Happy birthday, Tom Cruise? With wife Katie Holmes filing for divorce from the actor just four days ago, it seems like this may not be the happiest of birthdays for the star, but even in the midst of the conspiracy-laden split, anyone would have to admit Tom Cruise still has a pretty great life. So, in celebration of Maverick’s 50th, we’ve put together a list of 50 reasons why it’s still great to be Tom Cruise:
1. He’s been in 34 movies, including classics like Rain Man, The Outsiders, Jerry Maguire, Top Gun, Born on the Fourth of July, Minority Report, Cocktail, A Few Good Men, Mission: Impossible (1, 2, and 4, anyway) and already has several more in production.
2. He’s been nominated for three Academy Awards, and has won three Golden Globes.
3. He still has great hair.
4. He has a really nice house (or should we say, a $30.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills that has over 10,000 square feet of living space, including seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms). Potato, potatoh.
5. No matter how “Far and Away" Tom is (he’s currently working in Iceland, of all places) he still makes headlines.
6. He, against all odds, made tighty whities cool, thanks to Risky Business.
7. He’s the only movie star who will ever dangle from the Burj Kalifa.
8. He’s probably the only movie star who could get away with jumping on Oprah’s couch. Shoe marks on fine leather are not a favorite thing.
9. He’ll always be Maverick.
10. He’s worked with Hollywood legends, including Paul Newman, Martin Scorcese, and Stanley Kubrick.
11. He’s been a samurai, special agent, samurai, contract killer, pilot, race-car driver, senator, magazine owner, lawyer, sports agent, student, vampire, soldier, bartender, and pool player.
12. He brought back the Oscars post 9/11.
13. People magazine rated him among the top 50 most beautiful people in the world three times.
14. People went to see War of the Worlds even after the “jumping on Oprah’s couch” incident.
15. He wasn’t afraid to put on a fat suit and a bald cap for the sake of comedy in his over-the-top Tropic Thunder role.
16. In fact, his role in Tropic Thunder was so outrageous that it temporarily made people forget about his off-screen antics.
17. He perfected scream-o acting.
18. Before Twilight or True Blood, Tom Cruise was the original sexy vampire in Interview with a Vampire.
19. … and he was so good in Interview with a Vampire that author Anne Rice, who had initially been very vocal about being displeased with Cruise’s casting, published an apology letter praising his performance.
20. He was in TWO movies with the word “Thunder” in the title, thus making him the pinnacle of masculinity.
21. He started starring in the Mission: Impossible franchise sixteen years ago, but it is still going strong with him as the leading man today. Take that, every other franchise with an aging protagonist!
22. Even at age 50, he gets to play as rock n’ roll sex icon in Rock of Ages. (Too bad no one saw it.)
23. Rosie O'Donnell made him synonymous with the title of "cutie patootie."
24. He’s spawned countless lookalikes, like Peter Facinelli and Miles Fisher (who happens to do a killer impression of him.)
25. He is the only celebrity with a Japanese holiday in his honor. On October 10, 2006 was officially declared Tom Cruise Day by the Japan Memorial Day Association.
26. Only one person can ever really boast that Jack Nicholson actually shouted “You can’t handle the truth!” at them, and that’s Tom Cruise.
27. He handled the truth.
28. He is only 5’7”, but is still one of the biggest movie-star/sex icons in the world.
29. He’s not Mel Gibson.
30. He's also not John Travolta.
31. Whenever anybody hears “Highway to the Dangerzone,” they automatically see Tom Cruise on a motorcycle.
32. He overcame dyslexia (with the help of Scientology, apparently.)
33. Even with his impending divorce, he still has enough money to never work again – and probably buy several Pottery barns, where he could spend the rest of his days testing out couches.
34. People have long since learned to “show [him] the money.”
35. Even though he spent a year at a Franciscan seminary in Ohio, and even took a vow of celibacy, he’s managed to become one of the biggest Hollywood stars in the world.
36. Thanks to the all-time classic corny line “You complete me,” he helped make other cinema moments, like Austin Powers’ Doctor Evil, even more hilarious.
37. He won an MTV Generation Award.
38. No matter what people may say about his personal life, he’s given some memorable performances, like Born on the Fourth of July, and nobody can take that away from him.
39. He dated stunner Penelope Cruz. Well played, sir.
40. He’s been married to three Hollywood starlets: Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes. Which can only mean one thing, wife #4 will undoubtedly be younger and taller than he is.
41. He can destroy countless BMW i8’s without consequence.
42. He regularly gets roles where he gets to do an impressive amount of swearing. F***king recall, if you will, “I will massacre you!” rant in Tropic Thunder, and the “Respect the **** and tame the ****!” infomercial in Magnolia.
43. The Friars think Tom Cruise is really awesome, and gave him the Entertainment Icon Award, which only three other people have ever received in the 108-year history of the club: Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks.
44. He taught a generation of people that sometimes you just gotta say, “What the f**k?”
45. He can sing!
46. In 2006, Forbes magazine ranked him as the most powerful celebrity in the world.
47. His daughter Suri is probably the most-stalked celebrity child in the world. Sorry, Suri.
48. There is an entire satirical website dedicated to producing fake news about him called www.tomcruiseisnuts.com.
49. He’s practically Spider-Man, with his amazing ability to jump from car to car in the brilliant, but underrated Minority Report.
50. Xenu loves him. Don't stop believin'
Tom Cruise Turns 50
More:Happy 50th Birthday, Tom Cruise!Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Are Getting a Divorce
On the surface Stay seems to be a straightforward psychological drama about a psychiatrist Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor) who is trying to keep a mysterious patient Henry (Ryan Gosling) from killing himself. But the deeper we get into it the decidedly weirder it gets. And not necessarily in a good way. Sam and Henry seemed to be inexplicably connected. While his girlfriend and former patient Lila (Naomi Watts) looks haplessly on Sam’s lightly held grip on the rational world begins to melt away. He can no longer figure out what is true and what is happening only in his head--all climaxing in a titular confrontation between life and death. Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling would have loved this one. Although he was surprisingly good as the romantic lead in The Notebook the usually somber Gosling is best known for playing quiet psychotics in such films as The United States of Leland and Murder By Numbers. In Stay he’s back to his old tricks as the suicidal Henry. Pale with mournful eyes and a perpetual cigarette in his mouth Henry is certainly a tortured soul looking for some relief. On the flip side Watts brightens the otherwise dismal surroundings as Lila but there’s also a tinge of sadness about her. The only weak link is McGregor. He can’t quite pull off playing the dedicated psychiatrist slowly losing his mind--but the Scottish actor sure has mastered the American accent (ditto for the Australian Watts). Director Marc Forster (Monsters Ball Finding Neverland) seems a bit out of his league with this jumbled-up hard-to-understand psychological fare. Granted the visuals are arresting. Forster strives to create a world which at first seems real but then little by little turns into a wildly shifting dreamscape in which scenes blend into one another seamlessly. The real problem here is the script by David Benioff (25th Hour). It tries to say “Look how clever!” by throwing you for loop after loop--except the loops don’t make much sense. You eventually stop saying “What the hell?” and start to get a pretty good idea how Stay is going to end up. And when the final twist is handed down it’s surprisingly not all that disappointing.
The clock is ticking down. There are only a few more weeks to catch up on Hollywood's end-of-the-world flicks before life as we know it goes to ... well, you know.
Don't worry about whether you're prepared for armageddon, though. We've done the research and stocked the shelter with enough apocalyptic flicks to see anyone through a nuclear winter.
So grab your sunscreen, head for the hills and remember the remote. It's time for the final countdown:
20. "The Omega Man" -- Imagine your worst nightmare about the end of the world, and Charlton Heston probably suffers it in this adaptation of Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend." He's the last guy on Earth, and as luck would have it, there are zombies spawned from germ warfare trying to tear his guts out.
19. "The Seventh Sign" -- Forget Ah-nuld in "End of Days." The true biblical blood curdler is this mid-'80s parable starring Demi Moore. She's the only one who can stop the rivers from forever running crimson. Michael Biehn, out of Terminator/Navy Seal mode, plays her low-key husband. Jurgen Prochnow is the ultra-creepy avenging angel.
18. "Strange Days" -- Nothing's more timely than this millennium murder mystery, which takes place on the eve of the 21st century. Ralph Fiennes is a cyberpeddler hawking memories of real experiences to sensory-deprived customers. When someone starts using his virtual addictions for real-life killing, the hustler finds it hard to keep partying like it's 1999.
17. "Night of the Comet" -- So bad it's great, this low-budget sci-fi quickie features a killer comet, valley girl heroines and a couple of hilarious, over-the-top villains. As the baddies chase the gals cross-country, the filmmakers forgo logic and effects and concentrate on making cheeky fun of the genre.
16. "Deep Impact" -- Last chance to clear those tear ducts before Y2K becomes reality. "Armageddon" may have the firepower, but when it comes to good old-fashioned emotion, even cynics agree that Morgan Freeman makes a first-rate president as the fate of all mankind rests in the balance.
15. "The Stand" -- Nobody does the good, the bad and the apocalypse quite like Stephen King. Clocking in at around six hours, this epic showdown between the forces of light and dark tempts viewers to figure out who'll be the last man or woman standing. Our bet: Molly Ringwald and Rob Lowe, who have already survived their Brat Pack infamy.
14. "A Boy and His Dog" -- Before he lost his socks and collared shirts, "Miami Vice's" Don Johnson roamed the wasteland with a telekinetic dog in this smart and sassy cult favorite. On a mission that would make his '80s alter-ego proud, the young traveler and his trusty guide forage exclusively for two things: food and women.
13. "WarGames" -- It has no radioactive mutants, martians or supernatural boogeymen, and it's not rated R. But John Badham's "what if" scenario for world destruction is as tense and thrilling as cinema gets. In today's Internet-crazy universe, the prospect of a Matthew Broderick-like hacker accidentally setting off World War III is an apocalyptic possibility a little too close to reality.
12. "The Road Warrior" -- After the world goes boom, there's nothing like a harried Mel Gibson in shoulder pads and biker boots to raise hopes for a new savior. It wouldn't be the end of the world without Mad Mel dispatching a dozen or so mohawked punks who can't wait for their turn at the gas pump.
11. "Escape From New York" -- One look at Kurt Russell's scowl and eye patch, and director John Carpenter's message comes through loud and clear: The future could be very, very ugly. Nihilistic, dark and altogether winning, this action-adventure has hero Snake Plissken out to rescue the president in 24 hours, or else the world gets it.
10. "Ghostbusters" -- If the destructor of the universe really were a 100-foot Stay Puft Marshallow Man, who else to call than smart-ass Bill Murray and friends? The "Saturday Night Live" star knows how to handle millennial boogie woogies: Simply sit back and make fun of them. Dogs and cats living together? That's "mass hysteria."
9. "Planet of the Apes" -- Charlton Heston is in for an unforgettable surprise at the end of this classic sci-fi flick. He's a U.S. astronaut stranded on a planet where ape creatures walk and talk while humans wander about beast-like in loincloths. The first in the "Planet of the Apes" series offers plenty of action, intrigue and the best use of a New York monument in movie history.
8. "The Last Wave" -- "The Truman Show" director Peter Weir arrived on the scene with this frightening vision of the apocalypse. Richard Chamberlain of "Shogun" infamy stars as a lawyer assigned to defend a group of aborigines on trial for murder. His investigation leads to a series of scary, oddly fascinating discoveries.
7. "On the Beach" -- The bombs have landed, and the radioactive cloud is on the way. Submarine commander Gregory Peck surfaces long enough to search the barren Australian landscape for survivors. It's all in the name of superior drama that realistically explores the effects and true terror of nuclear holocaust.
6. "Last Night" -- Winner of multiple Genie Awards (Canada's equivalent of the Oscar), this low-key drama skips the Bruce Willis histrionics and focuses on regular people living through the last six hours of the planet. They eat, they talk, they fight, they even love a little. In the end, they do exactly what people might do on the last night of their lives.
5. "War of the Worlds" -- The granddaddy of martian invasion movies puts "ID4" and everything that followed to shame. The effects stand up, and the concept's sound. Based on H. G. Wells' famous story, this classic, featuring Gene Barry as a scientist who's on to the green beings' game, is truly one for the ages.
4. "12 Monkeys" -- Bruce Willis can't stop the world from coming to an end, but maybe he can figure out what pretty boy Brad Pitt has to do with it. As a psychologically damaged hero from the future, the action star finds himself trapped in a Terry Gilliamesque present that's flawed with all sorts of dark eccentricities.
3. "The Rapture" -- "The Player" screenwriter Michael Tolkin directs a singular motion picture that's unlike anything you've ever seen. Mimi Rogers stars as an L.A. swinger who trades in her hedonism for religious fanaticism just in time for an apocalypse literally straight out of the Book of Revelations. Expect the unexpected in this controversial mind-blower.
2. "The Day the Earth Stood Still" -- Klaatu barada nikto! That's the unforgettable phrase from Michael Rennie as a foreign visitor who comes to warn Earth about the dangers of weapons of mass destruction. This landmark science-fiction film is the best defense against the real apocalypse. If aliens can't stop us from playing mean, who can?
1. "Miracle Mile" -- Never heard of this gem from director Steve de Jarnatt? When it comes to end-of-the-world scenarios, this one's the absolute keeper. Before he donned his "ER" scrubs, Anthony Edwards had his best part to date as a modest, likable musician who finds the girl of his dreams ... 90 minutes before a nuclear bomb strike. As he demonstrates, when it comes to the end, it's not about quantity. It's all about quality.