You love him. I love him. Who doesn’t love him? Tom Hanks is one of the greatest actors to ever live. He may be considered a modern-day Charlton Heston, but I don’t think Heston has anything on him. His acting career has spanned four decades, with roles both on television and in film. He has also had the opportunity to direct his vision. For those debating what his greatest appearance has been, this is the list that ends all lists. Here are my top five Tom Hanks roles:
Coming in at number five is…. Saving Mr. Banks.
This one may come as a bit of a surprise to people. I consider this the wild card of the group. It’s relatively new, and many people may have not seen it, but Tom Hanks does justice to Walt Disney. The mannerisms, the look, the smile – it captures the Walt man to a T. You can’t help but fall in love with the vision that he had. I can see why P.L. Travers ended up giving into the charm and dedication. Hanks exemplifies such passion for the role, and such sorrow when the end looks murky. It may not be the best movie, but the role of Hanks and his counter-part Emma Thompson steals the number 5 spot.
Number four goes to Captain Phillips.
Again, a more recent role, but this one must be considered. Hanks portrays Captain Richard Phillips who oversees a crew that gets ambushed by Somalian pirates. Playing a real life hero must be difficult. You want to do the person justice, but many times it is difficult to do that on film. Hanks plays it perfectly. I was so entranced when I watched this film I was literally shaking near the end. Don’t worry, no spoilers here. Hanks in the face of danger is something I could watch day in and day out.
Our third spot goes to Philadelphia.
This was the first of two Oscar performances for Mr. Hanks. He plays a gay lawyer in Philadelphia with AIDS, and is fired from his firm after “dropping the ball” on an important case. This film was an important piece for its time as the AIDS scare was in full-force. In this role, you see multiple faces of Hanks. You literally follow someone from living a normal life to their deathbed. Hanks’ portrayal is a true display of award-winning acting. So many people argue with this (BIG fans), but to me this was his breakout performance.
Coming in at number two, Saving Private Ryan.
Mr. Hanks may not be the main character, but his performance is so great that he becomes the main focus. All of the little mannerisms from the hand shaking to the wandering eyes gives you a very in-depth perspective of the brave men who served during WWII. Despite this film not being his best work, this is my favorite movie that he has been in because I am a history nerd. The honor for his best movie goes to our number one…
This movie might be one of the most quotable movies of all time. Hanks, as the loveable Gump, might be one of the best-known characters in history. Like seriously, who could hate this guy? Even Lt. Dan came around! This film pushed Hanks into super, mega-star status with a second consecutive Oscar. To me, that alone makes it the best performance by Hanks.
I hope you have enjoyed this listicle, and future suggestions are welcomed! Remember like Mr. Hanks once said, “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”