Take note, Hollywood: The farther Tom Cruise runs, the higher his movie ratings get, CNET reports.
To figure this out, the diligent folks over at Rotten Tomatoes timed every instance of Tom Cruise running on screen and assumed a 10 mph speed (about 14.7 feet per second). They then sorted the movies by Cruise's running distance to see if there were any patterns.
And, it turns out, there were. Movies where Tom Cruise runs more than 1000 feet have a higher average critical score (71 percent approval), and they also bring in more money at the box office, with an average international gross of $538 million. There are a few exceptions to that trend, though. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2012), The Mummy (2017), and Vanilla Sky (2001) were all among the top 10 Tom Cruise films in terms of running distance, but they failed to garner more than a 41 percent critic approval rating.
The film enthusiasts at Rotten Tomatoes also found that Cruise runs farthest in his more recent movies. Five of the films in the top 10 were made after 2010, and all but one of them were made after 2000. That's not shocking—consider the popularity of the Mission: Impossible franchise.
In terms of profits, at least, the results aren't too surprising: More running usually means more action, and action movies have a long history of earning big bucks at the box office. What is unexpected, however, is the critical success of Cruise's action films, as critics tend to rank action movies lower than any other genre. But if anything is capable of changing critics' minds about action movies, it's apparently Cruise's limber legs.
Here’s the list of the top 10 movies where Tom Cruise does the most running:
1. Mission: Impossible III (2006) — 3212 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 70 percent critic approval, 69 percent audience approval
2. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) — 3066 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 93 percent critic approval, 76 percent audience approval
3. War of the Worlds (2005) — 1752 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 74 percent critic approval, 42 percent audience approval
4. Minority Report (2002) — 1562 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 91 percent critic approval, 80 percent audience approval
5. The Firm (1993) — 1241 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 74 percent critic approval, 64 percent audience approval
6. Edge of Tomorrow (2014) — 1065 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 90 percent critic approval, 90 percent audience approval
7. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2012) — 1051 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 37 percent critic approval, 42 percent audience approval
8. The Mummy (2017) — 1022 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 15 percent critic approval, 35 percent audience approval
9. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) — 1007 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 93 percent critic approval, 87 percent audience approval
10. Vanilla Sky (2001) — 832 feet
Rotten Tomatoes approval scores: 41 percent critic approval, 72 percent audience approval