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Unpacking Everything We Know So Far About Tom Hanks’ Best Movies

The Green Mile (1999): A tale set on death row in a Southern jail, where gentle giant John possesses the mysterious power to heal people’s ailments. When the lead guard, Paul, recognizes John’s gift, he tries to help stave off the condemned man’s execution.

Tom Hanks stands as one of the preeminent thespians of our era. With a plethora of acting prowess garnered over decades, Hanks has garnered copious awards, nominations, and plaudits for his thespian finesse, rendering him a revered and everlasting presence in the realm of entertainment. Upon retrospection of his filmography, an abundance of Hanksian classics has entrenched themselves as global favorites, endearing him to aficionados across the globe. But which of these films stand as his best? Let’s take a look at Tom Hanks’ top movies and unpack everything we know about them so far. 

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Forrest Gump (1994)

Forests Gump is often regarded as Tom Hank’s defining role. The film chronicles Forrest’s extraordinary life, encompassing his exploits in the Vietnam War, his camaraderie with Jenny, his ascent to prosperity as a shrimp boat proprietor, and his accolades as an Olympic champion. Forrest Gump not only earned Hanks one of his two Oscars for Best Actor, but also propelled the actor to superstardom and changed his professional trajectory profoundly. 

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan remains one of Tom Hank’s most memorable war movies, transitioning him from a comedic to a leading dramatic role. Hanks stars as Captain Miller, a US Army officer tasked with rescuing Matt Damon’s Private Ryan from the midst of World War II. The movie is applauded for its authentic portrayal of war and earned Hanks an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. 

Cast Away (2000)

Cast Away is most remembered for its iconic scene of Tom Hank standing at the door of his house, throwing a volleyball away. In the movie, Hank’s character Chuck Noland ends up stranded on a deserted island, where he struggles to survive using whatever props he can find. The movie is praised for Hanks’ intense performance and his realistic portrayal of a man in critical isolation.

Big (1988)

Big remains to this day one of Tom Hanks’ most beloved films. In the movie, Hanks plays Josh, a kid who has his wish of becoming “big” granted. Nevertheless, the protagonist grapples with escalating complexities as he assimilates into adulthood, navigates the intricacies of the corporate realm, and endeavors to rediscover the path that leads him homeward. Hanks’ portrayal garnered him a coveted Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, acknowledging his remarkable performance.

A League of Their Own (1992)

A League of Their Own stands as a timeless sports motion picture chronicling the exploits of a distaff baseball team amidst the zenith of World War II. Tom Hanks stars as Jimmy Dugan, the Coach of the team, who helps the players develop their skills and rise to the top. This movie also reunited Hank with his Forrest Gump director, Robert Zemeckis, and earned Hanks another Oscar nomination. 

The Polar Express (2004)

Tom Hanks dip into the world of Christmas movies with The Polar Express. The film follows a little child as he boards an enigmatic train and travels to see Santa Claus.

Apart from Hanks, who voices the conductor, the film also features a star-studded cast of voices, including Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye, and Peter Scolari.

The Terminal (2004)

The Terminal is Hanks’ idiosyncratic comedy, starring him as Viktor Navorski, an Eastern European immigrant that finds himself stranded in an airport after his country is overthrown. The movie follows Viktor’s efforts to survive in the airport with whatever resources he can find, like sneakily getting meals from other passengers and finding clever ways to reactivate the airport’s vacuum cleaning system. 

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

In The Da Vinci Code, Tom Hanks plays the central figure in an intriguing mystery with a star-studded ensemble. Hanks plays Professor Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of symbology who must find the truth behind a murder that holds a mystery behind it. The movie became an international hit and earned Hanks an MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Agent Performance. 

Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo 13 is yet another iconic movie in Tom Hanks’ filmography. Hanks stars as Jim Lovell, an astronaut onboard the infamous mission to the moon that malfunctioned, and was forced to return to Earth amid life-threatening conditions. Although the film failed to garner any accolades, it remains esteemed as one of Hanks’ career pinnacles.

The Green Mile (1999)

The Green Mile is a riveting cinematic masterpiece adapted from a Stephen King tome bearing an identical appellation. Hogan stars as John Coffey, an inmate on death row, whose secret heaven-sent powers provide healing, understanding, and solace from his comrades. Though the movie was slow to take off, its critical and financial successes proved that Hanks is a universal icon. 

These are some of Tom Hanks’ best movies of all time. From Forrest Gump to The Terminal and Apollo 13 to A League of Their Own, each movie showcases great performances and a unique storyline that make these movies classics worth remembering. Take a peek at these classic movies while you wait for new Tom Hanks movies to arrive and admire one of Hollywood’s best actors.

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