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Top 10 Movies Featuring Tom Hanks

Posted by Sam Machado on February 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM

An accomplished actor with excellent films, Tom Hanks is one of the most memorable actors to walk the planet. He can pull off any kind of genre, whether it's a romantic comedy, a heavy drama, a kids' movie or a witty comedy. He's played some of the most epic characters we've ever seen, including the teenager, the baseball coach and the man on the bench.

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10. Sleepless in Seattle

This delightful rom-com revolves around a man named Sam whose wife dies, and his son calls a radio therapist to help his dad out. While Sam is talking, a woman named Annie (Meg Ryan) is listening and grieving over Sam's loss. This blossoms into Annie obsessing over Sam's story where she ends up wanting to meet him. Based on "An Affair to Remember," this is a love story that's rather unique. As predictable as most romantic movies are, Sam and Annie don't end up officially meeting till the last five minutes of the movie. I must say, that's quite a charming twist.

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9. Philadelphia

Hanks won himself a well-deserving Oscar, portraying a man with AIDS who gets fired from his job until a lawyer played by Denzel Washington defends him. As tragic as the plot is, the lawyer is extremely homophobic, which develops the two into a heated yet educational relationship. This film really brings out the despair of sickness as well as prejudice. When Hanks is on the stand, talking about the marks on his neck, we wonder why people are mistreated so much these days. Hanks and Washington were courageous enough to display such an honest masterpiece.

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8. Big

Hanks can portray them all- even a teenager. This film revolved around a kid at a carnival who makes a wish to be "big." Be careful what you wish for because this kid turns out to become a grown man...who deals with hilarious outcomes. After scaring his mother half to death, he finds a place to live and gets a job in the toy business. This is when he shows the people around him that you're never too old to have fun, and it's okay to reveal the child within. Not to mention, how many of us can play "Heart and Soul" with our feet?

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7. Splash

Hanks stars in a love story about a man who falls in love with a mermaid, played by Daryl Hannah. While the mermaid who calls herself "Madison" finds her humanity by developing feet, she's not that immune to the American culture. She puts on a tux, eats lobster shells and explodes televisions with her high-pitched shriek. Yet Hanks finds something special and adorable about her...until he finds out about her secret "fishiness." This film embarks on Hanks's versatility due to the fact that a talented man like himself would star in something that might be considered silly. But this film is actually quite magical with a view on a mermaid under the sea who comes to life in New York City.

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6. The Polar Express

Based on the classic children's story, this film was lovely and energetic for the holiday season. A little boy hops on a train that leads to Santa Claus's home at the North Pole, leading to magical adventures. It's fascinating that a film for kids can show so much intensity with wonder and excitement. As the train rides away, its effect enlightens us with joy and belief that anything is possible. Hanks voiced several characters, including the conductor, the hobo, Scrooge and Santa Claus.

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5. Cast Away

After a ferocious and frightening plane crash into an oceanic storm, a man struggles to survive on a deserted island. The whole movie is terrifying with the idea of being completely alone in the middle of nowhere. The poor guy learns how to fish, build a fire and eventually build a boat. As scary as being deserted is, the film is extremely emotional when "Wilson" makes a visit to the island. Something so simple as a volleyball becomes Hanks's best friend. We grow an attachment to Wilson as if he's like a pet or a sidekick. And when he falls off the boat, leaving Hanks to watch his friend drift away, we're left balling into the biggest movie wreck...all over a volleyball. Seriously, how is it that an inanimate object can leave you with so much despair and heartbreak?

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4. The Green Mile

Another Hanks movie with a classic quote: "Take my hand, boss..." Okay so Hanks isn't the one who said that, but hopefully we didn't make you tear up after reading that quote. Based on a Stephen King novel, this film captures you into the lives of prison bodyguards who develop a relationship with a new inmate, played by the late Michael Clarke Duncan. Although the inmate was accused of murdering two girls, Hanks believes that there is something more mysterious at work...something more magical. For a movie that's three hours long, this one displays emotion every minute. Duncan was fascinating as the healing inmate who can take away a urinary infection, bring a mouse back to life and cure a woman's sickness. And when his time comes to walk his last steps, we're holding in our tears just as much as the bodyguards are.

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3. A League of Their Own

Just to start off: "There's no crying in baseball!" As if that fantastic dialogue isn't enough, this is one of the greatest comedies ever made. Hanks plays Jimmy, a baseball coach, of a women's league. When all the husbands go off to war, the baseball season still needs to shine so that's when the women take over. Sisters Dottie and Kit join the American Peaches where they experience memories revolving around friendship, glory, jealousy, hysterics, night club dancing with Madonna, and learning how to be there for each other. You just can't go wrong in the movie that takes you into a celebrated world of great times we might've once had with activities that made us happy.

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2. Toy Story

Pixar begins in this brilliant classic that turned into a series. All the Toy Story movies got wittier and more emotional in each movie. Woody and Buzz start off with a competitive relationship until they're trapped at Sid's house with thrilling outcomes. And when Woody escapes from a member of the roundup gang, we delve into another wild adventure. And who could forget the breathtaking trilogy with a dramatic toy clown as well as the intense moment of fire! There is also the big moment of Andy's decision on what to do with his old friends now that he's an adult. For anyone who has ever made the important deicision on what to do with our toys when we got older can know exactly what Andy had to deal with. If you ever had a toy that was your best friend until the day life told you to grow up, then this movie can make you remember what it was like to be young. When Andy thinks he left Woody and Buzz behind, it's like a flashback of when our plastic friends go missing. And you have to force yourself to not cry when Cowgirl Jessie reminisces about her human friend who played with her until the teen years came to be. And when she gets thrown into a box on the side of the street, it makes us regret all the times we ever gave our toys away. When we were kids, we thought of our toys as real people. "Toy Story" pushes on that theory. It's truly amazing how a kids' movie can display so much meaning and honesty on the difficult stages of adulthood.

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1. Forrest Gump

This is one of Hanks's most epic performances as a man with a low IQ who goes into a flashback of his convenient involvements with historical memories. This includes the assassination of JFK, the Vietnam War and even Elvis Presley. During these moments, his true love Jenny makes appearances whether she's in his life or not. Forrest is a man who managed to make a difference in history by saving lives, catching shrimp on a boat, meeting the president, and year-long running for no reason. This film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Categories: Entertainment: Film & Television

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