Box office: $51.3 million
The story of Barry Seal, as directed by Doug Limon and played by Tom Cruise, is one for the ages. A TWA pilot turned arms and cocaine smuggler, Seal brazenly transported goods from the U.S. to Nicaragua on behalf of the CIA. It was later known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Seal naively gets involved and manages to escape all sorts of danger, until the end. "I'm just the gringo that always delivers," Cruise as Seal brags with his toothy smile. While this is a deeply political story, Seal, who amassed great wealth due to his endeavors with Colombia's Medellin Cartel, doesn't take sides; he just flies the planes and makes air drops over Louisiana and then to the CIA's airfield in Mena, Ark. While tons of coke is shipped, none of it is snorted, though there is one scene where Seal is covered with it after a car crash. Limon's direction is frenetic, paced like the third act in Goodfellas. Besides Cruise, the cast is filled with lesser-known actors, which makes it even easier for the "Top Gun" to stand out.