Best Tom Hanks Movies of All Time

Tom Hanks is one of the greatest actors of all time, and he is known as “America’s Dad” and “Mr. Nice Guy'”. This solid, dependable and trustworthy at the box office. TechTrends put together a list of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time for you to choose from.

In the 1980s, Tom Hanks mostly appeared in comedies and since comedy is viewed as a lesser art compared with drama, his work in this genre is not counted. However, this is not fair as it is not easy to be charming, romantic, and hilarious. In the 90s, he won his Oscars and managed to be both a dramatic actor and the voice behind Toy Story franchise. During the course of his career, Hanks went through ups and downs but has established himself as one of the greatest actors ever. Recently, he has collaborated with the likes of Marielle Heller and Baz Luhrmann, proving that he is still willing to take opportunities with interesting directors. Here are the best must-see Tom Hanks performances. Let’s get to it.

Best Tom Hanks Movies of All Time

No one is going to argue with the fact that Tom Hanks is a wonderful actor and a great guy. For those who like his movies, you have come to the right place. We have gathered together a list of the best Tom Hanks films of all time when we went through his whole career, from rom-coms and Toy Story to collaborating with Steven Spielberg.

10. Philadelphia 1993

  • Genre: Drama/Trial Drama
  • Director: Jonathan Demme
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Buzz Kilman, Mary Steenburgen
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 81%, IMDb 7.7

If we had to pick one movie to show Tom Hanks’ transition from the fun guy to serious actor and award contender, it is Philadelphia, which was released in 1993. Hanks plays alongside co-star Denzel Washington, and the movie brought Hanks his first best actor Academy Award victory. The movie is a landmark when it comes to gay representations and the AIDs depiction in a Hollywood movie. The heart of the movie is the changing relationship that Hanks’ Andy Beckett shares with his lawyer Joe Miller, played by Washington. While it is hard to compete with Washington’s acting, Hanks’ is the more sympathetic role in this movie. Don’t miss this wonderful film as it is one of the best Tom Hanks Movies of All Time.

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9. Cast Away 2000

  • Genre: Adventure/Drama
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Lari White, Nick Searcy, Peter von Berg
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 89%, IMDb 7.8

Cast Away is a type of movie that saw one actor commanding the screen for almost the whole runtime. Therefore, having a compelling lead can be quite important, with Tom Hanks doing it masterfully well. He is stranded on an island and has no one to talk to except for a volleyball named Wilson. The ending is unfortunate but most of the movie is on the island where the good stuff takes place. Inventing Wilson was a genius idea as without Hanks’ voice delivering it, he would not have had his most valuable acting asset. The physical transformation of Hanks was also great. Don’t miss this movie as it is one of the best Tom Hanks films ever.

8. Captain Phillips 2013

  • Genre: Action/Thriller
  • Director: Paul Greengrass
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Barkhad Abdirahman
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 93%, IMDb 7.8

The movie Captain Phillips is based on real events and gives the public a greater understanding when it comes to modern-day piracy. Tom Hanks is in serious professional mode in this movie. He plays the role of the captain of a large container vessel, who does not like to be interrupted while doing his job. Four pirates board the ship and their leader is Abduwali Muse, with the movie mostly focusing on the face-off between these two characters. Phillips tries to distract them to get their attention away from his crew but he has to board a lifeboat with them at some point of the movie. Hanks’ performance showed that he is an expert in his field. He has proven many times that he can do a lot of things. Captain Phillips is another one of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time.

7. That Thing You Do! 1996

  • Genre: Musical/Comedy
  • Director: Tom Hanks
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Tom Everett Scott, Steve Zahn, Ethan Embry
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 94%, IMDb 6.9

Another one of the best Tom Hanks Movies ever is That Thing You Do, which is written and directed by Tom Hanks and he also appeared in it. This movie marked his directorial debut an provided him with a supporting role. The movie is set during the 1960s, following the rise and fall of a fictional band. The film pokes fun at the leader of the band who is artistic and serious, named Jimmy. The movie’s heart is played by Liv Tyler, who portrays the role of his girlfriend Faye. Hanks plays the role of a manager.

6. Saving Private Ryan 1998

  • Genre: War/Drama
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Bryan Cranston, Edward Burns
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 94%, IMDb 8.6

This amazing war movie tells the tale of soldiers in combat fighting for their lives and fulfilling their duty of finding Private Ryan and honoring their country. By doing that, they also find their own strength. Matt Damon plays the role of Private Ryan quite incredibly, and Tom Hanks plays Captain Miller, who is leading the mission of finding Ryan. Saving Private Ryan is one of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time.

Read more: Best Matt Damon Movies of All Time

5. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood 2019

  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: tor: Marielle Heller
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Fred Rogers, Matthew Rhys, Noah Harpster, Chris Cooper
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 95% IMDb 7.2

This movie is anything but a biography of Fred Rogers, the children’s TV icon. The director decided to have an unconventional approach to this real story of journalist Lloyd Vogel, portrayed by Matthew Rhys, whose cynicism is challenged by the optimistic Rogers. Tom Hanks has portrayed many characters over the years based on real-life people. However, he has not taken the traditional biographical route that much. He appears as the only person who could portray Mr. Rogers well, since he has a great public perception as one of the few nice guys that one can trust out there. We highly recommend this as one of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time.

4. Apollo 13 1995

  • Genre: Drama/History
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Jim Lovell, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 96%, IMDb 7.7

Apollo 13 follows the tale of Jim Lovell, portrayed by Tom Hanks, Jack Swigert, played by Kevin Bacon, and Fred Haise, acted by Bill Paxton. These three astronauts commanded the Apollo 13 mission that was tasked with landing on the moon back in 1970. When the spacecraft was taking off, it suffered an explosion, with the astronauts having to find a way to land safely when they wanted to come back to Earth. This film is quite interesting and keeps the audiences at the edge of their seat. Moreover, it is an adaptation of the book named Last Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 in 1994, recounting the events of the well-known mission to the Moon that went sideways. We highly recommend this wonderful film as one of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time.

Read more: Best History Movies of All Time

3. Catch Me If You Can 2002

  • Genre: Drama/Crime
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Walken, Jennifer Garner
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 96% IMDb 8.1

This movie has incredible stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the role of a fraudster named Frank W. Abagnale, who has posed to be a Pan-Am pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. His nemesis is Tom Hank’s Carl Hanratty, who is an FBI agent. He pursues Abagnale around the country and ends up in Europe in a game of cat and mouse. One of the greatest aspects of the movie is the due’s relationship over the years. Abagnale’s phone calls to Hanratty on Christmas shows that he sees him like a mentor as much as an enemy. When Abagnale gets caught, the movie continues showing him being transported to the U.S. The two actors did an amazing job and balanced each other well. Catch Me If You Can is one of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time.

Read more: Best Leonardo DiCaprio Movies of All Time

2. Big 1988

  • Genre: Comedy/Fantasy
  • Director: Penny Marshall
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Jared Rushton, David Moscow
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 98% IMDb 7.3

This amazing coming-of-age movie shows Tom Hanks performing as Josh Baskin, a young boy who is turned to a grown man through magic overnight. The film has many memorable scenes which makes this one of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time. The moments revolving around Josh’s mother are so emotional as she believes her son has been kidnapped. Moreover, it is overwhelming to see Josh’s first night in New York when he does not want his best friend to leave. Hanks’ performance was so eye-catching, making him an absolute delight. Don’t miss this wonderful film.

1. Toy Story


  • Genre: Family/Adventure
  • Director: John Lasseter
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 100%, IMDb 8.3

Pixar’s inaugural feature introduced amazing toys of Andy and what the film production is able to do with 3D computer animation. When Andy buys a new toy, Buzz Lightyear, Woody the cowboy gets jealous as he spends more time with it. The detours the toys take and the risks there are along the way are moving and most rewarding. Tom Hanks is the voice behind the main character, Woody. Therefore, this is one of the best Tom Hanks films ever.


  • Genre: Family/Adventure
  • Director: John Lasseter
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 100%, IMDb 7.9

In the 1999 Toy Story, Woody (Tom Hanks) gets stolen by a dealer of toys named Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), with Buzz Lightyear and the remainder of the crew going to rescue him. however, when Woody finds out that he is a very valuable collectible from a TV show named Woody’s Roundup and gets together with his horse Bullseye, Jessie, the yodeling cowgirl, who want to convince him not to leave. This is yet another one of the best Tom Hanks movies of all time.


  • Genre: Family/Adventure
  • Director: Lee Unkrich
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 98%, IMDb 8.3

Tom Hanks continues to voice Woody in Toy Story 3, where Andy is getting ready to go to college, with the toys being thrown in the attic. However, they mistakenly get next to the trash. Woody makes a quick decision to save everyone, but he himself ends up getting donated to a day-care center. Those kids, however, are not nice, so Woody wants to escape with the gang.


  • Genre: Family/Adventure
  • Director: Josh Cooley
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 97%, IMDb 7.7

Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear and the other toys start a journey with Bonnie as well as her new toy called Forky. Their journey turns to be a reunion when Woody takes a detour, he finds his friend Bo Beep. When the two talk about the old days, they find out that they are so apart when it comes to what they need from their lives as a toy. This is yet another one of the greatest Tom Hanks movies of all time.

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