27 Tom Hanks Movies That Are The Best Movies Ever Made In Hollywood

You can’t miss watching them!

FT Crew

FT Crew

Dec 30|11 min read

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We all know of Tom Hanks. At least every Hollywood movie lover knows of Tom Hanks - the actor and the filmmaker. The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and Inferno are better known because of him. It would not be wrong to say that he has made and starred in some of the finest movies ever made in Hollywood. 

He has won two Academy Awards for Best Actor in Leading Role for Forrest Gump and Philadelphia. He has won several other awards including a Golden Globe, People's Choice Teen Choice, MTV awards, and a Life Achievement award in 2002 from AFI.  

Tom Hanks was born in 1956 in Concord, United States. Tom Hanks landed his first movie in 1979 - He Knows You’re Alone. He has even worked in a couple of sitcoms before starting to get recognized as a movie star with real potential. He started gaining prominence after starring in Ron Howard's - Splash.

Tom Hanks has given an unparalleled performance in every movie he has starred in. He is one of those actors who doesn’t need a co-star to make a great movie, his lone presence on the big screen is more than enough. He is also a versatile actor, no genre is out of his bounds or expertise. He can be the perfect rom-com hero, be the best detective, and always humorous. 

Tom Hanks can work in action/thrillers and still make it look like it’s his cup of tea. He has started in a lot of movies, but we have a list of his top and best movies. Let us have a look at the 27 Tom Hanks movies one shouldn't miss watching:

1. Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is one of the best classics of all time. The movie is so simple and yet one of the most entertaining, emotion-evoking movies of all time. Tom Hanks' character in this movie is - Forrest Gump, a simpleton, who seems to be caught in the middle of every major event between the 1970s-80s. 

Imitating the perfect Georgian accent, Tom Hanks takes us through his journey of surviving a war, to winning the world championship of Ping Pong, coining phrases like ‘Shit Happens’ and much more. Rest assured, there is never a dull moment in this Robert Zemeckis movie.  

2. Sully 

Sully, a Tom Hanks movie, keeps you at the edge of the seat throughout the movie. Based on a real-life story, the movie takes through the emotions, and the aftereffects of force landing a commercial aeroplane into the Hudson River. 

It’s a survival story, wherein all 180 passengers on board live to tell the tale, after suffering from a dual engine loss at the lowest altitude in history. This movie was released in September 2016 and was directed by Clint Eastwood. 

3. Catch Me if You Can 

Catch Me if You Can is one of the most loved and known movies to ever exist. This Tom Hanks movie also stars Leonardo Dicaprio. This is a crime film that circles around a cop who is trying to catch a thief who is a master at the art of deception and has fraudulently duped people of millions and dollars. 

The to and fro banter between the two leads of the movie is ever entertaining and heart racing to the last second. One of the best Tom Hanks movies, it is directed by Steven Spielberg and was released in 2002. 

4. The Da Vinci Code 

Based on the book of Dan Brown, this movie embodies his famous character - Robert Langdon. It is one of the exceptional Hollywood movies made till date. This movie takes us on a riveting and a thrilling ride of twists and turns through multiple cities of Europe after a murder at the Louvre.

The mysterious murder forces the Symbolist - Tom Hanks, to unveil the truth of the Holy Grail. With strange revelations every now and then, the movie grips you till the very end. This mystery/thriller drama was directed by Ron Howard in 2006. 

5. Angels and Demons 

Another movie based on the famous Dan Brown character - Robert Langdon, Tom Hanks again takes us on another thrilling ride through the Vatican and Rome, as he tries to find and save the Cardinals. 

He has to solve centuries-old clues that lead to a secret society before an antimatter bomb destroys the Vatican City. This gripping Tom Hanks movie is filled with intellect, last-breaths, and betrayals, but it promises to keep you locked to the screen till the post-credits start rolling. This is another Ron Howard work released in 2009. 

6. Inferno

Inferno is the latest Robert Langdon tale to release (2016). This Ron Howard movie is also based on the famous symbolist character - Robert Langdon. However, this time around Tom Hanks wakes up with an Amnesia and as a wanted man by the Italian police. 

So, Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones race from Italy to the Middle-east trying to recover his memory and at the same time, stop a mad-scientist from releasing a deadly virus. 

7. The Terminal

The Terminal can be named as one of the best Tom Hanks movies to ever exist. Tom Hanks plays the role of Viktor Navorski - is an innocent, well-intentioned, and resourceful man, whose home country has been delisted. 

The movie is about how Victor continues to find creative ways to survive at the JFK airport, despite the Airport manager trying to make his life as hard as possible. But that is not the only thing to look forward to, because this movie also has that beautiful touch of romance. This is another great piece of art created by Steven Spielberg. 

8. The Post

The Post has acclaimed not only the Academy Award for Best Picture (2018) but many more awards. With the backdrop of the US-Vietnam War, Tom Hanks alongside Meryl Streep divulge themselves into investigative journalism to bring to light the corruption of political parties. 

This is another one of Steven Spielberg's hits, which keeps you glued to your seats the entire time. The movie even sheds a light on the conflicts of unearthing deep hidden political secrets and the risks of being an investigative journalist. 

9. Toy Story (Series)

This three-part animated movie series on toys, Toy Story promises to take you back to your childhood. These movies picturised different adventures the toys undergo to make their kid happy when they aren’t in the presence of humans. In these animated movies, Tom Hanks voices the lead character - Woody, a cowboy doll. 

These movies are made from the perspectives of the toys - their emotions, their lives, and their stories. And frankly, it’s worth at least a watch, because there’s a definite guarantee you’ll fall in love with the movie series, and will start wondering whatever happened to your toys?   

10. Saving Private Ryan 

This 1998 film directed by Steven Spielberg, has amassed multiple awards, including an Academy Award for Best Directing. Set in the backdrop of World War II, in this Tom Hanks movie, a squad of soldiers are tasked with finding and saving Private Ryan. 

This movie is the perfect depiction of the brutalities of war and that of the humanity of the soldiers. This is a riveting tale of bravery and loss, and one should not miss out on the opportunity to watch this movie. 

11. Captain Phillips 

Based on the real-life story of the 2009 Hijacking of an unarmed US freight ship by Somalian pirates, this movie is an emotional and a riveting dramatisation. Tom Hanks plays the lead role of - Captain Richard Phillip, who continues to negotiate with the pirates to save the lives of his crewmates. 

This Paul Greengrass’s 2013 thriller doesn’t let one down but definitely keeps you at the edge of the seat, full of anxiety and dread. 

12. You’ve Got Mail 

Unlike any Tom Hanks movie, this classic is a romantic-comedy between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Set in the 1998 New York backdrop, they meet as e-mail pals on the internet, who share everything about themselves, except for their identities. 

As they cosy up over their mails, they don’t even realize that they are business rivals. This beautiful Nora Ephron movie is a perfect story on online romance. 

13. Bridge of Spies

Another one of Steven Spielberg's masterpieces, Bridge of Spies is about a lawyer who defends a USSR spy. This is a historical drama based during the time of the Cold War. This Tom Hanks movie is an intense, thrilling and intimate tale. 

Tom Hanks' character fights against public anger and tries to safeguard his family from violence as he continues to negotiate between the two superpowers. This movie was awarded an Academy Award and was released in 2015.  

14. Apollo 13

Apollo 13 is a space drama, where Tom Hanks and his crew are headed towards the moon when their spacecraft is damaged. This movie is a thrilling and gripping tale of astronauts stranded in space as they figure out a way back home, along with the NASA team on the ground. 

This 1995 space movie depicts the state of astronauts, their families at home and the urgency of the NASA team to save them. This Ron Howard direction keeps you glued to your seat even when you know the end. 

15. Cast Away 

This Tom Hanks movie might as well be one of his best works ever. This is a survival story of Tom Hanks character - Chuck Noland, after a plane crash strands him on a desolate island. This movie pictures every effort of Chuck to survive on the island alone. 

One of the most commendable things about this movie is Tom Hanks acting and the serious weight loss he underwent to make this movie seem as realistic as possible. It's over two hours of only watching Tom Hanks but the director Ron Howard has made it ever so worthwhile. 

16. Greyhound 

One of the most recent releases, Greyhound is based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd written by C.S. Forester. Tom Hanks plays the role of Commander Ernest Krause. During his first wartime battle, he is tasked with leading a convoy across the Atlantic Ocean to join the war. 

Based during World War II, this movie captures the realities of the longest naval battle. This Tom Hanks movie is directed by Aaron Schneider and was released in 2020. 

17. A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood 

This movie depicts the real-life story and relation between the famous TV presenter - Fred Rogers and Tom Junod (Lloyd Vogel in the movie). This is a story about how Fred inspires the cyclical journalist to get his life back on track. 

It is an emotional, humorous, and a beautiful story, and how the two form an unlikely friendship. This Tom Hanks movie was directed by Marielle Heller and was released in 2019.  

18. The Green Mile

This 1999 release directed by Frank Darabont, is an adaptation of a Stephen King novel of the same name. The Green Mile is about a death row guard and an inmate who is sentenced to death by electric chair. 

This movie is a moving tale and a beautiful cinematic experience brought on by Tom Hanks and Michael Duncan. This movie shares the unbelievable life message and ideals. The scene of the movie is very simple, but the complex ideas they have portrayed in the simplest ways is what makes this movie another masterpiece. 

19. League Of Their Own 

Based in the 1940’s US, this movie is about a group of women who get drafted into the professional baseball league. The part where this movie becomes interesting is when a former, drunk baseball player(Tom Hanks) is forced to coach the team. 

This Tom Hanks movie is filled with teamwork, triumph and all the hostilities of being a woman in the 1940s. This is, however, one of the best movies around Baseball and was directed by Penny Marshall and released in 1992. 

20. Big 

Released in 1988, this movie showcases a very young Tom Hanks in the role of Josh, who has a 13-year-old boy wishes to become bigger (in age and size). He enlists the help of a fortune-telling machine, but in a humorous turn of events, he wakes up as 30 year old and living in New York. 

The movie is filled with funny moments, romance and action, and is an ideal movie to watch to have a light-hearted movie session. This fantasy-comedy is directed by Penny Marshall. 

21. Philadelphia 

A 1993 release, Philadelphia is about a lawyer who gets fired after his employers find out he has AIDS. This is an exceptional work of cinematography wherein it captures the views around homosexuality and AIDS. This is another one of Tom Hanks movies to have won an Academy Award, among several other awards. It was directed by Jonathan Demme 

22. Charlie Wilson’s War 

Charlie Wilson’s War is a real-life biographical story about a US Congressman and a CIA operative who worked to support and protect the Afghan troops during the Afghan-Soviet war. Though the real characters have been tweaked for the big screen, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts still give a gripping performance under the direction of Mike Nicolas.  

23. Turner & Hooch

A 1989 release, Turner and Hooch, is about a small-town detective trying to solve a murder, with the victims dog (Hooch) being the sole witness. This may not be the best of works by Tom Hanks, but if you don’t mind watching a young Tom Hanks solve a murder mystery with a disturbed but a cute dog as a partner, you’re in for a treat. 

This Tom Hanks movie was directed by Roger Spottiswoode.   

24. Larry Crowne

A self-directed movie, Larry Crowne stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in the lead roles. This movie is about two grownups, one who is a 50-year-old who goes back to college to look for a new direction in life and a teacher who has lost her passion and her marriage. 

This movie may be far from reality, but it achieves its goal of being a feel-good movie, with sufficient drama, humour and romance. Tom Hanks released this movie in 2011. 

25. Splash 

A fantasy-romance film directed by Ron Howard, this movie is about a man who is saved from drowning twice by the same mermaid. This movie is of a little different genre for Tom Hanks, but nonetheless, he along with his co-stars give an interesting performance. This movie is full of romance and humour and was released in 1984. 

26. The ‘Burbs’ 

The ‘Burbs’ is a dark comedy film directed by the veteran director Joe Dante. This Tom Hanks movie is about how Tom Hanks' character along with two of his buddies, start investigating the newly relocated family in their suburb. Tom Hanks has given a one of a kind performance in this bizarre but funny thriller. This movie was released in 1989. 

27. Sleepless in Seattle

This is another one from one of the best on-screen couples from the 90’s - Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Sleepless in Seattle is about how two people from different cities fall in love over the national radio talk show. 

This movie is about hope and how you can fall in love in the unlikeliest ways, how simple things can turn into so much more. If you’re looking for a perfect night in and want to rehash some of the golden movies from the ’90s, this Nora Ephron movie is where you start!

Tom Hanks has starred in some more amazing and known movies such as The Circle with Emma Watson, Road to Perdition, Cloud Atlas, and Saving Mr Banks being some of them. If you’re ever looking to have a good movie night, whatever the genre maybe, you’ll find a Tom Hanks movie to suit your mood. Happy Movie Nights y’all!  

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