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Most Valuable Performances: Tom Cruise


The quintessential good guy: Top Gun, Mission Impossible, The Last Samurai, A Few Good Men, I could go on but I'm sure you get the point. That is what made the transformation he undertook in Collateral all the more intriguing. Tom Cruise is a hell of a villain.

"I just shot him. The bullets and the fall killed him." Never were words uttered by a contract killer offered so smoothly. Cruise doesn't look radically altered in this film, but he might as well be an entirely different human being. Vincent's eyes say a lot more about the man than the film ever mentions. He is cool, calm, collected and charismatic. While he is holding Max (Jamie Foxx) hostage he is helping him retake his life before missed opportunities do him in for good.

Sleight of hand is Vincent's trade, he kills with the best and feels no remorse for the deed. It makes it that much more interesting when he scolds Vincent for not buying his mother flowers at the hospital, "She carried you in her womb for nine months."

A nihilist whose final offering echoes the sentiments of life at the beginning of Mann's best effort of the decade. In a city that is so disconnected who will notice the dead man circling the Los Angeles subway system?

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