The 6 Best Sort of Overlooked Tom Hanks Movies

This article began as a tribute to the best movies of Tom Hanks‘ career. The problem was – with exception to three obvious thunkers – nearly his entire filmography made the list. Not exactly controversial.

Then again, Tom Hanks isn’t exactly controversial. As far as show business goes, there is twerking Miley Cyrus… and on the far, far, far other end of the spectrum there is Tom. While the 21st century hasn’t been as kind to him as the nineties, he is still one of the most consistent and reliable actors – and with Oscar bait Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks coming up – he’s looking to rebound in a big way.

Instead of listing off all of Tom Hanks’ great movies, I decided to look at his most overlooked movies – very good films that don’t get the attention they deserve. Of course, it’s Tom Hanks and everything is relative, including the word “overlooked.”


6. Catch Me If You Can

Steven Spielberg’s comedy-drama-thriller earned $352 million worldwide against a $90 budget – not exactly an overlooked film by any stretch of the imagination. But if you were to rattle off Tom Hanks’ best movies, Catch Me If You Can is one that could scoot under the radar – and at the very least get attributed more to Leonardo DiCaprio than Hanks.

But yes, I’m probably cheating by putting this movie on the list.


5. The Green Mile

Two entries in and you’re already saying, these aren’t “overlooked” movies! Stephen King’s book series was brought to the big screen with Tom Hanks in the lead and the late Michael Clarke Duncan close behind, and The Green Mile stands as one of the best King adaptations ever. And yet, the three-hour movie earned only $136 million domestically against a $95 budget – not exactly an out-and-out hit.


4. Road to Perdition

Hot off his theatrical debut of American Beauty, Sam Mendes directed Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition, a terrific gangster drama-thriller in which Hanks delivers one of the best performances of his storied career. Sadly, the movie “only” earned $104 million domestically against a $108 million budget, demonstrating that audiences don’t exactly know a good movie when they see one. Or don’t see one.


3. The Terminal

Tom Hanks’ final collaboration with Steven Spielberg – so far – was also his worst. The Terminal was, in many ways, a film destined to be forgotten, simply because it’s about a man trapped in an airport. It isn’t as powerful as Saving Private Ryan, nor is it as interesting as Catch Me If You Can, but The Terminal has everything needed for a good movie – good acting, a good script and lots of great characters. The movie is funny from beginning to end.

It earned only $77 million domestically, against a $97 million budget.


2. Charlie Wilson’s War

Aaron Sorkin wrote this political comedy-drama about the proxy war in Afghanistan, which pretty much meant the film was doomed for failure before it was ever made. Had it been made ten years earlier, the combo of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts may have worked – but both actors’ star power had faded by 2007.

The movie only made $119 million worldwide against a $103 budget, making it one of Hanks’ biggest bombs. Still, it’s surprisingly funny, entertaining and meaningful.


1. The ‘Burbs

Tom Hanks’ follow-up to Big was 1989’s The ‘Burbs, which was by no means a flop. It earned $49 million against an $18 million budget. But when you ask people about their favorite Tom Hanks movies, does anyone list this cheesy gem, about a creepy suburban family that may be serial killers?

The answer is no, which is a shame because I absolutely love this movie.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Comedies, Drama Movies, Featured, Thriller Movies, Top 10 Movie Lists
Tags: ,