Top Gun
1. Maverick, Top Gun
Tom Cruise was famous before Top Gun, well known as a heartthrob and leading man. His turn as renegade Navy pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Tony Scott’s 1986 action drama, however, made him a goddamn superstar, and he never looked back. His badass, live-life-on-the-edge fighter pilot is cocky and rash, oozes charm and charisma, and is impossible not to watch, whether he’s playing volleyball shirtless, riding his Kawasaki Ninja (I wanted one so bad as a kid) recklessly through traffic, piloting a supercharged F-14 Tomcat, or holding his dying best friend in his arms (I still get choked up over Goose). Top Gun is where Tom Cruise truly became Tom Cruise, the personality rather than the man, and it shaped my life more than I’m entirely proud to admit (true story, the kid who grew up next door went to the Air Force Academy largely because he fell in love with the idea of flying during our repeated viewings of Top Gun). Top Gun is where Tom Cruise taught an entire generation how to be awesome.

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