The truth is that not every movie hits the mark. Some movies just don’t work, no matter how talented their casts may be. Tom Hanks has to be one of the most globally recognized and adored film actors alive, and even he admits that he’s not a fan of all the movies he’s been in!
After starring in projects such as Forrest Gump (1994), Cast Away (2000), Captain Phillips (2013), and dozens more, he seems like a good authority on the matter. So what makes or breaks a good movie, in Tom Hanks’ opinion?
Here are the five “Rubicons” Hanks shared with The New Yorker about movie making.
1 – Saying Yes to the Film
As Tom Hanks put it, “The first Rubicon you cross is saying yes to the film. Your fate is sealed. You are going to be in that movie.” Once you have agreed and signed the contract, you’ve made your decision and are locked in as an actor.
2 – The Final Product
Hanks continues with his second point which is when “you actually see the movie that you made. It either works and is the movie you wanted to make, or it does not work, and it’s not the movie you wanted to make.” Making a feature film is an immensely long process that begins long before the actor and ends long after the actor’s final day on set.
3 – Critical Reaction
Having nothing to do with whether or not it ended up being the movie you wanted to make, the opinion of the majority weighs in. Hanks says, “Someone is going to say, ‘I hated it.’ Other people can say, ‘I think it’s brilliant.’ Somewhere in between the two is what the movie actually is.
4 – Commercial Performance
Hanks notes, “If it does not make money, your career will be toast sooner than you want it to be. That’s just the fact. That’s the business.” Maybe you signed on, and the film ended up being exactly what you wanted to make. Critics praise it, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t make money. In Hollywood only money translates directly to success.
5 – Time
“Where that movie lands twenty years after the fact. What happens when people look at it, perhaps by accident.” Hanks references It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and a film he starred in and also wrote and directed, That Thing You Do! (1996). Both films were met with mild reactions at the time of their release but found immense fame and acclaim years later.
Tom Hanks shared,
O.K., let’s admit this: We all have seen movies that we hate. I have been in some movies that I hate. You have seen some of my movies and you hate them.
Here’s a list of Hanks’ Disney movies:
- Splash (1984)
- Turner & Hooch (1989)
- Toy Story (1995)
- Toy Story 2 (1999)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Toy Story 4 (2019)
- Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
- Pinocchio (2022)
Surely he doesn’t hate any of these…right?