By 1996, Cruise was already a star. In the thirteen years after Top Gun, he had done the nearly-impossible: he earned an Oscar nomination for the 1989 film Born on the Fourth of July and starred in a half-dozen critically-acclaimed films, including The Color of Money (1986), Rain Main (1988), and A Few Good Men (1992).
But in the summer of 1996, Cruise struck gold once again with his performance as Ethan Hunt - an undercover agent framed for murder - in Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible, based on the television program of the same name.
This cinematic role would become one of Cruise's most famous and launch a huge franchise. And now - after his strong performance in last year's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, both critics and audiences are excited to see a fifth entry in this exciting series.