good as the cranky Lt. Dan.
4. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
There was concern when Spielberg announced he’d be making a WWII flick, that he’d pull punches and we’d get standard fare for the genre. In the opening twenty minutes (the Normandy Invasion scene), these worries were entirely dispelled. What we ended up getting, was one of the most brutal, realistic looks at war we’d seen up until that point. While now, you can nitpick about a few things in the plot or the dialogue, Saving Private Ryan is truly revolutionary filmmaking.
3. Apollo 13 (1995)
“Apollo 13” is not a complex movie by any stretch of the imagination. The plot is simple and straight-forward. Add in the fact that the movie is based on true events and you’d think suspense would go right out the window. You’d be wrong…very, very wrong. See, Ron Howard brilliantly constructed interesting and endearing characters that became significant to the viewer. Thus, in seeing them in peril, the collective heart rate of the audience raised quite a bit.
2. Big (1988)
Most think that “Big” was merely a kid’s movie, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, the movie tackles some pretty adults issues. The whole plot is very existential and reminds you more of a French film than traditional Hollywood fare. The ending is actually quite heartbreaking when you really think about it.
1. Philadelphia (1993)
Before his Oscar-winning role in “Philadelphia,” Hanks was on his way to becoming “Mr. Rom-Com.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but one fateful break led to A+ roles for the next two decades. Hanks would have been financially and commercially successful either way, but as an actor, he has to be thankful.