Tom Hanks recently came out to say he’s only made four good movies. He didn’t mention which four, but regardless of his thoughts, movie fans are up in arms about his comment. Hanks is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood with an impressive resume, and the internet gathered to give praise to some of their favorite Hanks performances.
Here are some of the more popular movies and Tom Hanks roles that kept coming up.
1. That Thing You Do
That Thing You Do is a fantastic portrayal of what happens when a small-town band hits the big time. Amidst the drama is Tom Hanks’ Amos White, who takes over as manager of the movie’s focal band, the Wonders. Not only is Hanks’ performance fantastic, but he also holds sole writing and directorial credit for this ‘90s gem.
2. The Terminal
As a Krakozhia traveler trapped in John F. Kennedy International Airport, Tom Hanks enamors audiences in The Terminal. The Steven Spielberg-directed comedy-drama is a delightful little film that further shows Hanks’ ability to carry the bulk of a movie.
3. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
In Catch Me If You Can, Tom Hanks plays Carl Hanratty, an FBI Agent chasing Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio). Abagnale goes from a teenager to a con artist as he pursues a life of worth living. Catch Me If You Can is the real-life story of how Abagnale eventually joined the FBI as a Bank Fraud Consultant. It has an incredible cat-and-mouse grip and stars Amy Adams, Martin Sheen, and Christopher Walken.
4. The ‘Burbs (1989)
In The ‘Burbs, Hanks plays Ray Peterson, a suburban homeowner lounging around his house for a weeklong staycation. His new neighbors are reclusive and odd, with suspicious noises coming from the basement of their home.
So he and a handful of nosey neighbors slowly begin to suspect they are performing ritualistic murders after one of their neighbors goes missing. It’s hilarious and has evolved into an 80s cult classic.
5. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
In Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks stars as Captain John H. Miller. It’s an epic war drama following Miller’s detachment mission to locate Private James Francis Ryan, the last surviving brother of four. The film requires tissues for viewing as Hanks, Vin Diesel, Tom Sizemore, Barry Pepper, Edward Burns, Jeremy Davies, Adam Goldberg, and Giovanni Ribisi deliver outstanding and emotional performances.
6. Cast Away (2000)
Cast Away is a solo survival drama starring Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland, a FedEx troubleshooter. When his plane crashes into the South Pacific at Christmas time, Noland makes his way to an uninhabited island and spends four years surviving with only the company of a volleyball he names Wilson. Despite having no one to play off of save for the inanimate volleyball, Hanks drives the film and captivates audiences.
7. The Green Mile (1999)
The Green Mile stars Tom Hanks as a death row correctional officer and Warden Supervisor, Paul Edgecomb, during the Great Depression. After a mysterious convict, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), arrives on death row, supernatural events occur at the facility. Paul has difficulty following orders to carry out the convict’s sentence in another performance that requires tissues.
8. A League of Their Own (1992)
A League of Their Own is a sports comedy-drama and fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943. Tom Hanks plays Jimmy Dugan, a former Cubs slugger, cynical alcoholic, and manager of the women’s baseball team, The Peaches. Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, and Bill Pullman also star.
9. Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump stars Tom Hanks as the titular character, a dim-witted but well-intentioned man from Alabama. The film follows Gump sitting at a bus stop telling strangers about his wild experiences in the 20th-century United States.
Some of his most impactful memories include his time in the Vietnam War, an interview alongside John Lennon of The Beatles on The D. Cavett Show, and teaching Elvis Presley how to dance. Along with a fantastic musical score, Hanks gives an outstanding performance.
10. Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story is a computer-animated comedy starring Tom Hanks as the voice of Woody, an old-fashioned pull-string cowboy doll. Woody belongs to a boy named Andy and his favorite toy.
However, Woody gets pushed aside when Andy receives Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), a modern space cadet action figure. His jealousy leads to action-packed comedic adventures in a world where toys are alive.
11. Big (1988)
Big is a fantasy comedy-drama starring Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a boy who makes a wish to be bigger through a fortune-teller machine. The following morning he awakens in Tom Hanks’ body and scares his mother, who believes her son has been kidnapped.
Josh must locate the machine to undo the wish, but he misses the carnival and has to wait six weeks. So Josh rents a flophouse in New York City and secures a job as a data entry clerk at a Toy Company, where he’s praised for his childlike enthusiasm.
12. Philadelphia (1993)
Philadelphia is a legal drama starring Tom Hanks as Andrew “Andy” Beckett. Andy is a gay man who lawyers up (Denzel Washington) and sues his employers for firing him after learning he has AIDS. Philadelphia is known as one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to address HIV/AIDS and homophobia and is praised for its positive portrayal of the LGBTQIA+ community.
13. Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
Hanks is no stranger to working with Meg Ryan in romantic comedies. In this 1990 film, he stars as a man told that he is dying of a rare disease. With nothing left to lose, Joe agrees to help a Pacific Island tribe in need of a human sacrifice for their volcanic god. Despite the potentially grim outcome for the titular character, Hanks plays the role well and has fantastic chemistry with Ryan.
14. Road to Perdition (2002)
Based on the novel of the same name, the Sam Mendes-directed film takes place during the Great Depression and focuses on a mob enforcer and his son seeking revenge for the murder of their family. Hanks stars alongside Paul Newman, Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Stanley Tucci, and Daniel Craig in one of his more intense roles.
15. Apollo 13 (1995)
Directed by Ron Howard, the 1995 film chronicles the events of the Apollo 13 tragedy during its mission to land on the moon. It features an ensemble cast, including Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris, and Gary Sinise, with Hanks holding everyone together as real-life astronaut Jim Lovell.
16. Money Pit (1986)
A remake of the 1948 Cary Grant comedy Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Tom Hanks stars alongside Shelley Long. The couple attempts to renovate their newly purchased home, only to realize they’re in way over their heads.
17. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Name a more iconic duo than Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The pair shares incredible chemistry in this timeless romantic comedy about a widow whose tragic story captures the attention of a Baltimore Sun reporter (Ryan), who’s facing relationship issues with her fiance.