In Contention's Top 10 Tom Cruise Performances
A salute to the actor on his 50th birthday
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3. "Rain Man" (1988)
The role: Auto hustler Charlie Babbit
Nominated for: nothing
Won: Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award (Best Supporting Actor - tied),
Thoughts: Perhaps Cruise's most underrated performance, his turn in Barry Levinson's 1988 Best Picture winner "Rain Man" represents some of the actor's most present work to date. The work probably owes a bit to osmotic inspiration from on-screen co-star (and Best Actor winner) Dustin Hoffman, and indeed, the enormity of that performance overshadowed Cruise. But if you focus on what he's doing it's some staggeringly dialed-in work.