Tom Hanks Says He’s Made “Four…Pretty Good” Movies…What Four Are They?


Master Member
Given his work with veterans groups for the last 20+ years, I think it's safe to say Saving Private Ryan would be in his list of top movies. That said, I doubt he literally meant he only had four he thought were good. lol!


Sr Member
There's a good deal more but I don't want to rant and respect that others enjoy this film.
Interesting points – thanks for sharing. And glad to agree on the technical aspects at least! I’ll grant that Jenny is way more complicated than I realized on my first viewing of Forrest Gump as a kid. Though I’m not convinced that her intentions are 100% selfish; I think she’s meant to be a very mixed bag, and rather than a detriment, she serves to demonstrate the unconditional nature of Forrest’s optimism and acceptance.

Forrest indeed has no significant character arc, but I’d suggest that that’s not a strict requirement. In this case, I see the film as being about his effect on the world around him; just about everyone who interacts with him undergoes some kind of change prompted by his presence – by Forrest just being Forrest – whether overt in the case of Lieutenant Dan, or subtle in the case of Jenny.

Have you seen 1979’s Being There? I’m not the first to make the comparison, but Forrest shares some notable characteristics with Peter Sellers’s Chance, both in terms of the performance’s subdued-emotions and the lack of main character arc in favor of showing the incidental repercussions of his existence. I think Being There is the superior (it’s one of my absolute favorites), but Forrest Gump also employs the idea in service of a very different message from political satire, so I appreciate that it took influence without ripping off.

Of course, this does lead into the film’s sentimentality, which is a bit heavy-handed. It doesn’t bother me for the most part, but I can see how it could, and the subsequent incessant quoting by people who can only remember the same five lines really hasn’t helped. The film may not quite reach the depth it strives for, but there are better lines than “life is like a box of chocolates.”

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
I love how no one's mentioned Sleepless in Seattle or You've Got Mail. *chuckle* But I agree, for various reasons, with the rest. Apollo 13, The Terminal, Joe Versus the Volcano, The Money Pit, The Man With One Red Shoe, The Burbs, Volunteers, Saving Private Ryan, The Road to Perdition, The Green Mile... These are all repeat watched for me. Castaway and Philadelphia were powerful, but I, so far, have felt like I got what I needed to from my sole viewing. And that's not counting things he's just been the voice for or actually "made" (Band of Brothers or The [decade] series).


Sr Member
Anyone not including Cast Away in their list of four movies Tom Hanks thinks are good work is crazy, lol. The guy had nobody to play off of for 60% of the movie, and he absolutely nailed it. He had to gain a lot of weight, then lose a crazy amount just to play the role.

Admittedly this is my favorite TH movie, so I am biased. But I’d be stunned if he didn’t put it as his #2 or #3.


Master Member
I don’t buy the comment, myself.

I think this is, more than likely, just humility talking, on Mr. Hank’s part.

It’s similar to actors who claim that they NEVER watch their own movies or TV shows…more than likely, they do watch their own work, but believe it would seem strangely egotistical to admit it.

I am certain he knows he’s made more than just 4 good / decent movies.
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Darth Lars

Master Member
I think there is a possibility that he could have been referring to movies in which he has been involved in the film-making process apart from "just" acting. He has written three movies, of which he has directed two.
He has "Producer" credit on twelve movies. (I'm not counting "Executive Producer" credit, documentaries or movies still in production)

Of these, the highest rated on Rotten Tomatoes* (either score > 75, sorted by average) are:

89/84 Cast Away (Producer, Actor, Soundtrack)
93/78 That Thing You Do (Writer, Director, Soundtrack, Actor)
82/73 Charlie Wilson's War (Producer, Actor)
79/75 Greyhound (Writer, Actor)

and, however also:
90/66 Starter for 10 (Producer) ... but that is really a British movie. So I dunno.
76/73 My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Producer) ... which I can't think of a "Tom Hanks Movie", (or being "pretty good")

(* I had to get ratings from somewhere)


Sr Member
This’s a fun exercise. 1-Big, 2-Philadelphia, 3-Saving Private Ryan, 4-The Green Mile.
Not to ursurp this thread, but what’s the ‘All Time’ 5-favourite films you’ve seen ever ? ( naturally up to this point in time ! )


Master Member
A very thought-provoking question!

While Hanks has done a lot of enjoyable movies (e.g. The Money Pit, The Polar Express), trying to nail down what he would think as his top 4 films is really a tough one!

My list would be:
  1. Forest Gump
  2. Big
  3. Saving Private Ryan
  4. Philadelphia



Sr Member
1.Cloud Atlas, an interesting concept but it's not really his movie..
2.Toy Story for sentimental reasons..
3. Catch me if you can, one of the few movies you forget it's Tom Hanks in..

Who else thinks The Polar Express is more Halloween, Its just so darn scary and those Elfs... Well All the CGI faces creep me out!


Sr Member
‘That Thing You Do’ . I’ve already posted my pick of his 4 top - am l allowed to amend ?.... Big , Saving Private Ryan , Philadelphia and That Thing You Do.
The last, because not only did his production company produce, but he also had a (realistic role - for that era) in it.
Besides, though a bit young for this era (late 50’s early 60’s music), I grew up with this mainly thanks to my Dad.
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