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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Your Worst Critic

Tom Hanks thinks he's made four "pretty good" films in his career to date.


Four doesn't sound like very many considering he's acted in a whopping 67 films since his first in 1980.*


But he only thinks four of them are "pretty good".


Which four films?


He won't say, but let's try to figure it out.


It's safe to assume both Philadelphia and Forrest Gump are on the list, if only because Hollywood says so: each film won Hanks an Academy Award for Best Actor.


If we're right about those two, we only have two spots left. Which two films would Hanks say were "pretty good" relative to everything else he's made over the past few decades?


Big? His iconic performance as a kid trapped in a man's body earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor... but he lost this one to Dustin Hoffman for his performance in Rain Man.


Saving Private Ryan? This one earned Hanks another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, although he lost this one to Roberto Benigni for his performance in Life is Beautiful.


Cast Away? This one led to yet another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, losing to Russell Crowe for his performance in Gladiator.


A League of Their Own. Sleepless in Seattle. Apollo 13. Toy Story. The Green Mile. Catch Me If You Can. The Terminal. Captain Phillips. Saving Mr. Banks. Sully...


By now, you've probably realized choosing only four "pretty good" films starring Tom Hanks is an impossible exercise, because he's inarguably made a great deal more than four "pretty good" films.


Tom Hanks is Hollywood royalty, and he's made at least a dozen exceptional movies.


And clearly, he's his own worst critic.


That should be no surprise, though.


Most of us are.


Be hard on yourself, and continually push yourself to be better.


But don't forget to recognize all the good work you've accomplished too.


 

* That figure just includes his films, not any of his television, stage, or music video appearances.

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