Taffy Brodesser-Akner, writing for The New York Times:
Why did he turn into an action star at all?…with each of his three Oscar nominations, there was a sense that he was achieving great things despite the hindrance of his handsomeness. “Can you believe that Tom Cruise was nominated?” Like he had to overcome a great handicap.
So maybe it makes perfect sense that he leapt into action films and thrillers, with the rare foray into something like “Lions for Lambs” or “Rock of Ages.” Finally, here was a genre where his good looks didn’t require explanation, were not presented as an impediment, where he didn’t have to worry about being too pretty for the position…
More than that, here was a genre in which he could outdo anyone.
As much as Tom Cruise’s presence in many movies can drive me crazy, the man’s work ethic is undeniable. From the Mission: Impossible franchise to Minority Report, Cruise’s skill as an action star elevates many of his choices from merely watchable to enjoyable.