10 Greatest Ever Tom Hanks Movie Performances

His career is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get...

Captain Phillips Tom Hanks
Sony Pictures

Tom Hanks, or America's Dad as he is affectionately known, has had an incredible career spanning 40 years and has grossed over $11 billion at the box office with his blockbuster films. Looking back at his films it is no wonder he is likened to a father - a constant and lovable presence throughout the lives of multiple generations of cinema goers.

Hanks has made a career out of playing the everyman, a figure we all relate to, and this is the reason people feel such fondness for him and keep coming back to his films. An actor as comfortable in a goofy comedy as an Oscar calibre drama, his talent is being able to bring comedy to the darkest of moments and emotion to the silliest of films.

With a hit rate unseen in Hollywood, Hanks has churned out countless memorable performances that will outlive us all. Whether it be his early turn in screwball comedies, his multiple roles in regular collaborator Steven Spielberg's historical dramas or his recent performances as real life icons, Hanks always delivers.

10. Multiple Memorable Characters - Cloud Atlas

Captain Phillips Tom Hanks
Warner Bros.

Cloud Atlas is a hidden gem in the filmography of Tom Hanks, often overlooked but a sprawling incredibly ambitious tale with a stellar cast. Hanks, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent all delight in playing six different characters dating back from the Pacific Island in 1846 to the post-apocalyptic Big Isle in 2321.

While it may not be one of the most acclaimed films of Hanks' career it does boast several great performances from the actor. It is not often we get to see the Hollywood nice guy play a character as despicable as Henry Goose, a Doctor who slowly poisons a shipmate over weeks at sea in an attempt to steal his gold.

Only Tom Hanks could bring such humanity and weight to Zachry a weary survivor who speaks a gibberish futuristic language with lines such as "Adam, my bro' by law, n' his son n' me be trekkin' back from Honokaa Market." The less said about Hanks' attempt at a Cockney accent as he plays gangster Dermot Hoggins, complete with a skinhead and sideburns, the better.

This movie shows that even in his 50s Hanks is still prepared to take chances and risk making a fool of himself with a huge swing and potential miss than play it safe with all his roles.


An avid cinephile, love Trainspotting (the film, not the hobby), like watching bad films ironically (The Room, Cats) and hate my over-reliance on brackets (they’re handy for a quick aside though).