Critics are hailing Captain Phillips as featuring one of Tom Hanks' greatest performances. He will likely receive his sixth Oscar nomination for Best Actor if not also his first win in 18 years. But will it be anyone's favorite Tom Hanks movie or role? Sure, one of his most beloved performances is his second to be honored with an Academy Award -- Forrest Gump -- but many of us will still always have a soft spot for that loud, wacky comic actor who bobbled his skinny little head around in movies like Bachelor Party and Volunteers.
He's gotten more serious as his head has gotten bigger (I mean more physically than egotistically), even when he's playing ridiculous parts, like those in The Terminal and Cloud Atlas. I was dying for him to make some sort of return to his '80s acting style up until I realized Charlie Wilson's War was as close as we'll probably ever get (it's like the guys from Bachelor Party and Volunteers grew up, merged and became a congressman). And it wasn't very enjoyable.
Still, he's been good in more than he's been bad in, and he has a ton of great forgotten performances in stuff like Punchline, The Money Pit and Nothing in Common. But most of you may prefer his more popular movies, which according to box office numbers includes Gump, The Da Vinci Code and Cast Away.
Here are my top three Tom Hanks movies:
1. The Toy Story franchise - Yes, it's technically more than one movie -- more than three movies if you count the shorts and the upcoming Halloween special -- but it's hard to pin his exceptional voice-acting work on just one installment. Unlike most celebrity hires for animated features, Hanks has really given life to Woody in a way where, even though he doesn't mask his own voice at all, we don't firstly hear Hanks when watching the little cowboy in action and in speech.
2. Road to Perdition - When America's supposed sweetheart took on this darker role, many saw it as a stretch. I thought it was a perfect evolution, though it is truly a part and performance that stands alone. I'm still hoping he goes to an even darker place at some point in the future.
3. Splash - Maybe it's because I've know it the longest, but the way Tom Hanks looks and acts in this movie (which I also included in my Ron Howard Top Three) is how I picture the actor when he pops into my mind for any reason. His clothes, his voice, his serious and his goofy expressions, all of it is the true Hanks, then and forever.
Your Picks (the top four being Saving Private Ryan and Forrest Gump [tie], and Big and The Green Mile [tie]):
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