10 Greatest Ever Tom Hanks Movie Performances

9. Jim Lovell - Apollo 13

Captain Phillips Tom Hanks
Universal Pictures

Apollo 13 is a well told true story disaster movie that benefits from Tom Hanks' steady presence as commander of the catastrophic mission Jim Lovell. While the script had been floating around Hollywood with the likes of Kevin Costner and John Travolta attached, it was Hanks who made his interest in the project known first.

While most will remember his famous line, "Houston, we have a problem", it is worth remembering his pitch perfect delivery. Not screaming it down his earpiece to mission control like he was in a Michael Bay blockbuster but calmly with just enough panic, in the manner of a real astronaut, to let the audience know trouble was ahead.

It may not be his showiest role but Hanks displays his natural leadership which is enough to make us understand why his fellow astronauts follow his every word. Sharing the screen with Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton and Ed Harris, Hanks recognises the ensemble nature of the film and is generous to his fellow actors by allowing everyone to shine. When the script is as entertaining and tense as Apollo 13 you understand why Hanks and the other actors need to do very little other than play the scene in the moment.


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).