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Mission: Impossible (1996)

Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

Runtime: 1h 50min

Rating: PG-13

Director: Brian De Palma

This is where the series started, and although it’s morphed throughout the years into more of an “Ethan Hunt is a superhero” slant (kind of like how they did John McClane), the basics are here: super neato spy gadgets, tense heist scenes, elaborate disguises, and Ving Rhames’ roast beefy baritone. The tomato meter makes zero sense here.

Magnolia (1999)

New Line Cinema

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Runtime: 3h 8min

Rating: R

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

There’s no question here. It’s epic, and though Cruise is part of a terrific ensemble cast, he steals every single scene and is the literal heart of the movie. As Frank T.J. Mackey, he plays a self-help guru who is full of braggadocio, but when he finds out that his father is near death, his confidence crumbles, and he has to face his own demons. Oh yeah, there’s also a rain of frogs, and everyone sings an Aimee Mann song together.

Top Image: Paramount Pictures

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