Tom Hanks Admits The Ugly Truth About Several Of His Movies

The “Man Called Otto” star got brutally honest about his back catalog.
Tom Hanks in Cannes, France, last month.
Tom Hanks in Cannes, France, last month.
picture alliance via Getty Images

Tom Hanks is willing to admit that some of his movies suck.

The “Man Named Otto” star explained to The New Yorker in a profile published Wednesday that most actors have no idea whether or not a movie they’re in is going to be any good. Hanks, who has been a Hollywood fixture since the 1980s, even admitted that he’s not a huge fan of many of his films.

“OK, 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,” Hanks confessed.

And the “Circle” star (which, by the way, is a movie that has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 15%) has been in some serious stinkers.

Hanks’ films that are largely believed to be some of his worst, at least according to online rankings, include 1985’s “The Man With One Red Shoe,” 1990’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and 2004’s “The Terminal.”

Hanks didn’t name specific movies he’s been in that he didn’t like, but he did try to explain why he’s ended up in some flops.

Tom Hanks in 1994’s “Forrest Gump,” 1995’s “Apollo 13” and 2000’s “Cast Away.” He won an Oscar for "Forrest Gump" and was nominated for "Cast Away." He was part of the ensemble that won a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Apollo 13."
Tom Hanks in 1994’s “Forrest Gump,” 1995’s “Apollo 13” and 2000’s “Cast Away.” He won an Oscar for "Forrest Gump" and was nominated for "Cast Away." He was part of the ensemble that won a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Apollo 13."
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Hanks told the magazine that there are “five points of the Rubicon” that every actor experiences when they sign up to be in a movie.

“The first Rubicon you cross is saying yes to the film. Your fate is sealed. You are going to be in that movie,” Hanks began. “The second Rubicon 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.”

Hanks went on to say the third “Rubicon” is the critical reception, which he described as “a version of the vox populi.”

“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.” Hanks’ fourth “Rubicon” is a movie’s commercial success “because, if it does not make money, your career will be toast sooner than you want it to be.”

The fifth “Rubicon,” Hanks said, is time: “Where that movie lands twenty years after the fact.”

Hanks uses his 1996 film, “That Thing You Do!” as an example of his last point.

“I loved making that movie. I loved writing it, I loved being with it. I love all the people in it,” Hanks said. “When it came out, it was completely dismissed by the first wave of vox populi. It didn’t do great business. It hung around for a while, was viewed as being some sort of odd, kinda quasi-ripoff of nine other different movies and a nice little stroll down memory lane. Now the same exact publications that dismissed it in their initial review called it ‘Tom Hanks’s cult classic, “That Thing You Do!”’ So now it’s a cult classic. What was the difference between those two things? The answer is time.”

Hanks may have a point. Kirsten Dunst spoke openly in 2019 about how many of her early films were initially lambasted but gained more recognition years later.

“Well, remember when ‘Marie Antoinette’ — y’all panned it? And now you all love it. Remember ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’? Panned. Now you all love it,” Dunst lamented during an appearance on the SiriusXM show “In Depth With Larry Flick.”

But if time is such an important factor in a film’s legacy, we’d ask Hanks not to revisit one of his most popular films, “Forrest Gump” — because that movie did not age well.

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