Tom Hanks’ Filmography (Part I)

Tom Hanks started his career acting in comedies with simple plots but with a lot of heart later to focus on more serious roles that made him become an acting powerhouse. I wouldn’t have believed when saw him in those early roles that he had it in him to excel as a superstar. But he did, and big time! His versatility is displayed in war movies, gangster films or romantic comedies alike. Furthermore, he alone can carry a whole motion picture on his shoulders as in Forrest Gump (♦♦♦♦♦) and Cast Away (♦♦♦).

In Angels and Demons (♦♦♦♦), an adaptation of Dan Brown’s first novel, Hanks stars as Robert Langdon, a symbologist expert called by the Vatican authorities to assist in finding the culprits of the kidnapping of four Papabili during the Interregnum, the period between the death of a Pope and the election of a new one. Victoria Vetra, the daughter of a prominent physicist leading experiments to create antimatter, becomes involved in the investigation due to her father’s untimely and gruesome death. Langdon must run against time to find the hidden symbols behind the kidnappers’ messages all the while trying to remain unbiased in the fight against faith and science. Ewan McGregor (Cassandra’s Dream, Moulin Rouge) co-stars. In The Da Vinci Code (♦♦♦♦), released first than Angels… due to the mega success of the homonymous novel, Hanks also stars as Robert Langdon, this time in a visit to Paris, where he goes to deliver a series of lectures and instead he becomes the focus of an investigation surrounding the gruesome killing of the curator of the Louvre Museum. The deceased’s granddaughter, Audrey Tautou (Amelie) as Sophie Neve, cryptographer with the Paris police, helps Langdon escape and solve the mystery involving her grandfather’s death as well as getting a crash course on the supposedly best kept secret of Christendom, all the while solving puzzles encoded in Leonardo Da Vici’s most famous paintings. Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Alfred Molina (Goya’s Ghost), Jean Reno (The Pink Panther) and Paul Bettany (Inkheart) brilliantly co-star.

In Charlie Wilson’s War (♦♦♦♦♦), Tom Hanks truly shines. It is a drama with humorous undertone concerning one of the biggest black operations in American history: the siphoning of money and modern weapons to Afghan mujahedeen to fight and ultimately defeat the Soviet invaders in the 1980s. Hanks stars as Congressman Charlie Wilson, while Philip Seymour Hoffman (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Capote) stars as the CIA operative who provides intelligence to put all the operation together. Amy Adams, Julia Roberts and Emily Blunt co-star. This film is at once both funny and thought provoking.

The Ladykillers (♦♦♦♦♦) is a clever and rewarding movie on every level. The jokes are educated and subtle for the most part; language becomes the weapon of choice to kill the audience with laughter. I saw this motion picture twice, back to back, and after the second time didn’t lose its freshness. A group of first-time criminals plot to rob a casino by digging a tunnel from the basement of the house where their mastermind (Tom Hanks) has rented a room, but when the old landlady walks in on them, they decide to kill her. Who thought that killing an old woman was the stuff of nightmares?! Hysterical situations ensue.

In Catch Me if you Can (♦♦♦♦♦) and The Green Mile (♦♦♦♦♦), Tom Hanks interpret officers of the law, but both with different purposes. In Catch Me if you Can (♦♦♦♦♦), Hanks stars opposite Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island, The Aviator) as an obsessed FBI agent serious about catching one of the smartest forgers in America’s criminal history. This movie is funny and the cat and mouse game between the con man and the officer makes it even more satisfying. It’s so easy to sympathize with this criminal! With The Green Mile (♦♦♦♦♦), however, I couldn’t stop crying. This film is so sad…John Coffey, “Coffey as the drink, only not spelled the same…”, a giant accused of a savage act against a young girl, arrives on Death Row and forever changes the dynamics between guards and prisoners for he has a superpower: he is able to heal people. Miracles come and go, but no one will be able to save this man from the electric chair, not even learning the truth behind the brutal slaying of the young girl for which he was sentenced to death. Not to be missed!

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