The feature that put Scott on the map as a big-time director, and helped cement Tom Cruise as an international movie star. About a bunch of hotshot jet pilots aboard the USS Enterprise, the movie featured plenty of aerial action and shots of its stars -- including Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards -- looking cool. It was a box office bonanza, too, with over $350 million worldwide.
"Beverly Hills Cop II" (1987)
Another Scott collaboration with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, this sequel returned Eddie Murphy to the West Coast to work with Judge Reinhold and John Ashton on chasing down some serious weapons dealers in Los Angeles. It also proved Scott could handle comedy with his explosions.
While Top Gun tracked young fighter pilots, this one starred Kevin Costner as a Navy aviator hanging it up. He goes south of the border to visit his crime lord friend, but it's the friend's wife who catches his eye. Anthony Quinn, Miguel Ferrer, John Leguizamo and Madeleine Stowe co-starred.
"Days of Thunder" (1990)
Another Scott-Cruise-Bruckheimer collaboration, this one took the need for speed from the air to the race track. Cruise stars as a young race car driver, and a supporting cast includes Michael Rooker, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes, Robert Duvall and then-newcomer Nicole Kidman as an impossibly young physician.
"The Last Boy Scout" (1991)
Written by Lethal Weapon scribe Shane Black, this action-crime flick starred Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans as a private eye and former football star investigating a series of murders. It was initially a box office disappointment, though its reputation has appreciated with age.
"True Romance" (1993)
Scripted by Quentin Tarantino, the flick features Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette as (respectively) a comic book store clerk and a prostitute whose sudden marriage does not sit well with her pimp (Gary Oldman). A tussle leads to murder, drug-dealing shenanigans and a violent adventure on the West Coast. Brad Pitt makes an early appearance, while Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer and Dennis Hopper also co-star.
"Crimson Tide" (1995)
In this operatic containment thriller, submarine commanders Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington square off in a battle of wills after they interpret incomplete orders from their superiors. Featuring noticeable rewrites from an uncredited Quentin Tarantino, the film was a massive hit.
"The Fan" (1996)
The national pasttime takes a bitter turn in this film, in which Robert De Niro plays a fan absolutely obsessed with his San Francisco Giants' new center fielder, played by Wesley Snipes. Made in the age before fans could get 24/7 access to their favorite stars and players through social media and reality TV, the film zoomed in on the precarious line between supporter and stalker.
"Enemy of the State" (1998)
Hackman re-teamed with Scott for this one, playing a long-in-hiding government agent who emerges to help a lawyer, played by Will Smith, who finds himself in the middle of a high-stakes NSA coverup. Made a few years before surveillance and wiretapping entered mainstream American debate, the film does little to flatter the government's secret agencies.
"Spy Game" (2001)
Another film in which the military is looking to take out one of its own on the sly, Brad Pitt stars as an agent gone rogue and captured in China, and Robert Redford plays his mentor, who is trying to help him escape.
"Man on Fire" (2004)
Entering a new phase in his career, Scott re-teams with Washington for this film set in Mexico, about a disgraced, alcoholic ex-CIA agent who reluctantly agrees to play bodyguard to a wealthy businessman's (Marc Anthony) daughter (Dakota Fanning).
Before Keira Knightley becamse the go-to woman for period piece features, she kicked tail in Domino. Playing a real-life bounty hunter that learns under Mickey Rourke and Edgar Ramirez, she participates in plenty of stylized missions, explosions and a major heist.
"Deja Vu" (2006)
Returning to some of his favorites, Scott again teamed with Washington and Kilmer for this action film. Thanks to Adam Goldberg's scientist character, this one has a bit of a tech bent, as they can use satellites to review past events -- just once. Paula Patton and Jim Caveizel co-starred.
"The Taking of Pelham 123" (2009)
Guess who? Denzel Washington again. This time, he's not a cop, but an MTA employee stuck in the middle of terrorists led by John Travolta and the Mayor of NYC, James Gandolfini. They've got hostages taken on the subway, and are demanding cash. This is a rare remake for Scott, based on the 1974 film of the same name.
Another film with Denzel, and another one involving a train. This one, however, is on a collision course with a town full of people after a train worker fails to secure the air brakes on a locomotive engine. Washington and Chris Pine are the engineer and conductor, respectively, who attempt to stop the train from crashing.
"The Hunger" (1983)
This was Scott's first full feature after a long career in advertising. And what better way to start than with Susan Sarandon as a doctor, and David Bowie as a vampire? It wasn't the most beloved film, but certainly paved the way for Scott's next film, the smash-hit Top Gun.
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