Every Tom Cruise Movie Written By Christopher McQuarrie, Ranked By IMDb

Top Gun: Maverick flies into theaters on May 27, 2022, marking the big-screen return of Tom Cruise after a four-year absence. Like his previous film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Top Gun: Maverick was written by Oscar-winning scribe Christopher McQuarrie, who has become somewhat a personal screenwriter for Tom Cruise over the past 15 years. The two have worked together seven times since 2008, with two more future projects currently in the works.

From a few generic missteps and mega-popular blockbusters to historical thrillers and riveting sci-fi adventures, the prolific collaboration between Cruise and McQuarrie has provided some of the biggest entertainment in recent movie history.


7 The Mummy (2017) – 5.4

Nick stands in a crypt and looks stunned in The Mummy

So far, the most underwhelming partnership between Cruise and McQuarrie came via the lackluster mummy remake, the giant Universal tentpole meant to resurrect the Dark Universe series. Perhaps the result of too many cooks in the kitchen, McQuarrie worked with co-writers David Koepp and Dylan Kussman, and the result is a muddled affair at best.

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The Mummy follows a buried Egyptian princess who awakes from her eternal slumber and unleashes a violent scourge, leaving it up to Sgt. Nick Morton (Cruise) to quell the curse and restore order. Not bad but painfully mediocre and full of unfulfilled sequel teases, the expensive $125 million price tag makes the inferiority of The Mummy even more maddening.

6 Jack Reacher (2012) – 7.0

Reacher gets into a fist fight with a man in Jack Reacher

Based on the bestselling Lee Child book series, jack reacher marked the first time that McQuarrie directed Tom Cruise. The film gives Cruise a chance to play a much darker, more violent, and more complicated character than he’s typically known for, which could be why the film has somewhat average IMDb numbers.

A tale of vigilante justice not unlike Dirty Harry, Jack Reacher is a grizzled homicide detective who plays by his own rules and skirts the law when he sees fit to capture a cryptic sniper responsible for claiming five lives. With visceral set pieces, witty quips and one-liners, and a throwback vibe devoid of overreliant CGI, most IMDb voters feel the film is a highly underrated action affair and genuinely fun action movie, while fans of Child’s one-shot novel felt a bit let down by the story changes.

5 Valkyrie (2008) – 7.1

Colonel Claus looks out of a window in Valkyrie

Valkyrie marked the beginning of Cruise and McQuarrie’s cinematic collaborations. The daring and successful historical thriller reimagines Nazi Germany in 1944, where a group of rogue soldiers led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Alas, the best-laid plans seem to fall apart at every turn.

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Hailed by IMDb user reviews for its engaging story, the excellent supporting cast of such distinguished European actors as Terrence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson, and Kenneth Branagh, and fast-paced editing style, the biggest plaudit the film drew is that it remained enthralling despite viewers knowing the real-life ending before watching it.

4 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) – 7.4

Ethan grips an airplane in motion in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation:

McQuarrie forwent the chance to direct Jack Reacher: Never Go Back so he could focus on writing and directing Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation instead, one of Cruise’s most acclaimed movies. A wise move, as rogue nation is not only more critically and commercially successful than never go backbut it also led to McQuarrie helming the following two ME films.

The fifth installation in the mega-popular ME franchise, rogue nation follows Ethan Hunt (Cruise) on the run from the CIA following the disbandment of the IMF, doing his best to identify and expose The Syndicate, an influential terrorist group. Loaded with dazzling stunts performed by Cruise, fans and critics praised the project for pushing the limits of practically-filmed high-octane action. Many even claim it’s the best film in the series, proving that McQuarrie should be considered one of the best directors that Cruise has worked with.

3 Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) – 7.7

Ethan rides a motorcycle down the street in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Following the smashing success of rogue nationCruise and McQuarrie reunited three years later for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the highest-rated franchise entry to date on IMDb. The story tracks Ethan Hunt and his IMF squad who fail to retrieve a quantity of plutonium, leading to the attempted hostile takeover of the terrorist group The Apostles. As Hunt goes rogue, the CIA questions his MO

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Written and directed by McQuarrie, fallout is considered the best movie in the long-running action franchise, with many IMDb voters and reviewers praising the emotional arc of Hunt in conjunction with the relentless, top-notch action stunts, a jaw-dropping mix of practical and CG FX, and a breathless pace that keeps viewers on the edge of their seat. Cruise and McQuarrie will continue the ME franchise with the two-part Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning movie, the first entry of which is set to hit the masses in 2023.

two Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) – 7.9

Cage takes cover by a vehicle window in Edge of Tomorrow

Scripted along with Jez and Jon-Henry Butterworth, Edge of Tomorrow is the third movie Cruise and McQuarrie worked on together. Doug Liman directs the script, with the story tracing William Cage (Cruise), a soldier in a war versus aliens who dies in battle and relives the same day over and over, doing his best to alter the course of his destiny while also saving the lives of others.

Praised for its clever plotting, witty dialogue, eye-popping spectacle, and novel sci-fi premise previously used for comedies like groundhog day, the underrated 2010s action movie is a dynamic, energetic, and highly replayable experience most summer blockbusters sorely lack. A sequel has been written, but its current development status is unknown.

1 Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – 8.6

Pete stands before his plane in Top Gun: Maverick

With over 2,000 votes already logged, Top Gun: Maverick is the most beloved Tom Cruise movie written by Christopher McQuarrie to date. Cruise reprises his star-making role of Pete Mitchell, the hotshot test pilot who is now a responsibility-ducking 30-year vet tasked with training a new class of recruits.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick has been garnering rave reviews from critics and casual fans alike thanks to its exhilarating flight sequences, aerial acrobatics, and nostalgic fan service. While making any sequel can be a challenge, this success story is particularly impressive due to the massive 36-year gap in-between projects.

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