Mission Impossible III

  • Directors: J J Abrams
  • Producers: Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner
  • Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J J Abrams
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Keri Russell, Eddie Marsan

Six years after the events of Mission: Impossible II, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from being an IMF team leader, instead opting for a quiet life with his fiancée Julia (Michelle Monaghan), a hospital nurse. During their engagement party, Ethan receives a call from his old friend John Musgrave (Billy Crudup), who provides him with a disposable camera. After viewing a video hidden in the camera, he finds out Musgrave wants him to rescue Agent Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell), Ethan’s protégé, who has been captured in Berlin by Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a prominent dealer in the international black market. He reluctantly agrees to participate in the mission and meets the team which has been selected for him, consisting of Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen Lei (Maggie Q), and his old partner, Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames).

The team assaults an enemy stronghold in Berlin and extracts Agent Farris successfully, who had been taped to a chair, but she dies during their escape when an explosive capsule placed inside her head detonates. After Lindsey’s funeral, Ethan is notified of a “package” sent to him by Lindsey, and discovers that it is a microdot hidden in a blank postcard. Ethan discusses its possible importance with Luther and both decide to keep its existence a secret.

Back at headquarters, Ethan is congratulated for his heroic actions, and then leaves for his honeymoon with Julia, with the blessing of his applauding teammates and promises for another mission which the White House is keen to contact him about. Ethan isn’t sure whether or not he’s going to retire, but promises to think about it and Brassel promises to tell him what the Rabbit’s Foot really is if he does come back.

Knight Day

  • Directors: James Mangold
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Patrick O Neill
  • Genres: Action, Comedy
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Maggie Grace, Paul Dano, Marc Blucas, Viola Davis, Olivier Martinez

Roy Milner (Cruise) is a secret agent who goes on a blind date with unlucky-in-love June Havens (Diaz), and ends up pulling her into a journey to protect a powerful battery that holds the key to an infinite power source.

Top Gun

  • Directors: Tony Scott
  • Producers: Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Writers: Ehud Yonay, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr
  • Genres: Action, Romance
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Tom Skerritt, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, Michael Ironside, Rick Rossovich

The film starts with Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Goose (Anthony Edwards) along with Maverick’s wingman “Cougar” and his RIO, “Merlin” (Tim Robbins), both piloting F-14A Tomcats, in conflict over the Indian Ocean against what are said to be Soviets, flying (fictional) Mikoyan-Gurevich-made MiG-28s. Cougar is engaged by one of the hostile aircraft and afterwards is too shaken to land, despite his aircraft being low on fuel. Maverick assists Cougar in landing, at risk to his own aircraft – which is also low on fuel. Following the incident Cougar resigns from active duty, citing his newborn child which he has never seen. Despite his antipathy for Maverick and Goose, the CAG, “Stinger” (James Tolkan) is forced to send Maverick and Goose—now his top pilots—to attend the Top Gun school.

Maverick tests his instructors’ patience on the first day of training by flying recklessly (outflying instructor LCDR Rick “Jester” Heatherly (Michael Ironside), breaking two rules of engagement in the process), establishes a rivalry with top student Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), and becomes enamored with civilian instructor Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (Kelly McGillis). Maverick contradicts her briefing by regaling her with the story of the MiG encounter from the film’s opening, but playfully withholds specific details.

The film ends with Maverick in a pub at NAS Miramar, recalling the occasion when he first met Charlie. Charlie then enters the bar, having decided to remain at Miramar after hearing of Maverick’s assignment there, and she plays You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ on the jukebox, signaling to Maverick her intention to remain with the Top Gun school, and to let her romance with Maverick flourish.

Jerry Maguire

  • Directors: Cameron Crowe
  • Producers: James L Brooks, Cameron Crowe, Laurence Mark, Richard Sakai
  • Writers: Cameron Crowe
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr, Jonathan Lipnicki, Bonnie Hunt, Regina King, Kelly Preston, Jay Mohr, Jerry O Connell

Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a 35 year old sports agent working for Sports Management International (SMI). After suffering a nervous breakdown as a result of stress and a guilty conscience, he writes a mission statement about perceived dishonesty in the sports management business and how he believes that it should be operated. He goes to a copy shop early the next morning and distributes copies of it, entitled “The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business” to all of his fellow employees. His co-workers are touched by his honesty and greet him with applause the next business day, but the company’s management orders Maguire fired for his actions.

The management sends Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr), Maguire’s protégé, to fire Maguire. Jerry and Bob then proceed to call all of Jerry’s clients to try to convince them to not hire the services of the other. Jerry gets through to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), one of his clients who is disgruntled by his contract that he believes to be far inferior than that of his teammates. Tidwell tests Jerry’s resolve through a very long telephone conversation, which culminates in the famed “Show Me the Money!” telephone yelling match between Rod and Jerry. Meanwhile, Bob Sugar secures most of Jerry’s previous clients as his own. Frank Cushman, a superstar football prospect expected to be drafted #1 in the NFL Draft, also ends up staying on with Jerry after he makes a visit to Cushman’s home. Leaving the office, Jerry announces he will start his own sports management agency and asks if anyone is willing to join him to which only 26-year-old single mother Dorothy Boyd (Renée Zellweger) agrees. Boyd had previously bumped into Maguire in the airport and told him personally how inspiring she found his “memo.”

Rod Tidwell later appears on a sports show for an interview. Unbeknownst to him, Jerry has secured him an $11.2 million contract with the Cardinals that will allow him to finish his pro football career in Arizona. The visibly emotional Tidwell proceeds to thank everyone who helped accomplish this success and extends warm gratitude to Jerry for his help. Jerry, who is also on the set of the show, speaks with several other pro athletes, some of whom have read his earlier mission statement and express their positive opinion of it as well as respect for the work he had done with Tidwell. The film ends with Jerry, Dorothy and Ray walking in the park and stumbling across a Little League baseball game. When the ball lands near them, Ray picks it up and throws it back onto the field; a surprised Jerry then comments on his natural throwing ability, much to Dorothy’s dismay.

Mission Impossible II

  • Directors: John Woo
  • Producers: Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner
  • Writers: Screenplay, Robert Towne, Story, Ronald D Moore, Brannon Braga
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames

While working at Biocyte, an Australian company, Nekhorvich, a Russian scientist, is forced to develop a deadly bioweapon named “Chimera” which lies dormant in its host for twenty hours after infection, but then rapidly causes the body’s red blood cells to disintegrate and cause hemorrhaging and death while becoming highly infectious. At the same time, Nekhorvich has developed a potent counter-agent, “Bellerophon” to stop the effects of Chimera while in incubation. Nekhorvich realizes he must expose Biocyte’s research, and contacts his old friend Ethan Hunt, whom he refers to as “Dmitri”, to help assist him to reach the U.S. Government; in order to transfer Chimera, Nekhorvich uses his own body as a petri dish and makes sure he can reach the United States within 20 hours of departure to ensure he’s in time to administer Bellerophon. However, as he and Hunt cross the Rocky Mountains on a passenger plane, the captain—Hugh Stamp—claims that there is a drop in cabin pressure and releases the oxygen masks, and the rest of the crew and passengers are anesthetized due to an NO2 tank being supplemented to the oxygen mask air supply, and “Hunt” reveals himself to be Sean Ambrose, another IMF agent, who then breaks Nekhorvichs’ neck and takes the briefcase containing his research. Ambrose and the rest of his team jump from the plane before it crashes, killing all those aboard.

Hunt and his team kidnap McCloy and make him believe he has been infected with Chimera in order to learn what Biocyte’s plans were. McCloy reveals that they were planning on releasing Chimera and then make a fortune off the sale of Bellerophon. After Nekhorvich stole the only samples, McCloy contacted Ambrose to help return them, but Ambrose turned the tables, asking for a large sum of money to return the samples, which McCloy has agreed to. Knowing the samples are at the Biocyte headquarters, Hunt and the others plan a daring break-in. However, their presence was expected, and Ambrose has prepared an ambush while holding Nordoff-Hall as a hostage. A firefight breaks out, and Nordoff-Hall manages to get free and inject herself with the last remaining sample of Chimera, forcing Ambrose to keep her alive for at least twenty hours in order to get McCloy’s money. Hunt is able to flee the building and regroup with Stickell and Baird, and trace Ambrose to a Biocyte storage facility near Sydney. They learn that Ambrose has let Nordoff-Hall loose in Sydney, such that when Chimera becomes active, it will launch an outbreak that will send Biocyte’s stocks skyrocketing due to the demand for Bellerophon, and Ambrose is now blackmailing McCloy to make sure he has a controlling interest in the company’s shares. Hunt breaks up the meeting, grabbing samples of Bellerophon, and a large battle between Ambrose’s men and Hunt’s team breaks out. Hunt’s team is able to defeat all but Ambrose, and Hunt orders Stickell and Baird to locate Nordoff-Hall while he fights Ambrose alone. Hunt gains the upper hand and kills the rogue agent while his team members find and return Nordoff-Hall; Hunt is able to inject the Bellerophon into her body just in the nick of time to stop Chimera. Hunt is debriefed and confirms that all samples of Chimera have been destroyed, and then returns to his vacation, this time spending it with Nordoff-Hall on an Australian beach.

War of the Worlds

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson
  • Writers: Novel, H G Wells, Screenplay, Josh Friedman, David Koepp
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Miranda Otto, Tim Robbins

The story opens in Newark, New Jersey, with dock worker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) finishing the third shift in the morning. His pregnant ex-wife Mary Anne (Miranda Otto) and her wealthy new husband Tim (David Alan Basche), drop off Ray’s 10-year-old daughter Rachel (Hannah Dakota Fanning) and teenage son Robbie (Justin Chatwin) at his house. They are staying with him in Bayonne, New Jersey, while Tim and Mary Anne visit her parents in Boston, Massachusetts for the weekend. Rachel suffers from a panic disorder, while Robbie harbors resentment and outright disrespect towards his father. Later that day, Ray wakes up from a nap and is told by Rachel that Robbie has stolen his car and left.

Ray immediately sets out to find him, but is distracted by a strange wall cloud formation near his neighbourhood. As he and Rachel view it from the garden, the clouds begin to unleash electromagnetic pulses, disabling all of the working electronic devices in the area, including cars. Ray finds an apologetic Robbie, and tells him to take care of Rachel in the house while he goes to look at a hole in the ground that Robbie mentioned. Traveling past, he advises a mechanic to replace the solenoid of a Plymouth Voyager he is repairing. Ray and many other people find the mysteriously cold hole in the intersection, from which a large Tripod machine emerges. It begins to vaporize all humans within its range, and starts to destroy all the buildings in its path. Ray however, manages to escape and returns to his house. After packing food, Ray and the kids abandon their home and steal the Plymouth Voyager, which, due to Ray’s advice of changing the solenoid, is the only operating vehicle in town.

Afterwards, the narrator reveals that the Tripods were breaking down because the invaders and their weeds were suffering from terrestrial diseases, for which they had no immunity.

Magnolia

  • Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Producers: Paul Thomas Anderson, Joanne Sellar
  • Writers: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: John C Reilly, Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, April Grace, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, William H Macy, Alfred Molina, Jason Robards, Melora Walters

In an introduction three events are described (by an uncredited Ricky Jay) showing coincidences. The events, which are well-known urban legends in the universe of the film, are as follows:

Forthright police officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) is called to investigate a disturbance at the home of a woman named Marcie (Cleo King). He finds a body in her closet, but when the other police officers arrive they pay little attention to his report on the situation. A young boy, Dixon (Emmanuel Johnson) offers to help Jim with the case by performing a self-penned rap. Dixon claims that in the words of the rap he told Jim who committed the murder, but, thinking the boy is just joking, Jim ignores him.

Former TV producer Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) is in the final stages of cancer, and is being cared for by a nurse, Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman), while his young trophy wife Linda (Julianne Moore) is out collecting prescriptions for a strong dose of liquid morphine that will end his pain. Earl mentions to Phil that he has an estranged son and asks him to find him, saying his name is Frank Mackey. Phil, aware that Mackey is the author of the “Seduce And Destroy” self-help system for men, orders in some pornographic magazines, hoping to find a phone number for his self-help system in there. Frank Mackey (Tom Cruise) is giving a seminar to an audience of men, instructing them how they can manipulate women into “sleeping” with them. As his seminar breaks for lunch, a reporter named Gwenovier (April Grace) takes him aside to interview him. He is initially very confident in his interview, but tells Gwenovier that his father is dead.

Just then, frogs suddenly start to rain from the sky. As Rose drives through the rain of frogs, she crashes her car outside Claudia’s apartment and runs in fear to a reconciliation with her daughter. As Jimmy is about to kill himself, the frogs fall through his skylight and cause him instead to shoot the TV, meaning his house begins to catch fire – whether he survives is never made clear (though in the original script, his body is later seen being removed from the house). The frogs cause Donnie to fall from the pole, smashing his teeth, eliminating his need for braces. The rain of frogs abruptly ceases with a final incongruous object – Jim’s gun falls from the sky and lands right in front of him. Jim helps Donnie replace the money and to forgive himself – Jim chooses to act in forgiveness, rather than in duty, which would have compelled him to arrest Donnie. Having been given the liquid morphine by Phil, Earl dies as Frank watches (the two of them perhaps finally reconciled). Frank then goes to the hospital to see Linda, who is making a gradual recovery. Stanley goes to his father and tells him that he needs to be nicer to him. Rick curtly responds by telling Stanley to go to bed. The film ends as, the next morning, Jim goes to visit Claudia. He talks to her, telling her that he wants to be honest with her as she told him to, and he wants to make things work out between them. She breaks the fourth wall and smiles at the camera.

Eyes Wide Shut

  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Producers: Stanley Kubrick
  • Writers: Novella, Arthur Schnitzler, Screenplay, Stanley Kubrick, Frederic Raphael
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

The film begins in the apartment of a wealthy, married couple, Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) and Alice Harford (Nicole Kidman), who are preparing for a Christmas party at the home of Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack), a friend and patient of Bill’s. During the party, a Hungarian man (Sky du Mont) tries to seduce Alice, while two younger models try to seduce Bill. Alice and Bill both resist temptations. During the party, Bill is summoned by Ziegler to his bathroom where he finds a naked woman, Mandy (Julienne Davis), over-dosed from a speedball. Bill helps her regain consciousness and promises Victor he will not speak of the event. Bill also meets an old friend, Nick Nightingale (Todd Field), a former fellow student who dropped out of medical school and is now a pianist at the party. Nick informs Bill that he is playing at the Sonata Café.

The day after the party, Alice and Bill smoke marijuana and talk about encounters at the party. Alice confesses her feelings concerning a naval officer she saw while in Cape Cod. Because of Bill’s self-assurance, out of spite she admits she was willing to abandon her future for one night with the officer. Shocked, Bill suddenly receives a telephone call summoning him to a deceased patient’s home. Bill goes to the patient and the daughter, Marion (Marie Richardson), says she wants to give up her life to be with Bill. Bill resists and departs once Marion’s boyfriend Carl (Thomas Gibson) arrives.

Bill returns home to Alice and finds the mask he wore to the party on the pillow next to her. He breaks down crying, waking Alice before confessing about his journey. While Christmas shopping later that morning, Alice shows she has come to terms with Bill’s actions by accepting that one night does not reflect his entire persona.

Valkyrie

  • Directors: Bryan Singer
  • Producers: Christopher McQuarrie, Bryan Singer, Gilbert Adler, Chris Lee
  • Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander
  • Genres: History, Thriller, War
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson

During World War II, Wehrmacht Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is severely wounded in Tunisia, and is evacuated home to Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Major General Henning von Tresckow (Branagh) attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler by smuggling a bomb aboard the Führer’s private airplane. The bomb, however, fails to detonate and Tresckow safely retrieves it to conceal his intentions. After learning that the Gestapo has arrested Major Hans Oster, he orders General Olbricht (Nighy) to find a replacement. After recruiting von Stauffenberg into the German Resistance, Olbricht delivers von Stauffenberg to a meeting of the secret committee which has coordinated previous attempts on Hitler’s life. The members include General Ludwig Beck (Stamp), Dr. Carl Goerdeler (McNally), and Erwin von Witzleben (Schofield). The Colonel is stunned to learn that no plans exist for after Hitler’s assassination.

After a bombing raid on Berlin, he lights upon using the plan Operation Valkyrie, which involves the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order in the event of a national emergency. The plotters carefully redraft the plan so that they can dismantle the Nazi regime after assassinating Hitler, by overthrowing the SS and imprisoning Hitler’s closest advisors. Realizing that only General Fromm (Wilkinson), the head of the Reserve Army, can initiate Valkyrie, they offer him a position as head of the Wehrmacht in a Post-Nazi Germany and recruit him into the fold: however, Fromm initially refuses. With the rewritten plan needing to be signed off by Hitler (Bamber) himself, von Stauffenberg visits the Führer at his Berghof estate in Bavaria. In the presence of his inner circle, Hitler praises von Stauffenberg’s heroism in North Africa and signs off on the plan without fully examining the modifications.

As von Stauffenberg flies back to Berlin, Olbricht refuses to mobilize the Reserve Army until he knows without a doubt that Hitler is dead. Behind Olbricht’s back, Mertz forges his signature and issues the orders anyway. With Operation Valkyrie underway, von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters order the arrest of Nazi party leaders and SS officers and begin to take control of Berlin’s government quarter, which will allow them to command the entire Reich. Rumors reach Berlin that Hitler survived the blast, but von Stauffenberg dismisses them as SS propaganda. Meanwhile, Fromm learns from Field Marshal Keitel that Hitler is still alive. The General refuses to join the plotters, resulting in his arrest. When Hitler reaches the Reserve Army by telephone, the SS officers are released and the plotters in turn are besieged inside the Bendlerblock. The headquarters staff flees, but the ringleaders are arrested. Most are eventually tried and executed, while some commit suicide. Von Stauffenberg shouts “Long live sacred Germany!” before being executed by a firing squad.

Collateral

  • Directors: Michael Mann
  • Producers: Michael Mann, Julie Richardson
  • Writers: Stuart Beattie, Michael Mann, Frank Darabont
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Mark Ruffalo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Javier Bardem

Cab driver Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) drives U.S. Justice Department prosecutor Annie Farrell (Jada Pinkett Smith) to work. During the drive, she tells him about an upcoming case she’s prosecuting and he tells her about his dream of owning his own limousine service. When they arrive at the Justice Department building, Annie leaves him her business card. Moments later, Max picks up a man named Vincent (Tom Cruise), who was seen earlier exchanging a briefcase with a stranger played by Jason Statham at Los Angeles International Airport.

Vincent directs him to a tenement building, and impressed with Max’s efficiency, asks him to be his personal chauffeur for his remaining stops. Max reluctantly agrees when Vincent offers to pay him double his normal nightly profit. Vincent instructs him to park in an adjacent alley while he enters the building. Minutes later, a body drops onto the cab, cracking the windshield and propelling Max out of the cab. He realizes Vincent killed the man. Unable to escape, he is forced to help Vincent put the body in the trunk of the cab.

Vincent reveals that he is a hitman, and that he is in Los Angeles to murder five people before departing in the morning. Originally hoping to keep his occupation a secret, Vincent forces Max to drive him to his other destinations. Upon reaching the second target, Vincent ties Max to the steering wheel of the cab in order to make sure he doesn’t run away while Vincent makes the second kill. While alone, Max tries to arouse the attention of passers by in order to free him, but the people that walk up to the cab turn out to be street thugs, and steal Max’s wallet and Vincent’s briefcase. As they walk away, Vincent appears and asks for the briefcase back. The thugs refuse, and then attempt to rob Vincent, who knocks one thug’s gun and performs the Mozambique Drill, shooting both thugs twice in the chest and once in the head.

Spotting the handgun Vincent left behind, Max overpowers the policeman and cuffs him to the flipped cab before running toward Annie’s office building, where he discovers the building security guard is dead and his handgun is missing. He reaches Annie on a stolen cell phone and warns her about Vincent’s approach. Max enters the building and stops the assassination attempt by shooting at Vincent, grazing his face; he then flees with Annie to the Metrorail station under the building. With the guard’s handgun, an angry Vincent follows and corners them in an empty rail car. Vincent and Max fire at each other through a closed door, with Max escaping injury by stepping to the side as the rail car’s lights flicked off, and shooting through the glass, fatally wounding Vincent who had used his routine manner of killing and attempted to perform the Mozambique drill on Max through the door, missing. Dropping his gun and collapsing into a seat, Vincent waits for death as Max and Annie silently look on. Vincent sardonically asks Max if anybody will notice he has died, echoing an earlier story of Vincent’s about a man who died on the MTA and sat undiscovered by LA commuters for hours. Max and Annie get off the train at the next station while the train continues toward Long Beach with dawn breaking, and with a now dead Vincent sitting slumped in his seat.