15 Best Tom Hanks Movies Of All Time

POSTED BY Omer Niaz, UPDATED ON January 30th, 2024
Best Tom Hanks Movies of all Time

Tom Hanks was born on the 9th of July 1956 in Concord California. He is an American actor who began performing at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in 1977. Later in his life, he moved to New York City and starred in many of the biggest Hollywood movies such as Forrest Gump, Splash, and Saving Private Ryan. He is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood and not too much surprise, you can often see him in some of the most famous advertising campaigns in the world. Let’s have a look at the 15 best Tom Hanks movies of all time:


15. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Sleepless in Seattle 1993 Tom Hanks

After Sam’s wife passes away, he and his son Jonah relocate to Seattle to be distant from the place where his mother passed away. Jonah misses his mother and wants his father to remarry so that he can have a new mother. But his father is not open to dating again.

Jonah is smart and pushes his father into pouring his heart out on a national talk show about his perfect marriage to his wife. One Baltimore-based newspaper writer Annie falls in love with Sam by listening to the story over the radio. Annie writes to Sam proposing to meet on top of the Empire State Building. Jonah likes Annie’s letter and he tries whatever he can to make both of them meet to make love happen.


14. Cloud Atlas (2012)

Cloud Atlas 2012 Tom Hanks

In this movie, the Wachowskis show how everything is connected through all the ages. The Individual lives of everyone in the movie are connected to one another and are affected by them. The past present and future are connected, A murderer becomes a hero and a small help later inspires a revolution that changes the events of the past present and future.

The movie carries a total of six interlinking narratives. This movie was based on the best-selling novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Like other actors in the film, Tom Hanks also plays six roles many of which are quite hard to recognize all thanks to excellent makeup.


13. A League of Their Own (1992)

A League of Their Own 1992

This comedy movie is set during the World War II era and the men are on the battlefield. An all-female baseball league is created in the Midwest and coach Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks who is a drunkard) takes them to their fame and success, the movie shows the drama and troubles they face along the way.

The main characters are played by Geena Davis (Dottie) and Lori Petty (Kit). The film also stars Madonna playing the character of Mae Mordibeto, a wild girl trying to get Jimmy’s attention.


12. Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Saving Mr Banks 2013 Tom Hanks

Walt Disney, portrayed by Tom Hanks, wanted to make the famous American book Mary Poppins come to life in his movies. P.L Travers played by Emma Thompson is very rigid and doesn’t want her work to become a fantasy Hollywood-style movie, she is strict and wants all control so that the right story can be told in the movie.

She rejects Walt’s offer many times before finally accepting it after 20 years when she is low on finances but still wants to control all aspects of the movie-making. The movie is based on an untold true story and the actors put their best effort to do it justice. The film impressed both audiences and critics worldwide and bagged one Oscar nomination as well.


11. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)

Charlie Wilsons War 2007

Charlie Wilson played by Tom Hanks is fixed in the early 1980s at the peak of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. Charlie is a member of major foreign policy and covert-ops committees but knows nothing about the plight of the Afghan people under the Soviet occupation.

Through the help of a Texas socialite Joanne Herring, played by Julia Roberts, and CIA Agent Gustav played by Philip Seymour Hoffman (which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role). Charlie can see the plight of the Afghan people and can provide weapons and support, to arm the Afghan Mujahedeen to take down the Soviet Union. This movie is based on a true story.


10. Philadelphia (1993)

Philadelphia 1993

The lawyer Andrew Beckett played by Tom Hanks is diagnosed with HIV and is a homosexual. Andrew was working with a powerful Philadelphia law firm and hid his illness and sexual orientation from the company due to fear that it might compromise his career. Later his secret is exposed and he loses his job.

He is upset and wants compensation thus he hires Lawyer Joe Miller played by Denzel Washington, who is the only lawyer willing to help with his case. Joe has to set aside his homophobia and has to settle the case before Andrew dies of AIDS.


9. Splash (1984)

Splash 1984

Alan Bauer played by Tom Hanks wants to find a girl, fall in love, and get married, but sadly he is unable to find anyone. He has memories of being saved by a mermaid in his youth but he manages his family’s wholesale fruit business and is unable to meet anyone.

Later he goes to the sea and loses his wallet in the surf, later the mermaid Madison played by Daryl Hannah chases him to return the wallet. They fall in love and Madison is scared that if Alan comes to know that she is not human how he would react.

The film bagged one Oscar nomination as well as a Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical nomination at the Golden Globes Awards.


8. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump 1994

Forrest Gump played by Tom Hanks is a simple-minded and kind-hearted boy growing up in Alabama with his childhood friend called Jenny played by Robin Wright. He is a very optimistic person and others are drawn to him for this quality.

The movie is like a journey in his timeline, he becomes a college football star then he fights in Vietnam and afterward captains a shrimp boat. He is very optimistic and wants to save his childhood love Jenny from a troubled life and wants to be with her.


7. Sully (2016)

Sully 2016 Movie

Capt. Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger played by Tom Hanks is the captain of the US Airways Flight 1549 which on January 15, 2009, was struck by a flock of geese Sully made an emergency landing in New York Hudson River surviving all his 155 passengers and crew. Sully becomes a national hero and also goes through a nerve-wracking investigation by the NTSB which could end his career and also his reputation.

The film is based on the most successful water landing in history and won big at the box office apart from winning several awards.


6. Big (1988)

Big 1988 Tom Hanks

Josh Baskin, a 12-year-old boy makes a wish to be an adult and he is turned into a 30-year-old man played by Tom Hanks. After this transformation, he heads to New York City and gets a job at MacMillan Toy Company. Soon a colleague Susan Lawrence played by Elizabeth Perkins has a crush on Josh. Josh feels a lot of pressure to be an adult and wishes to be a young boy again missing his family and wanting a simpler life.

Big is a challenging tale because Josh is a 30-year-old outside and a 12-year-old inside his mind.


5. The Green Mile (1999)

The Green Mile 1999 Movie

A veteran prison guard Paul Edgecomb played by Tom Hanks in the 1930 guards prisoners on death row and over the years has seen many prisoners but has never seen a prisoner like John Coffey played by Michael Clarke Duncan who is a huge black man convicted of murdering two young sisters.

Paul is having trouble believing that John has done the crime and finds his personality to be very helpful, and loving, and possesses a supernatural gift of healing people. Paul’s life and beliefs are challenged by John as they start interacting more and more.


4. Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Phillips 2013 Movies

Captain Richard Phillips is the container vessel captain of Maersk Alabama played by Tom Hanks. Phillips has to deal with his ship and crew in a hostage situation when they get overwhelmed by Somali pirates. Their leader Muse played by Barkhad Abdi demands millions of dollars for their release but Phillips uses his expertise and negotiation skills to deal with Muse to keep all of his crew and ship safely.

This is a nerve-wracking flick and keeps you in suspense as to what will happen next. This movie is based on a true story and got six Oscar nominations including the nomination for Best Motion Picture of the Year.


3. Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo 13 1995

Astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton), and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) are stuck in space on the lunar mission Apollo 13 when an oxygen tank explodes and their moon landing is called off. They all face certain death and try their best to patch together a plan with the help of NASA staff on Earth. The movie shows the ingenuity of the scientist and the astronauts who held it together and managed to come back all in one piece.

The film showcased one of the strongest performances of Tom Hanks and won several awards including two Academy Awards.


2. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Catch Me If You Can 2002

An FBI Agent Carl Hanratty played by Tom Hanks makes his top mission to chase Frank Abagnale Jr played by Leonardo DiCaprio who is a multi-talented fraud who has mastered faking his identities as a doctor, a lawyer, and a co-pilot of Pan Am Airlines and has stolen about $4,000,000 in check fraud.

Set in the 1960’s Hanratty has to go to any lengths to track and arrest Frank and even when he does, they both come to a working arrangement where Frank helps the FBI with check fraud. This movie is an excellent cat-and-mouse tale that is based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr.

The film is a classic and if you happen to be a fan of Tom Hanks and Leo then it’s a must-watch for you. This film is listed amongst the top-rated movies on IMDb and also got two Oscar nominations that speak for its quality.


1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan 1998

Rated as the best performance by Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan takes place in 1944 where Captain John Miller played by Tom Hanks has to take his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan to bring him home to his mother as she has lost all her sons in the war.

Throughout the journey, Captain Miller is faced with huge obstacles and losses to reach Private Ryan. This is a tale of bravery, sacrifice, honor, and most importantly the promise to bring back the last remaining son of a mother who has lost all other sons for her country.

With an amazing performance from Tom Hanks in the lead role, the film features one of the most authentic war experiences that have ever been captured in cinema history (just to give you an idea about how authentic it was, many veterans walked out of the cinemas after watching the initial assault on the beach battle as it was too real for them to bear).

Not only did the movie rock theaters worldwide, but it also won 5 Oscars out of its 11 nominations. It remains amongst the top-rated movies on IMDb.


Honorable Mentions

We can’t resist mentioning these epic performances by Tom Hanks as well:

  • The Terminal (2004)
  • Ithaca (2015)
  • You’ve Got Mail (1998)

We hope you liked our list of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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