The Tom Hanks nice­ness graph

Math­e­mat­i­cally track­ing the rel­a­tive virtue of cin­ema’s ul­ti­mate good guy, across an ex­tremely agree­able ca­reer

Empire (UK) - - TAKE 20 - JOHN NU­GENT

JOSH BASKIN BIG (1988)

Play­ing a 12-year-old in an adult’s body, Hanks is full of pre-teen fizz and fun, as charm­ing and friendly as you’d ex­pect — if child­ishly self­ish and slightly creep­ily get­ting off with ac­tual grown-ups.

FOR­REST GUMP FOR­REST GUMP (1994)

It’s hard to fault For­rest. This is the sim­ple South­ern gent who fights for his coun­try, ex­poses the Water­gate scan­dal and mar­ries his child­hood sweet­heart. He may not be a smart man, but he knows what nice is.

WOODY TOY STORY (1995)

The nom­i­nal leader of the toys in Andy’s room, Woody should be steely and wise. But with Buzz on the scene, he’s ex­tremely fal­li­ble: prone to jeal­ousy and the sort of tem­per tantrums that would make Evil Em­peror Zurg blush.

MICHAEL SUL­LI­VAN ROAD TO PERDI­TION (2002)

In one of Hanks’ dark­est and most ma­ture roles, Hanks plays it sym­pa­thet­i­cally, ex­plor­ing the moral cost of a fa­ther as a killer-for-hire. But let’s be clear, he is a killer. Which is not very nice at all.

PRO­FES­SOR G.H. DORR THE LADYKILLER­S (2004)

A rare bad guy in the Hanks fil­mog­ra­phy, although he is more of a comedic anti-hero than a full-blown vil­lain. A cad, a thief, and a mur­derer, Dorr is among Hanks’ nas­ti­est pieces of work. And yet, damn, if he isn’t still pretty like­able.

CHAR­LIE WIL­SON CHAR­LIE WIL­SON’S WAR (2007)

This Mike Ni­chols-aaron Sorkin satire told the story of a wom­an­is­ing con­gress­man who se­cretly helped fund the Afghan Mu­jahideen dur­ing the Soviet-afghan War. His ac­tions in­di­rectly led to the Tal­iban form­ing, and that didn’t end so well, re­ally.

WALT DIS­NEY SAV­ING MR. BANKS (2013)

There are plenty of scur­rilous ru­mours about the leg­endary Mouse House founder, but Hanks plays him as an im­pec­ca­ble icon, cool and charis­matic, in this be­hind-the-scenes Mary Pop­pins biopic.

FRED ROGERS A BEAU­TI­FUL DAY IN THE NEIGH­BOR­HOOD (2020)

There is no dirt on Mis­ter Rogers, the Pres­by­te­rian min­is­ter turned hero to mil­lions of Amer­i­can kids. There are no skele­tons in this man’s cup­board. His cup­board is prob­a­bly just full of clean, neatly pressed, brightred cardi­gans.

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