12. 'War of the Worlds' (2005)
Tom Cruise as an Everyman? In Steven Spielberg's adaptation of H.G. Wells's classic alien invasion novel, Cruise plays a Jersey longshoreman and absentee father who has to flee the invaders from space. The early scenes are gritty and close to pathetic as we watch our hero try to be a dad. When the invasion happens, the film shifts into a series of spectacular Spielbergian set pieces, without ever losing sight of the film's central emotional dynamic: A father trying to keep his kids from going insane amid unspeakable horror. The film goes downhill once Tim Robbins shows up as a Masshole survivalist, but it's still one of Cruise's better films of the past decade.