For a long time, it appeared as though Tom Cruise had no interest in sci-fi, and the actor was 20 years into his big screen career before he first ventured into the genre. Even then, Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky was more concerned with being an existential dreamlike romantic thriller than leaning into the standard tropes associated with science fiction, but it at least appeared to open the floodgates.
The very next year, Cruise teamed with Steven Spielberg for the phenomenal Minority Report, and the duo reunited once more for 2005’s mega budget War of the Worlds, which hauled in over $603 million at the box office to make it the only one of the star’s six highest-grossing efforts ever that isn’t part of the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion, meanwhile, delivered from a visual standpoint but couldn’t quite make the most of its interesting central conceit, but Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow certainly did. The high concept extraterrestrial actioner suffered from a tortured production that saw the shoot go way behind schedule and over budget, with cast members being added months into filming only to be cut from the movie anyway, while the script was essentially being rewritten on the fly.
By some minor miracle, though, it turned out to be one of the best sci-fi epics of the last decade, thanks largely to dedicated performances from Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, not to mention several standout action sequences. The planned sequel remains mired in development hell and might never make it out given how long it’s been stuck there already, but Edge of Tomorrow continues to play well on Netflix having been one of the 20 most-watched titles on the platform for the majority of the last week.