5. "It's beautiful, man!" It's the best scene from John Milius (Red Dawn) never wrote; Tom Cruise's hard ass cadet finally does what he's been threatening to do all through the movie and loses the plot, taking who he can with him. Taps (1981) was Cruise's first major role. Chris Penn's too.
4. That slide into shot from Risky Business, the better-than-you-remember anti-capitalist drama from 1983. You know you've done something right when it's parodied a million times. Tell that to the Boom! There Goes The Dynamite guy.
3. All The Right Moves. I couldn't find the locker scene where Cruise's quarterback finally stands up for himself against Craig T. Nelson's bully of a coach so I opted for the trailer. It's a forgotten movie but Cruise makes you invest in his teenager in this underrated 1983 drama.
2. The heart-broken run from Vanilla Sky (2001). Yes, I'm a Vanilla Sky apologist and I love the scene where he's chasing down Jason Lee and Penelope Cruz because he thinks they're having an affair. But he can't run because of his injury and, haunted by the thoughts of them together, falls to the ground. It's heart-breaking stuff. R.E.M's Sweetness Follows is supposed to play over this but it was removed. Boo. Best play it while the scene plays.
1. We can forget how good Tom Cruise can be and he was at his best in Born On The Fourth Of July (1989). This confession scene, where Der Cruiser goes to the home of a soldier he believes he shot by accident on the battlefield, is incredibly powerful stuff.