Performances that could use a look
Tom Cruise - 'Rock of Ages'
Cruise never really stood a chance here: arriving on the heels of undesirable press surrounding his high-profile divorce, “Rock of Ages” was a synthetic summer bauble that flopped hard with critics and audiences alike. The knowingly gaudy film arguably deserved better; Cruise, giving his most electric star turn in over a decade as oversexed rock god Stacee Jaxx, certainly did. Cast boldly against type, yet sneakily sending up his own opaque celebrity persona in the manner of his Oscar-nominated work in “Magnolia,” Cruise offers a vital reminder of why, however frequently the gossip mill declares him a spent force, he's one the few honest-to-God movie stars we have these days. - Guy Lodge