Top 5: Tom Hanks Films

This’s weeks Top 5 Friday category chosen by @BSchwarz95, follow that page on Instagram!

Tom Hanks is one the best actors working today, and he has been for the last few decades. He has starred in dozens of fantastic movies, and has even won the Best Actor Oscar twice… in a row. It’s safe to say that almost every movie he is in will be good, at least for his performance alone. This week, in celebration of the release of Inferno (the third film in the Robert Langdon series), we’re taking a look at our favorite films starring the man himself…

5) Toy Story 2This is my favorite of the Toy Story trilogy as I think it does the most for the characters. Woody and Buzz are always fantastic together, but when they get separated and realize where they came from before they went to Andy’s house, they are tested the greatest. To go home, or to go home is the question that is toyed around with in Woody’s arc in this film, and Buzz has to become a real hero himself- the hero he is advertised as. Introducing Bullseye and Jessie into the film was genius, as it allowed Woody to develop further instead of just being the straight-and-narrow borderline “stuck up” cowboy that he has been. Giving him a heart is what this film did, and although one could argue the same for the first and third film, I think this film took Woody the greatest distance as a protagonist. And the rest of the cast of characters is fantastically entertaining as well.

4) BigThere have been a lot of movies that I haven’t seen that I’ve recently tried to catch up on, and this was one of them, and I had an absolute blast with it. The premise is extremely 80’s: a young boy goes to a fair, makes a wish to a machine, and his wish comes true due to some kind of magic. Now, he is the same age, but stuck in the body of a man 20 years older than he. When he comes home, his mom freaks out and threatens to call the cops, so he has to leave but with nowhere to go, no money, no clothes, and nothing to help him besides his friend from school who believes him. What surprised me about this film was everything that followed: the humor in seeing this man-child navigate the real world, and do a better job at it than many of the people around him. It’s funny, it’s endearing, and it’s surprisingly mature- this is more of a comedy for adults as the humor is aimed more towards them, though it’s not an adult comedy. Anybody can enjoy it, and everybody will enjoy it. I highly recommend this film!

3) Saving Private Ryan. If you ask people to name the best war movie they’ve seen, many will say either Apocalypse NowFull Metal JacketBlack Hawk Downmaybe Platoon, but most people would say Steven Spielberg’s epic and gritty Saving Private Ryan. The iconic, disturbing and intense scene on the beach is one of the first things we see in the movie, and the fact that the film opens with that is to let the audience know that this story will not be an easy one to watch. The story is just as heartbreaking as it is gritty, and the characters that we follow throughout the movie are always at risk of dying. Spielberg pulls no punches, and in doing so, delivers massive blows into the gut of the audience (as well as the heart), with Hanks leading the film as the leader who is just as unsure of what’s going on as the rest of the characters, and viewer. It’s a film for the ages, an unforgettable masterpiece and every person on the screen and behind the scenes on the top of their game.

2) Forrest GumpHanks gives one of the most transformative performances of his career, and of all time in this Best Picture winning film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It’s a household film, with it being ranked amongst the greatest ever made, and it definitely ranks up there in my personal list as well. The story follows the titular Forrest Gump as he grows up, becomes and adult, and faces the world- all whilst having some sort of mental handicap that doesn’t allow him to excel cognitively, but he has the biggest heart and will to succeed, more so than anyone else in the film. This lovable character is fun to follow in the movie, and although we begin the film pitying him, we grow to respect and cheer for him by the end of the first act, and by the end of the film, he has become one of the greatest and most unforgettable movie characters in the silver screen history.

1) The Green MileThis is not my favorite performance from Tom Hanks, but without a doubt, it’s my favorite movie starring him. I first saw this film with my grandparents and little sister about 8 years ago, and I watched it as a double feature with The Shawshank Redemption, not knowing that they’re both based off of Stephen King stories, or that they’re both directed by Frank Darabont. This film is fantasy drama about an prison that houses people who are awaiting the electric chair. In this story, we get to know people before they die, which of course, makes for some heartbreaking storytelling. When Michael Clarke Duncan’s character enters the film, seeming like a threat to everybody, but then becomes a miracle in their lives, a question of morality is brought up- as well as a question as to whether or not his character even committed the crime that landed him in the prison in the first place. It’s a great drama, a great mystery, a great character study, and a very thought-provoking, unforgettable, and beautiful film that you should absolutely watch.

Anyways, that’s my Top 5 Tom Hanks Films! Catch Me If You Can barely got left off, but here’s an honorable mention for it because it’s also worth a watch. What about you? What are you 5 favorite? As always, thanks for reading, share the love, and I’ll see you soon!

Published by Blake Carson Schwarz

Indiana University graduate in Media and Creative Writing. I love to write my own stories as well as experience the work of others. On this site, I post reviews, essays, and other fun posts that I hope you have as much fun reading and I have writing. Please share any comments you have, I'd be happy to hear what you think! *Never a critic, always a fan*

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